Panorama Screening: How much do you want to know about your baby?

When I first learned I was pregnant and attended my first OB appointment (you know… when she is no longer your Gyno and suddenly becomes your OB), my husband and I made a quick decision: we wanted to run all the tests and know everything possible about the baby, except if the baby was a boy or a girl. The only thing we didn’t want to know was the gender. And we were told that was fine, we had another 10 weeks to wait until it was time for that.

Did you find out the gender of your baby? Check out some of the clever ways to spill the news

Granted, this was 12 years ago and the initial OB appointment was at 10 weeks. Now, 10 weeks is a long time to wait to start learning about your babe. In fact, you can learn just about everything you need to know (and more) about your baby at just 9 weeks with tests like the Panorama Test, who is sponsoring this post.

So, around 10-12 weeks, we had most of the tests run for Babies 1 and 2. At 10 weeks for baby three, we sadly found out that it’s heart had been too weak — I had miscarried. And, so, for baby 4 (that’s Little), we started testing and screening a bit earlier —  at this point, I was over 35 and had a “history,” so it was important to be even more careful.

So back to our “we don’t want to know” stories

Big’s story


Actually, we did. Kind of. We really, truly didn’t want to know. Back in 2002-2003, when I was pregnant with Big, there wasn’t so much hype and pressure of Social Media to find clever ways to share the news. (I am so not knocking the awesome pink and blue cupcakes or the balloon popping ceremonies — they’re adorable!) When we were pregnant, we simply bought baby Christmas tree ornaments and gifted them to the Grandparents and Great-Grandparents, then called everyone else in the family to share our news. After, there was probably an email announcement after about 12 weeks to make sure that our friends knew the news.

When it was time for our 20-week ultrasound, we walked into the tech’s room with a very specific instruction: we want to know everything about this baby except the gender. We probably said it 6 times in a matter of 2 minutes.

Sure enough, as we’re looking at the cutie’s arms and legs, she starts calling him “he.” The first time, I could have ignored it. The second, I stole a glance at my husband. The third time I spoke up, “I’m sorry. Are you saying ‘he?'” 

Shit. She probably thought. She was clearly flustered. “Oh… did I say ‘he?’ Ha ha… I can’t say ‘it’ all the time, so sometimes I just say ‘he’ because it’s more natural. It’s like calling your baby ‘baby’ rather than his name. It’s name.”

I glanced at my husband again.

We left, holding hands. Left in wonder.

And, yes, 21 weeks later, we found out that Big was, in fact, a he.

Middle’s story


Middle was a different story. I told my family we were pregnant over the holidays during game night. It was completely random and awesome. We were playing Guesstures and I had to act out the word baby. Even though we weren’t going to tell so early, I spilled and told them through charades.

Again, this time we agreed we didn’t want to know. Not quite knowing with Big led to a pretty big pseudo-surprise. So we selected a different tech for the Ultrasound, to ensure that we wouldn’t have more problems.


Just like last time we walked into the room, proclaiming our goal: we want to know everything about this baby except the gender.

And, this time, she listened. She didn’t tell the gender. She hardly said a word. She was practically mute.

Except, this time, I said to my husband, “ummm. I’m pretty sure that’s a penis staring at me through the screen.”

And, whoops! The tech moved the wand.

We didn’t tell anyone this story until after he was born. We still didn’t have exact confirmation that it was a he, we hardly ever spoke about it. But we knew. We really, truly knew.

Little’s story


By the time we were expecting Little, Social Media had definitely changed the landscape. I had been blogging since 2004, before Middle was born, and Social Media was now in full-force. Everyone was on Facebook. And everything was shared, especially milestonees. (I spent a good 30 minutes today searching through my 2008-2009 feed to find my announcement and couldn’t find it — but what fun reading all those memories!) The world wasn’t quite at the point of announcing with as much ceremony as it is today. I probably announced my news in much the same way as before — except a bit quieter and more slowly, as I’d recently had a miscarriage.

We had a few more appointments and at the 10-week Ultrasound, we were offered the opportunity to learn the gender (modern technology astounds!) We turned it down and the tech happily let us wait. At 20 weeks, we brought both boys with us and were surprised by the tech who was testing a 3D Ultrasound machine. Our baby looked so real and beautiful!!

The best part is that this tech listened. We told her we didn’t want to know, and she was certain to stay away from the “area.” She never muttered a “he” or a “she.” My husband and I shared with her the stories of our failed attempts of surprises and she shook her head, politely commenting on professionalism. She let us be surprised.

And surprised we were! When Little was born, at 39 weeks, we had the pink surprise of a lifetime.

[Edit: After writing this, I found a post from 2009, written 5 days before Little’s 20-week Ultrasound. Read it to find out what I was really thinking.] 

And if there were another…

Of course, times have changed and, if I were expecting (I’m not — promise!!) I’m pretty sure with all the ways to tell now, I’d be more interested in finding out everything I could find out, though I’m not sure I’d share. Of course, this imaginary baby would be my fourth and there would be 6+ years between Little and imaginary-baby, so it would also be a lot less about the waiting game, and a lot more about being prepared for everything possible.

But, then. Who knows? I still say Little being a girl was an amazing surprise, so I’d probably still not want to find out.

The luxury of it all is that there is a non-invasive prenatal test option to find out everything you need (and want) to know at only 9 weeks, using a simple blood test. Panorama, a DNA screening test tells parents important information about the pregnancy and the baby. Parents can learn if their baby could have chromosomal abnormalities, as well as the gender of the baby. It’s said to be highly accurate, and has the lowest false positive rating of any prenatal screening test for commonly screened items.

Did you find out? And how did you share your news with everyone?

 Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.


mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel ( and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2015, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.

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