In the first few months of pregnancy we were having a lot of scares with the baby regarding spotting and cramps. Of course I called my OB, who promptly scheduled exams and ultrasounds. They couldn’t see anything other than a tiny growing baby. This didn’t stop me from worrying in between appointments, and wondering if the baby was even still alive. Sorry, I know that is morbid, but it’s where my thoughts went. My biggest fear was losing him or her without even knowing it.
I started looking into a fetal heart monitor, so that I could gauge how this little pea was doing while I waited for the next ultrasound or doctor’s visit. I was only about 8 weeks along, and from what I read I wouldn’t be able to hear anything until maybe 10 weeks or possibly not until 12.
I was tempted to rent a high tech hospital grade fetal heart monitor, as I assumed they would be more sensitive. They ran about $20-40 a month. Doing the math that would add up to almost $200 or so by the end of the pregnancy. I then looked at all the other models and companies and over and over I kept running into Sonoline B, both because it had great reviews and because it was one of the relatively economical ones, running about $50 from an online medical supply store called Fetal Doppler.
I ordered it right then, but had a lot of doubt about hearing anything until 12 weeks like many of the sites selling it were saying. Supposedly this is especially true for woman who are not as thin, and I am definitely of one the more curvy varieties of women. However, I figured that eventually it would come in handy; if not now, then later.
The first week I got the machine, I was bummed. They sent me pink, when I swear I ordered blue. I felt like the universe was giving me a big old hint – since we were trying for and really really wanting a boy. It will be fun after we know the sex in another month whether or not that mix up was indeed God’s lovely sense of humor.
But I digress. The machine didn’t work for me at all the first time I tried. We struck out a few nights later as well. I kept finding either my placenta or some other vein, but not anything fast enough to be the fetus. Then I looked for YouTube videos of other women using the Sonoline B this early in the pregnancy to see where exactly they were putting it. I found one video that was super helpful. It was a lot lower than I expected. After that I think I tried a few more times and finally found it, that weekend on Mother’s Day at about 9 weeks, and pretty far to the left and low.
I was thrilled! It really is the best sound you will ever hear, especially when you are nervous like we were. It still would never replace the call to my OB when and if I was having more symptoms. But when the OB could not find anything wrong, and I was still not 100% free of symptoms, the fetal Doppler provided that extra dose of reassurance that we needed to know our baby was just fine.