On Jan. 14, the day before Gus was born, I felt him move at his normal time in the morning, but in the afternoon and evening he did not move at all during his normal times. I thought this was strange, but I also thought that maybe he was having an off day. However, on Jan. 15, I had still not felt him move at all. By 1 p.m. I was getting extremely worried and I called my doctor to ask for advice. The doctor told me to go to labor and delivery immediately to get everything checked out.
I got to labor and delivery and they monitored Gus’s heartbeat as well as mine. This was part of a biophysical profile. Gus had a very steady heartbeat, but this was not good news. His heartbeat needed to be fluctuating to show that he was moving. This was the non-stress test and Gus failed. So we moved onto the next step of the biophysical profile, which is a fetal ultrasound. During the ultrasound, the doctor was looking at five areas to check Gus’s health: body movements, muscle tone, breathing movements, amniotic fluid, and heartbeat. Each of these five areas is given a score of either 0 (abnormal) or 2 (normal). These scores are then added up for a total score ranging from 0 to 10. In general, a score of 8 or 10 is normal, while 6 is borderline. Below 6 is a sign of possible problems. Gus scored a 2 out of 10.
I was told that Gus would need to be delivered that day. My doctor was called and I was put into a delivery room. My doctor would decide if I needed a C-section or to be induced. However, a few minutes later the doctor at the hospital told me that they could not wait for my doctor to get there and that Gus was getting worse so they needed to do an emergency C-section right then. Eli could not be in the room with me as I needed to be put completely under anesthesia. Gus was born within 5 minutes of me entering the operating room.
Count the Kicks is the organization that saved Gus’s life. I was given information about the organization at my regular doctor’s appointments and I made sure to count daily. When I did not get my 10 movements within a normal hour that Gus typically moved a lot, I knew something was wrong. I am so glad I trusted my instincts and called my doctor that day. If I did not, I do not want to even think about what could have happened.
I wanted to share my story in the hopes that it can help save other babies. If you are pregnant or ever plan on becoming pregnant, please, please, please count your baby’s kicks; it really could save a life. -Olivia G., Gus’ mom