As ultrasound technology has improved over the years, parents have been able to watch their babies develop with greater and greater clarity. Now, a local business is using that technology to give expectant parents a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Sneak Peeks of Williston provides elective high definition ultrasounds, giving parents one of the most comprehensive looks at their unborn baby they can have. The soon-to-open business is not a medical facility, but instead operates more as a photography business, providing families with early snapshots of their baby. Owner Keri Hurley said she had never considered opening such a business before, that is, until she became a mother herself.
"It was actually a very unexpected and random turn in my life," she said. "I've worked in the oilfield for over six years out in the field, and it wasn't until I got pregnant in 2017 that I became amazed with ultrasounds and sonography."
Hurley said after visiting the Unique Peek 4D ultrasound facility in Minot, she became fascinated with the technology, and decided to create her own unique business.
"I went to do a gender reveal," she explained. "Once I saw the imaging of my baby up on the screen, and I got to see her little hands and her feet, I just became infatuated with it. The technology is just amazing anymore."
After conversations with the operator of Unique Peek, Hurley said she believed Williston could benefit from such a facility and "dove right in" to make it a reality. Hurley did extensive hands-on training learning the art of sonography and ultrasound, making sure she was comfortable with every aspect of the technology. Sneak Peeks offers parents 2D, 3D and 4D high-definition images of their babies, as well as gender reveals. Hurley added that Sneak Peeks will offer ultrasounds as early as nine weeks, with the ability to do gender determination at 16 weeks, which is several weeks earlier than typical procedures. As part of the gender reveal aspect, Sneak Peeks is partnering with a phlebotomist with SneakPeek tests, a company that specializes in at-home gender reveal tests that you can do yourself. Hurley said the company has extended their business into clinical procedures, using a simple blood-draw to allow parents to determine the gender of baby as early as nine weeks. The samples are overnighted to the testing facility, and parents receive the results in just one or two days.
Another service Sneak Peeks offers is Heartbeat Animals, a stuffed animal that plays the sound of the baby's heart. During the ultrasound, the heartbeat is recorded and transferred into an audio device which is placed inside the animal and activated with a squeeze. Hurley said it creates a unique keepsake for parents to enjoy. Sneak Peeks will also have baby blankets, party favors for baby showers and gender reveals, as well as products for the gender reveal such as colored smoke bombs and confetti.
Sneak Peeks isn't open until open Feb. 26, and at the Williston City Commission's Tuesday, Jan. 22 meeting, the commission voted to approve a FLEX Pace loan from Williston Economic Development for $3,500 towards the purchase of equipment for the business. Even though the doors aren't opening until next month, Hurley said she has already been inundated with messages from excited parents looking to take advantage of her services. She added that she is looking forward to sharing this technology with the soon-to-be parents in the area.
"I'm really excited and hopeful they'll get the same feeling and excitement I did when I got to see my little baby on the screen," she said. "Being pregnant, let me tell you, it's a long wait to meet that little person that's just kicking you in the ribs. We opened up our Facebook page one or two weeks ago, and the inbox just completely flooded with people wondering when we were opening and what we're going to provide. I really think it's going to be a nice addition to Williston."