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Previous MMC, 11+1 no heartbeat on doppler...

(38 Posts)
Catinajar Thu 25-Jun-15 18:31:00

Hi everyone,

I had a missed miscarriage in April of this year and after an ERPC, managed to get pregnant immediately afterwards. I was, of course, ecstatic, and we've had 3 scans including one at 10 weeks where everything looked perfect.

Because of my anxieties after the last MC, I bought a doppler which arrived today. I was desperate to try it out as I don't have a date for my 12 week scan yet so I have nothing to aim for in terms of keeping my worries at bay. I spent around 20 mins trying to find the heartbeat and just kept finding mine and a great whooshing noise which could have been anything (pelvic organs, name it). I pushed in all the places that I thought I was supposed to, and used a lot of gel, but there was nothing to be heard.

I'm absolutely frantic now that the baby is gone. I am also aware that there is nothing i can do about it if that IS the case, but I would want to know as soon as possible. Does anyone have ANY experience in this area? I don't mind if it was bad experience - I want to be prepared at this stage at much as anything else.

Thanks for your help in advance,


DulcetMoans Thu 25-Jun-15 18:35:25

Firstly don't worry! It doesn't mean the baby is gone.

I was given a Doppler and I have never been able to hear anything on it - even the same day as hearing it with the midwife I would come home and use mine in the same place she did and hear nothing.

When is your next scan? That's probably the only way to reassure you now.

WinterOfOurDiscountTents15 Thu 25-Jun-15 18:35:31

You wouldn't expect to be able to find a heartbeat as an untrained person at such an early stage. Most HCP's would advise you not to use one at home at all, and certainly not at 11 weeks, they don't even use them in a clinical setting until after 16 weeks.
Not being able to find the heartbeat with it doesn't indicate anything at all. If you are worried seek medical help, but if I were you I would send back the thing to wherever it came from.

Brummiegirl15 Thu 25-Jun-15 18:37:39

Please put the Doppler away. Preferably in the bin. They are dangerous!!!!

A midwife will not check for a heartbeat with a Doppler until easily 16 weeks. With all due respect, they know what they are doing and you haven't been trained. It's simply too early.

The reason you shouldn't use a Doppler is because you might mistake your heartbeat for the baby, or you might not realise that it's too slow.

If somebody collapsed in front of you, would you assume they are ok just because they had a pulse? Of course not, this is no different.

I've had 3 mc's in the last 13 months, I completely understand your fear and panic. I'm pregnant for the 4th time and so scared I will lose it.

You've upset yourself for potentially no reason. If you really are scared then your midwife will be able to advise but at the moment it's too early.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but I've seen so many ladies get so upset, and for no reason.

I'm sure your pregnancy will be fine and I completely understand your fear but I really wouldn't use a Doppler and your midwife will say the same

mummyneedinganswers Thu 25-Jun-15 18:38:03

Catinajar home Doppler's are designed for the third trimester as this early on your are not guaranteed to hear heartbeat even if you went to your local maternity unit they wouldn't listen to heart beat as its too early right now. I'm 17 weeks and still haven't heard heartbeat as my OB says by doing it early causes unnecessary worry when its not heard. I've had 4 mc and I never heard heartbeat previously and don't expect to now until my anomally scan at 20 weeks don't worry its normal not to hear it at this stage your baby is tucked behind your pelvis still x

Catinajar Thu 25-Jun-15 18:38:36

Hi DM, thankyou for replying so fast.

I don't know when my next scan is as apparently I have chosen a hospital that midwives can't book with directly. I am going to book a private scan but the earliest they can do it is next Wednesday so I'll have to somehow to get by between now and then.

I presume that my doppler (and probably the one you were given) isn't as powerful as the ones a midwife will have. It only cost £60. I had my first MW appointment today and although she HAD a doppler, she didn't use it.

I almost wish I hadn't bought it now. I've never been so worried and I REALLY am trying not to be. x

Catinajar Thu 25-Jun-15 18:41:09

Wow so many people replied that I'm starting to think I AM going mad.

I think I'll send it back. You're right. At the end of the day I don't want to turn into someone who has to use it every single day just to be able to get out of bed.

I'm so sorry to hear about those of you who have had miscarriages. I suppose you never quite settle after your first one.

Hope amazon agree to take it back!!

Junosmum Thu 25-Jun-15 18:41:12

I'm with brummiegirl. Put. the. doppler. away. This exactly why I on't be buying one. I'd be looking for heartbeat every 30 seconds and then working myself up in to a frenzy every time I lost it.

If you are really worried call the midwife but expect a bit of a dressing down.

sarkymare Thu 25-Jun-15 18:41:58

This is the reason these home dopplers aren't recommended by HCPs. They cause so much unnecessary worry.

It would be very hard for a trained midwife who does this multiple times a day with expensive kit to pick up a HB on a Doppler at this stage. Most won't even attempt it until 16 weeks and some even later.

For your own sanity I would put the Doppler away. You will find many women who have been in this situation and couldn't pick up a heartbeat early on and all has been fine. I've read enough threads in the past 6 months alone to know this is a common thing.

Honestly step away from the Doppler.

DulcetMoans Thu 25-Jun-15 18:43:18

They don't use them until 16 weeks, as mentioned above. I could find my heartbeat but not the babies but I haven't even tried since then as it was just no help. They really aren't useful for reassurance I find which is weird as that's exactly why people but them!

If you are really worried and have a midwife then you could contact them. I am not sure they would listen at 11weeks but they might be able to advise something or tell you what to do about the scan.

sarkymare Thu 25-Jun-15 18:43:34

Sorry x-posted with everyone else

Junosmum Thu 25-Jun-15 18:43:44

And I don't mean to sound harsh- I would be feeling exactly the same. But there is unlikely to be anything to worry about and it's not normal to hear a heartbeat this early.

ghostspirit Thu 25-Jun-15 18:48:54

when i was pregnant with my daughter i went to doc at 16 weeks he could not find the heart beat. i had to go for a scan baby was fine. but it did make me think that if the prosessional dopplor does not always find the heart beat then it must be even harder with a home one.

scarednoob Thu 25-Jun-15 18:49:13

I went for a quick check yesterday as I was worrying myself stupid about reduced movement. At 25 weeks it took a trained mw about 5 (very long!) minutes to find the heartbeat, and she warned me at the outset that she might well not be able to find it - but that didn't mean it wasn't there, it just meant the baby was tucked away somewhere. so at 11 weeks and not being trained, in the nicest possible way, you have virtually no chance of finding it with home equipment!

I completely sympathise with your panic, esp after MMC which must have been utterly traumatic, but of all the things you won't be able to help worrying about, please don't add to them with a Doppler 5 weeks before even a MW would use it! I am sure everything is fine, but if you are really worried and can't relax, can you travel anywhere else to a private scan?

In the absence of a massive vat of wine, I prescribe chocolate, a warm bath and something silly on the tv - you will be fine!

fishcake84 Thu 25-Jun-15 18:50:12

OP I'm a doctor who has worked in obstetrics and gynaecology. The earliest I've EVER found the fetal heart is 14+2 and I'm pretty sure that was a total fluke. In your whole belly you are trying to find something less than the size of your fingernail. No wonder you can't find it. Get rid of the doppler and try to chill out!

Springtimemama Thu 25-Jun-15 18:53:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Catinajar Thu 25-Jun-15 18:58:35

Seriously, thankyou everyone.

Junosmum and Brummiegirl15 - don't apologise for telling me straight. I was asking for this really...I just got over-confident and thought I would find it and everything would be rosy. I'm not going to call the midwife as I know PRECISELY what she's going to say! Until I've got some actual physical problem with the pregnancy, the emergency number stays unused.

Fishcake84 - the worst of it is that I'm hoping to start medical school next year, I've just finished a human biology degree and I STILL thought this might be possible. I think pregnancy is reducing my intelligence levels. It's good to hear from someone who DEFINITELY knows, that I've, in essence, been a bit silly.

Ghostspirit, scarednoob, winter, sarky, springtime and mummyneedinganswers - thank you so much for your messages. SN I agree...a bath and something silly. Chocolate is a no sadly unless I've taken plenty of cyclizine first...but maybe further down the line!! Springtime, I may give them a ring for some reassurance if I'm still worried later, but I think I feel better just having spoken to you lot.

At the end of the day, the midwife said to me today (when I mentioned I'd bought a doppler) 'dopplers don't save babies'. I should have sent the thing back there and then.

I've got a little tear in my eye. I really thought this meant curtains. Now I just feel a bit foolish! I thought I'd learned my lesson when I bought about 10 ClearBlue tests to make sure the weeks gauge went up precisely on time...

fishcake84 Thu 25-Jun-15 19:04:29

No worries OP. I had a mmc myself last year and know exactly how crazy it can make you. But your midwife is right, doppler makes no difference to the outcome of your pregnancy, just serves to send your stress levels through the roof!

Good luck with your pregnancy, and with medical school!

Springtimemama Thu 25-Jun-15 19:10:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

scarednoob Thu 25-Jun-15 19:11:01

this is going to be one very well loved and much wanted little baby!

Brummiegirl15 Thu 25-Jun-15 19:27:54

Oh my word I know exactly how you feel. It's partly one of the reasons why I won't buy one, because even though I know I shouldn't use them , I'd be so tempted and stress myself out.

The website Count the kicks says you should be focusing on movement and not on finding a hb. Basically you'll get to learn your baby's movements and it's when that changes or reduces that you should get help.

I completely understand the fear. I'm 8 weeks and I had a scan at 6 weeks and saw a heartbeat, but in my last pregnancy I saw a hb at 7 weeks and by 9 weeks my baby had died.

So I'm in my danger zone, I've lost. 3 and it's all I can think about. So you aren't being silly at all my lovely.

The Doppler would either upset you (which it has) or lull you into a false sense of security,

Big hugs, it's so hard flowers

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Thu 25-Jun-15 19:36:45

My midwife won't use a Doppler until 24 weeks as its too unreliable until then. Step away from the Doppler!

Catinajar Fri 26-Jun-15 17:54:57

Just so everyone knows, the doppler went back in the post today. I didn't trust myself not to keep trying with it until I drove myself (and potentially a perfectly healthy baby) completely round the bend.

I have, however, booked a private scan in the morning just to, hopefully, put my mind at ease - conveniently the same price as the doppler, so there's that! I'm going to post an update on here tomorrow (hopefully positive) so that if anyone should come across this thread in the future, they know not to go anywhere near a doppler at this gestation - no matter what you think you've read!

And ScaredNoob yes - this baby even now, being less than the size of a sprout, is our pride and joy!


Bue Fri 26-Jun-15 18:04:56

Catinajar I'm a midwife and against my better judgement I snuck into the loo at work with the Doppler when I was something like 11+4. Couldn't find HB, went into internal meltdown. Tried again later and found it but it took me two go's and probably 15 minutes to find - and this was an expensive, medical grade Doppler and I know what I am doing with it! So please try not to worry overnight (impossible I know). Best of luck for your scan tomorrow smile

mrso2015 Sat 27-Jun-15 12:20:40

I know everyone is going to be against me saying this but I have had a lot of medical problems in my pregnancy and couldn't stand waiting in between scans to find out if medication the doctors were telling me was pretty much safe (not convincingly) was safe enough for my baby. I bought a fetal Doppler on ebay for £12, its a sonoline b and I heard the baby from 11 weeks. I watched videos on youtube of other women doing it from 9 weeks and following their guidance on the videos helped me find the babies heart beat. My gp said that it was fine me using one and that I must do what I need to feel comfortable. It takes so much time and patience to find the heartbeat and can be disheartening but I did, a lot. The other thing is I am very slim, I have lost a lot of weight due to illness and I dont know if that has an impact. Sorry if everyone massively disagrees with me.

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