After nearly losing her baby, new mom Ayla Heller, 19, decided to speak out about exactly what happened in the hopes that it could help someone else who may one day doubt their gut feeling that something is wrong, Today reports.
Heller wrote in a Facebook post that during the 38th week of her pregnancy, things were going business as usual until she noticed that her baby, who she had already named Maddy, wasn't kicking as much as she normally would. Heller assumed that she was just having a less active day, which she said happened regularly. By 7 p.m. that night, her boyfriend, Dalton Henderson, 23, asked if the baby had been kicking and Heller realized Maddy still hadn't moved all day.
"So I took a bath, drank cold orange juice, Dalton poked at my belly, and we even listened to her heartbeat with our fetal Doppler (which there was a heartbeat) but still no movement," she wrote. "We became a little panicked but since I had felt her adjust positions and heard her heartbeat, I knew she was at least alive so I didn't know what to do."
Heller's mother insisted that she go to a doctor and inform her midwife, who came to the hospital after 30-40 minutes.
"Upon my midwife's arrival, she wasted no time to inform me that things were not looking the way they wanted and I was most likely going to have an emergency cesarian [sic] that night," she wrote. "I was shaking uncontrollably but was kind of in too much shock to really have emotions about it."
Heller soon found out that Maddy was having life-threatening complications, and after the delivery, learned that her placenta had aged prematurely, had calcified, and "had basically given up."
"This had caused Maddy to not be receiving as much oxygen or food as she needed," she wrote. "This was causing her to try to preserve her energy, which is why she had stopped moving. This also caused her to have low blood sugar upon arrival so she needed to be hooked up to a glucose drip IV her first few days."
The moral of the story, Heller wrote, is that "things like this DO happen. You know your body and what's normal for your baby. [...] IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS, GO IN."
"Always be safe rather than sorry," Heller wrote. "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."
Heller tells Refinery29 that both she and Maddy are happy and healthy, and she luckily "didn't have much recovering to do."
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