After four years of trying to grow our family from a family of three to a family of four, my husband and I were delighted to finally be expecting a little boy in April of 2020. Although my first pregnancy was uneventful, this time I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Since I had gestational diabetes and I was 37, my doctor kept a pretty close eye on baby Thatcher.
Starting at 36 weeks, I had a non-stress test each week and a couple of late term ultrasounds. My final NST was Thursday, April 9, and I was scheduled for a C-section on Monday, April 13. Everything was going according to plan until Saturday, April 11, when I woke to some bleeding and labor pains. After calling the on-call doctor, I decided to stay home and rest. I took Unisom as suggested by the doctor to relax me, but to no avail baby T kept me up most of the night.
The next morning the pains settled down, and I slept until about noon trying to rest up. Once I woke up, I had a late lunch and laid down to count my kicks like I did every day. As I laid there, I immediately realized my baby’s lack of movement. My friend had let me borrow an at-home Doppler earlier in the week and there was a strong heartbeat. But something in the back of my mind kept telling me something was wrong.
I let my husband know of my concern and tried all the things I knew to try. I drank a glass of ice water and ate two mini Kit Kat bars (something I usually didn’t do with gestational diabetes). However, baby T still did not make a move. As I laid on my bed pushing on my stomach and trying to feel any movement, the nurse from the hospital called to discuss my pre-op instructions for my C-section in the morning. I mentioned the lack of movement to her, but reassured her I heard a heartbeat with the Doppler.
She encouraged me to come straight to the hospital. As soon as I arrived, they began another NST and noticed Thatcher wasn’t having the accelerations they like to see. The doctor came in and said that something wasn’t quite right, and I would be delivering Thatcher that day.
About 30 minutes later, I had a contraction that resulted in a 4-minute drop in the baby’s heart rate. At that point, the anesthesiologist came to let me know the baby was in distress and I was having him right then. When I delivered Thatcher, he was covered in meconium and had the cord wrapped around his neck. He was struggling.
After the surgery was over and Thatcher was OK, I thanked the doctor for saving my baby and being diligent in getting him here safely. She assured me that counting the kicks was the key to knowing something was wrong and that I had saved my baby by paying attention and trusting my gut. She also explained how my story could have turned out differently if I waited to come in for my scheduled C-section. I am thankful to God that I had heard about the Count the Kicks campaign and app from my friend, Amy Ray, who is the Alabama Ambassador for Count the Kicks. I look at Thatcher now, and I know he is a true miracle. -Shelley P., Thatcher’s mom