Johnson’s doctor, Dr. Kathy Sekpe of CHI Bergen Mercy Clinic in Omaha, explained that they came up with the idea of developing a three-dimensional version of the ultrasound image.
â€œI thought it would be nice to hold it, to feel the contours of the baby’s face and understand what the baby looks like,â€ she said.
Dr. Sekpe enlisted the help of another OB-GYN, Dr. John Cote, to make the touch experience a reality.
In footage obtained by KETV, Johnson can be seen running her fingers over the molds, marveling at the baby’s unique features.
“It’s great,” he said. â€œLike not being able to feel her, like seeing her ultrasounds, it’s amazing. I see her small lips and her small nose. That’s nice. And her little eyes. Oh my god.â€
When asked whose nose the child had, Johnson was able to confidently say that the baby followed him.
Dr. Côté, an associate professor at Creighton University, said her research into 3D-printed ultrasounds could be a “game changer” for obstetrics.
“We’re actually one of the first institutions to be able to do this,” he said. “3D printing has been around for a while, but when we applied it to more common scenarios like everyday pregnant patients.”
Dr. Côté explained that presenting expectant mothers with a 3D image of their baby benefits both parents and babies by increasing oxytocin levels and strengthening maternal bonding.
Johnson himself was brought to tears by the effort.
“I never thought I’d see what my baby would look like, feel what it would look like,” she told a room of emotional nurses and staff. “I can’t wait to see what it looks like in person.
“Thanks a lot guys. It certainly means a lot to me. Thank you, he continued. “I wouldn’t have this opportunity without you guys. So thanks guys.â€