Friday, June 23, 2006

i need baby-listening instructions for dummies

So my mother in law bought us a few baby-related gifts a while back... a little stuffed animal that plays a lullaby when you pull its tail, a bottle of stretch mark cream, and a prenatal listener. It's not a doppler... it's basically an electronic stethoscope, so it just amplifies internal sounds. When I first got it, I was still way in my first trimester and the instructions say that you can hear the baby's heartbeat in the third trimester, and other sounds (kicks, hiccups, etc) in the second trimester. I decided to go ahead and assemble it and try it out that same day, knowing that I wouldn't really hear anything.

So I grab a battery and set it up and put it on my abdomen, press the button, and hear.... nothing. i adjust the volume and move the unit and hear.... nothing. I try putting the unit over MY heart and still hear nothing. I was very perplexed by now because I can hear hubby's heartbeat even without a stethoscope and didn't know why the unit wouldn't pick up my heartbeat.

Fast forward several weeks to a few days ago. I see the unit standing there and decide to give it another go. As I pick it up, I notice something... and then it's painfully obvious why I wasn't able to hear anything. The battery was in fine, the unit turned on fine... but I had only pushed the headphone jack in about halfway. I was so embarrassed.

But the story gets even better. I fix the headphone "user error" situation and turn the unit on to a medium volume. I place it over MY heart just to make sure it works OK, and nearly make myself deaf! I had NO idea that it would amplify sounds THAT much. My heartbeat was SO LOUD. Boom-BOOM, Boom-BOOM. I quickly released the button and turned the volume down lower. :P Then I placed it on my lower abdomen and heard "stuff", and some of that stuff could possibly have been kicks, but more than likely it was all intestinal noises, because I heard the same sort of sounds when I put the unit on my upper abdomen. :P I'll try again in a few weeks to hear kicks and hiccups, and then later than that I'll try for the heartbeat. :)

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