Last time, I rented a fetal doppler and took it to an OB appt. to be sure I was using it properly. The doctor showed me how to use it (seemed simple, really) and that was that. She cautioned me not to get it out every five minutes and said it was best to think of it as occasional reassurance. Which was fine, right?
Except obviously I got it all wrong. I didn't use it very often and I ended up picking up my own abnormally fast heartbeat (side effect of anemia) and was so determined not to be a panicky pregno-chondriac that I just kept naively reassuring myself that all was well.
I wasn't sure if I would rent one at all this time, but as the days go by I know I need something during the wait between appointments. If there is still a heartbeat at my next appointment I'm going to rush straight home and send in my order. I've picked out a fancy hospital-grade model with a digital display, so it won't be as easy to confuse the heart rates. It's cheaper than paying for extra appointments, plus I think my sanity will be well worth it.
It's funny how my original ideas about pregnancy being a natural process and trying to avoid a lot of medical intervention have been eroded to the point that I have set up an account with a hospital supply company. I used to think that having a baby meant signing up for prenatal yoga classes and buying a body pillow. Now, I'd order an u/s machine if I could afford it!