“Everett was due on April 20, so it was certainly unexpected when he entered our world on March 24. He is our second child. Our first pregnancy had no complications and our daughter Quinn was born full term (9 days late actually) and completely healthy! I expected my second pregnancy to follow the same pattern.
On March 23 I went into the clinic for my routine 36 week appointment. The heartbeat was strong and we even had an ultrasound because my belly was measuring a little small. Everything on the ultrasound looked great! So, as far as we knew Everett was healthy and measuring right on track. The next day I noticed he was not moving as much as he usually did, especially during the times of day when I could count on him rolling around. I had been monitoring his movements throughout the pregnancy by counting his kicks and this day was just not the same. It wasn’t until about 4 in the afternoon that I finally called our clinic. After all, I just had everything checked at my appointment the day before! I didn’t want to seem like I was overreacting if I went in to get things checked out and everything was fine. On top of that, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I really didn’t want to expose myself to the hospital more than necessary. After having something sweet to drink, laying down for an hour, and still feeling little movement, I finally decided to drive to the hospital to get it checked. If anything it would ease my mind!
When I arrived at the hospital, after being screened for COVID-19, I made my way to the birthing center for a non-stress test. The test took three times as long as it normally should because Everett was still not moving enough to get the readings they needed. I was still hoping he was just having a lazy day. The nurses decided to order a biophysical ultrasound to do further testing. It was around 8 in the evening when my doctor unexpectedly walked into the testing room. She gave me a kind smile and reassured me that right now the baby was ok but said she was worried about him. With that remark, we decided it was best to be safe and perform a C-section to protect Everett! We were totally unprepared to have a baby that night.
When Everett was born the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck three times. He was breathing on his own but was having to work hard to do it and was very pale in color. Turns out, he was not getting the blood that he needed in the womb. To this day the cause of that is still unknown! When he was born his hemoglobin was tested at a 4 and the doctors said they like to see it around 12! He spent six days in the NICU getting blood, antibiotics, phototherapy and really great care! He is now a healthy little boy and we are so thankful for God’s grace and prompting to go and get checked out that day.
To some, especially those who have had previous healthy pregnancies, counting kicks may seem unnecessary or even overrated. I’m here to say that it’s not — and it was kick counting that saved our little Everett’s life!” Amanda R., Everett’s mom