- Baby Saves
“On Jan. 25, 2021, I was 36 weeks pregnant with my second son, Bear. I woke up and noticed he wasn’t moving like he normally would. I had been using the Count the Kicks app religiously this pregnancy, so I was very in tune with my son’s movements.
I tragically did not know the importance of monitoring my baby’s movements during my first pregnancy, and my first son, Rhoan, was stillborn at 39 weeks on March 5, 2020. Looking back, I know my son was slowing down in his last weeks, but I had naively believed the myths on the internet and in many Facebook mom groups that “babies slow down before labor begins” and “babies run out of room in the 3rd trimester,” both of which are NOT true. A baby should have normal movements up until and during labor.
On the morning I noticed Bear was moving slower than his normal, I would have gone straight into the Labor & Delivery triage had I not already had a regular scheduled appointment with my high risk pregnancy doctor (MFM) within the hour to have my weekly non-stress test (NST) and biophysical profile (BPP).
At my appointment, I was hooked up for the NST and it was immediately noticed by the nurse that my baby’s heart rate was decelerating during most of my contractions. She alerted the MFM and they decided that pending the results of my BPP, I would be sent up to Labor & Delivery to be monitored for a few hours.
My son scored all possible points on his BPP, but I did not feel reassured. He was still not moving in his normal pattern and frequency, so I voiced my concerns again to the MFM. They decided to go ahead and send me to L&D to be monitored. Unfortunately, since we were still in a pandemic, my husband was not allowed to come with me. This added so much extra anxiety to both of us because we were so afraid something horrible was going to happen to this baby too.
While I was being monitored, my baby’s heart rate continued to decelerate during my contractions. I was growing more and more concerned because the alarms going off outside of me were confirming what I already knew: something was not right. My baby was not acting normal!
They offered me orange juice to see if that would make my baby move more, and I told them that was not going to reassure me. At this point he had been moving slow for hours. My mother’s intuition was screaming in my head.
Between my history of stillbirth with my first son, the decelerating heart tones, and me speaking up about my baby’s slower movements, the MFM decided the best course of action was to give me steroid shots (since I was only 36 weeks) and admit me to have my baby that week!
I was finally reunited with my husband, and we checked into our hospital to have our baby. It felt surreal! They continued to monitor me overnight, and it was impossible to sleep because I kept hearing the alarm bells sounding off from low heart tones. The next morning, my OB came in to check me and formulate a game plan to have this baby. By all our surprise, I was already 5 cm dilated! She broke my water and my second son, Bear Odin, was born alive, healthy, and screaming four hours later on Jan. 26, 2021.
I am so grateful for Count the Kicks and their mission to educate expecting parents on the importance of monitoring their baby’s movements and providing a free, easy-to-use app to do so! I have no doubt that having providers who listened to me and acted when I alerted them that my baby had slowed down brought my second son here in our arms alive! I want every pregnant person to know about Count the Kicks because it could save your baby’s life!” – Erica Bailey, Bear’s mom, Count the Kicks Missouri Ambassador
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