Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Pregnancy after stillbirth: 24 weeks 0 days

So much junk in my head to write.

Firstly – I‘m 24 weeks!  Viable!  If the doctors detect a problem (and that’s a pretty big if) this baby has a chance.  It’s been moving all day which is great (more info on movements below)

I swapped out my top navel bar for a ptfe bar yesterday.  The ptfe bars are plastic and more flexible and so more likely to stay in.  Here, have a picture.

No, it’s not attractive, but neither is pregnancy.  Thinking of which, I haven’t checked my linea nigra for a while.  I assume it’s still there.  It never went between pregnancies.

I’ve been thinking about how much more difficult it is to talk to people close to me about stuff.  I barely talk to my family and I find being around the boyfriend’s family a bit difficult.  It’s just that they are so close to everything I think it will hurt more.  I need to have some distance between me and the person I talk to, even if they are still close friends.

I found this image on facebook today.
I must remember that.

I also emailed Count the Kicks about movement advice today.  Here is what I sent them and their response, which I think could be useful for other people to know:

-----Original Message-----
From: [redacted]
Sent: 10 April 2015
To: info@countthekicks.org.uk
Subject: [your-subject]

Message Body:
I have your kick counter and wanted some advice on what constitutes a session. This is my second pregnancy, I'm 24 weeks now, my first son was stillborn last June after I followed bad movement advice so I'm quite anxious about this one and don't entirely trust my midwives. We got no known cause so it's unlikely he could have been saved (so I'm told) but that just makes me more worried for this one.

I've been counting a session as any new movement, whether it's one kick, constant movement for 15 mins, or constant movement for 1 hour.
I judge new movement as anything starting after a break between one movement and the next. Breaks can be between 1 or 3 minutes and an hour, I'd guess. This gives me about 30+ sessions a day.

Is this right? Or does it not matter the method in which I count, so long as my method is consistent and I recognise the patterns?

I don't really seem to have patterns yet, other than this child is moving lots. When are patterns meant to establish?
I have been told by my midwives that it doesn't matter what sort of movements I feel, or whether they are strong or weak, so long as I feel movement. Is that right?

Thank you for your help.

Their response to me:

Hi [redacted],

I'm so sorry to hear of the heartbreaking loss of your son last year, it's so frustrating that medical professionals are still giving out incorrect advice on movement and it is leading to detestation for families. It's no surprise that you no longer trust your midwives, but always trust yourself and your instincts.

What you've said is absolutely correct - as long as you are consistent with the way that you monitor movement and the length of gap that you use between episodes then that's absolutely fine. Patterns establish between 24 and 28 weeks, it varies lots though just like when people feel first movements. Making short written notes is really handy for giving you points of reference going forward.

They're right in saying that the type of movement doesn't matter, providing the regularity/pattern remains the same. In fact, as baby gets bigger, movement will likely change into stretching and rolling type movements rather than kicks and punches. It's important to remember that hiccups aren't classed as movement though as they are involuntary. 

I hope this helps, all the best x

Lisa Newhouse
General Manager

Count The Kicks
Registered Charity Number 1145073
I would like to add that I don’t necessarily blame my midwives for the advice they gave me last year.  They were telling me what they knew best, what their training was, and I do not believe they acted in anything other than good faith.  Perhaps this is denial, perhaps I’m genuinely being reasonable.

I’m considering posting what we discussed after the 20 week scan.  The 24 week scan is next week and I think it would be good for me to publish all meetings, if only because it will make it sink in for me.  I think there’s a danger of pushing all these painful discussions to the back of my mind and not dealing with them, which isn’t good for this baby.

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