Counting the kicks

Kicking and squirming is such a comforting part of pregnancy, but what happens when you wake up one morning and the kicks won’t come? Emily H shares her experiences (and don’t worry, there’s a happy ending).

Count the Kicks

Throughout my pregnancy I thought myself very lucky to be in the position where I had conceived, albeit not straight away. My baby was growing well and all signs told me that she was going to be a healthy bouncing bubba.

Last minute worries

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my emotions were all over the place and I started to feel nervous and wondered if in fact everything was going to be okay. It seemed a lifetime away from my last scan and I actually felt myself getting a bit jealous of my friends that had bigger babies and had to be scanned every week and have check-ups because they heard and saw their babies regularly. I just watched my ever expanding tummy and hoping that she was okay.

I voiced these fears to my midwife and she told me I had to count the number of kicks in a 12 hour period and if I got the right amount then the baby was fine and active, if I didn’t I had to ring the hospital ward straight away.

Counting the kicks

Off I went, a little more at ease and downloaded an app for my iPhone that helped me to keep track of all the goings on with my baby which I found very useful as it was all in one place and easy to look at an overview of the day.

My baby kicked early in the morning and late at night, mostly when I was relaxing but there were ‘extra kicks’ if I drank really cold water or balanced my cereal bowl on the top of my belly! I started seeing a pattern emerging of when she was most likely to move around and if I hadn’t had as many kicks at certain times of the day I sat and relaxed and had a glass of cold water or orange juice and she would kick away. Sometimes I think she would kick but I wouldn’t always notice as I was working and preoccupied so may have missed the odd few. To be sure, I made a point of sitting down just to count them.

A quiet day

Counting the kicks becomes part of your daily routine and you quickly notice when you haven’t had enough kicks. One evening her kicks had become less frequent and I was a little concerned but had reached the average kick count eventually so went to bed feeling fairly assured.

In the morning I hadn’t had any of my early morning kicks, so I laid in the bath and poured water on to my belly which usually provoked a few nudges but nothing happened. At this point I knew I wasn’t supposed to panic but because it was unlike her to be so quiet at that time of the day I started worrying.

Off to hospital

I decided that even though I might be making a mountain out of a mole hill and being an erratic pregnant woman I called the hospital and explained what was going on. They advised me to get down to see them and they would be ready to see me on the ward straight away, so with a phone call to my in-laws I was on my way to the hospital, shaking slightly at the thought that maybe something was wrong but trying to keep positive at the same time and thinking she’s just having a nap.

The hospital were absolutely fantastic and made me feel like I’d done the right thing but assured me that they weren’t overly concerned as they’d already hooked me up to a monitor and we could all hear her heartbeat. I can’t describe how relieved I was just hearing her little heart bopping away on the monitor and my father in law with his watch counting the beats, my face lit up as did my mother in laws, who was trying to stay brave but I could see panic as soon as she’d turned up to collect me.

Happy endings

I lay back and drank lots of cold water and sure enough I got the kicks I needed. The hospital even let me stay on the monitor to get more kicks registered to completely put my mind at rest. When it was time to leave, I knew that if the same thing happened again I would be straight down the hospital to check up and make sure everything was okay. They handled it all very well and at no point made me feel like and over protective, hormonal, mad woman!

I never did have to go back to check on my kicks and two weeks late, my lazy little girl who obviously found it far too comfortable in there was brought into the world by c-section and is a very healthy, gorgeous, bouncing bubba.

Make it part of your daily routine

My advice to any pregnant mums, is don’t risk it, don’t leave things to chance, it’s just not worth it – count your kicks and if you’re worried, seek help straight away. The hospital won’t think you are over-reacting; it’s all part of their daily routine.

For more advice and help visit count the kicks

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  • Faith Horsley

    Great blog Em.  I was the same.  Towards the end when your baby is so active, you do get a bit nervous when all is quiet.  Always good to get re-assurance and as you say, the chaps at the hospital are always so kind, patient and reassuring!  perfect.