Can’t hear a heart beat —- panic

My way of dealing with a problem is to google it to death, and then to throw money at it.  After the several thousand rand I have spent on psychiatrists and psychologists trying to get them to understand me and explain me to me – I have realized that at the end of the day, when the lights are off and everyone is asleep, I know me best.  Just to clarify, I know me best, but I still don’t know why I do half the cr&p I do, and think the thoughts I do.

I started to get stressed during my third pregnancy and realized there really was no logical way to reason with me.  Kennith had tried several times, and had now chosen to lie there and continue flicking through channels and he ignored me. He realized that logical arguments supported by pie charts may not be the thing that was going to break through to me when I was this far gone down the river of illogical.

I had read the baby books to the point where I could quote them, and I am not sure if they were helping or adding to my general apprehension. I am not sure exactly what I was stressed about other than everything.  I was just worried that somehow my walking, breathing, eating and existing was somehow going to damage this child.

I decided that I was going to get a heart rate monitor and listen to my baby’s heart beat.  Sure the fact that he/she had a heart beat may not tell me she had 10 fingers and 10 toes, and whether the bean would qualify for MENSA, but a regular heart beat was a good place to start.

I also realized that if I popped in to my OBGYN every time I had a panic – my medical aid and I would soon part company under very strained circumstances.  I gave it some thought and gave it a google – as you do – and realized one can obtain hand-held dopplers through which you can hear your baby’s heart beat in the comfort of your own home.

Now I did not really need to be sold up on this one.  I did a bit of reading to see what the general consensus was in terms of the possibility that they would cause damage to the fetus, and it all seemed to be rather non-consequential.

Further looking brought me right back to the lovely ladies at and heavens-still-my-anxiety but they had a Doppler one could rent. I ordered it via the web and tah-dah it arrived.  Of course I tried to use it as soon as I picked it up at the post office.  I pulled up my shirt and stuck it on my tummy.  There was nothing – you should have seen me panic then!!

But it seems, like many things, it works best with a generous slap of KY jelly – to act as a conductor or what ever.  So there I was at home, on my bed, with about a litre of KY spread across my belly and trying to find a heart beat.

The relief when you hear the duff-duff-duff-duff is indescribable.  I decided to do it every second day for a no more than a minute – and it made me feel so much better.  Kennith just grumbled that it was really noisy, did not seem to work and there was only so long that he could sit on the bed next to me and coo about how great it was.

I spoke to the OBGYN as I did not want my baby over-exposed to anything, and he assured me that it was fine, I could listen for as long as I liked when ever I liked.  If it made me feel better, then great.

That’s the kind of advise I was looking for.   Pregnancy is really stressful, there is so much to worry about both real and more imaginary. I realize there is very little you can do to change anything.  So what is going to happen is going to happen irrelevant to what you do or don’t do – but for me, if I felt I was doing something – at least it would ease some of the stress.

Hearing my baby’s heart beat each day when I got home from work, was definitely a stress ease for me, if only for a little.

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  1. reluctantmom

     /  January 18, 2010

    Hi Nicky

    I remember one incident in my second pregnancy, I had been very ill, and was under a lot of strain and what ever. By the time 9am rolled around, I realised or convinced myself that I had not felt this baby move – and couldn’t recall the last time I had.

    I called the OBGYN and was sobbing and begged and pleaded to just come in and sit in reception and wait for the first opening. I can imagine they get several of those calls. You know nothing they say can make you feel better, so they should really learn to just say “Of course, come in as quickly as you can, we will make a space for you.”

    I was in no state to drive, could not reach Kennith – no suprise. I went up to one of my colleagues and said “Christian, I need you get your car keys and drive me to my doctor.” You know this bloke barely knew me, he picked up his keys, we stood up and walked out the building and got in to the car. All he said on the drive was “Are you okay?” and then when we got to the hospital he said: “Do you want me to come with you or should I wait here?” Bless him.

    Needless to say, scan was fine. I was crying and blubbering like a mad woman byt the time I got to the OBGYN. Good grief. You know I can still remember how I felt that day and how absolutely terrified I was.


  2. Nicky

     /  January 18, 2010

    Once again I reckon you and I must have been separated at birth….I too was a craz(ier) woman during my pregnancy. I googled every darn thing and then immediatly began displaying symptoms of all these illnesses.Pre-eclampsia, liver disease( I was extremely itchy) and a host of other ailments, you google it, I had it. My son’s dad also wasnt in the same town as me, so that made things worse…Every trip to the gynea( and there were many) was a nightmare, I’d almost freeze up untill I could see the baby moving and living and it’s heart beating…sigh. Let’s not even talk about the c-section…but I gave birth to a perfect, massive, sweet healthy child. All worth it, i’d totally do it again(and I plan to )


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