- Baby Saves
“On Dec. 3, when I was 33 weeks pregnant, I listened to Mississippi Count the Kicks Ambassador Grace Greene’s birth story on The Birth Hour Podcast and it stuck with me more than any other birth story I’d heard (and I had listened to a lot). I was so shocked by the current stillbirth rate in our country. I remember talking to my husband, mom, best friend, etc. repeating everything I had learned and telling them the importance of counting kicks.
It’s not that I hadn’t been paying attention to kicks before, but we had a super active baby so I never thought too much about it. But when Grace said, “it’s important to know what is normal for your baby so you’ll know when something is off,” I took note and downloaded the Count the Kicks App and began tracking my daughter’s movement each evening. I quickly learned her normal movement pattern, confirming that she was indeed very active.
A few days later, on Dec. 8, I woke up around 4 a.m. (yay pregnancy insomnia) and noticed baby wasn’t moving quite as much as usual but I didn’t think much about it. I went back to sleep and woke up again around 9:30 and started working. Around noon I realized I hadn’t noticed baby moving all morning, but I was pretty distracted, so I wasn’t 100% sure.
Recalling Grace’s story, I decided to actively try to get her to move. After an hour with still no movement, I called our midwives who said to come in for a non-stress test (NST) just to be safe. Some back story, I was being monitored for intrauterine growth restriction and had just gone in for an NST the evening before and everything looked great. Had Grace’s story not been so fresh in my mind and had I not been aware that her movement was different than usual, I don’t think I would have acted so quickly. I was afraid of being ‘the girl who cried wolf,’ especially as it had only been a relatively short period of time that I hadn’t felt movement and I’d just had a responsive NST the day before. I’m so thankful I didn’t let those fears keep me from making the call.
I’ll save some of the details from the rest of the story, but long story short: The NST was non-responsive for an extended period so they decided to do a biophysical profile on which baby scored a two out of eight (only because of amniotic fluid; there were no breathing movements, body movements, or tone) and it appeared some of her organs were beginning to shut down. Thankfully she had a heartbeat, but that was all she had going for her (and that too was slowing).
I was sent to the hospital for an emergency C-section and our baby girl, Clementine, was born an hour later at 34 weeks 1 day. Baby Clementine wasn’t breathing and had been deprived of oxygen for an unknown amount of time in the womb. She’s had a lot of complications including a severe brain bleed resulting in a 50 day NICU stay, but more importantly she’s alive — and by the grace of God, she is thriving!
One thing the doctors and nurses kept telling us in the immediate aftermath was how fortunate we were to have gone in for monitoring when we did. The OB who performed my C-section said he didn’t think she would’ve made it another hour.
It is not lost on me how close we came to a very different outcome. I am so thankful that we knew the importance of counting kicks and that Clementine is with us today.” -Lottie O., Clementine’s mom
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