• Meet Dominic

Meet Dominic

  • Baby Saves
  • 01.25.24

“We had a hard time getting pregnant so we went to a fertility specialist and they gave us a 10% chance of getting pregnant naturally. We decided to do the IVF route and I was supposed to go for IVF on a Saturday, the 11th, but we found out on the 7th that I was pregnant. It was a God send, because I didn’t want to go through IVF if I didn’t have to.

It was a pretty normal pregnancy, though I was considered high-risk just for the first trimester. Then after that the specialist released me and I went to a regular Ob/Gyn. When I went for my 20 week scan, they found some blood clots in my placenta, but they told me it was nothing to worry about. My doctor’s office suggested you rotate doctors because you don’t know who is going to deliver, and I saw about 7 different doctors during my pregnancy.

My friend and co-worker Lillie also had a hard time getting pregnant, so we bonded over that and our friendship started there. Lillie, who is a Changemaker for PUSH Pregnancy, had experienced a stillbirth a few years ago, and she was the one who told me about the Count the Kicks app. Once she told me about the app, I downloaded it, and as soon as I started to feel my baby kick more frequently, I started to track using the app.

I started to track his kicks and it seemed to be pretty routine. I would get up in the mornings to work out and he would sleep in my stomach until 9 or 9:30, and then he would wake up and he’d be kicking all day. So that was my norm, and he’d be up all night. By using the app I was able to get the gist of how often he was kicking, when he would start, when he would stop, and as soon as I hit 29 or 30 weeks, it was consistent.

The app was just so easy to use that it wasn’t annoying to do. You open it, you click, click, click. You count the kicks and that’s it. And when you need to refer back to it to see your norm, it pulls right up. It takes seconds. That was honestly my favorite part about the app, the easiness of it and the quickness of it. 

When I was 37 weeks pregnant, I was up in the morning doing laundry and I felt really, really sick. I honestly just brushed it off, thinking it was because I was just super pregnant and uncomfortable. I thought I might be getting a cold. I went about my morning, but around 9:30 I started feeling really dizzy and light-headed, and I noticed he wasn’t moving like he normally did.

I would usually feel him flop around, like toss and turn, and it was pretty consistent around 9 a.m. So I decided to try to get him to move by going up and down the stairs a few times and jiggling my stomach. These things would usually quickly aggravate him. By this time it was 9:45 a.m. And though it doesn’t sound like it’s that late, I knew something wasn’t right when he had consistently been moving at 9 a.m. for weeks.

I was home alone, so I called my doctor and said ‘I don’t feel good, but the more concerning part is that I haven’t felt him move.’ They told me to come in, and I was driving to the hospital because I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. But on my way to the hospital my doctor called and said he wanted me to come to the office, so I listened. When I got to the doctor’s office I passed out. 

When I came to they told me it was fine; it was just pregnancy. They did a quick doppler to hear the heartbeat and had a hard time finding the baby’s heartbeat, but found it after a bit and said I was fine.

The doctor decided to send me for a sonogram just to be safe. My husband had met me there, and the sonogram office was next door. When we got there I looked at my husband and told him I didn’t feel good, then passed out again. Because I passed out, the sonographer wouldn’t do the sonogram and sent me back to my doctor’s office. I had been there for 45 minutes at this point and just kept telling them ‘something’s not right.’ 

The doctor decided to send me to the hospital to be safe, and when I got there they took me very seriously. They put me in a wheelchair the second I got there, and brought me right up to labor and delivery where they hooked me up to all the monitors.

We had been there about 20 minutes when his heart rate dropped to 60. When that happened, I have never seen people move so fast. The nurses and the doctors came in and they were moving my stomach around and his heart rate came back up. They told me they were going to keep monitoring me to make sure it didn’t happen again. 

Twenty minutes later his heart rate went down to 50. Then it was go time and they were running in and giving me a shot in the arm. They had me on all fours with the doctor behind me on the bed jiggling my stomach around. They weren’t really saying much, but they were all working really, really quick. They threw a gown at my husband, and told him to get dressed. My mom was also there, and they told her they were taking me in immediately. 

It was like a flash; there was no warning. As they were running me down the hall on the bed they were cutting my clothes off and taking my jewelry off. They did a C-section, and when they did the C-section, they found that I had a placenta abruption and four blood clots. 

When Dominic came out he wasn’t breathing. They got him to breathe and took him right to the NICU. I didn’t get to see him, and I didn’t hear him screaming, so I knew something was wrong. 

They put him on a CPAP machine and he was in the NICU for only 24 hours. He was a tiny little guy, at 5 pounds and 18 inches, but he did really well once he left the NICU. We were in the hospital for four days. It was a huge adjustment, but he did fine and he is healthy and growing, which is all that matters! 

They told me that if I had waited any longer, he wouldn’t have made it and most likely I wouldn’t have either because I was bleeding out and they didn’t know it. When they went in for the C-section, they found the four clots and said that they wouldn’t have been visible on the sonogram. They said a few hours would have made the difference. 

Lillie is such a huge advocate for knowing your body and knowing your pregnancy, and she really helped me big time. I want other women to understand that no one’s norm is the same. If Lillie’s baby was up at 7 in the morning and mine wasn’t, that was her norm, and that was my norm. And if I didn’t pay attention to that, and if I didn’t know when he would kick and when he would wake up, it would have just been another day and I would have waited hours and hours, and instead I waited 45 minutes. 

I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing your baby and knowing the movement. Not only how often they kick, but that they have a schedule. They have a wake up time. They have a sleeping time. I tell people who are pregnant now, you may not feel him at 10 o’clock in the morning like I did, but you need to know what’s normal for your baby. 

You know your body best. You know your baby best. You are your biggest advocate. The importance of knowing the kicks and knowing the norm – I can’t stress it enough.” Alexa H., Dominic’s mom

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