‘Count The Kicks’ Campaign – saved a baby’s life
I read this the other day and felt this had to be shared, lets spread the word and help save babies thanks to this campaign.
Pregnant mother who was turned away by medics twice reveals how she narrowly avoided stillbirth thanks to count your baby’s kicks campaign
- Olivia Bruce, 27, was twice given the all-clear by doctors while pregnant
- Worried that her unborn baby wasn’t moving around enough
- Five days before her due date, she insisted on another check-up
- Doctors declared an emergency and induced Ms Bruce immediately
- Baby Chloe could have died had her mother waited until her due date
- ‘Count the Kicks’ aims to educate women about foetal movement
Single mother Olivia Bruce, 27, from Kegworth, Leicestershire, admitted herself to hospital five days before her due date because she had noticed her unborn baby’s movements were slowing down.
Had she waited, doctors say her daughter Chloe would almost certainly have died – a fate avoided by Ms Bruce’s early admission and induced birth.
Olivia Bruce, pictured pregnant, narrowly avoided having a stillbirth but was saved by a new awareness campaign called Count The Kicks and is now hoping her story will help educate other mothers-to-be
Having had an uneventful first pregnancy with eldest daughter Brooke, now seven, Ms Bruce admits she believed old-fashioned lore that claims babies slow down before birth to save energy.
‘I did have some concerns at the beginning of the pregnancy because at eight weeks pregnant, I was in a lot of pain,’ she explains.
‘Doctors thought, initially, that I had an ectopic pregnancy but after examining me, they found the pain was related to problems I’ve always had with cysts on my ovaries.
‘I was in hospital for a couple of weeks, the pain went, and I was given the all-clear.
‘I felt the baby kicking a lot throughout the pregnancy but I had quite a few other things on my mind, so I didn’t monitor it as closely as I should have done.’
A split with baby Chloe’s father compounded matters, with Ms Bruce saying that she was forced to lean on her family for support instead.
‘I’d split with the baby’s dad after five years because we found ourselves drifting apart,’ she explains.
‘My family is very supportive and give me all the help I need.
Ms Bruce, 27, pictured with Chloe, now a month old and elder daughter Brooke, seven, went into hospital five days before her due date because she had noticed her unborn baby’s movements slow down
Had Ms Brooke waited for her due date, her month-old daughter Chloe would have died
‘I did begin to notice things slowing down as the pregnancy progressed but my mind was put at rest because many people told me not to worry, and that reduced movement was normal before a birth.
THE ‘COUNT THE KICKS’ MISSION
The key aim at Count the Kicks is to educate pregnant women on the importance of monitoring their baby’s movements and reporting any change in their baby’s regular pattern of movement.
A decrease in foetal movement is a key warning sign that a baby is struggling in the womb and early delivery could save nearly a third of stillborn babies.
The UK’s current stillbirth and neonatal death rate is 6,500 per year.
‘Then one day my grandmother phoned me to tell me about a TV segment she’d seen on Count The Kicks.
‘I looked up the campaign website and there was some really useful information on monitoring your baby’s movements – or counting the kicks.
‘I started to take more notice of how active the baby was in the womb and it was definitely slowing down, so I went to the hospital for a check-up.’
Doctors put Ms Bruce on a monitoring machine for a few hours and then gave her the all clear.
Despite the good news, she remained uneasy about the lack of kicks, returned to hospital for a second time and was once again given the all-clear.
But then, disaster almost struck. ‘I kept my eye on the movements and noticed things slowing down a lot when I had only five days to go before my due date,’ she explains.
‘Count the Kicks’ campaign helps educates pregnant women
Twice during her pregnancy, she went into hospital to be monitored (pictured) because she noticed her unborn baby was moving around less, but both times she was told everything was normal
‘I wondered if I should bother the medics again because I’d been twice, and both times it was more about me being worried than there being any real problem.
‘Was it just my imagination? Perhaps I could just hang on for a few more days. I feared that if I went into hospital again they’d think I was either hysterical or a hypochondriac and send me away.
‘But I looked again at the Count The Kicks website and knew without doubt that the movements were reduced and I needed to get to hospital.’
Once there, Ms Bruce was told that her baby had indeed slowed down. Her heart rate had dropped from 140 to 60 so she was induced immediately.
‘Suddenly, midwives and doctors all rushed in to help,’ she remembers. ‘I knew this was odd. There was only one midwife and a very calm atmosphere when Brooke was born.
‘The medics then started screaming instructions at each other. The doctors decided I had to have an emergency C-Section but then, after a final examination, they realised that by the time I was prepared for surgery, it would be too late – the baby would die.
Ms Brooke, pictured with baby Chloe, who was induced and then born in little over an hour, said, ‘I want to raise awareness of it because nothing is as heartbreaking, or devastating to a family, as losing a baby’
‘I had, apparently, dilated enough to give birth and was told to push. I didn’t feel ready to, but I sensed because of the panic in the room it was a life or death situation.
‘I grabbed poor Mum in a headlock and pushed as if all our lives depended on it. Six minutes later Chloe was born.
‘She was perfect. As I cradled her in my arms, doctors told me that if I had waited until my due date, she would have been born dead.’
She added: ‘They never said what had gone wrong or why my baby had started slowing down. After she was born, they just seemed relieved that she was OK and had passed all her tests.
‘They never mentioned it again.’
Now Ms Bruce is keen to tell her story to as many people as possible in the hope that it might save more lives.
‘I want to raise awareness of it because nothing is as heartbreaking, or devastating to a family, as losing a baby,’ she says. ‘Especially when you’ve carried it almost full term.’
Elizabeth Hutton, CEO of Count the Kicks said: ‘Count The Kicks is one of the UK’s leading pregnancy and stillbirth charities which aims to drastically reduce the number of families that experience the tragedy of stillbirth and neo-natal deaths in the UK which currently stands at 16 babies every day.
‘By educating expectant mums on the importance of monitoring their baby’s movements we aim to help to cut this number by at least a third and help expectant mothers have more healthy pregnancies.
So spread the word everyone!