- Baby Saves
“On May 18, 2022, my family welcomed our second son, William, into the world. During my first pregnancy, I paid attention to kicks but only had a general understanding of the importance of tracking movement. During my second pregnancy with William, I became aware of the Count the Kicks app and used it daily after following another mom on social media who strongly promoted kick counting and the app after losing her baby to stillbirth.
The Count the Kicks app played a big role a couple of times during my pregnancy, and I loved how easy the app was to use! The app taught me how to be in tune with my baby and my body, so I was able to trust my instincts and speak up to my provider when my son’s patterns changed.
During the second trimester I was already tracking William’s movements and noticed the first significant change to his movement pattern. I may have dismissed this except I had been learning more about fetal movement tracking and the importance of speaking up from the information shared within the Count the Kicks app and Instagram page.
Thankfully, my doctor took my concerns seriously and investigated with a non-stress test (NST), which showed that my son was experiencing a slowdown in growth and some heart rate irregularity that could be associated with the placental lakes that were also identified in this ultrasound. Ironically, I had also experienced COVID-19 around the 18th week of pregnancy, which was prior to the diagnosis of placental lakes.
My doctor explained that there is no current scientific evidence that this was caused by COVID-19, but this is something that is being studied further. As a result, I began weekly appointments and ultrasounds to make sure the baby was staying safe. This situation increased my need to monitor my son’s movement, which I continued to do two times per day. I had a clear understanding of his normal movement pattern and using the app gave me peace of mind during this time.
At 38.5 weeks, my son had another “lazy” day of movement. My baby was still moving, but not at all like his normal, active self. Rather than waiting it out a day to see if his kicks became more frequent, I called my clinic and they had me go to my local hospital’s labor and delivery floor.
After an ultrasound and stress test monitoring, they decided to induce me because they had not seen enough movement in a set period of time. Given that I was 38-plus weeks, and my doctor felt the baby was safer on the outside than the inside, we moved forward with an induction.
Seven hours later my little guy arrived! Thankfully, we welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world that day, but we have no diagnosed reason for his distress other than suspicion it was related to issues with his placenta.
As a result of my experience, I think we need to familiarize counting kicks in pregnancy, and not only counting kicks, but noticing patterns in the baby’s movements and kicks. I noticed my normally active baby had decreased movements and went into my clinic immediately.
Because I made the choice to count kicks regularly, I was more familiar with my baby’s movements and noticed when something was off. When I went into my clinic, it was then when they noticed my baby’s heart rate was a bit irregular and did further tests and monitoring throughout the remainder of my pregnancy. In my case, recognizing the irregular patterns of kicks is what was so important to note — and being able to do so very easily with this app; I am very thankful!” -Tessa F., William’s mom
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