Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On Fetal Dopplers and stuff

Got an email from Gabby this morning and I have decided having to juggle this "new" kind of relationship is just exhausting. I feel like I'm responsible for so many more people's feelings due to surrogacy and it's hard since my own feelings are very emotional right now.

I feel bad, because she was excited over something she did - buy a used fetal doppler off of Craigslist. To be 100% honest, she had mentioned it way back, like literally when we found out she was pregnant or even before, and at the time I was like, "Oh God, that would scare me too much because what if you couldn't find it?" and then I had a weak moment a few weeks back (after the first u/s but before the second) where I wrote her saying, "Man, I wish we had a doppler because I'm so scared there are zero hearbeats now!"  But overall, I don't think it's a good idea.

So I got this email.

Okay so I’m crazy and got one of those fetal dopplers for $15 off craigslist.  Most of what I read was that you can’t hear the heartbeat until about 12 weeks.  I’ve tried it a few times and have only heard my own bloodflow which is obvious b/c it’s like 60 beats/minute.  Anyway, last night I went up to bed early and decided to try it again.  I definitely heard one heartbeat, it was around 130 and it was totally different from the swoosh of my own blood flow that I had heard up until then!!  I listened for like 15 seconds and then when I moved I lost it and couldn’t find it again.  The Doppler I have is pretty cheap and doesn’t have a separate “wand” so it’s not super easy to maneuver, but even still I was able to get a heartbeat for about 15 seconds!  : Just wanted you to know that I’m still very pregnant!  :)  Happy hump day!!

Now, I KNOW she was all excited and trying to get me all excited, but ugh, it was the opposite.

First off, there should be 3 heartbeats right now, not 1. But I can tell myself she didn't really look that hard and just for the first one. Fine. (And anyway, as you know, I would be ok if there were just two :( )

Second of all, yesterday was 9w2d. The babies' HBs were between 173-182 last week. There is no way any of them should be 130. That would not be a good sign.

Since I've been at this for so long, I'm a walking encyclopedia when it comes to this stuff. I doubt Gabby knows it, but babies HB's start off very slow (can be below 100 before 6 weeks, but should be above 100 after 6 weeks). Then it increases about 3.3 beats PER DAY until it peaks at around 9 weeks. That was what was so crazy about the difference between 6w2d and 8w2d with the babies' heartbeats - At 6 weeks - they ranged from 115-122! After 9 weeks it can fall slightly, 150-170bpm, but 130 would be VERY low. After 12 weeks It can range from 120-150 (160 would be considered high, but still ok) so it wouldn't be as worrisome.

So what was supposed to be a cheery email made me anxious instead. I wish she would have just said she found a HB without any numbers. Numbers obviously put me into overdrive! And there's no u/s again until NEXT Thursday.

But how could I tell her, "Thanks but no thanks. Can you just keep that info to yourself from now on?" Ugh, so I have to manage that and stroke her ego a bit (I do think it's strange that she wanted a doppler so much, considering she's fine with s/r of one of those babies) , while managing my own freaking out.

No wonder why I'm exhausted.


  1. Dopplers are wonderful, and awful too. I never found the HB with mine until after the second trimester, and even then sometimes it was HARD to find him. And it was almost always lower than at the OBs office. Try not to stress about it, seriously. It's WAY too early to be finding any HB reliably this early, and with more than one it's even harder because they're all positioned differently.

    I think you could have you DH screen her emails, or just try to ignore and chalk it up to her naivety. I don't know if explaining will do any good- I explained my uncertainty/fears to my family and it never did any good because none of them (other than my sister) understood loss. They always looked at me like I had two heads for not being giddy excited about things, since I'd been trying to long. If you want to email her (which I understand) I really don't know how you would word that... and I wish you luck with it (*hugs*)

  2. Ah! I'm so sorry for all the little things.... Just 31 weeks until they're ALWAYS in your care. Although, I don't know if that will help you stress less or more. I'm always checking to be sure baby N is breathing when he's sleeping... Haha

  3. That would have bothered me as well. I got a doppler with my last pregnancy with my daughter and I can tell you I could not hear the heartbeat until about 12-14 weeks. Not to say she didn't hear a heartbeat, but I'd assume it was her own and not a babies. Unless maybe she bought a very high end one like the doctors have, which it sounds like from her email it was a cheap one.
    I can also tell you the joy I had from hearing my babies heartbeat whenever I wanted but also there were times when I could not find it for along time and would get completely panicked until I found it.
    And why would she tell you only one heartbeat anyway, of course you want to hear 3 if anything? And what would she have done if she tried and there wasn't a heartbeat at all, which like I said I doubt it was one of the babies anyway?
    It's just my opinion but I think I would defintiely make sure to tell her not to share it with me because I feel like it could cause a lot of issues in the coming weeks.

  4. Gah, the more stories you tell about her, the more annoyed I get with her! Sorry, but it's true :) She certainly comes across as one of those (annoyingly) obliviously ignorant women have no clue that things can go wrong with pregnancy. Like you and everyone else have said, if anything you'd want to hear a report of 3 heartbeats, not 1! However, I do think you can blame this on her crappy, cheap dopplar and that fact that it's still early. It's hard, but try not to worry about it. I do find it a bit strange she bought one now (didn't you say she has other kids already, so I assume she never used one for them?). Sorry, I really don't mean to badmouth your surrogate, but the way she's acting so flippant about all this is starting to bother me (as I can tell it bothers you). Ugh, hang in there! I hope next Thursday comes quickly!

  5. I am checking in late from ICLW...better late than never! It's hard to imagine the mental and emotional back and forth you are all going through right now. So much to be thankful for and still so much unknown.

    It's hard for me to even know what to hope for for you. So I will just hope for peace and clarity for both you and Gabby and for working your way through a positive relationship.

  6. (Hugs) Bless your heart, I can't imagine how nerve wracking and exhausting this must all be for you. I think Gabby means well, but dang, it's like she lacks sensitivity at times. I think she knows at some level how much you have been through but still says/writes the first thing that comes to mind without thinking how deeply it will effect you. It reminds me of that scene in "Baby Momma" (loved that movie, lol) where they are all sitting around in a circle with their surrogates talking about their conflicts, ugh. Obviously this isn't a laughing matter, but it makes me wish you had something like that to clear the air or something. It takes a lot of strength and courage to do what you are doing, and I hope you and Gabby find some balance going forward. Wishing you and your babies all the best as always. (Hugs).

  7. Sorry that it's taken me so long to get back to you... and thank you for stopping by my blog. This is such an emotional rollercoaster... something that are meant to ease our anxiety make it so much worse :( Thinking of you xoxo

  8. Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. I am sorry it's such a roller coaster ride for you when you get emails from Gabby. *hugs*