Pregnancy blog, 08/12/2016, by Jo
We’re older parents and were about to go down the IVF route when I fell pregnant naturally. We felt so lucky but then sadly I began to bleed at around 7 weeks and an early scan showed that I’d lost the baby.
That’s when I first came across Tommy’s, I found the website a huge support following my miscarriage. When I fell pregnant again with Thomas I felt much more aware of things to look out for during pregnancy.
My pregnancy wasn’t straightforward, I was classed as high risk because of my age and because I had a fibroid. They also found that my placenta was at the front (known as an anterior placenta). At the time I was told that having an anterior placenta might mean that I'd begin to feel baby’s movements later on in pregnancy, or not as much as other mums.
I’d been given a Tommy’s leaflet on monitoring your baby’s movements at The Baby Show and I knew that I should get to know my baby’s own pattern of movements, even if my placenta meant I didn’t feel them as strongly as other mums.
The first time I noticed my baby’s movements change I was around 27 weeks pregnant. It was on Christmas day, can you believe it! We went into hospital to get checked and although it was still too early in pregnancy to monitor me with a machine, they checked my baby’s heartbeat and told us that everything was fine, so we went home.
In the following weeks before Thomas’ birth I went in to be checked four more times after I felt a change in his movements.
Even when I was told everything was fine and part of me thought to myself, ‘Oh I feel silly’, I was still so glad that I'd gone in.
I saved the number of the maternity ward in my phone so that I never needed to wait to get a doctor's appointment. I would just go straight into hospital and be seen instead.
The staff were brilliant, they never made me feel like I was wasting their time and my midwife was really supportive too. She told me that I could call her at any time.
About a week before Thomas was born they discovered that I had gestational diabetes diagnosed by a glucose tolerance test that I had following a scan. This meant that I had to be regulated more carefully and have more check-ups.
The fifth time I reported reduced fetal movements was on Mother’s Day, I remember I almost didn’t go in because I had plans. I’m so glad I did because that’s the day they decided to induce me.
It was still three weeks too early so they had to give me steroid injections. They also had to check my blood sugar levels every two hours because of the diabetes. I was exhausted by the time I went into labour but thankfully Thomas was delivered safely.
Sometimes I think ‘what if,’ what would have happened if I had just thought ‘Oh it’s Mother’s day, I’ll go in tomorrow.’ Thank god I did the right thing and still went for a check-up.
I hope my story can help other mums to have the confidence to do the same.
Every day I'm grateful for reading Tommy's leaflet and for always trusting my instincts.
If you are pregnant
We have information to support you if you are reporting reduced fetal movements
- Download the 'Reporting reduced fetal movements. What should I expect?' leaflet (PDF)
This is designed to take with you to your hospital appointments. It tells you what treatment you should receive when you report with reduced fetal movements.
- Download the 'Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well' leaflet (PDF)
The leaflet contains clear messaging on reduced fetal movements consistent with national guidelines.
Are you worried about your baby’s reduced movements? This leaflet outlines the care that you should expect to receive, depending on which stage of the pregnancy you are at.
Our #movementsmatter campaign, launched on 24 October, challenges dangerous myths about baby movement during pregnancy, and urges mums-to-be to follow current recommendations about what to do when they experience a change in their baby's movements. The campaign is supported by NHS England and Kicks Count.
Amy's son George was stillborn at 31 weeks after she experienced reduced fetal movements. Her rainbow baby, Sophia Grace, is now nine-months-old.
Camilla delivered son Nicolas in February at 37.4 weeks after reporting reduced fetal movement.
'I remember saying, "I didn’t expect this", my voice was so controlled but I was feeling the complete opposite.'
Theresa delivered her son, Joshua, at 36 weeks via emergency C-section after reporting reduced fetal movements.