Amanda Duffy
  • Amanda Duffy
  • Minnesota Ambassador

Hi, I’m Amanda. I live in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area with my husband Chris and three living children: Rogen, Rhett and Maeda. Our second born, Reese, was stillborn at 39 weeks exactly on Nov. 2, 2014, just 16 hours shy of her scheduled delivery. 

She was/is absolutely perfect, at 8 lbs. 3 oz. with copper hair just like her daddy, fingers like her mama, a button nose like her little brother, a full pound heavier than her older brother when he was born and the same tiny toes as her little sister. She is as big a part of our family as the living members, and perhaps carries a legacy larger than one her daddy and I will ever manage, combined.  

Reese was born with a double nuchal cord, an image that I saw twice weekly during our biophysical profile ultrasounds leading up to her death. I was diagnosed with acute severe polyhydramnios (aka- too much amniotic fluid) at 35 weeks gestation. With all the extra monitoring I didn’t think I had anything to worry about. 

I was floored when I went to the hospital that fateful Sunday afternoon in November and found out that Reese did not have a heartbeat, but had traces of brain activity. I was rushed in for an emergency C-section; unfortunately Reese did not survive. 

Before Reese died, I had no idea that over 23,500 babies were stillborn in the U.S. every year and that women with polyhydramnios are seven times more likely to experience a stillbirth than mothers without. If I would have known that counting Reese’s kicks was a good indicator of her overall well-being, I would have done it religiously. 

I noticed a slight change in her movements at 36+4 weeks and mentioned it to my healthcare provider. The extra fluid may make it more difficult to feel movement, so I didn’t closely monitor her movements after that. 

I used the Count the Kicks app with my subsequent pregnancies and felt a better sense of empowerment with the knowledge I held in my phone for my babies’ movements. I knew that I had the proof I needed if I ever felt concerned about the change in movement for Reese’s siblings. It gave me a bit of peace of mind in an otherwise stressful stage of life. 

We have been active in the stillbirth community since the moment Reese died, helping to support and advocate for families like ours and educate the medical community on stillbirth risks. Joining Count The Kicks is a really powerful way to honor Reese’s short but impactful life and help save babies at the same time.

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