- Baby Saves
“Though we had hoped for a healthy pregnancy, we were blessed to find out early on that Tasman had an intestinal atresia. Since many families don’t receive this diagnosis until after the baby is born, we were grateful to have a heads up that our son needed extra attention throughout the pregnancy and birth. We also knew that because of these concerns, there was a good chance that we would have to deliver early. The high risk nature of our situation made kick counts a highly important part of our routine, and our medical team encouraged us to use kick counts as a way to monitor my health and Tasman’s.
After trying to keep count in my head, I learned about the Count the Kicks app from either a pregnancy related blog post or podcast I stumbled across. Once I started counting with it, I found the app was easy to use and helpful for noticing patterns with clear and colorful charts. We quickly learned that our son normally took between 5 and 15 minutes to get 10 kicks. He was an active little boy!
However, one weekend, I was using the Count the Kicks app in my daily kick counting session and found that my son was hardly moving – I tracked only four movements in 45 minutes. It was clear that this was not Tasman’s normal pattern, so my husband and I decided to report to the hospital for a non-stress test immediately.
As a first timer, I wasn’t sure if I was overreacting and didn’t want to cause a scene. But the data from the app gave me confidence that this wasn’t just all in my head. As it turns out, our baby was experiencing distress.
Though the monitor was able to pick up more movements, it eventually became clear that because of the atresia, Tasman had stopped swallowing amniotic fluid, causing me to have a condition called polyhydramnios. All the extra amniotic fluid was backing up and making his movements difficult to feel.
We also later learned that he had thrown up his meconium, which, together with the extra fluid, caused my water to break two days later. That abnormal kick count session kept us on high alert and we knew immediately that it was time to go back to the hospital. Decreased movement was the first sign that he was not going to make it to his due date.
Since labor wasn’t starting on its own, it was determined that I needed to be induced. Our sweet boy, Tasman, was born early at 34 weeks and required surgery the next day to repair his intestine. After a 26-day stay in the NICU, we were able to bring our now healthy and growing baby home. Counting kicks was a key element in the process of giving our son the best chance to thrive.” -Emily T., Tasman’s mom
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