I marvel at the wonder of pregnancy--the knowledge that an intricate human being is being formed each day in my womb. An ultrasound offers a peek into the womb. It always fascinates me to see what the baby is doing, unbeknowst to the outside world.
Ultrasounds are also expensive. We will have one with our doctor in the next few weeks. It will cost $451 dollars. Without insurance, on top of the $4,000-some dollar OB bill, it adds up. But it is possible to have a free ultrasound.
Our local Care-Net Pregnancy Resource Center offers free training ultrasounds. These offer the nurses additional training in measuring babies at various stages of pregnancy. They like women to volunteer so they can get this extra practice. Women who volunteer get a peek at their baby in the womb, at no cost. It's a win-win for everyone.
I have had two ultrasounds at Care-Net. Whereas the doctor's ultrasound is usually more medical ("let's find the organs and systems and move on"), the Care-Net nurses--in my experience--let you marvel longer at your baby. They have to gather their measurements, sure, but for the most part, you can watch what the baby is doing, unhindered by the necessity to take another measurement, or move the monitor to see the spine, etc.
I am not sure if all Care-Nets offer the free training ultrasound, but if you're pregnant, or know someone who is, it's certainly worth calling and checking into.