Being pregnant and feeling your baby kick for the first time is one of the most magical feelings in the world. Knowing there's a tiny human inside you is a beautiful thing, and it actually feels real once you feel that first little movement or kick.
After a while, that sweet little baby gets a little bigger, and it might seem like he or she never stops wiggling around. One mom, Ayla Heller, was 38 weeks pregnant when she noticed her baby wasn't moving around much, and she originally thought that her little Maddy was just having a less active day.
Heller went to work as usual, and felt relieved when she noticed her baby adjust positions. When she got home from work, her husband asked if their baby daughter kicked at all that day, and Heller immediately felt uneasy. The only time she felt movement was when Maddy adjusted earlier in the day, but she hadn't felt much since.
The worried couple did everything they could think of to get Maddy to move, but she still wasn't kicking. They had a fetal doppler to listen to her heartbeat, which was still there, but still no movement.
They even turned to the internet for answers as to why their baby wasn't moving. Heller said that half the information she got said to go to the doctor immediately, while the other half said that the baby probably just ran out of room to kick, and it was nothing to worry about.
The couple was getting extremely nervous at this point, and after talking to her mom, Heller decided to call her midwife. Next thing she knew, she was in the hospital about to have an emergency cesarean section.
The doctors worked extremely fast and delivered Maddy just in time. Luckily, Maddy cried when she was born, but she needed oxygen right away.
Little Maddy hadn't moved all day because she was preserving her energy. The placenta had essentially given up — it aged maturely and was calcified. Maddy wasn't getting enough food or oxygen, so she stopped moving. If Heller would have waited even one more night to go to the hospital, her sweet baby would have been stillborn.
New research shows placentae that age prematurely are linked to stillbirths. There's no way to prevent it from happening, but you should be aware of the warning signs — like when your baby stops moving.
Heller shared this story in a touching Facebook post, where she pleads with other moms to listen to their instincts when they feel like something's wrong.
She wrote, "Always be safe rather than sorry. Because I almost didn't. I almost waited till morning to see if anything changed. And had I done that, I wouldn't have my love. I've heard so many stories of stillbirths because signs may not have been taken as seriously as they should've been."
Moms, if your baby isn't moving and you think something's wrong, don't hesitate to go in and see what's happening. If your baby just suddenly stops moving, it's not because they ran out of wiggle room — it could be nothing, but it's so much better to stay on the safe side.