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  • Face Time

    New 'pregnancy spa' helps families get to know new arrivals
  • After giving birth to two children and adopting three more following symptoms of early menopause, Misty Gunn thought her chance of getting pregnant again was "one in a million."
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  • After giving birth to two children and adopting three more following symptoms of early menopause, Misty Gunn thought her chance of getting pregnant again was "one in a million."
    So when the 33-year-old Grants Pass resident realized that, against all odds, she had conceived, even frequent ultrasounds throughout her high-risk pregnancy didn't offer enough face time with the fetus.
    "This baby is — even the doctor calls it — a miracle baby," says Gunn. "We want to be able to see it as much as possible."
    Women like Gunn have a window to the womb whenever they choose at a new "pregnancy spa" with ultrasound services. Modeling her Grants Pass business on similar ones in larger cities, Rebecca Bender opened Keepsake 3D Imaging, Southern Oregon's first elective ultrasound center, in March. Gunn was first in line to view her unborn baby, take home photographs and a DVD and — with any luck — confirm its gender.
    "We want to find out the gender, so we can start our shopping," says Gunn. "Whatever they say it is, I'm going to be ecstatic," she says.
    Keepsake allowed Gunn to bring about a dozen people, including her husband, children, other family and friends, to the viewing. Using the GE Voluson 730 Pro Ultrasound, the same machine found in some local clinics, Bender transmits uterine images onto a large, high-definition, flat-screen television while clients recline — fully dressed — on a daybed. The "shabby-chic" decor of antique-looking furnishings, burlap and lace with a color scheme of "ballet-slipper pink" and blue is unlike the typical obstetrician's office, says Bender.
    "Kids are welcome; dads are welcome."
    Keepsake's purpose also is worlds apart from a doctor's prenatal exam. Trained by GE representatives primarily to obtain the best ultrasound image, Bender has no medical experience, and she does not bill her service as a substitute for diagnostic ultrasounds. Her sessions merely allow clients the chance to check up on their babies when insurance plans won't pay for ultrasounds deemed medically unnecessary.
    "You don't have to wait nine months to get to know your baby," says Bender.
    Parents, however, often can know their baby's gender from an appointment with Bender. The "sneak peak" gender determination is the least expensive service at $65 and takes about 10 minutes. Clients can choose longer sessions that include two-color photos or photos and a DVD of the ultrasound for $99 and $150, respectively.
    "I feel like it's just priceless," says Gunn, who booked Keepsake's three-appointment "journey."
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