- Baby Saves
“I found out I was pregnant in May 2021 and was absolutely thrilled. My first two trimesters of pregnancy were rough (hello morning sickness), but the baby and I were healthy.
Pretty early on I started researching giving birth and the different pain interventions. I decided I wanted to try an unmedicated birth so I was going to prepare for that. I follow Mommy Labor Nurse on Instagram and purchased her birthing course at 26 weeks to help me learn more about unmedicated births.
My husband and I started watching the videos. We didn’t get too far, but we got to the part where she mentioned the importance of kick counting starting at 28 weeks. She recommended the app ‘Count the Kicks’’ and I downloaded it.
I had my 28 week appointment and everything was normal. I remember walking into the exam room and telling the nurse I was all ready to start my kick counts. She looked at me and told me ‘we don’t start kick counts until 30 weeks.’ I quickly quieted down about my zeal for kick counts as I could feel she was annoyed by me being a first time mom. I went home that day and started my kick counts with the app anyway.
I learned my baby’s patterns, and I could usually get to 10 movements within 20 minutes. Other times in the day it would take longer.
When I was 29 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I noticed Henri wasn’t moving as much, but his movements were still strong and he was still reaching 10 movements.
On Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021 I woke up at 6 a.m. to a faint kick and then fell back asleep. I woke up around 8 a.m. and started my day. By 9 a.m. I noticed Henri hadn’t moved. I then got on Google and started doing everything suggested to get him to move. I hesitated to call my Ob/Gyn office because I was afraid they would dismiss my concerns.
At 3:55 p.m. I had an overwhelming bad feeling and I called my Ob/Gyn. At 3:58 p.m. a nurse called me back. I explained to her I was 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant and I had been tracking my baby’s movements and I couldn’t get him to move no matter what I did. She told me I needed to get to the hospital immediately.
I remember the drive to the hospital was the longest 25 minutes of my life. As soon as I got there, around 5 p.m., they took me back and got me hooked up to monitors. I was relieved to find out he had a heartbeat.
The midwife came in and looked at my print out and immediately walked out. She came back and they gave me apple juice and laid me on my side. They came back 45 minutes later and I told them he still hadn’t moved. Finally a physician came in and told me Henri had lost all heart rate variability and his heart rate was dipping when I was having mini contractions.
Around 7 p.m. the Ob/Gyn came in and did a biophysical profile. The results were concerning. He scored a 2/8 with only his fluid levels being OK. The Ob/Gyn left to call the on-call Maternal Fetal Medicine physician. He came back in shortly after with two members of the NICU team. He explained to me that he didn’t know what was wrong with my baby, but he was in distress and they needed to get him out. They started preparing me for an urgent Cesarean.
I remember sitting on the operating table and I suddenly felt like I was going to lose consciousness. I remember a bunch of nurses running over to me and telling me I had to stay awake or I’d lose the baby. She told me I didn’t come to the hospital and save my baby’s life to lose him in the operating room.
At 11:15 p.m. Henri was born weighing 2 pounds 14 ounces. He let out one cry and was taken by the NICU team to be resuscitated.
My placenta and cord were sent to pathology. They were unable to determine what caused Henri to be in distress and stop moving. Every time I shared my story with a NICU nurse or physician I was praised for knowing my baby’s movements so well. I was told again and again that by tracking his movements I saved his life.
Henri spent 7.5 weeks in the NICU and was able to come home in the beginning of January. It was the longest 7.5 weeks of my life, but at the end I brought home my healthy baby boy.
Count the Kicks saved my son’s life. In hindsight, I should have called the doctor’s office sooner, but I knew to call because I had been tracking him for almost two weeks. It’s so important to me to share my story because not every woman and baby has the same outcome I did.
Count the Kicks gave me the tools and data I needed to advocate for myself and my baby.” -Emily L., Henri’s mom
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