I had quite a few comments on yesterday’s post about our decision to buy a heartbeat doppler to use at home, so I figured I owed you guys a quick update, to let you know how we got on with it!

*SPOILER ALERT: YES, WE HEARD THE HEARTBEAT. Just wanted to get that out of the way, for those of you who read more than enough about this yesterday, and just want to cut straight to the chase, and then get on with your day. Cabin crew released!

For those of you still grimly hanging on at this point (HI MUM!), before I tell you aaaallll about finding the heartbeat, I just wanted to write a few (hundred) words on our thought process here. I know some of you were a bit concerned that this would turn out to be a terrible, terrible mistake on our part, and honestly, I was too. I’ve been very firmly anti-doppler for the duration of this pregnancy so far, and I was absolutely adamant that I would NOT be getting one, nun-uh.

So, yeah, here it is!

should you buy a heartbeat doppler?

Which just goes to show you how strong MY willpower is, huh?

This is the Ana Wiz fetal heartbeat doppler… and that’s pretty much all I can tell you about it, because I had absolutely nothing to do with either its purchase or operation, having left all of this to Terry. (Er, if you just stumbled across this post on Google, you might want to read this one first for context. If you can’t be bothered with that, well, in short, I have very bad health anxiety, which means that my reactions to any kind of medical test or information aren’t exactly what you’d call “normal”…)

Just to reassure those of you who’ve sent me links to articles warning against the use of heartbeat dopplers, I just want to say here that this wasn’t something we took lightly, or bought without doing any research. As I said in my previous post, Terry spent literally hours reading about these units (Yes, including the Kicks Counter article which multiple people have sent me…), and watching videos of people using them, as well as poring through reviews to find the one he thought would work best. Now, Terry may be a web designer by profession, but he has a very analytical kind of mind (His degree is actually in Physics…), and, more importantly, he also knows me and my anxiety very, very well, so when he told me he’d done the research, and he thought it might help me, I was willing to trust him on that.

The other point I wanted to make here is that we didn’t buy a heartbeat doppler with the intention of using it to replace professional medical advice. Quite the opposite, in fact: I really, really wanted to have the midwife listen to the heartbeat for us, so it was only when I was told that couldn’t happen until I was 18 weeks (I’m currently 15 weeks) that I started to even entertain the idea of buying a fetal doppler. I will obviously still be attending all of my scheduled scans and midwife appointments, so it’s not like if we hadn’t bought our own heartbeat doppler, we’d have seen a professional instead, and gotten actual medical advice –  it’s more that, if we hadn’t bought this unit, I’d just have been left to stew in my anxiety for the next three weeks: and three weeks is a very long time when you’re already super-anxious, but no help is available. I don’t really want to labour this point (Boom Boom!), but I found it a bit exhausting having to repeatedly defend myself yesterday, so I just wanted to clarify why we did this, and point out that we DID do our research first – promise!

So! As I was saying, the heartbeat doppler arrived on Wednesday, and then sat in the kitchen for a few hours, while I waited for Terry to come home and try it out. Has anyone read The Tell-Tale Heart, by Edgar Allan Poe? This was the Tell-Tale Heartbeat Doppler: I felt like I could hear it from every part of the house, pounding away, as if to say, “Aaaaaamber! I’m about to destroy your sanity! LOLLOLLOL!”

By the time Terry came home, I already hated the thing, obviously. Now, we’d decided we wouldn’t try to use it until the next morning, but Terry wanted to just quickly test it out, by listening to our own heartbeats on it, to make sure it was working. “From what I’ve seen in the videos I watched,” he told me, “There’s an artery running down your body which some people mistake for the baby’s heartbeat. So, I’ll just have a listen to that,  to make sure the monitor’s working: I promise I won’t try to listen for the baby!”

Well, I knew at that point that he was totally going to listen for the baby. “You’re totally going to listen for the baby, aren’t you?” I asked him. But he swore he wasn’t, and even although I was 100% sure he was lying, I allowed myself to be led to the couch, where I lay down and allowed Terry to pour the ultrasound gel onto my stomach. I was honestly terrified at this point – in fact, when he placed the doppler on my stomach, I flinched so hard his hand went flying off me – but, luckily for me, it only took him a few minutes to find the baby’s heartbeat, at which point he turned up the volume (I know this will sound silly, but I really couldn’t stand the thought of hearing my own heart, artery, or any part of my body: it just freaks me out, so he’d been listening to my heart etc through headphones at first) to let me hear it, too.

It. Was. Amazing.

Like, absolutely amazing. Terry was actually quite surprised by my reaction to it, because I’ve had numerous ultrasounds now, and have actually SEEN the baby in those, but the fact is, my last ultrasound was over three weeks ago now, and since then a lot of my pregnancy symptoms have stopped. Honestly, despite the size of the bump, I’ve been finding it virtually impossible to believe that that little baby we saw tumbling around at the 12 week scan was really still in there, so hearing the evidence to the contrary was SUCH a relief to me that I basically spent the rest of the day walking around going, “OMG, Terry, there’s an ACTUAL BABY in there! Can you BELIEVE it?!”

Once he’d found the heartbeat (Which was much lower down than I’d expected, thus confirming my belief that the people who touch my belly are JUST touching my belly, and not a baby…), Terry spent a good bit of time moving the unit around and making sure that what we were hearing really was IT. The baby itself also moved around quite a bit, so we had to search for it again a few more times, but we always managed to find it, and we also managed to hear the placenta (a whooshing noise, which is quite different from the heartbeat), plus that artery, and my own heartbeat, which was much slower than the baby’s. The heartbeat doppler we bought does have a function which allows you to measure the heartrate, but we just ignored that: we were doing this purely for reassurance that there WAS a heartbeat, and we’re obviously not doctors or midwives, so we’d have no idea how to interpret that information anyway. When you have health anxiety, even a little bit of information can be dangerous, and I didn’t want something else to obsess over, so I figured we’d leave that to the experts, in a few weeks time!

So, should you buy a fetal heartbeat monitor?

Honestly, I’m still torn.

I’m very aware, for instance, that we could just have gotten lucky in being able to find it – and to find it so quickly. I know that if you have an anterior placenta, for instance, it can be hard to hear it even at a later stage, and I also know that, if that had been the case for me, I’d have totally freaked, and would have had to arrange an ultrasound scan – privately, if necessary. So, if you suffer from health anxiety, I still think a heartbeat doppler could be a pretty dangerous tool to have at your disposal: I’d much rather have had a professional examination by a midwife or doctor, and, as I said, it was only the fact that I wasn’t able to have that which made me feel like this was my only option.

With that said, I can’t deny that, for me, the heartbeat doppler did help to ease my mind a little, and allowed me to start going about my day again, and to even feel a little bit excited – which I haven’t allowed myself until now, because I was so convinced that something must have gone wrong. So far, I’ve managed to resist the impulse to use it again, and I’m going to try my best to restrict myself to only using it once a week or so (IF I can…), so that I don’t become obsessed with it: that’s a very real possibility for someone with health anxiety/OCD, but I’m hoping the fact that using it is still pretty traumatic for me – albeit much less traumatic than an ultrasound would’ve been – will keep the OCD in check.

So, there are still a lot of pros and cons to weigh up, obviously, and it’s always going to be a very personal decision, but ultimately I’m glad we got it, and did help set my mind at rest… until just a few hours later, when a vague acquaintance insisted on telling me aaaaalll about the three stillborn babies her daughter had had. GOD. From this, I learnt two things:

01. People are going to keep on telling me scary stories, no matter how many times I ask them not to.  I’m still really surprised by this, because I’d assumed that common sense/basic social etiquette would dictate that people NOT say these things to pregnant women, but I’m fast discovering that I’m pretty much alone in that assumption, which … well, at least I know now, huh?

02. There is no end to the worry. As soon as I cross one bridge, I find another one right there waiting for me, so I’ve basically accepted now that I will worry until the end of the pregnancy, and then I’ll worry about the baby itself. At least I’ve had a lot of practice in that area, though…

So, overall, I’m glad we got it, but I still have a lot of reservations about it (I felt so relieved when we used it, but, to be honest, some of the comments I got yesterday – and am still getting today –  have deflated me a little…), and would never recommend that someone just rush out and buy one without looking into it very, very carefully. And, off course, these monitors should never, ever be an alternative to professional medical advice: I will not be using it later in my pregnancy, when I reach a stage where I can feel movement, but right now, in this stage where I’ve yet to feel anything (Which I’m still a bit worried about, actually: most of the people I’ve spoken to seem to have been able to feel something by now, and even although I know a lot of people don’t until later, I still feel like I’m in the minority…), but the midwife won’t see me for another few weeks, I’m hoping it’ll help keep the anxiety dialled down just a notch!

  1. Amber, I know you are very polite, but maybe, while you’re pregnant at least, you should be tougher with all these people that ignore your requests to keep their experiences and thoughts to themselves. Next time somebody starts telling you something upsetting why don’t you interrupt them, tell them you do not want to hear it because of your health anxiety and then, if necessary, walk away.? Think of it as being kind to yourself and the best way of looking after you both at the moment. If people are offended then are they really the sort of people you want in your life anyway? Xx

    1. I have been doing that, especially on Instagram where it’s been most prevalent, but it always makes me feel really bad, and I worry about upsetting people… With the ‘real life’ example from this week, I actually just got up and left the room (Unfortunately I’d heard more than enough by that point for it to have really upset me), but, of course, that just makes the other people in the room feel uncomfortable, and makes me seem like a drama queen or something. I think a lot of people just see as being unreasonable/ over-sensitive, and don’t really understand how badly it affects me, and how much I obsess over those details. Given how often this kind of thing has been happening, I think I just have to accept that I’m the one who’s being unreasonable here in expecting people not to tell me these things. (In fairness, the woman this week didn’t know I have health anxiety: I personally wouldn’t tell ANY pregnant woman stuff like that, anxiety or not, but apparently a lot of people would!)

      1. I completely agree with Wendy! You’re not the unreasonable one, they are. Even if they don’t know about your health anxiety. They might not understand what they are doing, but in that case you should explain it to them once (be firm, don’t be too gentle), if they continue doing it after that just go away or tell them to shut up. If someone else in the room has a problem with it, explain it to them too, if they don’t understand it it’s their problem, not yours. I mean, forget the health anxiety, who the hell tells a pregnant woman about someone who had three stillborns???

        1. See, this was what I thought, but it happens SO often that it’s really surprised me! On my post yesterday, I specifically asked people NOT to post scare stories about Dopplers as we’d done the research and had already bought one, but this morning I’m still getting comments from people wanting to tell me that I’ll just be getting false reassurance from it, which can only make me feel bad now that I’ve already used it, and the NHS are refusing to see me for another 3 weeks anyway – I despair! The problem I have is that, I can explain to people that they’re upsetting me, but by that point the damage is already done, and there’s stuff in my head that I just can’t forget about easily – so upsetting πŸ™

          1. I know, after that there’s not much you can do :s You can still cal the person out on it though and hopefully prevent them from doing it again to you or someone else! People will always do and say what they think it’s best without taking into consideration the other person, just don’t doubt yourself, don’t believe that you’re the problem, because you aren’t, okay? That should at least make you feel a bit more sane, I hope.
            About those people that are telling you about false reassurances and all that, I haven’t read anything about dopplers, but if someone with a physics degree did their research, well you have to trust them! I personally don’t really like physics, but I respect anyone who has a degree in it!
            I’m sorry that you won’t get the next scan until 18 weeks πŸ™ But you can handle it! You’re doing really well and those 3 weeks will go by quick, you’ll see! Lots of hugs <3

            1. To be honest, I don’t doubt that you can get false reassurance from them, but what we concluded is that that’s only really relevant in later pregnancy, and if you’re using it as a replacement for professional medical advice. At the stage I’m at, the NHS won’t even try to listen to the heartbeat for another few weeks, so even if what we’re hearing isn’t actually the heartbeat (which we think it is – there’s quite a distinct difference between it, the sound of the placenta and my own heartbeat and arteries…), the only real consequence of that is that I spend the next three weeks feeling less anxious than I otherwise would have … it’s not like the NHS would have been intervening in that time, anyway, or like we’re saying, “Oh, well, we’ve heard the heartbeat so we’ll just skip all of the proper appointments now!” I won’t be using it after the point where I can feel movement, and be tested by the midwife, but if it calms me down for now, I figure that’s a little better than just being a complete wreck for the next three weeks!

            2. To be honest no, it’s totally tactless and rude to tell a pregnant woman scary stories. I could never imagine going to a pregnant person and telling them ‘Oh lemme tell ya all about the pregnancy misfortunes of a woman I know! It all ends badly off course! Lool’.
              Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t go to, say, a person with a broken bone and tell them ‘Uh I knew a guy who broke a bone, then he got a mortal infection from it and now he’s feeding the daffodils! Lool’, usually people react badly to that kind of fatalistic talk… So I don’t really see why people think pregnant women can be treated like they’re horror stories confessionals (it happened to women I know too, they told me people just couldn’t wait to talk about all kind of pregnancy disasters with them, and got offended when asked to stop! Unbelievable).

  2. In modern day life there is nothing more judgemental or sanctimonious than other mothers especially when online. NEVER EVER get involved with Mumsnet it will scar you for life!
    I’m glad you went with what was going to work best for you
    Kirsten X
    P.s I never really believed there was a baby in there until I felt it move (20weeks with my first, maybe 18/19wks with the 2nd) I’m calling bollocks on all those who claim any earlier, the need to have a baby Einstein starts at conception for some!

    1. Haha, Mumsnet completely terrifies me! I once started getting lots of blog referrers from it, and when I looked, it was a thread full of people just bitching about me and some other bloggers – I closed down the page before I could read too much, but a lot of what I did see was just lies/misinterpretations of stuff I’d said – they seemed like a scary bunch!

      Oh, and thanks for the reassurance about movement – I only ever seem to hear about people who can feel movement really early, which has made me worry that I’m unusual in not being able to feel a thing!

      1. Honestly, what the f#*& is wrong with people? It’s amazing how some folks have such a lack of tact or think that a grown woman can’t make a considered decision about something important.

    2. I don’t have a baby, but dear lord competitive mothering is the absolute worst. I know people who have 10 month old babies that you would be sure had already ran a marathon and written their quantum physics thesis. A friend insisted her 9 month old baby was already walking, and an equally competitive mom-friend insisted that there was no way it was possible. After watching a video of the kid kind of toddling around (definitely not walking, but also definitely kind-of walking?) it was clear that both women were wrong and I just wanted to never be around another mother again. My best friend is visiting with her 5 year old and 2.5 year old this weekend. Thankfully, she is completely sane and treats her children as completely average little human beings which is a breath of fresh air. Yes, we all know everyone thinks their children are the best, but maybe keep that to yourself.

  3. I’m so glad everything worked out okay 😊

    As for HA vs at-home medical devices, it’s a nightmare but I think you made the right decision. Obviously it’s not comparable in terms of worry, but my husband was put on a medication that had the risk of raising his blood pressure a lot. I worried so much about this that his consultant suggested at-home blood pressure monitoring device. My initial reaction was like yours: uh-uh, I won’t be able to control the urge to tell him to use it (and I worried I wouldn’t be able to resist using it on myself either). In the end we did buy one as the risks of his medication are very severe and you need to know ASAP if if spikes blood pressure, really… and it’s been completely fine despite a lot of people knowing my HA counselling against it, and some people saying these devices can give false reassurance. I’ve used it for the requisite checks on him, but never on myself. And his blood pressure DID spike to the point he’s no longer on that medication, which we otherwise wouldn’t have found out about until his next appointment, eight weeks on. So I think that while both sufferer and family can see these things as inevitably bad, there’s also a little voice in the HA mind that helps us make the right decisions and not go too far. Well, sometimes anyway!

    1. When Terry first took it out of the box he put it on his own heart with the volume up, and within seconds I’d diagnosed him with two different heart problems πŸ™„ After that, I made him listen to it with ear phones! With that said, we do have an at-home blood pressure monitor, which scares me, but which is a bless scary than going to the GP to have it done (they used to make me go every few months to renew my birth control prescription…), so I know I CAN have these things without obsessing over them: so far I haven’t wanted to use the Doppler again, so fingers crossed it’ll all be OK!

      1. The first sentence here made me laugh with that bittersweet recognition. A few weeks ago I had an ear infection which completely blocked my left ear. The pain, the swelling, whatever, didn’t care; what bothered me was the fact I could hear my own heartbeat *all the goddamn time*. That’s FUN with health anxiety! I got into a terrible habit of grinding my teeth to block the sound. This stupid condition, honestly, the things it’s made me do. Sigh.
        I reckon you’ll get as much reassurance from having the option of the Doppler as anything. It gives you a choice, an element of control. Given HA/OCD (I tend to use them interchangeably) is so hugely based around control, I believe that’ll help you a lot. At least I very much hope so.

  4. Um I felt the first movements at 19 weeks and was told most first-time-moms feel them at 18-20 weeks or even at 22 weeks. At 15 weeks the baby is so tiny it might be able to tickle you, maybe, but not much more. So I call bullshit. πŸ™„

    1. I call rudeness. And arrogance. As if your individual experience could ever account for all the experiences of all the mothers in the world… (uhm, may I call bs on your bs here?). Anyway, I hate when people start following a blog just to hate on the poster and annoy them. Quit it and go breathe some fresh air, it makes wonders for sourness! ^_^

  5. I think I felt movement at around 18-19 weeks, but it was only at 20 weeks that they were strong enough for me to twig that I had already been feeling them gently before that – it was a lightbulb moment. Doh! Also later on I had some really weird rhythmic beat type movements lasting a few minutes at a time. They freaked the hell out of me and I immediately concluded that the baby was having fits, was in distress etc. I cried buckets. Turned out he had hiccups… a lot. Who knew that could happen? Once he was born he was prone to hiccups for the first few weeks too.

  6. Ah and people always told me the movement will feel like xyz and my baby moved in a different way and not on the date I was told I would which worried me at first. Turns out babies and bodies are all different. I am glad the doppler is bring you some reassurance (and that you have been so thorough with the way you have gone about getting one and the use of it). I work in a college which has an animal care department… in the past one of the lecturers (now retired) used to use a doppler for the animals on the humans (with consent obviously!) I think staff and students used to quite like it and this would be long before dopplers were available for anyone to buy. Not sure that would be allowed now! I think with some of the scary stories there are people like me who like to know things to feel armed or prepared or just weirdly like to know as much as they can (I am a librarian it is my occupation to seek out knowledge) but we have to learn that for many, many people that knowledge is more harmful than helpful – and I have to say as one of the people who didn’t think and had to be asked by you on Instagram to be more thoughtful that you were very, very polite and I am glad you did ask me – it made me stop and think.

    1. I’m really glad I didn’t upset you – I had to ask two people on Instagram yesterday to stop posting links/info that I’d specifically asked them not to (I think the problem with Insta and FB is that people often don’t read the blog post, so they’re commenting without knowing the full story) and I worried about it all day. Some of the comments I’ve been getting about dopplers have just made me feel like I’m being scolded, though, and the pregnancy hormones make it quite hard for me to deal with that, especially when it’s happening all day long!

  7. People are so funny (sometimes less funny, “haha” and more funny “eh….jerks”) about giving people advice, and something about pregnant soon-to-be new moms brings out the worst of the lot.
    I’ve been following your blog for a while now and just want to say, Huge Congrats.
    Also, thanks for your openness to share what you experience with health anxiety. I think it is important for those of us who don’t experience it to read and understand. Best wishes for a peaceful and healthy pregnancy and delivery. πŸ™‚

  8. Welcome to the world of the sanctimommies Amber. They know better about EVERYTHING and are perfect parents from the moment of conception. Honestly, why people feel the need to comment negatively on other people’s choices I will never understand.

    1. This was actually one of the things I really worried about when we were deciding whether to even try: I’ve always noticed how judgmental people are towards parents, and it’s pretty horrifying, really! From some of the comments I’ve been getting about Dopplers, I feel like I’m already doing everything wrong, so I shudder to think what it’ll be like when the baby’s actually here!

    2. It is especially crazy as when the actual little baby arrives you soon realise that they are a little person and their needs/wants/personality means that the things you had planned or were adamant about actually went out the window and you have to do what is best for you, your partner and the baby. So judging is ridiculous. Pretty sure we give ourselves a pretty hard time as new parents without anyone else doing the same. There is no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect baby.

  9. Nail on head Marjorie. Even the differences between my first and second babies means that what worked with number one definitely does not work with number two – she’s a whole other kettle of fish.

    Advice on forums/from
    friends can be really helpful but you have to be aware/wary of THOSE WHO JUDGE. Be especially wary around the topic of feeding – this is the sanctamommies favourite topic. πŸ™„ As I always say ‘fed is best’. When it comes to parenting, no one is an expert in anyone but their own children and you know what’s best for you and yours. The end.

    1. ‘Fed is best’ is already my mantra! I actually think that’s one thing I’m not going to talk about at all on the internet – I’ve seen SO much judgement about people’s choices, and I figure that everyone just does the best they can, which is all anyone can ask!

  10. I didn’t feel any movement with my son until I was almost 21 weeks and he’s never stopped moving since then (he’s now 18 months). Given how much he was always moving on the ultrasounds, the technician was quite surprised that I couldn’t feel him at my 20 weeks scan, but I’m guessing it was just the way he was positioned until then. I don’t think it’s unusual to not feel any movement for another few weeks at least. It’s pretty amazing when you do start feeling them move though. I loved it the whole time (even when he was kicking my ribs/kidneys/bladder/everything).

    I think that pregnancy is a mix of amazing and terrifying for everyone. I don’t know what it’s like to have health anxiety, but I spent a lot of time being pretty scared about something going wrong, particularly before I started feeling a lot of movement. I hope the doppler helps reassure you until you have your next scan and/or feels movement!

  11. Everyone’s experience is so unique because everyone is unique and I would never even try to advise or make comments to anyone else about such a personal journey. But what I would say is just to get lots of hugs from your Mum and Dad! When I was pregnant I lived 10,000 miles from all my family and what I wouldn’t have given to see and hug my parents . . . it was all pre-Skype or text or email, but we did have snail mail . . . By the time I did get to see my family again it was all over, our baby was 7 months old and I was proud that we first time and very inexperienced parents had managed to keep her alive all that time. She appeared to love us anyway, despite our bumblings. For what it’s worth, I can’t help thinking your baby is also a girl. . . but then again, I was convinced I was having a boy. (Gregory Joseph)(I know!) Thank you for making me laugh, I love your diary πŸ™‚

  12. I admit I was on the “maybe you shouldn’t get one” side from reading your first post but you’ve clearly put serious thought into it and it isn’t for anyone else to say what’s right or wrong. I find the NHS care in the early days to be great but it is a flipping long wait between appointments which can be hard as you’ve no reassurance of movements in the early weeks.
    I think the major concern if if people are using them to assure themself that there’s a heartbeat when the baby isn’t moving as normal. Which isn’t what you’re using it for at all.
    And to reply to a few other commenters I’ve felt movement from the end of my 15th week, but I gather that’s not common especially with an anterior placenta. But having had a CVS the position of my placenta was analysed in detail and that early I only felt the movement on the opposite side to where it was – and it was not daily movement for a good few weeks. Every pregnancy is different after all!

  13. Such an upbeat post! Yay, Terry, Amber, and Baba!
    Your posts are the sunshine of my day and I wish to live long enough to see some of that anxiety of yours disappear as you get older. I had an obsession about even darker things, but now, who gives a rip. I live each day to the fullest and worry very little. I wish that for you.
    Happy Infanticipating!

  14. Good for you Amber. My children are 7 & 8, but I still shudder from some of the horror stories people told me during my first pregnancy, I was completely petrified. One woman, whom I barely knew, stopped me in the corridor at work to ask me did I realise that due to being obese (I was size 16) and old (I was 34) I was much more likely to be incontinent after the birth. She clarified that that meant DOUBLE incontinence, providing quite a bit of detail. If someone had been that inappropriate to the pre-pregnancy me I would have shut them down immediately, but It was fairly early days (13 Wks or so) and I absolutely froze & couldn’t get away from her. However, I had a fantastic pregnancy, and no issues on the other front! As well as the gory stories, I also had someone refuse to sell me blue cheese, not sure which was worse!!

  15. Yay! How exciting and absolutely wonderful. I am delighted you heard your baby’s heartbeat.
    I can’t remember when I felt either of my babies move, but I can remember how it felt (probably because I gave it a language reminder). It felt just as I thought a live butterfly would, a gentle flutter. Quite magical and awesome (in context).

    Other people’s decisions fascinate me, especially when they openly declare all the pros and cons in advance. It was absolutely the right choice for you.

    TERRY HAS A DEGREE IN PHYSICS!!!! I can’t tell you how impressed I am at this discovery considering I couldn’t even understand the secondary school curriculum topic of electricity – how can you not use electricity when you are using it??? Never got that lol.

  16. I’m glad it made you happy to hear your baby’s heartbeat Amber. It’s a nice sound isn’t it. I don’t understand at all why some people persist in telling scare stories to
    someone pregnant who may be feeling more vulnerable and a little less assertive than usual. It’s cruel and rude, and certainly unacceptable and you should not have to tolerate it as the norm. I was on the receiving end a few times during my three pregnancies. It shouldn’t be necessary to have to leave the room but you did well to do so I think. I wouldn’t worry if it seems rude or overdramatic. Your health and peace of mind are more important. You shouldn’t be put in that position in the first place. As for advice, you’ll no doubt get plenty but you’ll find your own best way. Best wishes.

  17. Please be reassured it’s totally normal not to feel movement before 20 weeks, and even then it might only be little flutters to start.

  18. As to competitive mothers, yes there are some, but I think they are few. Most mothers are just so filled with love of their babies they want to tell everyone all about them. All babies are unique and reach “targets” at different times, some early, some late, like my son who could speak in sentences at a year before he could walk at 13 months. Early on language – late on walking. Your baby is unique too and very quickly you will become the expert on him.

  19. I felt both my first baby move at 18 weeks and the 2nd at 15 weeks because I knew what to look for. Everyone’s experience is different, one thing I have learned in 36 years as a midwife. Try and find some kind of relaxation technique that works for you, simple breathing exercises can work, and enjoy your pregnancy. Ignore negative, focus on positive. 27 years on I am still working on being a good mum! They should come with a manual but don’t!!

  20. A) People are rude and don’t let their insensitive comments bring you down. (Easier said than done with anxiety, I know.)
    B) SO glad this worked for you!
    C) It took a while for me to feel anything as well, so you are NOT alone.
    D) Am loving your posts, your humor and your candor!

  21. I loved the idea of one and used one it took me ages to detect the heartbeat. I have terrible health anxiety and I resolved that this would add to it as what if I could not get signal as baby could be in certain position and would worry more. Am very glad it’s worked for you, I also bought one of those mats that detects the babies breathing and alarms if don’t though again had to get rid as was making me slightly crazy lol. Though it’s a worth while buy if it offers you reassurance.xxxxx

  22. You inspired me to write my first pregnancy update! And I just have to say after reading this post- I still don’t understand what is so controversial about a heart rate Doppler… people are so quick to judge!

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