PARENTS

Mum Urges All Pregnant Women To Trust They 'Know What's Not Normal', After Narrowly Avoiding A Stillbirth

'Always be safe rather than sorry'.

27/09/2017 15:44 BST

A new mum has urged all pregnant women to listen to their doubts and “know what is normal” for their own body after she almost lost her baby at 38 weeks.

Ayla Heller wrote an open letter on her Facebook page, addressed to all mums-to-be describing the final 24 hours before her daughter Maddy was delivered.

“I’ve decided I wanted to share publicly what happened with my delivery in hopes that it can help someone else one day,” she explained.

The 19-year-old explained that it was a normal day like any other, but as she was on her way to work she noted that her baby hadn’t moved. She presumed she was just having a less active day, which happened “regularly” in her pregnancy.

Then at around midday Heller felt Maddy readjust her position, which brought to her attention that although she was moving in the womb, she still hadn’t kicked.

It was only in the early evening when Heller’s boyfriend, Dalton Henderson, asked if the baby had been kicking that she realised a whole day had passed with a kick.

I became uneasy as I realised she still hadn’t moved all day,” she said.

So the first-time-mum then decided to take a bath, drink a cold drink and use their foetal Doppler to listen for a heartbeat.

There was a heartbeat registering on the device, which left Heller feeling confused.

“I knew she was at least alive so I didn’t know what to do,” said Heller.

Note: Doppler devices have been discontinued by UK retailer Mothercare after stillbirth and pregnancy charity Kicks Count campaigned that the devices can give women false reassurance and prevent them from seeking medical advice when needed. 

Heller decided to call a midwife, after being instructed to do so by her mother.

The midwife then requested she go to hospital and after less than an hour on the ward the medics instructed the family that an emergency caesarean needed to take place, because of a problem with her placenta.

I was shaking uncontrollably but was kind of in too much shock to really have emotions about it,” said Heller.

The doctors had been anticipating the newborn would have life threatening problems upon delivery, but fortunately Maddy only needed extra oxygen and a glucose IV drip before being returned to her parents.

But the outcome could have been very different.

“My mother asked what would have happened had I not gone in when I did,” wrote Heller.

″‘She wouldn’t be here’ was the reply. She wouldn’t have made it the rest of the night.”

As a result, she is now encouraging all mums to follow their intuition and listen to what is normal for their body.

“If you have doubts, go in, go in, go in, go in,” she urged.

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.”

She also reiterated that babies do not simply “run out of room” towards the end of pregnancy, and subsequently stop kicking. 

Elizabeth Hutton, CEO of Kicks Count, told HuffPost UK“We advise that all pregnant women should contact a healthcare professional if they notice any change in their baby’s movements.

“There is no set number of kicks that pregnant women should count to -  they should get to know their baby’s individual pattern of movement.

“The majority of mums who have a stillbirth report that they noticed a change in their baby’s movements beforehand so it is vital we pass this advice on to all pregnant women.”