Meet John Walker
- Baby Saves
“On April 23, 2022, our family gratefully welcomed our third child, John Walker, into the world. After tragic stillbirths within my own community of family and friends and contracting COVID-19 at 17 weeks pregnant, I was called to do some research. This is when I found the Count the Kicks app and learned more about the importance of kick counting. I used the app daily to track my son’s movements and quickly learned his normal pattern. He was a very active baby and much different than his big sisters.
At the beginning of my 36th week of pregnancy, I experienced preterm labor. My provider gave me a steroid shot to strengthen my baby’s lungs just in case he was born early, but since the baby and I were doing well, I was sent home.
A few days later, I noticed that my very active baby had slowed down, and my instincts were also alerting me that something seemed off. I visited my doctor, who evaluated the situation and made plans for further testing the next day, and then I was sent home.
At home, I continued to have concerns about my son’s slower movement pattern. Despite an inconvenient spring blizzard, I trusted the data from the App – which showed his movement change – and my own instincts and notified my doctor, who listened to me and had me come back to investigate further.
At that time, they discovered that my son’s heart rate was showing signs of distress, and he scored only a 4 out of 10 on his biophysical profile, which indicated that my placenta was failing and my fluids were low. My doctor determined that a vaginal delivery would no longer be a safe option for the baby, and it was vital to deliver him via C-section.
John Walker was born safely at 36 weeks, five days and in the middle of a blizzard, at a healthy weight of 7 pounds, 8 ounces and spent minimal time in the NICU for a small amount of oxygen and observation. Pathology testing on my placenta indicated that the calcification and failing placenta were likely COVID-19-related and caused the distress.
I am thankful for the research I found and the Count the Kicks app. Through this information and the tips in the app, I discovered that it was important to note changes in movement, not just notice no movement. I now stress to all new moms to have the app, Count the Kicks every day, and notice their patterns.
I cannot stress enough to trust your ‘mom gut’ and go get checked for any change in their movement. My hopes are that all families can have happy endings just as we did. We have a beautiful baby boy and a crazy birth story to tell.” – Amber M., John’s mom
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