Prenatal visit #2

February 22, 2008 § 4 Comments

1. Reconfigured my estimated due date to September 1st (it was August 24th).

2. Heard baby 2.0’s heartbeat with a hand held doppler. (I will comment on this below.)

3. And just talked about other stuff.

With a later due date, a little and a lot has changed. I’m still pregnant. I’ve still been pregnant for the same amount of time. What’s changed is when we’ve started counting from. Without going into too many details (I’m still a pretty private person, despite what you may think), instead of using the date of my last period, we’ve used the estimated date of conception. (Check out Taking Charge of your Fertility to learn more about charting your cycle and getting to know your body better.) What this does is that it buys my body time. If we had stuck with the earlier due date and I had gone past it by too much (say, the week that the two due dates were off by), I might start getting frustrated OR it might be time to start considering some factors involved in an “overdue” pregnancy.

As I’ve mentioned before, it’s not uncommon for a first-time pregnancy to go 10 days past the due date- that’s actually quite the average (if hospitals didn’t induce we’d hear more stories like this). For a second-time pregnancy, it’s less common, so I doubt I’ll be going over the due date by much anyway. But the fact that I’ve given my body time is great. Because time is all an uncomplicated pregnancy needs.

Now, regarding the use of the doppler. There are no studies that can either verify the harm nor the lack of harm from ultrasound. The doppler is just a handheld ultrasound machine. It looks like a corded phone with its cradle. I haven’t been interested in doing an ultrasound for this pregnancy at all and luckily bilingual papi isn’t interested either (unless something comes up that medially requires the scan of an ultrasound). So, when my midwife mentioned she had a doppler and she could use it if I wanted her to I had to think about it. I knew that during our next visit we’d be able to hear the heartbeat with the fetoscope (click here for pictures of the fetoscope and some beautiful pictures of a woman in labor) but when we were recalculating the due date and I started to feel like I was in second grade being told I’d have to repeat 1st grade, a part of me wanted to have the immediate gratification of hearing this baby’s heartbeat.

I lay on the couch as the midwife got the goo on the doppler and bilingual bay situated herself next to me (she was a little weary of the doppler). The midwife did some wiggling of the doppler and found the heartbeat- obvious because of the many more beats per minute compared to my slower “big machine” heartbeat. So, probably less than 5 seconds had gone by, I’d heard the beat of life and was feeling done and a little guilty for giving in to my modern desire. The doppler wasn’t on the baby for more than a couple of seconds but after I heard the beating heart the first time I wanted that thing off of me. I unnaturally thanked the midwife and said I was done. She wanted to find it again for me. (And I kind of did, too, but I still was unsure.) She found it again quickly and said, “Congratulations” and smiled.

That machine didn’t “help” me be closer to this baby. It didn’t make the pregnancy “real”. So what was the point? I wanted it and I consented to it. Did I not give it enough thought? Was it like a National Enquirer purchase? Something you might do occasionally but regret later on. But can you blame me?


§ 4 Responses to Prenatal visit #2

  • lacey says:

    I wouldn’t be too hard on yourself, here. TRUE, the doppler is a type of ultrasound, but you are correct in that it has been shown neither to harm nor help baby. It really helps outsiders to know if all is cool in there. You naturally wanted to know if all was cool since you’re another 2 weeks away from meeting your baby (technically) now.

    I love the doppler only because of the extremely selfish reason that I love to hear my baby’s heartbeat, even though I can feel it with my hand now if she’s in the right position. But when she was tiny and I was completely miserable in my first trimester, it was incentive to hang in there and keep a positive outlook 🙂

  • Erin says:

    I actually felt really bad in the first trimester because I had sort of a terrible “what did we just do?” attitude sometimes because I was miserably sick most of the time. When I heard the heartbeat, it was amazing and sort of gave me something I needed…a realization or push to keep going?

    Not to sound like an idiot, but is ultrasound dangerous? I hadn’t heard that until now (but need to do more reading.)

  • Leila says:

    Lacey- thanks for that. and, luckily, it’s only a week “redo”… hehe

    Erin- you’re not an idiot at all! The concern I think lies in that it’s become a routine and the amount and time ultrasound is bouncing on the fetus.
    check out this link to one article- there are many:

  • Megan says:

    We didn’t have any scans or use any stuff to hear the baby’s heart beat other than the tube thingy…
    Would I do it again for the next one?
    No scans…but I did want to hear the heart beat but Dave did get to hear it.
    There is just so much to think about but if you’ve read about it youve thought about it and you feel happy about it then go for it.

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