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Dopplers: Crazy or Cool?

When we first found out we were pregnant, a friend offered to loan us her Doppler so we could listen to the baby’s heartbeat at home. My husband and I agreed that the Doppler had the potential to become an obsession so if we used it, it would have to be in moderation. We both have addictive personalities and while being addicted to our baby’s heart sounds is better than being addicted to say, mint m&ms or flamin’ hot cheetos, it’s still probably not a healthy obsession anyway. So we accepted our friend’s offer and discussed some limits of its use.

Well, then my friend couldn’t find it. So no Doppler for us.

At my last appointment my OB used a Doppler to hear the baby’s tiny whooshing heartbeat and I was instantaneously in love with the sound. Unfortunately my husband didn’t get to hear it because he couldn’t leave work that day. And because he had to work during the awful hospital experience this past weekend, he didn’t get to hear it on the ultrasound then either. And he can’t go to my next appointment. So basically my husband has yet to hear the sound of our baby’s heart and at the rate he’s going may never until it’s born and he grabs his stethoscope. Which doesn’t sound like a big deal, and it really isn’t, but he’s missing out on something totally cool.

We talked a little and I did some investigation into Dopplers. The rental prices just seemed exorbitant to me. 45 bucks a month? It was a low as 30 per month if you wanted it for 6 months. In 6 months we could just put our ears against the baby’s chest because the baby would be in our arms. And so I did a quick check on eBay and found the same model Doppler we could rent for 45 bucks a month we could also buy for 40 bucks. With free shipping.

And so we bought it.

I’m not going to pretend that the only reason we bought it was so my husband could hear the baby, because that’s not it. The doppler also gives us another little bit of peace of mind that we can otherwise only get every 4-5 weeks at my doctor’s appointments. And to me, that is worth the 40 bucks. Plus, we can use it on future pregnancies, so really, it’s 40 bucks for a lot of comfort over a lot of time.

When I tweeted that I bought one, I was largely met with people telling me how much they love theirs or how much they wish they had one too. But I also had a voice of dissent (from a family member I love dearly) who said that it was too crazy.

She wasn’t trying to be mean and I know she was joking, but it never really crossed my mind that spending 40 dollars on a Doppler was something so outside of the norm in 2011. And sure, maybe it is a little bit crazy to some people, but I guess I don’t see it that way since I know it’s something that I can live sanely without and that I know I won’t be using every day obsessively for the rest of this pregnancy.

I didn’t get it because I was endlessly freaking out without it. I mean, I only periodically freak out.

As a first time mom in the 21st century, I feel like it would be more crazy not to take advantage of technology available to me and my baby and while others may disagree, we’re really excited about our new Doppler. Personally, I don’t think we’re crazy. I think we’re just new parents.

And we really like knowing that our baby is tucked in there safely. If that is what makes us crazy, then so be it.

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