By wonderful happenstance, I met Danielle Barkley and found out about her advocacy with Count the Kicks that she began participating in after the tragic passing of her daughter Lydia. I started reading more and more about Count the Kicks and why it’s so important to really monitor your baby’s movement. Olivia was always incredibly active. As I began to really pay attention, I quickly learned her patterns. I was just shy of 38 weeks when I noticed it was 9 am and she had completely skipped her morning “dance.”
The night before I had been in a lot of pain and thought labor was coming, so I didn’t want to alarm my husband again. He wasn’t home, so I ate her favorite foods and still nothing. I put my son down for a nap and did everything I could think to do to get her moving. I pressed on my stomach and I could feel her body, but she wasn’t reacting to it. I knew that something was definitely wrong. My husband was working and thought I needed to give it more time and I was being paranoid, but I couldn’t ignore what Olivia was telling me. I had learned too much from Count the Kicks and had Lydia’s story heavy on my heart.
I called my doctor and she told me to head into the hospital. They found her heartbeat quickly and relief swept over me. They started tracking her movements and she was doing good. I was so relieved, but I knew something wasn’t right and was so vocally anxious about it they gave me an ultrasound. A perfect score is 8, Olivia got a 6. Not terrible, but did nothing to ease my mind. My doctor finally came in to talk to me and I just kept stressing how 10 plus hours without movement is not like her at all. We talked about the small risks of an early induction, but she thought I should trust my instincts and get her here while we still had a healthy baby. Seven hours and half a push later (that girl was ready!), Olivia was born.
The first thing we saw was the cord around her neck, but after a brief pause she started crying and we were able to hold our daughter. My doctor explained that the cord around her neck was likely why her movement decreased and was just as relieved as we were to have her here healthy. I will never be able to express my gratitude to Count the Kicks and Lydia’s mom for teaching me the importance of truly listening to my baby. It’s because of them that the cord couldn’t keep wrapping or get any tighter around her neck and we got to bring home our incredible baby girl. Lydia Barkley’s tragically short life opened my eyes and truly saved my daughters life and she will forever be celebrated in our family. I thank God everyday for the advocacy and work of Count the Kicks.” – Katherine Jones, Olivia’s Mom