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Heartbeat in two different places with fetoscope at 23 weeks?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I'm not getting any ultrasounds done this pregnancy unless something big changes and my health or baby's health seems to be poor. This will be #4 (and maybe #5????) for me, and I've never had an ultrasound. I know I'll find lots of understanding ladies here, instead of the "shouldn't you know by now because of ultrasounds?!" that I get in most places. Anyway, for some background, I've suspected twins from almost the beginning. There was simply no way to really tell, and my midwife thought it was probably just one (and just thought I was really wanting twins and that was causing my suspicion). I respect her opinion and just settled down with the 'wait and see' attitude. But I could never really shake the feeling that there was more than one in there. Well, this week, I have 3 times now found a fetal heart beat in two different places with a fetoscope. No, it's not mine (my Bpm is about 80 or so, while the fetal Bpm is ranging from 128 to 152). I was marking the two locations with my fingers and going back and forth. The two were about the same the entire time, so it's not like one was the low number and the other was the high number. But while I was going back and forth, the distance between them was ranging from 4 to 5 inches. Then one moved significantly while the other stayed in the same place, and just after I found the one that had moved, it disappeared completely, while the other stayed in the exact same place for a while afterward.


So, my question is, is it possible to hear an echo with a fetoscope? I don't think so, but I wanted to clarify that. And, is it possible to hear the heartbeat of one baby in two different places at 23 weeks with a fetoscope? Obviously, I will talk to my midwife about it when I have my appointment next week. But I wondered if I might get some answers on here from others  who have experience with a fetoscope. I'm trying hard to remember the answer to the second question from my previous pregnancies. I know there was a point closer to 30 weeks last pregnancy when I thought I briefly heard a second heartbeat with the fetoscope, but it was gone quickly and I really couldn't confirm whether I'd actually heart a heartbeat or not. Obviously, I can call my midwife and ask, but she's just going to want to listen herself and palpate, and that's going to happen in a week. Anyway, yes, I'm hoping that it is more than one...but I'm trying to be realistic and trying not to get my heart set on this. And this is why I'm asking these questions...I want to be realistic and not jump to conclusions. Thanks so much for any answers or information.

post #2 of 12

I don't have any extensive experience with this, as it's my first pregnancy, and I'm certainly no expert. I started using a fetoscope at around 18-20 weeks and did not find the fetal hb in several distinct places at once. I can hear pulsing sounds from the placenta, but these coincide with my heart rate. I can definitely tell, though, when I am right above the baby's heart, so I can differentiate when I am hearing the tones directly or not as distinctly (i.e. tones around the general area of the heart, which this far along I can pick up in a much larger area).


Good luck, I hope you find your answers soon.

post #3 of 12

That sounds like the cord.  There will be two "heartbeats" when you listen with a fetoscope, the actual baby's heartbeat and the cord's hb, or pulse.  They sound a little different but you have to really knnow the difference to tell.  The cord sounds more swishy and the baby sounds more galloping horse-like.


the other thing is that the cord would remain pretty stationary while the baby moves around.  My mw always finds the cord beat first bc it's not running around in there!


I would imagine you would be able to hear 4 separate beats with twins.  Two cords and two babes.

post #4 of 12

i get mine, 70's, babies150's, placenta? 105

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sorry I couldn't reply earlier...I was without internet for a few days. I just have a couple days until my midwife appointment, and I need to start writing down the questions so that I don't forget what all I want to ask her. ;-) It's crazy that with number 4 I would have this many questions, LOL!


Doesn't the cord have a 'whooshing' sound that makes it sound pretty different from the heartbeat? And if it's not the cord that I'm hearing in different locations on my belly making the whooshing sound at a rate closer to my heartbeat, then what is it? I don't hear that, what I thought was the umbilical cord, in a consistent location. I would assume that it wasn't my own veins/arteries making that whooshing sound then. These are across the top of my belly, near my belly button. I can hear my arteries along either side of my belly and especially down lower. After some more research and some remembering of what I once knew very well (thanks to my first midwife), I know my placenta is at the top of my uterus. One of the heartbeats I heard was in the vicinity of my placenta, so it wasn't as clear as the other one, but it definitely wasn't whooshy.


I've been trying to decide if there was any way possible that I was hearing was chest and back, but I don't think so. I honestly have had to remind myself multiple times over the past couple of days why I choose not to have ultrasounds. Yes, I'm that antsy about it. I hope I leave my appointment more relaxed and chilled out about it. Of course, maybe I'll get a definite yes answer...I assuming I probably won't, though, and I'll continue to not know for sure.

post #6 of 12

I'm dying of suspense for you!

post #7 of 12

My thought was also cord and baby. And the cord HB should be at the same rate as the baby's HB, as I understand it. But whooshy sounding. I don't suppose you've tried measuring your own fundal height? By 23 weeks, that should be starting to give you a hint if it is twins. Just a thought. I'm also very curious about the outcome! Are you going to get an ultrasound if your mw says it is twins, or just proceed onward as before?

post #8 of 12

With my twins, the placenta had a whooshy sound like wind through trees and the babies were very distinct, so if what you're hearing is 2 different sounds, I'd say you've got only 1.  My babies HBs did sound different from each other (my girl's was deeper in tone and faster) but it always sounded gallop-y 



I had di/di and their HB rates were always within 10 beats of each other between 150 and 160.  My doctors never trusted that they didn't catch the same baby twice just by listening, and when at home, I was never really sure and I KNEW I was having 2.   


I could feel kicks in 2 different locations even when they were both facing the same directions.  I had both an anterior and posterior placenta.  My fundal height was always 6-8 weeks ahead of a singleton which I understand is typical.  I agree with Monkey that that is probably your best indicator without u/s.  

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, the result from my appointment was 'inconclusive'. She couldn't hear a second heartbeat with the doppler, and couldn't feel a second baby. But there is lots of moving around going on in there, and the easily palpable baby was in a different position when I was hearing the two separate heart beats, as was what I think was a baby underneath. My midwife suggested that if I truly feel it is twins, I should get an ultrasound. After discussing it with my husband and with a friend, I think I'm going to get one, just to be certain. I am measuring only about 3 cm ahead, which is within normal (especially since this isn't my first). But I had read too many stories about women who knew they were having twins and simply never measured more than a singleton would. Or women who had surprise twins because there were never any signs (then, of course, there are those women who suspected, got an ultrasound and only saw one baby, and ended up being surprised with two!). There are the women who don't find out until later on that they have more than one and once they start eating adequately for two babies, the babies start gaining more weight and they start measuring ahead. I feel tons of movement, and I feel kicks in multiple places. I've only noted the kicks/punches in two places at once, but I realize that I am so busy throughout my day with my other kids, housework, gardening, and everything else, that I don't really 'notice' a lot of the movement. It just happens and I don't really think about it. If I just was able to focus more on me and the baby/babies, then perhaps I would notice something more definitely indicative. If I wasn't hearing two different heartbeats, at such different rates, then I really don't understand what I was hearing. It wasn't a 'roaring' placenta, but was a galloping heart beat. It wasn't whooshy, and it was much faster than the other heartrate and certainly faster than mine. But ultrasound will tell me for sure (or, at least, something like 99. something percent, I guess, LOL!).


I admit, it's a little scary....I've had 3 kids and never had an ultrasound before. I know I will request it to be as short as possible. I've also never done any prenatal care anywhere other than in a midwife's home office/homey birthing center or at my house. Going to a hospital will be strange...and a bit scary...and I'm going to be paranoid about picking up sick-people germs, LOL. Edit: I just found an imagine place here in town that is affiliated with the local hospital. This is probably my best bet, I guess. Plus it's closer.

Edited by AHomebirthMama - 7/27/12 at 10:49am
post #10 of 12

Please keep us posted!  I'm dying to know what you find out!  And I hope that the baby(ies) is/are cooperative and are easy to find so that it can be over quickly.  

post #11 of 12

definitely waiting to hear!  I'm curious too now. :-)  And try to breathe and relax as much as possible, my ultrasound experiences have been pretty fun and positive. hth.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, the ultrasound showed only one, very healthy (and big) girl. The tech has no idea what I might have been hearing. She said that if there is a second baby, it's hidden and much smaller. I guess technically that's possible, but I've pretty much dismissed the thought of there being another one. I've also not been playing with the fetoscope, LOL. I felt really bad at first, both because I was so certain there were two and I had talked about it to other people, and felt like the 'nut'...and because I felt bad for getting an ultrasound. It took my husband reassuring me (after he made a couple of jokes that spiraled me into tears) that all was fine and I shouldn't feel bad about it (he was not totally sure about me getting an ultrasound, but he was ready to just accept there being two and up everything based on that...). Anyway, I'm still very confused. I'll probably play around with the fetoscope some more soon, and see if I hear it again. If I continue to hear it, I'll either become suspicious that there really is a smaller, hidden twin, or that I have something wrong with me, LOL, and perhaps I need an x-ray after I have the baby to make sure there's not something crazy going on inside of me. (who knows what, of course, but....really?) winky.gif

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