I have not rented or bought a doppler. At my 13week OB appointment, the nurse couldn't even pick up the heartbeat on the doppler and I had to have another ultrasound (oh darn).
I really didn't want to become someone who needs a home doppler for nightly reassurance... primarily because I have feared I'd use it wrong, not get the heartbeat and really freak myself out!!!
Two weeks ago, halfway between OB appointments, I was at the point that I needed to hear the heartbeat. I needed to know everything was okay in there (the continued "morning" sickness and constipation isn't enough). I remember that my nurse had said I could drop in and ask for her for a doppler check if I ever needed to hear the baby. Since I live about 6 blocks from my OB's office, I thought this was a great option! So off I went!
My nurse was down at their other office but another nurse checked me (no one even asked my name!) and there was the heartbeat, nice and strong. I was so happy for that reassurance that I didn't even ask what the heart rate was.
Today was my 16 week OB appointment (at 16w5d) and the only thing I was focused on was getting to hear the baby's heartbeat. It was a healthy 168!
I mentioned to my OB that I had stopped in a couple of weeks ago to hear the heartbeat. She said that was fine... and I'm welcome to stop in as often as I need, even every week, if that's what I need!
I'm looking forward to feeling the baby's movements, hopefully within the next few weeks... until then, I see weekly walks over to my OB's office in my future.