search discussions

glow in the woods

front page
the archives
what is this place?
the contributors
comment policy

Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

ttc | pregnancy | birth after loss > Kick Counts

I am beginning the process of TTC soon and I was curious: for those who have had their rainbow pregnancies, did kick counting charts help you detect if your baby was in distress?? Did it at least give you comfort or reassurance throughout the pregnancy? I know I will be obsessed with kick counts when I am pregnant again, and I was given a chart to use for when I am pregnant. Also, when did you start counting kicks? If this helped your nerves at all throughout the subsequent pregnancy that is great, I just wanted to hear your experiences....
January 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
I also just wanted to add that part of the reason I am going to be obsessed with kick counts now is because of the immense guilt that I felt over my son's stillbirth....I know no mother normally counts kicks unless they are loss mothers like us. But it's awful that the majority of moms are fine with being lazy monitoring kick counts, and have good outcomes, when we are stuck being in the slim percentage where kick counts actually mattered...
January 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Dear Nada,
It is very good to know you are going forward with TTC so soon. I wish you the best of luck!
I was a lazy mother on my first 2 pregnancies... the first was ok, and on the second, it was not!
I know Pedro was more calm, quiet, on the last day... And I did go to the hospital that very day... He was alive when I entered, two hours later he was not. I have to say, in less than a minute it was over!
And yet, I amstill not keeping charts, but I am aware every day... The days Rodrigo is less active do put me on alert, but then he has a little big peak of activity and that conforts me!

Keeping calm is very important, to avoid hving peaks of hypertension... for me at least!
I live each day, each moment, trying hard to not stress, not get too depressed or over anxious... I try to think positive... But I am always, always alert!
Do whatever you need to do to feel safe, to have a sense of control. It was not your fault! Abruptions may be "normal", signaling the event with small blood lost, or they maybe silent... many times they are parcial... unfortunately that was not our luck...

Someone here from the Glow community a actually had a doppler at home to monitor the baby... Do what you need todo to keep your sanity!

Best of luck
January 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
Kick counts helped me so much during my subsequent pregnancy. I did them twice, sometimes three times a day, just to calm myself. While sometimes stressful (the baby didn't always kick right away), having a definite number of kicks to look for in a set amount of time was reassuring to me. I used an app on my phone and I think I started around 24 weeks, but I would check with your doctor. Some women do find dopplers to be helpful, but sometimes the doppler picks up the mothers heartbeat, and just because the baby still has a heartbeat doesn't mean he/she isn't in distress. I personally think monitoring baby's movements is the best indicator and I wish all drs would recommend it to all women who are pregnant (not to scare them, but to help them bond with their baby and be more aware, as I have heard stories where they were able to save distressed babies).

And I know the guilt you are feeling, I still struggle with it 2.5 years later. My therapist told me it's normal to feel guilty, but it does not mean we are. We did the best we could with the information we had a the time. Take it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. And as Marta said above, do what you need to do. I went to the dr everyday during week 38 (the week we lost my first child). My dr looked at me like I was crazy at first, but she let me do it. Sending hugs.
January 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterC
Thank you so much, Marta and C.

Marta, thank you so much for your positive insight. It helps me to know that you are still handling your subsequent pregnancy in a relatively calm way with positive thinking. That inspires me because I am naturally a positive person, but the loss of my son has really threatened to put me in a depression, and I am fighting that now. I think a subsequent pregnancy at this point would be nerve-wracking, but it helps to see that you are handling it in the calmest, best way possible. I hope I can also be that way. I, too, was relatively laid-back with my first pregnancy....unfortunately, I lost my son. It's hard to not blame myself. I know alot of mothers who didn't monitor kick counts and had lazy babies, and they turned out fine. I will definitely do what comforts me and gives me the most reassurance the next time.

C, thank you for sharing your experience. I also lost my son at 38 weeks. It's hard. It helps to know your perspective years out. I know this guilt will not go away so easily. My therapist also said it's not fair to add what I learned after the tragedy onto my knowledge at the time. Meaning, I didn't know kick counts were SO important that they could have possibly prevented my son's stillbirth. But now that I know, I try to apply it to what I knew back then, and that's not fair to me at all... I am trying to convince my MFM and OB that I can't go past 38 weeks for my subsequent pregnancy, but I do know that leading up to that time, I will probably be like you. I'm sure I will be obsessively at L&D all the time. I am not sure about the doppler since people have mixed experiences with it. But I do think the kick counts will help me as well, based on your experience. The fact that you mentioned the heartbeat can still mean baby is in distress really hits home for me. My last OB appointment before his death was two days before the hospital confirmed that he died. At that appointment, his heartbeat was a strong 150 as always. And then he was "lazy" the next day, but I thought, based on his heartbeat, that all was well...I had no idea he was in distress.
January 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada
Hi Nada,

I second the previous posters - do whatever you feel is best for your sanity. Subsequent pregnancies are so very difficult, you just need to find the resources that help you cope.

We lost our daughter Maia to a concealed placental abruption during labour at 39 weeks in 2014. The only warning I had was she stopped moving during labour. So movements were a big deal for us. Add in the fact both hubby and I are scientists... So we took a data hungry approach :) basically, from what I've read it's the pattern of movements that is important, not the actual number of kicks. So, I installed a counter on my phone that put a time stamp on every kick I recorded and at the end of the day I emailed it to my husband who plotted it on the computer. We could see the pattern emerging by week 28. It also gave me peace of mind as I could check on my phone the last time he had kicked so I didn't need to try to remember. Overnight I didn't really count but every time I turned in bed, I would wait till he moved too before I went back to sleep. Full blown paranoia, yes, but this is what gave ME peace of mind.

A friend who also had an abruption didn't kick count but used a doppler. We chose not to use a doppler as it is, in our eyes, too easy to get it wrong. If you measure the wrong thing, you get false reassurance. If you can't find the heartbeat, you panic and stress and can't do anything until you get to hospital but worry sick (bad for baby). So a lose - lose situation in our eyes. But I know it helps others.

Do whatever helps you. I had counselling, kick counting, extra scans and non stress tests, read blogs (there's a very positive website called pregnancy after loss), took walks every day no matter the weather outside, painted adult colouring books, and took time off work in the end so I could try to relax (and be close to the hospital, haha).. Find your zen mode,whatever that looks like for you.

Sending love
January 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGaby
I didn't kick count, I bought a Doppler. It saved my sanity during my rainbow pregnancies.
January 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterShelby's Mum
Hi, Gaby and Shelby's Mum:

Gaby, thank you for sharing your experience with your subsequent pregnancy. Your approach with logging data is very interesting! I agree, that seems to make sense; the pattern of kicks are more important than the number. I know my son used to always be active from 11 pm to 2 am towards the end of my pregnancy, before I lost him. That was one of my queues that something was wrong, when he wasn't very active the night before I went to the hospital. I think he was already gone by then, and I can't let myself linger on that too long. I know I will be paranoid like you and wait for my future son/daughter to kick at night before I sleep. The pregnancy after loss site is nice, I started looking into it after reading your post. I need all the positive stories I can get.

Shelby's Mum, thank you for sharing what helped you. Maybe I could also use a Doppler. I would be scared I wouldn't know how to use it the right way, though. I think I would probably use it for peace of mind after I'm 20 weeks since, unfortunately, I know hospitals can't really do anything to save a baby until they hit the point of viability.
January 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNada