Her story is a reminder to get checked out if you’re in doubt
Pregnant women are fed a lot of information, but above all, expectant moms should pay attention to their own instincts. Because it was listening to those instincts that prevented a family from losing their baby before she was even born.
New mom Ayla Heller took to Facebook recently to tell the scary tale of the day leading up to her daughter Maddy’s birth. She explains that she wanted to share her story not just so her family would be updated, but so she could hopefully help someone else experiencing the same thing.
It started with Heller feeling less fetal movement than usual. She was 38 weeks along and already at work for the day when she realized something was amiss.
“Pretty early that morning I had already noticed Maddy wasn’t kicking around very much but had assumed she was having a less active day (which happened regularly). By noon, I felt her adjust her position which brought to my attention that she still hadn’t kicked, but at least I had felt some kind of movement,” she writes.
Later that evening, Heller’s husband Dalton felt her belly and asked if their little girl had been kicking. She says, “I became uneasy as I realized she still hadn’t moved all day.”
So she did what any mom wanting those reassuring baby movements would do — she took a bath, had a cold drink, poked at her belly, and checked the baby’s heartbeat with a doppler. There was a heartbeat, but still no movement.
This was when the couple began to panic a little, but Heller had felt the baby switch positions earlier and they’d just heard the heartbeat, so they weren’t sure what steps to take next.
“I texted my mother asking if it was normal because online did not help (duh Ayla, its internet..). half of everything I read said go in immediately, and the other half said that babies run out of room to kick.” In the end, it was Heller’s mom that convinced her to at least call their midwife and see what she thought. And she thought it was time to head to the labor center.
Heller writes, “Once again I was given orange juice, ice, rolled this way, rolled that way, adjusted… literally at one point they had my bed set up to where my belly and legs were flat and my upper body was tilted upside down slightly!” After that, she was told her midwife was on the way, and that’s when things got a lot scarier.
“Upon my midwife’s arrival, she wasted no time to inform me that things were not looking the way they wanted and I was most likely going to have an emergency cesarean that night,” she recounts. With everything happening so fast, she didn’t have much time to be afraid, but the situation was definitely concerning. “We were informed that if there was life threatening problems with Maddy, which they believed to be a pretty high chance, she would be life flighted over to Randall’s.”
Heller was rushed to the operating room for an emergency c-section, and the on-call surgeons who arrived to care for her didn’t even wait for her husband to be there before beginning the surgery. Luckily, all was well in the end, but they had no time to waste. “She came out fine and cried a little bit, but she needed oxygen,” Heller writes.
It was in her recovery room that the new mom was told just how dire things were for her baby before she was rushed into surgery. Her placenta had aged prematurely and “had basically given up.” Heller was told she couldn’t have prevented it and the doctors don’t know why it happens, but it caused Maddy to lack oxygen and food in the womb. “This was causing her to try to preserve her energy, which is why she had stopped moving,” she explains.
The last part will give any parent chills. “My mother asked what would have happened had I not gone in when I did. ‘She wouldn’t be here’ was the reply. She wouldn’t have made it the rest of the night.”
In the end, Heller’s biggest goal is telling other moms to trust their instincts. “You know your body and what’s normal for your baby. And BABIES DON’T RUN OUT OF ROOM!! that was the common response I kept seeing. Babies will always kick whether there’s much room or not. IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS, GO IN. GO IN. GO IN. GO IN!”
This mom almost waited until morning instead of taking action that night. She almost ignored that nagging feeling that something was very wrong. Which brings us to her final bit of advice.
“Always be safe rather than sorry. Because I almost didn’t.”