To view our gallery of ‘Mummy counted my kicks!’ babies click here
“I wouldn’t have had the confidence to call the hospital if I hadnt been following your campaign”
“Today is my official due date. I went to bed last night with reduced movements and woke up this morning with little movement and a little bleeding. Because of your campaign I knew how to monitor movements and I knew this morning something was not quite right. I rang the hospital immediately and I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do this had I not be following your campaign. I was right to ring the hospital they have decided his time has arrived and are I inducing me now. Thank you so much first thing I will do when I get home is make a donation to this wonderful cause.” – Aimee
“This charity is teaching women to believe in their instincts”
“Just like to say thank you for making this charity i have just read Chloe’s story and it reduced me to tears. I gave birth to my beautiful little girl Erin on the 24th November 2011. I had to be induced as she stopped moving. This was the 4th time i had to go to the hospital for reduced movements and every time i went in i was made to feel like i was wasting their time. Erin was born blue, floppy with the cord wrapped around her neck but she was ok. I believe if they had not induced me that day i could have a very different story to tell. Throughout the pregnancy i knew there was something wrong when i had these reduced movements. This charity is teaching women to believe in their instincts – Even when you think you may be ‘wasting their time’ because life is so precious.” – Zoe Betts
“If it wasn’t for you I may have not had my baby boy with me today”
“I just wanted to thank you for your campaign, as if it wasn’t for you I may have not had my baby boy with me today. I heard about your website through a friend. Last year, sadly we lost a little boy at 21 weeks due to Edwards Syndrome, I met a friend through her sadness when she lost her little girl at 38 weeks. She stopped feeling her move and unfortunately was too late by the time she realised and got checked out. Getting pregnant again after losing our little boy was hard, and esp knowing about my friend kind of made my pregnancy harder as i worried about everything.
She told me about your campaign, and obviously because of when she lost her little girl, ‘counting the kicks’ was way important to her. ( she is currently pregnant again too)
I was 34 weeks pregnant and over a period of a couple of days i felt my baby was being a bit quieter than usual. However he moved ‘enough’ that I wasnt too worried at first. Then on tue 19th April, I was in work and I hadn’t really felt the little one move. He had hiccups once through out the day and that was pretty much all i felt. Remembering about your campaign made me go and get checked at the hospital, and within a couple of hours I had been rushed to theatre and had an emergency c section.
There had been a bleed somewhere which resulted in my baby being very anemic, and due to the very low oxygen in his blood, his breathing wasn’t very strong. He was vented and spent a week in special care. He had two blood transfusions and luckily for us he got better and could come home a week later.
If we hadn’t of ‘counted the kicks’ our story could of been a very different one. Because I was so aware of his movements, i knew when something wasn’t right.
I am so grateful that there is a campaign that makes mums aware that they need to be aware of their baby’s movements and if they feel something is not right then get yourself checked straight away.
We are extremely lucky and grateful that we got our little boy checked in time, because i dread to think of the outcome if i had of just left it til the morning before going to the hospital.
Our baby boy is very beautiful and We just have so much love for him, and are so grateful that we got to meet him and we could bring him home.
So thank you with all our heart for the amazing work you all do raising awareness!!!! xxxxxxx” - Gina
“I hope that your organisation helps empower both mums to be and midwives to speak up”
“My name is Stephanie Evans. I am a student midwife (and qualified nurse) studying at the university of glamorgan. I attended the study evening at the village hotel, cardiff (angels & rainbows) in october. I felt it was a fantastic evening and very valuable. Your talk was both inspirational and touching. I, myself have also suffered a stillbirth at 26 weeks gestation and felt I could comprehend a lot of what you was saying. Luckily, I have also been blessed with 2 rainbows, my boys Kian and Jacob. Thankyou for your talk and I hope that your organisation helps empower both mums to be and midwives to speak up!” - Stephanie Evans
“Trusting your instincts is the key.”
“I am a supporter of count the kicks on Facebook and my son Frankie participated in the baby shoot last year to raise money through the Christmas cards you did. Not sure if this email will go through to Sophia, but I hope so as I wanted to share this story with you guys.
In September 2009 I had a straight forward natural birth with my first son. I was induced at 41 weeks due to mild symptoms of pre eclampsia but all went well and i delivered a healthy 8lb 8oz baby. On Thursday 24th February this year I was browsing your Facebook page as I often do, and was just coming up to 38 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I’m lucky to say that I’ve had two healthy pregnancies and no mis carriages. I was reading Sophia’s link she’d put up of the article she’d had written about her heartache in losing beautiful baby Chloe the year before printed in the daily mirror. I was thinking as i was looking at my computer screen that I actually shouldn’t be reading such things as it was going to make me paranoid. How ironic! As I was sat there reading the part about how Sophia suddenly realized she hadn’t felt much movement in her tummy for a day it suddenly struck me that despite having my 38 week check with my midwife that very day, my baby’s movements had changed. I could feel what I would describe as a ‘writhing’ but no kicks anymore, not even a light one if I sat my class if water on the top of my belly.
I spent the next couple of hours thinking I may be worrying about nothing but then mentioned it to my husband who suggested we just popped to the hospital for a quick check.
I’m so glad we did. After some monitoring it was apparent something wasn’t quite right so they kept me in. The baby’s heart rate was not accelerating as it should every few minutes which suggests the baby wasn’t moving. After a scan the next day they could see the cord was round the neck but weren’t sure exactly how many times so decided to induce me for natural labour. Straight away, the second I knew something wasn’t quite right I just wanted them to get my baby delivered. They were 50/50 I may need a c section but wanted to try me for a natural delivery as they said babies are born with the cord around their necks all the time but they were obviously closely monitoring the baby throughout.
Once the harder contractions started the baby’s heart beat was dropping significantly after each one so they gave me the emergency c section I was sure I’d end up with. Baby Stanley was born with the cord wrapped around his neck 5 times, and luckily he will live to tell the tale unlike many babies who sadly won’t. The Whole team in the theatre that night said they’d never seen the cord wrapped around that many times. He weighed 5lb 9oz- a lot less than my first little boy and the staff were sure that was due to the cord being wrapped around so many times.
I am so grateful for CTK campaign and for the Facebook group that I was browsing that Thursday afternoon. Had I not been, I’m not sure I would have really noticed the changes in movement and I dread to think of what may have happened if I hadn’t gone to hospital that day. I bumped into the initial midwife who kept me in that night about a month later in mothercare and she said that it is never too much trouble for you to just pop to hospital and get checked out and they really don’t mind. Trusting your instincts is the key.
Thank you everyone who works so hard on the campaign, keep up the great work in raising awareness you’re doing a grand job!” - Hayley Milson – Mummy to Frankie 21 months and Stanley 3 months
“If I hadn’t read Sophia’s story and known the risks I wouldn’t of trusted my instincts to save my daughter’s life”
“Because of Sophia’s story my baby girl is here today and I am very grateful for this campaign and the awareness you have raised. My placenta was also detaching is why my daughter had stopped moving if I hadn’t read Sophia’s story and known the risks I wouldn’t of trusted my instincts to save my daughter’s life. I am now pregnant again and will be seeing my consultant this afternoon in order to prevent this happening again. Thank you Sophia and all the members of Count the Kicks campaign. ” – Anonymous
“The info in the campaign is making me feel much more confident about if/when I would need to call for help”
“I’ve just got my wristband through. I also have a VERY active baby, so I use the wristband to count “episodes” of movements, rather than individual kicks or bumps – I’d be there all day otherwise – ha-ha!
Great idea and a really helpful and reassuring campaign too – I had a couple of instances in my first pg when I was terrified about lack of movement etc. The info in the campaign is making me feel much more confident about if/when I would need to call for help.” – L
“We are so fortunate and thankful for the healthy boy that is with us today”
“Hello I have just come across your website by accident and wanted to get in touch to see if I can do anything to help.? My youngest son was delivered by c-section at 35wks last year after I noticed a reduction in his movements. He was born just in time and required emergency treatment and we are so fortunate and thankful for the healthy boy that is with us today. Had I left it a few more hours before going for a check up, it would have been too late?? Since that happened, I have started fundraising for the Tiny Lives Fund (which supports the scbu in Newcastle where Joseph was looked after) and now organise a programme of baby and toddler nearly new sales and exhibitions to raise money for them (there is more info on our events at www.tinylivesnearlynewsales.org.uk). Our next event is on the 19th March and I was just wondering if there is anything I can do to help you, eg handing out your flyers? I will add a link/banner to our website in the next couple of days but if there is anything I can do to support you at our next event please let me know. You’d be welcome to come and have a free stall if that was of interest. We had about 150 families attending our last event. I’ll also post a link to your website on the local netmums.com notice boards.? I think you are doing an amazing job with this campaign and will do what I can to support you.? Kind regards.” - Marina Dodgson
“People like you give me strength to do what I’m doing”
Just wanted to say I read your article in “Best” magazine (not my usual sort of read) It was beautiful done and very brave thing to do. It was lovely to see a pic of Chloe and George. They are both beautiful.
We lost our beautiful Ella on the 12th Nov 2010, she was 39 weeks term and we have never got any answers to why we lost her. As you know it is the most devastating thing ever. People like you give me strength to do what I’m doing. This year I dedicated myself to help the 3 main charities for stillbirth – SANDS, Tommys and yourselves. I beat the drum everyday and make sure people know about stillbirth and help get rid of the taboo.
Anyway, just wanted to say what a great job your charity does and to keep up the amazing work. I’ll do my best to raise as much money as possible for you on the 29th and hopefully raise the awareness of CTK. I’ll be in contact after the event.
You take care and hopefully little George is behaving himself.
“At worst you are reassured, and best your baby saved”
“I actually found out about you via Twitter – and thought I’d drop you a line with my story.
I also wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. It is truly the most awful thing that can happen to a couple, and how much I respect and admire your campaign. As will become clear, it is because of people being prepared to talk and put themselves out there that a seed is sown, and when you have a doubt you get to hospital.
On a completely (and I hope you don’t find it strange?) note, I’m really happy for my story to be put on your website, I’m even happy to talk to journalists etc… but I kind of don’t want the ‘happy ever after’ pics, and I’d rather my name not be used as the reason I think my daughter is alive today, is because my sister in law had a still birth, and I think I have a duty to her not to dwell on it. If that makes sense?
I am also planning on running the London Marathon next year – had planned on approaching SANDS for a golden ticket: if you consider getting any (I know I’d have to guarantee x amount in sponsorship), please let me know, as somehow Count the Kicks is more relevant to me, as you will see. Thanks.
I lived both my pregnancies on a knife edge. My sister in law, who had done the whole breeding thing before me had had 1 perfect pregnancy and daughter, she then suffered 2 miscarriages. When she was pregnant with her second child (post 12 weeks), we all breathed a sigh of relief. Until we got the call at 38weeks to say not that she had delivered a healthy boy/girl, but that her unborn child, a boy as it turned out, had died. Anyone who’s been there knows what follows, the questions, the dysfunction. The need to be pregnant again. She then (3months later) became pregnant again, and, at 37 weeks her third child, a son, was delivered by elective c-section. Perfect and healthy.
And so then myself and husband decided for a family! So clearly we knew the risks. I had an early miscarriage, which was rubbish, but, in comparison to that, nothing major. I then fell pregnant again. Due to our family background I lived the entire pregnancy on a knife edge, monitoring movements, going to the doctors to listen to the heartbeat. I only once felt a big enough change to go to the Day Assessment Unit. Whereupon Junior had a disco and I felt silly. Reassured though! And the midwife was incredibly understanding and never once told me I was being silly.
Due to my own body developing pre-eclampsia I ended up (after failed induction) with a caesarean, but my baby girl was perfect.
Pregnancy number 2. Who has time to worry so much when running around after a toddler? And yet there’s always time to monitor movements. Baby #2 was a squirmer, never head down, swimming all over the place, and VERY active! I had opted for an elective c-section – and was booked in for 39weeks. At my last midwife appointment I commented that I thought the baby must be tied in knots as it moved so much. She asked if I was genuinely concerned (she was an awesome midwife, and really went on your gut). I talked myself out of worrying. Her last words to me (which I thanked her for when she did my post labor visit), were, ‘well good luck, and remember, any change in movements call us.’
Then at 38+2 baby took a while to get going in the morning. But then had a proper disco so I was reassured. That night baby (was sure it was a boy!) did a big turn and I slept really well. I woke at 4am with light movement – very unusual.
At breakfast (husband was off work as it was Good Friday, thank goodness), baby wasn’t moving. Baby ALWAYS moved at breakfast. Tried coffee (3 times), iced water, bath, prodding and eating. And then I sat on the sofa, wept and said he’d gone. Husband phoned hospital and we were told to get straight there. It was about 10am. Still no movement.
Pretty hideous drive later we went straight to labor ward (bank holiday so Day Assessment closed). We got a very experienced midwife (always a concern), and my husband explained our family experience. I was put on a monitor and there was a heartbeat. I was genuinely shocked. And wept again.
I was left on the monitor and within 5minutes we were getting some pretty fruity decelerations, with no accelerations and no movements indicating baby was not happy. I was asked if I could be in labor (I was sure I wasn’t). Then I was asked if I had my bag (although packed from 24weeks I hadn’t). Then I remember 5 midwives getting me ready for surgery.
They delayed about two hours (due to my darned breakfast!), monitoring the whole time. And then it was go.
All we wanted was baby out, no matter what. We knew in all likelihood there was a trip to SCUBU coming on. And then the surgeon said ‘oh my goodness, everyone, you must look at this’. Another doctor mouthed reassuring things to husband who, in turn reassured me. Baby had cord around the neck twice and five times around the upper body (like a satchel, apparently)… not an entirely usual sight we were told. She (as it turned out) responded within a minute, and suckled straight away. She is now nearly 2, her oxygen levels were ‘tip top’ and she is absolutely 100% healthy.
After she was born I don’t think it all really hit me until I was home, and it still takes some processing, but I’m nearly there.
I genuinely believe that my awareness that my sister in law waited for about a day before going to hospital, and the loss of my nephew, meant I got to hospital in time to have a healthy daughter. The human condition means we go down the ‘what if’s’ route, and I don’t know how long I would have had. The midwife I had told me that we were very lucky. And I feel it.
To stress, I knew ALL the risks, and was so aware, and in 2 pregnancies I only twice felt the need to go to hospital. This isn’t about creating panic at all, it’s only about awareness. In your gut I think you know when something isn’t quite right.
I don’t want people to have to bury their nephew to know how important movement, kicks, and patterns are. And this is why count the Kicks is SUCH an important campaign: If in doubt go to hospital. At worst you are reassured, and best your baby saved.
I also have a bit of a personal gripe regarding home Doppler’s: they don’t show decelerations. If you are worried you need a full trace, not just confirmation of a heartbeat.
Wishing you all every success in your campaign. You all deserve it and will save lives. I tell everyone who I know that is pregnant to watch movements. I never want a phone call like that one ever again.” – Anonymous
“She said if I hadn’t have been monitoring his movements with the wristband, she thinks he wouldn’t have survived”
“When that blue line appeared on the test, me and my husband were overjoyed.
We were going to be parents! It was a great way to end a fantastic 2 week honeymoon in Mexico. We broke the news to our family, friends and everyone was overjoyed. When I told a friend of mine she suggested I get a Count the Kicks counter. Naturally I wondered “What for? I’ll be fine” but as I knew she had recently gone through the loss of a baby and was very worried for any friend who was expecting, I respected her wishes and purchased one.”When it came it was a pale pink band with Count the Kicks on and the numbers 1-12. I read what I was to do with it and put it on. Each day as I woke I would make sure my counter started at 0 and before I went to bed I would write in my diary how many kicks I’d felt. I was feeling between 8-12 kicks a day sometimes more. All was going as a usual pregnancy would: routine blood tests, scans, midwife visits etc. It was when I was 37 weeks that I noticed my baby’s movements were starting to drop. The movements had dropped from 8-12 to 6-10 – I’d heard this was still ok but was told to keep monitoring it. By the Friday, baby’s movements had dropped once again to between 5-8. I’d gone for my antenatal check where I’d explained to my consultant what was happening, he then sent me round for a scan. The scan was so scary as no one spoke to reassure me or my husband, we just looked at each other with worry. I was then sent back to the maternity day unit not being told anything and was then put into a bay where the midwife said I had to be put on a monitor for a hour to see how baby’s heart beat was. An hour had came and gone, the midwife unhooked me, looked and said “wait in the waiting room and we will be with you in a moment”. This seemed to take hours, it was only minutes really. The midwife came back and said “after speaking to your consultant at north teese we need you to go straight through to be induced”. WHAM!! I was in shock – baby’s movements had reduced dramatically and the heart beat had slowed slightly so I needed to have baby delivered. The next bit is a blur and next thing I can really remember was being induced.
My little baby was finally on its way. I was monitored right through and on the 9th April 5:11am, Joseph 6lb 13oz was welcomed into the world. The midwife later told me his movements had reduced dramatically as I had lost a great percentage of my fluid and his cord was wrapped round his neck twice.
She said if I hadn’t have been monitoring his movements with the wristband, she thinks he wouldnt have survived. He is now a bubbly 1 year old who has a baby brother due August. I’m forever grateful to my friend for introducing the kick counter to me and will cherish it until i decide no more babies…and then I’ll pass it onto someone else! The midwives in my local birthing centre now recommend all their ladies to get a kick counter” – Anonymous
“This campaign is so important as it offers advice BEFORE the event”
“I have been following Count the Kicks on Facebook and cannot express enough how much value and importance I see in your campaign. The only way I feel that I can express this is by telling you my story:
I had a perfect pregnancy. There was no morning sickness, no major cravings, no stretch marks and I put on barely any weight! (Hooray!) We were arguing over names on a daily basis (particularly boys names so it was a relief when we found out that we were having a girl!) Things were really coming together. After my twenty week scan I was gutted that there were no more scans due as I didn’t feel that I could wait that long to see my wee girl again! Part of me was delighted that I had to have a growth scan at 34 weeks as it meant I got to have another peek of her!”Then, on the night of 8th August, eleven days before her due date, I became concerned. Sophie had always been what I called a “nocturnal foetus”, always kicking about and playing just as I was going to sleep. That night, nothing. At the time I put it down to her being so big now she was too tired to move and had no room anyway.
The next morning I was really worried. I could not get hold of my midwife so called Labour Suite who advised me to come in and get checked over. I thought I would have a scan, hear the heartbeat, and be sent home to continue baking my little bun for a couple more weeks. I didn’t even take my hospital bag. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I arrived at the ante-natal ward at 1pm. I was strapped up to a monitor and given a jug of iced water to drink. After an hour I was transferred to Labour Suite. It didn’t register with me at the time that this was going to be it, so when the Consultant came in at 3.30pm and told me that I would be having a c-section in the next half an hour I went into complete shock. I was shaking so much they struggled to get the cannular in. I was told by the consultant that I would not get to see my baby as she would be taken straight to NICU. Sophie Christina was born at 4.08pm and as white as this page. By 4.20pm she was in a NICU cot.
Between the morphine and trauma everything was a blur. I was laid up in a recovery bay whilst my partner went to and fro getting my hospital bag collected, visiting MY baby in the NICU and making the ‘phone calls. At 6pm reality hit and I demanded to know what was going on. The consultant advised me that I had suffered a foetal/maternal transfusion, also known as a Placental Abruption. The misfortune of this case was that it had been silent owing to Sophie losing blood rather than me. She was transfused for the first time at 9pm.
I finally got to meet my baby girl at 10.10pm, six hours after her birth. She was so tiny, and so white. Every shade of guilt went through me for not looking after her properly and for not being ecstatic about her from the very start. I willed her to fight for her life. Shortly after I left her for the night Sophie had a seizure and required Phenobarbitone. The same thing happened the next morning.
Sophie made an amazing recovery and we only spent a week in the hospital. However, after we had registered her birth and shown her off to all and sundry, things took a massive turn for the worse. At thirteen days old Sophie developed a rash across her body and began bringing up blood. In a rush back to the hospital Sophie was readmitted, taken off her feeds with immediate effect and transfused again.
Two days into her readmission it was discovered that she had also contracted MRSA and she was put into isolation. It was so unfair that this beautiful girl had done nothing to deserve being shut away from the world. She was more ill than before and took another seizure. It was decided that an MRI scan was required and this showed brain damage as a result from the loss of oxygen during her traumatic birth. The prognosis was not good. Every day was a struggle. One day things were looking good but we knew that the next day we could be back to the start. I lived in the Ronald McDonald Suite at the hospital so that, when she eventually went back onto her feeds, I was at her beck and call.
A month later, we brought Sophie home. Sophie has had a hospital appointment approximately once a month since she was born. We have been through special infant clinic, ENT clinic (she had her adenoids removed when she was two due to sleep apnoea), seizure clinic (discharged last week ) and we are left now with preschool developmental clinic. Sophie starts primary school in August, on schedule, the week after her 5th birthday. She has exceeded the expectation of every doctor who looked after her, and is a marvel to new doctors who meet her. She has some developmental delay and educational challenges, but is otherwise a happy, healthy girl with a big appetite and one heck of a sense of humour.
We were the lucky ones, and not a day goes by that I am not grateful for this. However, I wish I had known more before the event. Sophie does not deserve to be wearing size 2-3 clothes at the age of 5 because she lost so much weight on her readmission that she has never been able to climb back up the centiles. She doesn’t deserve to catch every bug going because her immune system was compromised by spending so much of her neonatal period in an incubator. And she does not deserve the stress of constant blood tests to check her iron levels “just in case” she needs medication again. The guilt I feel now lies with not knowing what I should have done sooner, and I hope that being part of this campaign helps me to eradicate the possibility of that guilt from other mums to be.
I hope that this story highlights that even in the event of a baby surviving something like this, the happy ending comes with consequences and worry for years to come. This campaign is so important as it offers advice BEFORE the event, and that advice is valuable to every expecting parent.” - Christina
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