March 8, 2011

Paranoid Mom Meets the Heartbeat

Congratulations to our winner, lucky number 8, Jac@DomesticAddiction, who was selected by random.org!

I will be the first to admit that I can overreact from time to time. It's in my blood. I'm the girl that hears a creak in the middle of the night and wakes her husband from a dead sleep, insisting that he go downstairs to check the closets for intruders.

Because if I was an intruder, I would definitely hide in a closet.

Unfortunately, this level of paranoia also seems to extend to my pregnancies. When I was carrying Nathaniel, every twinge, cramp, or flutter sent me scurrying to the nearest nurse line in a flurry of hormonal panic. This time around, I may have settled down somewhat, but there's always that nagging doubt and worry. To some extent, I think every mother experiences this feeling, the "what-if's" of pregnancy. How do I know my child is okay? What if something is wrong?

Though I can't control every aspect of this pregnancy, one thing that always gives me peace about the little life I'm carrying is hearing that tiny heartbeat. There's nothing quite like that sound to remind me that my little one is safe and, quite often, it's just what I need to chase away the worry of the unknown.

When I first learned of BabyBeat, a company that makes fetal heartbeat dopplers for home use, I'll admit that I was a little skeptical. Would a home doppler work as well as the one in my midwife's office? Would I panic if I couldn't find my baby's heartbeat? And, most importantly, was it safe for my unborn child?

I spent some time researching dopplers and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Not only are dopplers considered perfectly safe for use during pregnancy, even in the home setting, but the dopplers manufactured by BabyBeat provide a wide variety of unique features depending on the specific model, including a digital readout of the baby's heart rate and the option to record the sound of your child's heartbeat.

When BabyBeat offered to send out a doppler so I could try it personally, I was thrilled to have the chance to listen to my baby's heartbeat whenever I needed that extra reassurance and I jumped at the chance. When it arrived, I was surprised by how easy it was to use; I applied the included ultrasound gel, placed the wand on my ever-expanding belly, and waited a moment until I found the heartbeat. For me, that was a moment I will always treasure because Jonathan and I heard our child's heartbeat for the very first time together, and we were able to enjoy that moment in the peace of our own home.

As for my fear of not being able to find the heartbeat, I experienced one evening with a few issues, but that speaks more to the nature of my offspring than it does to the quality of the doppler. As some of you may know, I seem to give birth to children with a particularly strong will. While still in the womb, Nathaniel made his distaste for the doppler at the doctor's office abundantly clear and this baby is already following in his 9 pound 14 ounce footsteps.

For the uninitiated, this means that each time anyone listens to my baby's heartbeat, including our midwife, my willful child squirms away from the wand. Another child with my stubborn streak. Send help.

On the day I was unable to find the baby's heartbeat, I spent about ten minutes moving the wand around on my belly with no avail. While it would've been all too easy to fly into a panic and grab for the nearest paper bag, I decided instead to take a break and then try again in a few moments. When I came back to the doppler, I easily found our baby's heartbeat. And then I loosened my grip on the paper bag.

After using the doppler for several months, I have nothing but good things to say about it and my entire experience with BabyBeat. The doppler has been reassuring in my moments of worry, it's allowed me to bond with that little life inside of me, and it's lowered my level of paranoia to a much more humane level. Because I've had such a wonderful experience with the doppler, I wanted to share this opportunity with all of you and I have partnered with BabyBeat to offer a free three-month doppler rental to one lucky reader!

To enter to win, simply leave a comment below telling me if you're having a boy, a girl, or if you've decided not to find out, to whom I say more power to you! (Or if you're entering and aren't pregnant or are hoping to win to gift the prize to a pregnant friend, tell me what gender you hope to have first!) Also, please note that if your email address is not linked to the comment via Blogger profile, you must leave a valid email address so I have a way to contact the winner.

For extra entries (one per item), leave an additional comment below for each item completed.

1. "Like" Adventures of the Stay At Home Mom on Facebook.
2. Tweet the following and leave your twitter handle in the comment:
Lose the paranoia, hear the heartbeat! Enter to win the @BabyBeatDoppler #giveaway from @AlyssaGamlin: http://bit.ly/evb1c1
    The giveaway will close on March 12 at 11:00am CST and the winner will be selected via random.org. And as much as I would love to give a doppler to each and every one of you a-la Oprah, I can't shell out that kind of cash, but BabyBeat has graciously offered readers of Adventures of the Stay At Home Mom a 10% discount code on any doppler rental or purchase! Simply enter "ASHM" at the checkout and the discount will be applied.

    Best of luck to all who enter- enjoy hearing that little heartbeat!

    The fine print: I was not paid to write a post about BabyBeat or the BabyBeat products. I was provided with a free doppler rental because I have awesome readers who like to hear about baby gear that makes me a little less paranoid, but the free rental didn't affect the content of my post. Everything I wrote is my honest opinion about BabyBeat and their product.

    33 comments:

    1. I'm thinking a girl, but it's too soon to tell! ; )

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    2. I like your page on Facebook!

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    3. I'm having a boy- so they say! I'm not sold yet!

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    4. I am currently going through IVF for our second child. I so hope I can win a doppler radar as I I had a very high risk pregnancy with our little girl (losing her twin and premature labor) and I totally relate with the idea of needing to hear that reassuring little beat at home.

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    5. That's awesome! Thank you so much for the chance. :) We're just 6 weeks and 5 days along now, so I'm not sure if it's a boy or a girl, but we do plan on finding out. :)

      sarah (dot) pemberton (at) northwestu (dot) edu

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    6. I liked you on Facebook. :)
      sarah (dot) pemberton (at) northwestu (dot) edu

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    7. I think baby is a boy but we'll find out at the end of the month!

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    8. I'm almost 8 weeks pregnant so i don't know what this gummy bear is but we are hoping for a little lady.

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    9. eesh, not being tech savy today lol but yes a girl it is for me :)

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    10. Not pregnant yet, but hopefully #2 will be on the way sometime soon! I'm definitely happy with whatever God blesses us with.

      woods33107 [at] yahoo [dot] com

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    11. I'm hoping to win this as a gift for my friend ... she's pregnant with baby # 2 and too soon to find out the gender. I'm hoping for a girl!

      I have a 16 month old little boy; when we were pregnant we did not find out the gender and I had a feeling all along it was a boy. My husband was sure it was a girl. Just another case that I'm always right! ;)

      Maegan
      mkht22 {{at}} gmail.com

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    12. I like you on Facebook and we're 17 weeks along with what I feel like is a boy...we find out in a week!

      jaminpaz07 (at) yahoo .com

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    13. Hi! I am 9 weeks pregnant and am hoping for a boy!

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    14. We just found out we're pregnant with our second, so we don't know what we're having yet. I've had 2 miscarriages, so having a home doppler would be reassuring. Thanks for the giveaway!

      ailie {underscore} dukes {at} hotmail {dot} com

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    15. I'm 14 weeks along; we're hoping for a boy but haven't found out yet!
      cnhsawyer(at)yahoo.com

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    16. I find out tomorrow what we are having. We are both hoping for a girl, but another boy will be wonderful too! :o)

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    17. I liked you on facebook too. :)

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    18. I am pregnant, but I don't understand how this helps. Okay so you hear your baby's heart beat. If you are a doctor or a nurse this might be of some use, but just ask any regular husband (and most women) out there, how fast a baby's heart beat is and you will see that this information isn't much use to anyone else. And lets say you do not hear anything, then what. If the baby's heart stopped, chances chance are it stopped awhile ago and you can't do anything about it. Lets say you did hear it right as it stopped. There still (sadly) isn't much you could do. I am 17 weeks along. If my baby's heart stopped (God forbid) now it can't live outside of me, so I am not sure anyone could do anything about it. I am not trying to write anything mean, I am just really sick of companies out there who seem to try to take advantage of pregnant women who are worried for their baby's health (lets face it that is most if not all of us). Instead of paying $400 - $500 for this monitor, we should be spending it on something that could actually help our child out some day... college fund maybe? Just a thought.

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    19. Gem88, I completely understand where you're coming from, but that logic can really be applied toward anything "extra" for a baby. It's true that choosing not to purchase nursery decor or solely buying consignment clothes for a baby would help fund a college education, and that's a completely valid way of budgeting! But for some of us, the reassurance of knowing that the baby is still alive before we can feel regular movement keeps us from additional worry, something that isn't healthy for mom or the baby and that alone can make a doppler worthwhile.

      Most of my readers already have children and don't have $400 or $500 laying around to throw at a doppler (though most of us would love to encounter that particular situation), but winning the giveaway or using an additional 10% coupon just might make renting a doppler for a brief period much more affordable. In the end, it's all in what's most important to your family.

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    20. I guess I would say there is a big difference in buying a few nursery decor items and a $500 toy for yourself. In fact if the company marketed the doppler as a fun was for you to connect with your baby, or as something extra to those who can afford it I would be fine with it. Lets call the kettle what it is...
      I guess I was just trying to say that this type of a monitor should be used for fun, not made to sound like "your baby might die and you could have done something about it" type of an item. And just to be clear I didn't get that feel from your blog, it was the website that made it sound more like a necessity (and I guess that is what they make advertising websites for). I just wanted to put another perspective out there. Thanks for the reply, and I do enjoy reading your blog, for all the parts I do agree with, and the ones I don't. It is what makes the world a fun and interesting place to live.

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    21. I am 9 weeks along with baby #2 and planning to find out the gender. We both think girl this time around, but we'll see!

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    22. I'm convinced its a boy, but everyone else thinks girl. Still have a few weeks left before we can find out!

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    23. I tweeted, and my username is MarandaLamping.

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    24. And I'm liking you on Facebook!

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    25. I'm 7 wks along and would LOVE a chance to hear the heartbeat. I liked your FB page (username mandaotto) and tweeted it as well (username darlingmonsters). Thanks :)

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    26. I am 8 weeks along and we are so excited to hear the heartbeat at our first appointment in almost 2 weeks! We will eventually hope to find out what we are having, but no idea yet!

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    27. I am 12 weeks pregnant with twins!! Such a blessed surprise for our first pregnancy! :)

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    28. Just treated about the giveaway, @houseofhege. And to the Gem88 comment, I agree there are many companies that play into women's mommy guilt and fear. But for some of us that have had a pregnancy loss or complications, any chance we cam have to be reassured that the little one is doing okay is an extra peace of mind. I agree women shouldn't be counting heartrates on their own but I hope women are using it more for their own connection with their baby.

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    29. I just found your blog through Moriah Sunde & I love it! Especially the week-to-week pregnancy facts & photos. What a great idea! I look forward to reading your future posts, although I can't find a way to follow you or connect with you via twitter...?

      Leandra
      The Whimsical Sweet
      http://thewhimsicalsweet.com
      I'm just getting started in the blogging world & will be opening a shop in the future! Hope you enjoy :)

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