Rainbow Baby Day: Meet Eleanor
Aug. 22 is National Rainbow Baby Day. It’s a chance for families to celebrate the joy of a new baby while reflecting and sharing about the baby (or babies) they lost.
Today we’re celebrating the safe arrival of the Rainbow Babies born to Count the Kicks Ambassadors in the past year. We asked Minnesota Ambassador Tausha Patterson to share her experience with pregnancy after loss, pregnancy during a pandemic, and what having a rainbow baby means to her.
Congrats on the safe arrival of your new baby! Can you tell us more about your family and your new baby?
My husband Luke and I are high school sweethearts who have been together for 18 years. We have two older children and three younger ones. Amelia is our fourth child who was born still at 36 weeks, on Aug. 25, 2019. Our rainbow baby, Eleanor, was born a year later on Aug. 30, 2020.
How long have you been a Count the Kicks Ambassador and what does it mean to you?
I have been an Ambassador with Count the Kicks for almost two years. After losing Amelia, I have come to learn that so many women do not know the importance of tracking baby’s movement, how to do it and speaking up when something has changed.
I wish I had known this information when I was pregnant with Amelia; she might be here if I had. I unfortunately cannot change that, but I can educate women, nurses and doctors and hope that this information saves babies lives.
Please tell us more about your experience being pregnant after losing a baby to stillbirth.
Pregnancy after loss is one of the most difficult things I have gone through. The bliss and joy is no longer there and instead filled with fear, worry and anxiety. It’s a lot of sleepless nights, worrying if the baby is OK and moving. Constantly checking on baby’s movement, LOTS of advocating for yourself, doctors’ visits and Labor and Delivery visits. In the end, it is all worth it to hear your baby cry and know that you have a living baby to bring home.
Did the COVID-19 pandemic have an impact on your pregnancy experience?
I was thankful that COVID-19 didn’t hit until after my 12-week appointment, so my husband was able to accompany me until that point. After COVID-19 hit, it was really hard not having him there. He was my support through all of this and to not have him there or knowing he was waiting by the phone, wondering if there was a heartbeat. It was horrible!
Being pregnant during COVID-19 has added way more anxiety, not just with the impact on appointments and not having my husband there, but also worried about getting COVID-19 and will you live, will your baby live?
Tell us more about your experience using the FREE Count the Kicks app during your rainbow baby pregnancy.
Count the Kicks was my rock during my pregnancy with Eleanor. As soon as I noticed she started to have a regular movement pattern, which was before 26 weeks as recommended for a high-risk pregnancy, I started using the app.
She had a good routine until 32 weeks when all of a sudden, I was going in at least once a week because her movements changed and weren’t normal for her. Her movements were taking longer, and they weren’t as strong. Thankfully everything was good with her every time I went in.
When you are pregnant after losing a baby, you feel like you have lost all control but with using the Count the Kicks app I felt empowered and it gave me some control back in my pregnancy.
What was your favorite feature of the Count the Kicks app?
I really liked how easy it was to use the app. It’s a simple press of the foot until I get to 10 movements. I also liked the history tracking to see how my baby’s movement was tracking each day.
It’s National Rainbow Baby Day. Do you use this term, and if so, what does it mean to you to have a rainbow baby?
I don’t use the term too often when talking about Eleanor or my older daughter, Esmeralda; we had a miscarriage before having Esme. I don’t like the thought of Rainbow Baby being the rainbow after a storm and our baby who passed away being a storm or something bad. Yes, being a loss mom is terrible, but our Angel babies are beautiful and special and it’s not bad.
What do you want other moms to know about stillbirth, pregnancy after loss, and the Count the Kicks campaign?
I want all women, doctors, nurses and birth educators to know how important it is to track baby’s movement. I also want them to know the correct way to track their baby’s movement and what to do if something changes. I want doctors, nurses and birth educators to know that it will not scare a mom by telling a mom how important fetal movement tracking is and that they need to call or be seen when something changes.
I want everyone to know that a baby’s movement is the first thing to change if something is wrong with the baby and not the baby’s heartbeat. Lastly, I want women to know that unfortunately, stillbirth still happens, and that we can do something about it to reduce how often it does happen.
What do you hope to accomplish in your role as a Count the Kicks Ambassador in your state?
I am hoping that I can get Count the Kicks implemented in WIC programs in our state. I am also hoping I can get Count the Kicks implemented in my personal OB clinic as well as the Birth Education courses in the hospitals in Minnesota.
I hope to someday make this statewide and have all Ob/Gyns and nurses teaching this in every clinic. Most of all I hope to reduce the stillbirth rate in Minnesota and save babies.
About Our Ambassadors
Count the Kicks Ambassadors help us educate expectant parents and providers across the U.S. about the importance of kick counting in the third trimester of pregnancy. This incredible group of kick counting advocates are essential to our efforts to reach as many parents and providers as possible. Our Ambassador team currently includes 42 women representing 28 states, plus Washington, D.C., Canada and India. The team includes 33 who work in honor of lost babies, five that are baby save moms, and four who are birth workers.
Learn more about our Ambassador program.
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