Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Doppler 101

Yes, I bought a Doppler. I think it will be totally worth it in the end, even though I'm sure I'll have a few freak-outs when baby is turned the wrong way and I can't get a good reading. That's one of the down-sides of having too much information at your fingertips.

I got the Doppler a couple of days ago in the mail, and of course waited until D was in bed so I could have plenty of time to mess around with it without interruption. (T was out late that night or I would have waited for him.) I started very low, and found a beat far over to the left. I was using mode 2, and the rate was jumping around all over the place and didn't sound nearly fast enough to me. (The numbers were ranging from the 110's to the 140's.) I was a little nervous that it didn't sound faster, but figured as long as it was beating, I could be content for the night.

I did a little research yesterday online and found some resources on how to use home Dopplers. I read that there is an artery in your abdomen that can be found with a Doppler that makes a "swishing" noise instead of a galloping noise.

Long story a little shorter, last night I started with the probe right around my bellybutton and slowly went down. I rocked it a little, as the directions suggest, and I eventually found some major horse galloping going on down there, just below my bellybutton, and just a tiny bit to the right. It was NOWHERE NEAR where I had heard the swishing the other night (which I assume was that artery I read about.) This was definitely the little person, and the little person is still alive with a nice fast hearbeat. SCORE.

The moral: If you have your own doppler, and are as clueless as I was at trying to find the heartbeat, I hope this helps. If you're finding a slower beat far to the left (or to the right; I found one there too) it's probably not the baby, at least in early pregnancy.


Dawn said...

This is EXACTLY what happen to me and I did the same research on-line. As soon as I realized what I was hearing was not actually the HB, I found it that night and realized just how different it sounded. Isn't it great to hear it??!

cheryllookingforward said...

I'm so happy you could find the right heartbeat! And now you are an expert! Enjoy!

Azaera said...

Oh I wish I had one of those. I'm so glad you found the heartbeat!

just me, dawn said...

Great job! another thing that makes the swooshing sound but closer to the baby's heartrate is the umbilical cord....the blood flowing through there swooshes, not clipclops....i got to hear again on the US machine yesterday at 31+ weeks and it is amazing the difference between the heart and the cord. so glad your baby is doing well!

Em said...

That's what happened to me too. I read online about using dopplers and thought I had found the baby's heartbeat. I went to my appointment on Monday and the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat on his doppler. I told him I bought my own doppler and wanted to know if what I was hearing was the baby's heartbeat. It turns out I was listening to my aorta. I guess the veins go down further than I thought, and you can also hear blood flow to the placenta with the doppler. We're going to try again with my doppler at my next appointment. I wasn't too worried because we saw the baby's heartbeat on another ultrasound.

However---I am going to try your tip and see if I can find it myself. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh I will totally get a doppler if I get pregnant again.