Great first OB appointment, followed by frustrating doppler experience

My rented doppler showed up the morning of my first OB appointment. I rented one from at $50/mo. with no contract since I figured I’d try it and if I liked it just buy one off eBay. I decided to wait to try it until after my doc appointment, that way if I couldn’t find the heartbeat I’d still know everything was ok.

First appointment went great. Had the full physical exam, pap, culture, etc. No fun of course but I’m used to having my lady parts poked and prodded at this point so it was nothing. I really like the new doc and new place. When it was time for the ultrasound they went and got my husband. The room was pretty small and he was trying to let me retain some form of modesty by standing off to the side and the doc is like, no, come on over to this side! So he got the full frontal view of the wand in the crotch and I heard him mumble “Well this is awkward” while trying to keep his eyes on the screen.

I was so relieved to see our little wiggly baby after 2 weeks. It finally looks like a baby! And those arms and legs were just waving and wiggling all over. All looks good, heart rate was good, measuring right on track.

later that evening I pulled out our fancy new doppler, read the instructions and then proceeded to have a frustrating experience with my husband moving it around not knowing really what he’s doing because of course he didn’t read the directions. So I took it and gave it a try and didn’t have much luck either. We would both have freaked out if we hadn’t just seen a healthy baby a few hours before. I got out the cd that came with it and listened to the sample sounds and it wasn’t really much help.  Maybe a tiny bit. So this morning I got it out again, figured I’d go nice and slow by myself and relax and I’d find it. No luck again. I got the kind with the screen that counts and shows the heart rate on it’s own. It would show 170 then 60 then 0 then 120. It was just all over the place. And that was just sitting in one spot. Every time I thought I heard a heartbeat sound, it wouldn’t show anything on the screen. At 11 weeks 5 days, I should be able to hear something. Also I’m pretty thin which the instruction booklet says helps make it easier to hear.

So I gave up again in frustration. So far the thing has been more annoying than helpful. I am going to be sending it back. A friend of mine let me know she had one that she’d send me (she told me after I had already rented) so I’ll take that one and try again. She said her’s worked really well. It’s worth it to try for free, but not at $50/mo.

I’ve heard great things about dopplers and many people loved their’s so I hope I can get it to work!


14 thoughts on “Great first OB appointment, followed by frustrating doppler experience

  1. Even my ob that uses a Doppler all day long has difficulty, or so she informed me. Also, she usually has to push down on it hard enough it hurts. Last appointment it took her more than 5 minutes to find my little soybean. I don’t know if that offers you any reassurance or not, but I’m rooting for you!

  2. Dopplers are tricky! I have a friend who is an L&D nurse who couldn’t even use one on herself until 14 weeks because she would get so frustrated with not being able to pick up the heartbeat. (Those texts were great- we laugh about them now, she’d curse the doppler, she cursed her “belly roll” that didn’t exist, she cursed evvvverything. lol) I am sure you will get the hang of it soon enough! 🙂 Glad to hear your appointment went so well!

  3. It’s difficult to find a heartbeat with a Doppler that early.. It sounds as if you heard the baby swim by! Lol. It will get easier the further along you are and the more practice you get. Just remember to start low, around your hairline and kind of deep. :):). You’ll get it, just give that baby time to get bigger! I’m so glad your appointment went well, my husband wouldn’t have liked to see the money shot either. Haha!

  4. I have the Sonoline B doppler and it was my saving grace during DD’s pregnancy. I started using it at 10 weeks and while it took a while to get the hang of it, we could eventually always find it within a few minutes. A few tips: 1) if you aren’t already using ultrasound gel, you should be. If you don’t have any, try some aloe vera. 2) make sure you are low enough, like almost at the hair line. Baby is still super low at this point. 3) Move it around very slowly. When you’ve found the baby (as opposed to yourself) it’ll sound like a whooshing. Let me know if you have any questions!

  5. I used the Sonoline B during my last pregnancy and am using it again this time. I did have a moment the other day at 13+ weeks where I couldn’t find the baby for a few minutes and I was an absolute wreck! I got up and used the bathroom and tried again and there it was!
    Tips: Try really low at first. I hold it still as opposed to moving it around and I just angle the probe around. Then I try another area if I don’t find it there. In a few more weeks you should be able to hear it just about anywhere you try at once the cord gets long and the placenta gets bigger. You will pick up the baby’s heartbeat in those too. 🙂

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