• Meet John Carl

Meet John Carl

  • Baby Saves
  • 04.29.24

“The app Count the Kicks saved my baby’s life! My online baby class pointed out how important it is to count kicks and movements from your baby after 28 weeks. So I went into the app store and Count the Kicks was the No. 1 app there. It was right on top and had really good reviews, so I decided to go for that app.

I was supposed to take an iron supplement in the morning and I had to drink some juice with the iron supplement. So usually 30 minutes later, because of the sugar in the juice, he started moving quite a bit.* That was usually my time that I knew he would move a lot. I could easily get the kicks in about 10 minutes. He was super, super active. 

The weekend before John Carl was born I noticed that his movements were slower than usual and it took me longer to even count his kicks. I had to poke my belly to make him move and even the juice didn’t do the trick. I could still count 10 kicks, but it took way longer. It was 25 or 30 minutes, so that seemed a little bit unusual to me. I had a weird feeling. I guess it was my mother’s instinct. 

That’s why I decided to tell my doctor about it on Monday at my prenatal appointment. I told her ‘Something isn’t right. He isn’t moving like usual.’ 

She did an ultrasound and also noticed that he was not as active as usual. He only moved once, and after 15 minutes she said, ‘Well, I think there’s something wrong.’ His heartbeat was still good, but she told me they were going to induce me that day and told us to go over to the labor and delivery area, which was next door.

They hooked me up to the monitors, and found that I was having contractions and I was slowly going into labor naturally. His heart rate was dropping really weird after every contraction, so they decided they couldn’t give me the medication for the induction. My doctor showed up in the hospital and said we needed to do a cesarean section. My appointment was at 8 a.m. and at noon, I had a baby in my arms.

They told me that as soon as he got pulled out, they would show him to me and do delayed cord clamping and put him on my belly. But when they pulled him out, they directly cut the umbilical cord and brought him to the other side of the room. That was the first moment where I figured that something wasn’t right because they didn’t do what they said. 

Fortunately my husband could see him and we heard him crying, but they all acted a little weird and they were all saying, ’he looks so pale.’ They were waiting for him to get a pink skin color, but he didn’t. After they prepped him with his little beanie and a towel, they put him on my chest and brought me to the room after they stitched me up. 

In the postpartum room, John Carl was super weak and tired and he couldn’t drink from my breast. His breathing looked kinda weird, and he was breathing really hard. They put the pulse oximeter on him and his oxygen was in the 70s, which they said wasn’t good. They called the people from the NICU who decided something was wrong with him because he was still super pale. They took him to the NICU and we only got to see him for 15 minutes. 

What they found was that there was a fetal maternal hemorrhage. Typically you would see this if there was a rupture in the placenta, but my OB-GYN that was in the delivery was very adamant that there was no rupture. She sent the placenta off to pathology to get checked out, and when the report came back, it was perfect; everything was good. So it’s still a mystery as to why this happened. 

If I wouldn’t have said anything to my doctor and waited just one day longer he would have been dead. I am so thankful that I used this app! I think it’s super easy and anyone can do it. It doesn’t take a long time. I wish more women would know about it and I will recommend it to any pregnant woman.” -Nadine M., John Carl’s mom

Editor’s Note: Research shows that fetal movement is best monitored without interventions like juice, candy, or drinking ice water.

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