Losing a child is the hardest thing in the world. And talking about it after the fact is possibly even more challenging. But recently, a woman on Reddit opened up about how her baby was stillborn after she realised he wasn't kicking as much in the third trimester. In an effort to raise awareness about movement in the womb, she shared some of the intimate details from the experience, and we're tearing up.
"As I reach my due date with my second son in a few weeks, I wanted to share my experience with my firstborn that ended in stillbirth in 2017," she wrote. "[I] went into labor at home at 41 weeks, midwife came to check and his heartbeat was fine around 9 a.m., labored at home for the day and given this was our first baby we were clueless as to what to expect. [The] midwife checked in with us in the afternoon and asked about his movement — I had been focussed on getting through contractions I couldn't remember when I felt him."
"We got him on the ultrasound and I couldn't look but she told us there was no heartbeat. We died in that moment."
She explained that despite trying to remain positive, she had a feeling that something just wasn't right. "Fast forward to us going to hospital for a check," she said. "The lead OB rolled us to private room after not finding his heartbeat on a Doppler — during that roll down the hallway I could not speak. My husband was positive all was well but I just knew. We got him on the ultrasound and I couldn't look but she told us there was no heartbeat. We died in that moment."
She went on to live any mother's worst nightmare: giving birth to a stillborn child.
"I was induced and he was born the next morning, 8 lbs. and perfect. No cause for his death. So, that was 2017, I've died and come back to life a few times," she admitted. "I've never suffered like this before so it was a very long time until I started to feel an inkling of myself coming back. All this to say, I f*cking survived, and now I want you all to keep an eye on your little ones movements in the third trimester. Find their cues for movement (warm tea, cold apple juice, etc.) and have a plan for a check if you don't get the response you expect."
Despite her traumatic experience, the original poster announced that she's pregnant again, and looking forward to meeting her new bundle of joy. The big takeaway? Make sure you feel your baby kicking consistently. And if you don't, go to your doctor ASAP.
"Due in 18 days with [his] little brother. Excited and terrified," she shared, adding that while stillbirths are incredibly uncommon, it doesn't hurt to double- or triple-check. "Stillbirths occur at a very low percentage in most developed countries and most mamas will have a healthy, happy baby. The purpose for my post was to reach a wide audience with my story. Statistics are with a group this size is that I might reach someone and have them consider going in for a check. Sadly, I am a statistic so it does happen. Just be aware and stay aware!"