Many will remember the first time they ever saw a 2D ultrasound scan of their unborn sibling as a tender and exciting moment in their childhood. For some kids however, the excitement is quickly followed by a feeling of confusion as they try to make out the traits of a baby in what may seem more like bad chalk art.
Now, families on Whidbey Island can share with their kids the joy of seeing their child in detail, creating a stronger emotional connection with the baby. In May, Sonographer Kulvinder Kaur opened Island County Ultrasound, the only business on the island that offers color images and videos of fetuses in 3D, 4D and 5D, in addition to the 2D scans.
According to Kaur, 3D scans are still images, 4D scans come in both photo and video format, and 5D scans allow her to adjust the light to better see the baby. Unlike 2D ultrasounds, which show the baby’s organs and skeletal structure in black and white, these options make the baby look more realistic.
Located at 902 NE Center Street in downtown Coupeville, Island County Ultrasound also offers parents the chance to further enhance their baby’s images after the ultrasound session, adding more detail to their features as if they’re immortalized out of the womb. Sometimes, this makes for funny moments — like a baby sticking his or her tongue out.
Kaur specified she does not provide diagnostic services, though she is qualified to do so. Instead, her business offers expecting families — including military families with deployed partners — a wholesome experience. For example, Kaur guided a 5-year-old in taking a scan of her mother’s womb, a moment that she remembers fondly.
Clients can even request to record the heartbeat of the unborn child — or any loved one — on a recorder and put it inside of a stuffed animal that, when squeezed, plays the sound.
Kaur also wants to give mothers “peace of mind.” With the Mom’s Peace of Mind option, parents can make sure their baby is moving and hear their heartbeat through 2D scans. Kaur believes this could be useful to parents who can’t wait for their distant hospital appointment.
Kaur said she is very passionate about her job and wants to share her passion with others. She explained that there is a statewide shortage of sonographers due to the hands-on modality of the practice that requires more faculty than available.
Kaur also has teaching experience and, in an effort to help reverse the trends, she is offering 2D ultrasound workshops. These are useful to young people who want to figure out whether sonography is the right career choice for them and whether they want to work with pregnant women or clients with certain medical conditions. Workshops are also open to medical and non-medical students and professionals who wish to develop a new skill.
Kaur described the work as “a preview of what life is going to be if you’re going to become a sonographer.”
Participants will practice on each other or even, as a 16-year-old once did, with their grandma.
Kaur also has a background in cosmetology, and plans to eventually offer non-surgical anti-aging services, called high intensity focused ultrasound facials. This technology uses ultrasound to minimize wrinkles.