A blind mum was able to ‘see’ her unborn baby – thanks to a 3D-printed ultrasound.
Taylor Ellis, 26, was born with glaucoma and has very little vision, so her 20 week scan – when she was unable to see her baby – left her in tears.
But when doctors found out, they conducted a special ultrasound and made a 3D print out of her unborn daughter’s face.
Taylor and her husband Jeremy, 28, who is also visually impaired, received the scan in the post a week later, and were able to feel it, and said it was a dream come true.
Baby Rosalie is now ten weeks old, and mum-of-three Taylor said the 3D printing technology – most commonly use to make car parts – was “life changing”.
Taylor, stay-at-home-mother, from Cockeysville, Maryland, said: “I always thought about what my baby would look like and was always saddened to know I wouldn’t have the same opportunity as seeing mothers.
“My sight wasn’t as bad, with my first two children, so I could see the 2D ultrasound.
“During my 20 week ultrasound for Rosalie I cried, I thought I would never get that big moment that seeing mothers are waiting for.
“It was a really cool experience as I have never seen something like this before, I was really disappointed with my other ones as I found them difficult to see, this was so special.
“The model is made out of a bright, red material that has a plastic-feel. It felt weird at first but when I had the realisation that this was my babies face, it was so heart-warming”.
Taylor has been registered blind since birth due to glaucoma but her sight has steadily declined since and now has to use a walking aid.
She thought she would miss out on ‘seeing’ her pre-natal scans, until she heard about a hospital which made models of unborn babies.
Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore usually use the technology to create models of unborn babies with spina bifida.
It allows surgeons to get a clear image of the spines of babies to see if they need in-womb surgery.
It also means the surgical team can practice the surgery ahead of time using a 3D model of the baby tucked inside a football.
When an ultrasound sonographer at the same hospital found out, he suggested the technology be used to help blind parents.
Taylor went along for a scan during her 32 week check-up, and a week later received the adorable relief copy of her baby’s face in the post.
The model takes three-and-half hours to print and the hospital in Cockeysville, Maryland, is thought to be the first in the world to offer the service.
Taylor, who has two other daughters, Carlee, three, and Braylee, five, said: “When I found out I could have the 3D scan I was ecstatic.
“I was so upset that COVID-19 had ruined my chances of having a gender reveal party.
“Instead, I showed off my scan to my daughters and my parents on video chat.
“That moment was something I spent a long time wishing and waiting for”.
Rosalie was born naturally on June 10, weighing 8lbs 2oz, and everything went to plan.
Proud mum Taylor, added: “This pregnancy has been so scary but so exciting the whole way through, I just wanted this really really bad”.