We are having a..........boy!!!!

We really thought we were having a girl, not sure why, but we were so shocked (in a good way of course) to find out we are having a little boy. We are both over the moon!! - can you tell I'm excited?

We have our 20 week scan with the NHS on the 4th July, but being the impatient person I am, as soon as I found out that you can pay privately to have a gender scan done after 16 weeks here in the UK, I was like a dog with a bone. Anyway, 20 weeks is 4 weeks away from the 16th week - that's way too long to have to wait!

So last Friday I spoke to hubby and we agreed that we would find out the gender of baby Stephens. I found a company online called First Encounters who have clinics in both Cardiff and Bristol; as Cardiff is closer to us, this is the one we chose to attend. They had availability for the following day, which was great to hear as there's nothing worse than being excited about something and having to wait ages!

We booked for the following day at 11.30am with the Gender'n'Wellbeing package (£49) which includes:

- 10 minute appointment (5 minutes being taken up by the actual scan)

- x4 2D black and white scan pictures

- Gender confirmation (which is 99.99% accurate)

- 4D glimpse

- Giftbag

- Wellbeing Observation Report

- x1 Gender reveal scratch card

I couldn't believe the price of this package, as this seemed like a pretty good deal compared to other companies I had looked at, who wanted to charge £80+ for the basic gender scan!

There were lots of optional extras you could purchase such as a teddy bear with the beating heart recording of your baby (which is pretty cute), scan photographs on CD and USB sticks, and even your very own Cloud log-in to host your unborn baby pics. in order to show friends and family. However we decided to only get a few extra photos printed for the Grandparents-to-be.

The whole experience at First Encounters was excellent, I couldn't have faulted it. The staff were lovely, the building was clean and tidy, and it didn't feel rushed like it sometimes can when you attend a scan with the NHS. The best bit for me, apart from finding out we are having a boy of course, was the large flat screen TV that is in front of you throughout the scan, showing you exactly what the Sonographer is doing. I know when we had our NHS 12 week scan, we could only see baby on the ultrasound device screen and she kept turning it back to her all the time - which I understand because it's hard for her to do her job otherwise.

As soon as I booked the scan online through the First Encounters website (which was really handy), I received a booking confirmation email as well as an email telling me what I needed to do the morning of the appointment, such as drink plenty and eat a chocolate bar and fizzy drink (apparently this causes the baby to move more). Once the appointment was over, I had a follow up email from the company saying thank you, which I thought was a lovely finishing touch.

When we got back to the car we immediately rang our parents giving them the good news - they're having a grandson. I love giving good news like this, especially with the sad things going on in the world at the moment. Everyone is super excited and can't wait to meet him already!

......I still can't believe we are having a boy!!!

Since the appointment (3 days to be exact), we have slowly started accumulating baby clothes and have even got a pram in mind. But all of that will come in another blog, so keep an eye out!

Have you paid for a private gender scan? When did you buy a pram - is now too early? Leave your comments below!


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