Bobbie Cohlan
  • Bobbie Cohlan
  • New York Ambassador

I am Bobbie Cohlan from Westchester County, New York.  I am the mother of three daughters and grandmother to eight, with seven living grandchildren. Our second grandchild, Oliver Cohlan Hughes, was born still on Jan. 25, 2013, at 35 weeks. He is the first child of our youngest daughter and son-in-law. She was a perfectly healthy mom with a healthy pregnancy.

The night before I was planning to accompany her to a regular office visit, she told me the baby wasn’t moving as much, but she read online that babies don’t move as much in the last trimester. I now know that is False. 

The next morning at the visit, the doctor asked, “Is the baby moving?“ My daughter said, “yes but not as much.” The doctor then said “Babies don’t move as much in the last trimester.”  I now know that is False. 

They checked her with a Doppler and then an ultrasound, and we heard the words “I am sorry, there is no heartbeat.” I took my daughter across the street to the hospital to deliver her stillborn baby, both of us still in shock. I will forever have the details of that day etched in my mind.  

When our son-in-law arrived at the hospital he kept asking, “Why would this happen to us? We are healthy and did all the right things; we followed all the doctor orders.” Our daughter kept asking, “What did I do wrong?” 

She did nothing wrong. The system of prenatal care that is mostly given does not talk about movement and what to do. Asking “is the baby moving?” is not enough. We learned a lot about stillbirth and stillbirth prevention after Oliver died. If we had learned this before, maybe he would be here in our arms, not just here in our hearts.

I volunteer to spread the word about the importance of movement, getting to know your baby, and bonding with your baby by using the Count the Kicks app. A year or two after Oliver died, our daughter told us before he had less movement, he had wild movements. She just thought he was destined to be a soccer player.

Both wild movements and less movement are changes in movement, which using Count the Kicks would have noted. If counting kicks and speaking up about any changes in movement had been talked about during her pregnancy, our daughter could have acted. 

Spreading the word with pregnant families and medical providers, and making people aware of movement and Count the Kicks is how I can help others to not experience the pain our family knows. This is the way I can create a legacy for Oliver and he can make a difference for others.  

There are over 21,000 stillbirths per year in the United States, a figure I found shocking when I first learned. This number has remained stagnant for many years. Other countries have been able to lower the incidence. With Count the Kicks, I believe we can too. 

I hope you will join me and learn more about Count the Kicks and how important it is in bringing more babies home safely. 

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