In the post yesterday arrived my much talked about and anticipated fetal heart monitor. The main purpose of this contraption was that me and Andi could experience hearing the heartbeat for the first time together. It's my 16 week appointment tomorrow and sadly Andi can't attend as he's tattooing all day and the thought of me hearing the heartbeat without him was almost too much to bear.
This is where the Angel Sounds comes in!
I was a little bit dubious about this machine as I've heard that owning one of these little devices sends some mums-to-be into a paranoid frenzy if they can't hear their baby's heartbeat. I know my own mind well enough to know this wouldn't happen to me. I'm sensible enough to know that if I can't find the tiny heartbeat of a wriggling fetus the size of an avocado, it's nothing to worry too much about. In fact, if I do find it first time I would deserve a medal, as these little devices aren't that easy to use.
Putting It To The Test!
So we get it out of the box, plug the headphones in to the jack outputs and I use the (rather too) small tube of conducting gel on my tummy. The best place to look for the heartbeat is just above your pelvic bone but it's easy to say what you should do when you haven't got one of these devices in your hand! It did take some practice I have to tell you. I checked my own heartbeat with it first of all so I knew what rhythm wasn't the baby's. Then I moved it slowly around my tummy and we were both amazing at how many different sounds, squelches, pops and swishes were going on in my tummy! Once we'd navigated past all these we found a slightly manic sounding pulsing that could only have been the baby's heartbeat. With a bit of wiggling of the monitor we managed to pick it up as clear as day - the heartbeat!
It was so magical. That little pulsing heartbeat was the sign that the life inside my tummy is not only supported and nourished by my body, it is supporting itself with its own perfect little heartbeat.
Wow, just wow!
I have to agree with many of the reviews I have read about this fetal monitor that it's not that easy to use first time around, but after a lot of patience and a bit of practice you can pick up the heartbeat like we did. Just for the record, I'm 16 +1 today and had no trouble finding the heartbeat again this evening.
I do have a few problems with this product. There is no built in speaker so you can only hear the sound through headphones. Although the Angel Sounds comes with one pair of headphones and there are conveniently two jack outputs for mum and dad, I still feel there should be a speaker built in. I really wanted to call my mum and play the heartbeat down the telephone but it just wouldn't be possible and that annoyed me. It does come with a tiny lead to attach to your computer for recording but if you don't have a laptop, the cable is so short it's pointless. I'd have to be laid on the floor underneath our computer desk to reach the mic input on the home computer! If there was a speaker it wouldn't have been a problem.
Negative points aside, this is a fabulous little product for heartbeat-hobbyists who would just like to casually listen to their baby's heartbeat, especially if they're not too concerned that they may not always get the results they want. There are a few niggly points that could be improved upon but I'm glad I have one and would definitely recommend one to a friend as the price is affordable and it's relatively easy to use (once you've got the hang of it!).