A Charleston mom recently saved the life of her baby, all because of a piece of advice she received from a fellow mom.
Katherine Jones heard about the importance of paying attention to her baby’s movements in the third trimester from her friend Danielle Barkley. Danielle lost her daughter Lydia to stillbirth five years ago and is a local advocate for the life-saving campaign Count the Kicks. Research shows a change in movement is the earliest and sometimes only indication that there might be something wrong with a pregnancy.
“As I began to really pay attention, I quickly learned Olivia’s patterns. I was just shy of 38 weeks when I noticed it was 9 am and she had completely skipped her morning “dance.” I ate her favorite foods but it didn’t make her move. 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. 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 well. I was so relieved, but I knew something wasn’t right and was so vocally anxious about it they gave me an ultrasound.
The first thing we saw was the cord around her neck. Doctors decided to induce delivery. After a moment of silence as she was born, we heard her first cries and relief swept over us again. 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 daughter’s life and she will forever be celebrated in our family.”
Count the Kicks is an evidence-based national movement started in Iowa to prevent stillbirths and is credited with helping lower Iowa’s stillbirth rate by nearly 29 percent while the rest of the country has remained stagnant. The campaign has a free kick counting app available in 10 languages which helps expectant parents have a daily kick counting session in the third trimester.
For more information visit www.CountTheKicks.org.