or Connect
Mothering › Groups › July 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Disappearing heartbeat?

Disappearing heartbeat?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone,


I had some spotting on Christmas Eve, and when I called my midwives, they said they were in the office and to come by to chat. I did, and the bleeding didn't seem to worry them much. I still hadn't had my first appointment at the time, so they decided to give the Doppler a whirl to see if they could find the heartbeat. It took two people and well over 5 minutes of searching, but we did eventually hear that beautiful sound. This was 10w6d.


Today (11w3d) I had my intake appointment/family history. I was so excited to hear the baby again, but this time the midwife couldn't find anything. She was not one of the midwives who searched the other day. She *did* say she heard good "uterine tones," but she seemed somewhat concerned that she couldn't find the baby. Maybe I'm projecting my own concern, I'm not sure. She offered to call and get me an ultrasound appointment at a nearby hospital, but I don't have insurance and figure it won't change the outcome anyway. She did recommend that I come in next week to try again, so I'll probably do that.


If it helps, I do have a retroverted uterus, the other two midwives pressed harder and looked for longer, and my bladder was pretty full the first time and totally empty today. Should I freak out? It's pretty hard not to, but I don't really have any "bad feelings" about this. I was actually not expecting to hear it at all at 11w...if I hadn't heard it before, I doubt I'd be worried at all. I just can't seem to find any stories of midwives finding and then not finding the heartbeat that don't have bad outcomes :( 

post #2 of 18
I have no experience with a disappearing heartbeat but I do know it is common before 12 weeks to not be able to find it. When I had a missed miscarriage a heartbeat was never heard on doppler even though I didn't miscarry until 13 weeks. A friend's daughter has a retroverted uterus and they weren't able to find the heartbeat on doppler until 18 weeks. It's possible, like you said, that you were just in a better position to hear it at 10 wks 6 days than you were at your later appointment.

I hope you get to hear the heartbeat next week! We are hoping to hear the heartbeat for the first time on Monday. Fingers crossed for both of us!
post #3 of 18

I haven't heard of someone in your exact situation but I've heard of similar, especially if you're a bit fluffier. As well, if your bladder was full the first time, that makes it easier to hear the heartbeat, because the sound travels better through liquid than air. Babies do move around at 10-11 weeks and it could be that it had ducked behind your pelvic bone. It's super hard not to freak out, but try to just focus on the positive and go back in a week and see what happens then. 

post #4 of 18
I honestly wouldn't worry at this point. With my last pregnancy (full term healthy baby) we couldnt find the heartbeat until 14 weeks and then it often took like 20 minutes of very systematic searching to find that little squirmy wormy. A couple of times the dr gave up and tried later and it could be that my bladder was filling up that helped. Until I could feel movements I didn't worry much unless I had other signs that pointed to a problem (like cramping or spotting). I think your retroverted uterus probably makes it more difficult to pick up the heartbeat early and you had really good luck at your last appointment. I hope you get to hear that little whoosh again next time. I can't wait to hear mine but I'm only 10 weeks tomorrow.
post #5 of 18

I also would not worry, I think that our babes are just small at this point and hard to locate.  I will pray that you are able to feel calm and assurance from your baby in other ways for now.

post #6 of 18
We heard a heartbeat today! Whew!
post #7 of 18
That is great news!!
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your words of reassurance! I still don't have any bad signs, so I'm trying to trust that you all are right and the baby is still tiny. :) I really appreciate your responses.


And YAY Talldarkeyes! Hopefully I'll hear it again tomorrow :)

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 

In case anyone wants an update/finds this thread later, I went in for a heartbeat check this morning and....still not sure? We were able to pick up some readings of 140 bpm on the Doppler, but *my* heart rate was about 125 because I was so stressed out, so it was hard to be sure. The midwife thinks some of that may have been the baby, because it was in the "right place" according to her. What we *did* hear for sure was fetal movement (!!! like little record scratches !) and happy placenta sounds, which calms me down a LOT. She also seemed reassured today, and wondered if our baby was sneaky or just shy :) I do have an ultrasound scheduled for next Tuesday, so hopefully the mystery of the hiding baby will be solved then! THANK YOU again for all your input!

post #10 of 18

Zee, that sounds promising! I hope that relieved some stress for you and I hope your ultrasound next tuesday confirms baby is ok, just a sneaky, active little swimmer:)

post #11 of 18
Sounds like you likely have a healthy, just very active, baby in there. Glad you're getting an u/s today put your mind at ease.
post #12 of 18

Yay!  Sounds promising! 


They had a really hard time finding the heartbeat at the hospital when I was 10 weeks.  I think that's pretty common!

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

 U/S yesterday showed a wiggly baby measuring exactly on the dates I expected, with a beautiful heartbeat! Apparently my placenta is in front, which might explain the difficulty locating the heartbeat. Hopefully this is the final installment in this saga, which has left me a wreck for the past few weeks! It was SO amazing to see the baby waving its arms in there; I am totally on a cloud!

post #14 of 18

joy.gif Great news! 

post #15 of 18

YAY!! I am so happy for you! Dopplers just don't hold a candle to the US machines these days.


My doc's machine was able to hear a HB at 7 weeks (!!!) and he said that's only because they just got a new machine that's much more sensitive. Before, he was lucky to hear anything at 10 wks. 

post #16 of 18
Yay! That's awesome!
post #17 of 18

I'm 13w4d and had an OB appt yesterday. They couldn't find the heartbeat with the Dopplar and had to go get the ultrasound machine. The two minutes the doc was in the hallway getting the machine was soooooooo scary!!! But then we saw a fast beat on the screen and the doc said this is normal and I shouldn't worry at all. It was a hard two minutes. I thought, wow, this could be the end. It is really scary when you expect one thing and can't find/hear it. Sounds like everything is fine and your midwife isn't concerned. 

post #18 of 18

So glad to hear that all is well with your babe. Hopefully you're able to relax a bit now (sounds super scary).

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: July 2013 Due Date Club
Mothering › Groups › July 2013 Due Date Club › Discussions › Disappearing heartbeat?