I got a new toy today.
I've really been debating whether or not I should get a fetal doppler. On the one hand, hearing heartbeats can be very reassuring on a bad day. On the other hand, user error and my own fat belly might make a heartbeat difficult to detect, thus turning a perfectly fine day into a panic attack.
I finally decided to buy it for a couple of reasons.
1) My paypal account is where some of my pottery sales money goes and if it's under $100, I use it for play money. If it gets over $100, I cash it out and pay a bill with it, you know, all responsible like. Well, my paypal account had about $55 in it, and this thing cost $53, soooooooo......
2) I've been so afraid to buy anything maternity related because of the fear that in the few days it would take to arrive, I might no longer need it, and its arrival would be a trigger.
So I bit the bullet, bought this thing, and I consider it a toy rather than a medical diagnostic device. If it works, cool, if it doesn't, meh, maybe it will when I'm a week farther along or so.
We retrieved it from the mail and I had it unwrapped and directions open within about 30 seconds. I glanced over them real quick then handed them to K to look over while I hit the restroom.
In accordance to the advice I've read from others, I laid flat on the floor and we used plenty of the included goo. I told K to go ahead and press in pretty hard, cuz it's got a lot of belly to get through to try to find a very small noisemaker. In fact, ok, I wasn't going to do this so soon, but you guys need an honest picture of what this machine was up against. So please don't get disgusted but here is the belly pic we took on the day of 10 weeks.
And no, that is not a normal outfit for me. It's a skin tight tank top, designed to be an undergarment, over a pair of leggings that I would never wear in public. The half sweater thing I thought was cute for almost a whole day when I bought it and haven't worn it since. I decided to make it a part of my belly pic uniform because the tank top was skin tight enough to display some nipple action and while you're all invited to descriptions of my private parts, I think visual displays kind of cross the line. I mean really, no one wants to see that.
But now you know what that 3mhz probe was working through.
We located my own heartbeat several times, in several locations. So put your mind at rest everyone, my heart is in fact beating today.
I took the wand and tried down around the crotch hairline, mostly on the left. I'm not sure why I thought the left was the better side. Maybe because that's where Dr. C found one of my girls when we tried this in his office at 10 weeks during my last pregnancy. I also wanted to show K that he could press much harder than he thought he could. After 3 or 4 minutes, I gave up and handed it back to him.
After another 4-5 minutes, and several locations of my own heartbeat later, we finally heart the faint sound of a much faster heartbeat. It was located about an inch above the hairline, and significantly to the right of center. It was faint, probably because the kids are kind of deep in there, but it was certainly a fetal heart rate. The machine clocked it at 157bpm which is about right. Honestly, I'm going to take the numbers of the machine with a grain of salt, so as long as it's within about 15 of what I expect it to be, it's all good.
We called it a victory and were done for the day. We figured that finding 1 was good enough, trying to find a second one and making sure we weren't just getting the first one over and over again, well that was a bit too much to ask. I'm quite satisfied with our results for the day!
I don't know how often I'll use this, but I feel better knowing that it's in the house. If I find myself on that line of being scared, but not scared enough to think I have a valid reason to rush to a doctors office or ER, I have a tool at home that has the potential of putting my mind at ease. I'm getting over the fear of missed miscarriage. I think I'm far enough along at this point that if something were to happen, there would be physical indicators to let me know.
And as I start reaching weeks 15 and up, but before I'm far enough along to feel them move consistently, I can see this being a total sanity saver. For right now, it's a toy.