Several of you have suggested that I buy or rent a doppler so I can check on the heartbeat of the baby myself. Not a bad idea. One that I have figured for a while I would do. I thought I would probably rent a doppler, the best I could find. But I hadn't done so yet when a very wonderful, very generous reader asked if she could send me her doppler, along with two beautiful pregnancy journals. I've never met her but we've emailed several times. I consider her an unmet friend.
So I haven't said anything, because even saying something might jinx the pregnancy, but I've had a doppler put aside in my bedside cabinet for a couple of weeks.
At first I just eyed it warily. I've been afraid that not finding the heartbeat would send me into an absolute panic. Because of the prednisone, I'm not overweight, but I'm not as thin as I was when we started pregnancy #7.
I finally gave in after our 10 week ultrasound. Later that day, Will and I tried to find the heartbeat using the doppler. I lasted about ...oh...1 minute....
And then I panicked. Terrified both that we wouldn't find the heartbeat and also that somehow rooting around for it too long might harm the baby.
I put it away.
I tried it again the night before our 11 week ultrasound. This time I did it alone, with no Will.
I think I heard it - a very fast tempo that sounds like what we hear at the doctor's office. But faint. Moving the wand around, I found a heartbeat in the high 150s...I think...but only for a moment. I tried to call for Will, but shouting made me move the wand and I lost it.
I didn't want to subject the baby to more doppler and so put it away, but I was hopeful we would find it again.
I haven't tried it again yet.
I probably won't until we're within 24 hours of an ultrasound because I don't want to have to panic for too long if I can't find it.
I confessed having the doppler to the OB this Monday at my ultrasound. She recommend I don't try using it until 13 weeks, because by then I'll be sure to reliably find the heartbeat. She also said that if there is ever anything I am worried about, I should always come in. And I should not use the doppler to reassure myself. I asked, "Even if I'm worried for no good reason, just because of my history?"
"Even - and especially - then," she said. "I always want to see you."
Hmmm... so she may be seeing me a lot, because I'm a worrier, and we have a bad history. I like this OB, but I hope she knows what she might be in for!
I think she has a good point. That a doppler could in some instances provide false reassurance.
That said, I'm super thankful I have one. I think it will be nice to check in on a weekly basis. Just a little hello between me and the baby if there are weeks where I'm not having an ultrasound...
Anybody know how long/how often it is safe to look for the heartbeat? I've been trying to keep it under a minute...and I'm thinking I'll try to only check it once a week (or maybe two or three times). I don't want to stress or harm the pregnancy in any way...but not sure what the research is on this...
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