Sonographer opens state’s first elective imaging center

Expecting Miracles serves parents-to-be

Little else compares to that moment when an expectant mom hears her baby’s heartbeat for the first time. Available now for decades, 2-D ultrasound technology lets pregnant women not only hear the heartbeat, but also see the developing baby. Although blurry, the images offer reassurance and let couples know the sex of their child. While 2-D ultrasound is used diagnostically, newer 3-D/4-D ultrasound technology is not considered medically necessary. However, it produces more realistic images and even video, allowing a parent-to-be to catch a smile or see a kick. For Adrienne Talabisco of Wilmington, the 3-D opportunity was her only means of sharing her pregnancy with her husband who was deployed in Iraq. Stefan kept those images under his helmet.

It was that profound experience nine years ago that prompted Talabisco, a professional OB-GYN sonographer, to open Delaware’s first elective ultrasound facility in July. Located in the Christiana Medical Center office park in Newark, Expecting Miracles offers a mother-to-be 2D and 3D/4D ultrasound bonding experiences with her baby in utero and as often as she likes. As a high-risk pregnancy sonographer working in a hospital setting for the past decade, Talabisco was aware of how valuable this service was to expecting parents.

“I saw the frustration and discouragement of denying this special bonding,” she said.

Typically, she said, a healthy pregnancy would only necessitate one 2-D ultrasound per nine-month term. Although the same equipment is utilized to produce 3D/4D ultrasounds, the service is only provided at the whim of the sonographer, she said. And, as no diagnostic information is obtained from a 3D/4D ultrasound, the more detailed view is not covered by insurance.

Talabisco relied on Delaware’s Small Business Administration and SCORE for guidance, and hired Kate Maxwell of CMC Marketing in Wilmington to help spread the word about her new business. Her 1,200-square-foot suite houses an inviting exam office, one large enough for extended family to share in the ultrasound experience; private massage quarters; and sales space for the half-dozen local vendors who have partnered with Talabisco by providing goods and services ranging from onsies to photography. An open house was held in September, and Talabisco said her client list has doubled each month since opening.

Among those clients is Samantha Grantland of Smyrna. Grantland and her husband are expecting their first child, and she recently made her fourth visit to Expecting Miracles. She said she was especially impressed by Talabisco’s bedside manner, and was thrilled that Delaware now had an elective ultrasound service. “I’m enjoying seeing our daughter,” she said, adding that it’s a great way to relieve the anxiety of a new parent.

Aided by state-of-the-art equipment leased from a California company, Talabisco offers several packages ranging in price from $75 for an early Sneak Peek to $175 for a 3D/4D Bonding Ultrasound. Moreover, clients wishing to know the gender of their baby are able to do so at 15 weeks — several weeks sooner than the standard clinical ultrasound.

Talabisco received her degree from Delaware Technical Community College through its Allied Health program and is credentialed through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. She continues to work several days a week at a medical practice while seeing her own clients on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and select evenings at Expecting Miracles. The business has given her the opportunity to expand upon something she loves doing.

“Every day is a magical moment for me. I love getting to see the expression on a mom’s face,” she said.