Kicks Count – If I had known then what I know now

I try very hard not to have any regrets in life; every mistake I made was a lesson learned, every heartache made me that little bit stronger, every wrong path I took led me to where I am now, but I’d be lying if I said that I had no regrets in life, because I do. And my biggest regret turned out to be the most catastrophic of mistakes, something that I will regret until the day I die, the fact that had I known then what I know now, I may have saved my baby.

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It’s very easy for others to tell me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent Joseph’s death, and for health professionals to cover their backs and insist that it couldn’t have been prevented. At times I even allow myself to believe that, to reassure myself that nothing I could have done would have changed it, and yet the sad truth is, it could. And ten years on I am still living with the harsh reality that our lives could have turned out so differently, that I should be sat here with five children in my arms, a ten year old Joseph and a decade of happiness, but I don’t.

At twenty three years old, as a first time parent, I was far more concerned with movements, kicks, and the possibility that something could go wrong. Having lost our first baby at thirteen weeks I was extremely anxious during my subsequent pregnancy, despite the fact that I had no real cause for concern. I can think of at least two occasions where I was so worried when he had not moved that day that my ex husband and I had rushed up to the maternity unit at our local hospital for monitoring. I can still remember how we had waited impatiently as the midwife strapped the monitor around my belly, holding our breath before that huge sigh of relief on hearing the beautiful whoosh of his heartbeat, laughing about the fact our little boy was giving us the run around long before he had even made it into our arms.

When Lewis arrived perfectly safe and well, the most beautiful of babies and the easiest of toddlers, we were eager to complete our family with a second child, and fortunately enough I was pregnant the following year. And in all honesty, I worried far less during that pregnancy than I had with my first. With an eighteen month old to run around after, the weeks flew by, and at our twelve week scan we were told that the baby was growing well. The sonographer pointed out that I had an anterior placenta, where the placenta is positioned at the front as opposed to the back, and I was told that although I may not feel his movements in the same way that I had with Lewis, this was perfectly normal.

At my twenty week scan, still feeling very little movement, we were relieved to hear that he was still growing perfectly healthy and that we would be welcoming a little brother for Lewis. And right there and then we felt like the luckiest people in all the world.

As the weeks passed, those initial flutters fast turned into kicks. Unlike Lewis, whose kicks had winded me, I felt the majority of Joseph’s kicks at the sides, lying crossways, his feet kicking at my ribs, going crazy every time I had a bath or lay down to sleep. And at twenty eight weeks, when I was found to be measuring small, I was referred for growth scans every two weeks, something which still did not phase me as I had measured small throughout my pregnancy with Lewis.

When the growth scans began to show cause for concern, I began to have twice weekly monitoring, every Monday and Thursday down at the maternity hospital, strapped to the CTG machine to monitor Joseph’s heart rate, the frequency of his movements and to reassure us all that he was doing just fine. I began to develop a feeling that I just couldn’t shift, perhaps only natural given all of the extra tests and scans I was having, or perhaps a mothers instinct, either way I had a feeling that something was terribly wrong. And yet I allowed myself to be reassured by the midwives, by the scans and the monitoring, by the fact that my little boy was kicking away in my tummy and I was in the safest of hands.

By mid July, during one of the hottest Summers on record, I was starting to feel very anxious. Whilst Joseph’s movements were still regular, they seemed different somehow, less powerful, less frequent, and, although I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, I still had a gut feeling that something awful was about to happen. At one of my appointments I had voiced my concerns to the midwife, telling her that the movements had changed, that I was starting to worry, that things felt very differently to when I was expecting Lewis. “It’s perfectly normal!”, she had told me, “Babies movements do slow down towards the end, they have less space to move and are conserving all of their energy for the labour.” And reassured, I had gone home reiterating her words to my husband, confident that we were in safe hands, happy in the knowledge that in no time at all he would be here and all of the worry would have been worth it.

On Monday the 17th of July, by a cruel twist of fate, one that I will forever think about with regret, my appointment for monitoring was cancelled and I was told that I would be seen the following day in clinic. Whilst on the phone I had mentioned again that Joseph’s movements had slowed down and that I was feeling increasingly worried. And for a second time, I was told not to worry, that it was completely normal, that as long as I felt ten movements within the space of a day everything was just fine, to bear in mind that I had an anterior placenta, that this was normal, and stress wasn’t good for the baby.

What happened next is engraved in my memory forever. I can remember the exact spot that I was stood, on the decking at our old house, the wood burning the soles of my feet, one hand on the conservatory door, the cool metal handle a welcome relief from the heat. I can remember exactly what I was wearing that day, a plain white vest and a navy pattered skirt, the feel of the sun on my face, and how, completely out of nowhere, I had felt the most bizarre series of movements, a frantic, frenzied struggle, arms and legs jabbing at every angle, my stomach visibly moving beneath my vest, taking my breath away with the surprise.

And then nothing.

I have asked myself a thousand times, why did I not ring the midwife back at that point? Why did I not realise what had just happened? How as  a mother did I miss something so momentous, and carry on with my day as though nothing at all was wrong? And the truth is, I believed that it was normal. I believed the midwives when they told me that the movements would slow down towards my due date. I believed friends who told me that the same thing happened in their final trimesters. I believed what I had read on Google, during those late nights when I couldn’t sleep and I browsed baby websites. I believed that as a Mother, I would just know.

And the following day when I went in for monitoring, when the midwife struggled to locate Josephs heart beat and told me that perhaps he had simply moved, I believed her. When they lay me on the bed and went out to find my husband in the waiting room, telling me that everything would be fine, I believed that too. When not one of the three midwives, nor a doctor, could locate his heartbeat, when I sat waiting for a scan and my husband promised me that it would all be okay, that our baby was just giving us the run around in the same way that Lewis had once done, I wanted so badly to believe him. And when the sonographer lowered his gaze, told us that he was very sorry but our baby had died, when I caught a glimpse of the baby on the screen, our baby, our Joseph, I refused to believe it at all.

Thirty hours later, after a long, gruelling induction, holding my son in my arms, the most beautiful of babies, his eyes tightly shut, so still, so silent but for the sound of our cries, I asked myself the question that has plagued our lives every day for the last decade. Why?

Ten years on and the advice given to pregnant ladies is altogether different, and yet there are still so many misconceptions about movement during the final trimester. And although I can continue to honour Joseph’s memory and raise awareness of baby loss, I will always live with the guilt, the regret, and the inevitable thoughts of, if only.

If only I had known that a babies movements do not slow down in the third trimester. If only I had known that an anterior placenta merely cushions the movements, but  does not reduce them. If only I had known that any change in movement, whether that be a reduction, any erratic movements or something that just doesn’t feel quite right, it is always worth checking with your midwife. If only I had known that two out of three mums who have had a stillbirth said that they noticed their baby’s movements slow down beforehand. If only I had know that ten babies are stillborn every day in the UK.

If only I had known that it could happen to me.

For more information about pregnancy, your babies movements, stillbirth support or ways in which you can support Kicks Count, please visit www.kickscount.org.uk

 

 

 

 

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117 Comments

  1. February 21, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    Oh Laura this is heartbreaking and so real for me. My SIL went through this and had a very similar feeling with my niece Megan, who was sadly still born. She battles with the ifs and the buts all the time and it eats her up inside. There really does need to be more awareness about this and for parents to know what to look out for. My heart as always goes out to you. xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Thank you Laura. I think the ifs and buts are the hardest thing to deal with, it’s only natural to want to point the finger of blame, to find a reason, to tell yourself that you could have done things differently. Letting go of that is so hard, and I still struggle with it ten years later, but I find a huge comfort in sharing my story and raising awareness in the hope that others seek medical advice if their movements should reduce. Thank you for reading, and sharing too. xxx

      • February 28, 2017 / 1:30 pm

        Just popping back to say Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove . I shared your blog with SIL last weekend and she can relate to so many posts that you’ve written x

        • Laura Dove
          March 1, 2017 / 11:16 am

          Ahh that’s lovely to hear Laura, although not lovely that she has been through the same – you know what I mean. xxx

  2. February 21, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    This is such an important campaign and honestly, I feel you are such a strong women for having gone through what you have gone through. That you continue to raise awareness of the importance of movements in pregnancy is amazing !!! Your babies are lucky to have such a good mummy!!!

    • Laura Dove
      February 21, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      Ahh thank you Kris. I think when you go through something so tragic the most you can hope for is that you can prevent the same happening for someone else. Obviously I can’t single handedly save the world, but I can do my bit to contribute to raising awareness that’s for sure. xxx

  3. February 22, 2017 / 12:42 am

    Oh Laura, I can and will never be able to understand how you feel about this and your loss. You are so brave in sharing your story to help others.
    My little boy gave me the runaround and I’m count my blessings everyday that I had to go in for monitoring that he was okay and that I wasn’t just being paranoid. People need to know what to do if things change and they should always contact a midwife or doctor if they do.

    Well done you for sharing and helping others x

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2017 / 9:45 am

      Thank you Amy. I will always share my story, however hard it is to write. Losing Joseph was the hardest thing I have ever been through and yet if his story can help even one person out there, that’s such a huge comfort to me. xxx

  4. February 22, 2017 / 8:48 am

    It pains me that you went through this and I think you are amazing for being so strong and writing this post which can’t have been easy. I have no doubt it will help others. You’re incredible – sending love xxx #bloggerclubuk

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2017 / 9:44 am

      Thank you Fi. It’s always an honour to share my story, even more so when I think that it could possibly change the outcome for even just one person out there. So lucky to have you as a friend. xxx

  5. February 22, 2017 / 9:36 am

    Oh Laura, as always I think you’re so brave to write about Joseph and I am heartbroken that you went through this. It’s wonderful that you are sharing your story though as it is such an important message. I am currently 20 weeks pregnant and have an anterior placenta so I will have to be very vigilant I think – with my first pregnancy I felt so much movement I never needed to think about it, he seemed to be constantly doing gymnastics! I really wish they would make clear the corrected advice about third trimester movement. Although they have stopped (in my area) checking the baby’s heartbeat in routine midwife appointments as they felt it might be causing some people not to keep track of movements so much as they were reassured that the day before they’d heard the heartbeat etc. I’m not sure if that will make any difference but at least they are trying to encourage people to track movement.

    • Laura Dove
      February 22, 2017 / 9:43 am

      Thank you Ellen, it’s always a hard story to write, especially to admit the mistakes that I made, but Kicks count is such an amazing organisation and I will continue to support them in raising awareness. An anterior placenta does make the movements feel very different but the main advice that should be stressed is that it doesn’t reduce the movements, it simply cushions them. I think as Mothers we do tune into our babies movements, although that gets hard when you are constantly on your feet or running around after other children. That’s good that your area is encouraging tracking movements, I know my local hospitals are inducing anyone with reduced movement, something which can also lead to further complications but it’s a case of weighing up the safest option to get the baby here safely. Good luck with your pregnancy, baby will be safe and well before you know it. xxx

  6. February 22, 2017 / 9:44 am

    This made me cry. You poor thing, I can’t imagine how you felt. I also had an anterior placenta, but as it was my first I didn’t know any different with movements. I had one incident of reduced fetal movements (which I recently wrote about on my blog actually to try to raise awareness) and it was taken really seriously. All was fine but it was strongly reiterated to me to come back if I thought the movements had changed at all. So hopefully the message is getting through. #bestandworst

  7. February 22, 2017 / 9:47 am

    You are so brave I think its important for women to know about reduced movements and what to do. My midwife never gave me any info like this when i was pregnant with Blake and I think all pregnant women should be told. I definitely think you are brave in sharing your story and i am deeply sorry for your loss.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:22 pm

      Thank you Joanna. It’s shocking that some women aren’t being given this information, even worse when they are relying on out-dated advice from friends or family or things they have read on line. Thank you for reading. xxx

  8. Selina
    February 22, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    That’s really upsetting. Its great that your showing your strength and reality to other people with similar experiences.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you Selina, I hope that it can help others. xxx

  9. February 22, 2017 / 12:15 pm

    Oh darling. It’s so brave that you are sharing in support of Kicks Count.Such an important post xoxo

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you Talya. xxx

  10. February 22, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    This is so terribly sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I was told the same with all three of my pregnancies, that the movements will slow down during the last dew months. But mine where the same, if not more. But it’s only now that I have learnt, this is actually incorrect information. And the babies movements should be the roughly the same all the way through. And if you notice any changes in movement to get it checked out. The doctors and midwifes should inform more mums to be of this. #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:15 pm

      Thank you Natasha. It’s terrible the advice that some women are given, it’s no wonder our stillbirth rates are amongst the highest in Europe. I hope that by continuing to share my story I can contribute to raising awareness of this. xx

  11. Jen
    February 22, 2017 / 1:41 pm

    Laura, I wish this was a conversation I could have with you sitting with coffee, instead of words on a screen. Maybe it is because I am human, a Mother, a woman, or maybe because I’ve experienced simliar to you, that I feel I’d just like to be able to talk to you. Tell you something to maybe make a difference. I get you totally, and I get that that feeling never goes away totally. The questions, and the lack of answers.
    You’re very brave and very sensitive to be able to talk about it now. And I do feel that you sharing this is certainly something that can help others. I’m sorry you hurt, I’m sorry you had to feel this, but I think you’re rather wonderful.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Ahh Jen, your kind words brought a lump to my throat, thank you so much. Living with guilt and unanswered questions is so hard isn’t it? Never knowing if things could have been different, if I could have done more, if Joseph could be here now and our lives so very different. I will never stop wondering about that, not even in fifty years time, but I guess that’s part of the grieving process and finding a way to live with that guilt and those if only’s. Thank you again Jen, and I’m so sorry that you have experienced similar. xxx

  12. February 22, 2017 / 2:41 pm

    I can’t even imagine what you’ve been through. Miscarriage is hard enough but to go through still birth. It breaks my heart. Thank you for raising awareness. You writing this post and continually raising awareness will save babies lives! You are an incredible Mama!!!

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:11 pm

      Thank you so much. I hope that it helps someone, that’s the best I can hope for to know that even one less person has to go through this tragedy. xxx

  13. February 22, 2017 / 2:59 pm

    Such a heartfelt and emotional post. I think you are incredible raising awareness on this Laura, helping others and sharing Joseph’s story. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:10 pm

      Thank you Yvonne. He deserves to have his story told, I hope that it will help others. xx

  14. Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
    February 22, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    I read this last night and I’m sorry that it’s taken me until now to come back with the right words. I’m so proud of you for sharing this – it can’t have been easy to write at all and I can’t imagine how much it must hurt to revisit that with all of the ‘if only’s that go with it. It’s a different time now, with different awareness, but there is still so much misinformation out there with regards to the movements slowing down towards the end that it’s so important to raise awareness of that and I hope that this will help someone out there.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:09 pm

      Ahh Katy, thank you so much. I always feel guilty for writing posts like this knowing that those who are pregnant will read and could be upset by it. Obviously I don’t want to upset anyone, but I think far too many of us are guilty of not wanting to hear about something that is too painful to consider, when actually knowing about these things could mean a very different outcome for some women and their babies. I will always write about baby loss, and support these amazing organisations, even when it is hard to do. Joseph’s story deserves to be shared, he was the most special little boy that’s for sure. xxx

      • Katy - Hot Pink Wellingtons
        February 24, 2017 / 10:36 am

        Please don’t feel guilty at all – it’s an emotional read but you’re right, I think often people just don’t want to face the reality of the fact that tragedies do happen and could potentially be prevented. The people who are pregnant are the ones that it’s most important to reach – even 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Max I was still hearing lots of ‘movement slowing down’ comments and advice, so it’s definitely still out there. What you are doing now to raise awareness is amazing and I’m sure Joseph would be so so proud of you. Thanks for sharing this with us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  15. February 22, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    I found this absolutely heartbreaking to read, I can not imagine what you went through and my heart goes out to you. There should be no guilt that you feel only grief. The fact that you are sharing and raising awareness of this will no doubt help others and I hope that in itself will always give you comfort. It must have been so hard for you to write this xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:03 pm

      Thank you so much. It was hard to write, and hard for others to read I know. If sharing it helps others then it will always be worth it. xxx

  16. Sophie
    February 22, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    So heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:49 am

      Thank you for reading Sophie. xx

  17. February 22, 2017 / 8:16 pm

    Such a heartbreaking story Laura. It’s so important that you’ve shared this, thank you. As a midwife I am appalled that you were told about baby movements slowing down. I wrote a post a while back now about this subject and I try to share it regularly. Such a misconception that movements slow down x
    #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:48 am

      Thank you Helen. I will have a look at your post and share it too, it’s so important that we raise awareness of this. Thankfully the advice I received with my youngest three was far better than the advice I received when pregnant with my boys. The if only’s will always be hard to live with though. xx

  18. February 22, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    Heartwrenching. I’m so sorry. I truly am. So good of you to support KicksCount.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:47 am

      Thank you so much. xxx

  19. February 22, 2017 / 8:57 pm

    This is so heartbreaking to read, you are doing an amazing thing raising awareness. I have a big age gap between my eldest two children (10 years) and I could not believe how much things have changed, I remember being told that my eldest would slow down in the end and only to look for ten movements. It is so different now. xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to read as I know it is never easy to read something that is so sad. I am so thankful that the advice has changed over the years although there are still so many people who are misinformed and believe that movements reduce towards the final trimester. xx

  20. February 22, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    This had me in tears, much love xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:42 am

      Thank you Lisa. xxx

  21. February 23, 2017 / 7:30 am

    Oh gosh, mama, I am just so sorry for your loss of your sweet Joseph. I cannot imagine that kind of pain, and I am actually the mother a baby who died at 6 days old, so I do know the pain of loss — but just not your pain; not the pain of stillbirth. My heart truly goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your story because in doing so you are helping other mamas.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:37 am

      Katrina, I am so sorry to hear about your baby, that must have been utterly devastating, always will be I imagine. Loss is such a personal journey isn’t it with no two losses every the same. Sending you all of my love and thank you so much for reading. xxx

  22. February 23, 2017 / 9:17 am

    Such a sad and moving post Laura. I can not imagine what you went though 🙁

    I had a miscarriage at around 12 weeks and It was one of the hardest things I had to go through. I never seen anything so I do not have anything to picture in my mind looking back. I just remember the pain I went through, the crying and all the sadness.

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:35 am

      Oh Claire that must have been so hard, I know that my miscarriages were all so devastating. It’s very hard to move on from baby loss but I do find that writing about it really helps. xxx

  23. February 23, 2017 / 9:20 am

    My whole body aches for you and for Joseph. I get so annoyed with myself when I allow myself to be ‘told’ what’s best by professionals, when deep down my gut instinct is contradicting them. Yet hindsight doesn’t mend broken hearts. This beautifully written post may, however, save other babies. It’s no good saying to you, ‘let go of that regret”, because only you know if you ever can. I can say, “thank you” for sharing it and send love. Alison x #StayClassyMama

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:33 am

      Thank you so much Alison, that means so much to me. Hindsight is amazing isn’t it, those if only’s will always be hard to think about but I also know if I dwell too much on it, it would send me insane. Thank you for reading. xxx

  24. February 23, 2017 / 10:25 am

    Thanks for sharing and creating more awareness of this, I am just starting my third trimester and I love the kicks count app, it is by the far the easiest and best I have found. Whilst I don’t always have time to monitor properly, I am always mindful to make sure I go to bed feeling like everything is ok. Our bubba responds better sometimes to daddy’s touch, so every night before we sleep daddy makes bubba move so that mummy can sleep easy 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 11:32 am

      Ahh that’s great you are mindful of movements. I hope that your final trimester passes in on time, good luck with your new arrival! xx

  25. February 23, 2017 / 11:53 am

    Oh my goodness, I had tears rolling down my face reading this. I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a beautifully written post, thank you for opening up and raising awareness to others. #SharingTheBlogLove
    Becky x

    • Laura Dove
      February 23, 2017 / 1:24 pm

      Thank you Becky. I hope that Joseph’s story can help someone. xxx

  26. February 23, 2017 / 12:18 pm

    Laura, I’m so sorry that you went through all of that. It’s really heartbreaking reading this. I hope you are able to heal, and I just want to thank you for writing this. I’ve never been pregnant but if I will ever be, I will be a lot more vigilant for this.

  27. February 23, 2017 / 1:47 pm

    Oh Laura, I have no idea what to say. I have followed your blog for a while so I am aware of Joseph but I have never seen you write about him like this. A lot has changed in 10 years because of stories like yours. If only! Such a hard phrase to have to live with. Thank goodness for people like yourself and count the kicks for raising awareness and maybe we can all get that 10 babies a day statistic dramatically reduced!
    #StayClassyMama

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      I completely agree, thankfully organisations like Kicks Count are campaigning to make sure that this happens less often. Our stillbirth rates are still amongst the highest in Europe, that’s shocking isn’t it? It happens way too often and is often preventable which is the hardest part. xx

  28. February 23, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful and powerful life experience with us. Thank you for raising awareness on something that very much happens on a daily basis. I’m truly sorry for your loss. Xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you Lindsey, that means a lot. xxx

  29. February 23, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    My soul aches for you and your little man. Thank you for sharing such a heartbreaking story, and relating such an important message to expectant mothers. Kicks do count. They don’t change. (Or shouldn’t) I remember just 2 days before V was born standing in the shower and sobbing because she wasn’t awake yet and she would normally kick the crap out of me during my morning shower. The panic rising in my throat. The mad dash to the hospital for monitoring. its also important to note that hiccups don’t count as movement (something I was told when V was being monitored-she arrived on her planned C section date 2 days later and is now almost 1!)

    Sending you much love and light xxx
    #Stayclassymamma

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you Zoe. I had no idea that hiccups didn’t count! My youngest daughter had hiccups practically 24-7 and I worried that was an issue, I later read that it can be a sign of a refluxy baby, which she was! Kicks do count though, absolutely, and it’s so important that every woman is aware of that, especially midwives! x

  30. February 23, 2017 / 2:58 pm

    Sat crying reading your words, I am so, so sorry, words cannot express the depth of my sadness for youa ll. A mother’s intuition is so strong. That doesn’t mean you could have changed what happened though. You must be kind to yourself. Have you thought of therapy to help too? My therapist changed my life after my traumatic birth. Sending you so much love and thanks for being strong enough, to finding the strength to write this to help others xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      Thank you so much. I had a lot of therapy after we had Joseph, and again over the years it was something that I re-visited as and when. I don’t think I ever really dealt with the guilt though, no matter how many times I went through CBT and was told that I couldn’t change the outcome, I know that I could have. Had I been insistent and demanded an early induction, had I insisted on seeing a different midwife that day that they cancelled on me, had I rang the hospital as soon as I felt that strange series of movements….who knows what would have happened. I just have to try not to think about it too much or I would slowly go insane, it’s so hard though. x x x

  31. February 23, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    What a heart wrenching experience and I’m sorry. As you said you were constantly told that it’s normal so it’s not your fault. It’s amazing that you’re sharing this so that others may prevent the end result.

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you Alina, that means a lot. xxx

  32. February 23, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    You are so brave to share your story, time does heal but it never lets you forget these things. This is such a worthwhile campaign, you really do put so much faith in your drs and midwives as they should be the experts. Thank you for sharing your story x

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:12 pm

      Thank you Laura. It’s never easy to share something so personal but I have been touched by so many lovely comments and to know that Joseph is helping to raise awareness. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:28 pm

      Thank you Laura, it’s definitely a charity very close to our hearts. xx

  33. February 23, 2017 / 8:29 pm

    Reading your beautifully eloquent words on what happened is just devastating Laura. It’s amazing how each and every action, thought, place in time will forever be so crystal clear in our memories. I won’t tell you to not doubt yourself and your actions, because that would be hypocritical – I’m sure every one of us who have lost a child do the exact same and it is only human. This charity and cause is so important and I salute your ability to turn something so sad into raising awareness for others.
    Thank you for linking to #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 10:47 am

      Thank you lovely. I try very hard not to dwell on the what if’s and if only’s, I think that for our own sanity we have to try to find some kind of acceptance don’t we? It’s hard though, there will always be times when I berate myself for not doing more, and that guilt will never go away, but writing this reminded me that I did reach out and raise my concerns, and I was told that everything was fine. I will never know what would have happened had they taken my concerns seriously but I do know that I can share my story and help others, that’s the best I can hope for really. xx

  34. February 24, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking read. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing.

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  35. February 24, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    It’s such an important message as I do think there are still those misconceptions out there. Also it is natural to be less concerned the second time but shows that mothers instinct sometimes just knows. It must be so hard to not go through the ifs and buts and acknowledging them is healthy as long as you know that you did the best that you could, at the time, with the knowledge you had. And now, you are doing much more with raising awareness, talking of him and helping others. Sending love as always x#SharingtheBlogLove

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you so much Laura. It’s so hard not to think about the ifs and buts from time to time, although if I allowed myself to think about them as often as I wanted to, I would surely go insane. It’s terrifying how many people still believe these misconceptions and also how many women do not want to be seen as neurotic and bother their midwives with their concerns. It’s so important to keep sharing our stories, however painful they are. xxx

  36. February 24, 2017 / 2:35 pm

    Such a heartbreaking story and I applaud you for campaigning so hard so that it does not happen to others. Never, ever blame yourself though xx

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you Kara, it’s so hard not to, but I do know that I did the best that I could do with the advice I was being given. xxx

  37. February 24, 2017 / 3:47 pm

    This is so sad. I’m so sorry that you lost him and that you are now living with the regret. Thank-you for sharing this though because you have such an important message in here. Motherly instinct is so key but can be suppressed if professionals tell you the same message over and over again. It’s important to remember to listen to your inner voice at all times. I felt so neurotic about my daughter’s kicks before she was born but felt like a burden for asking. If we ever have another I will stop myself from feeling this way. #CoolMumClub

    • Laura Dove
      February 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      Thank you Angela. It’s weird because afterwards, when my ex husband and I talked about it, he said that he felt the same way? That although he had never dared voice his concerns to me, he had never imagined that he would survive either? Almost as though sub-consciously we both knew that he would never make it, I think as parents we should listen to our instincts more, absolutely. xxx

  38. February 24, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Thank you for bravely sharing your story, in doing so, you truly have honoured Joseph’s legacy, and quite possibly saved lives xxx

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 1:13 pm

      Thank you. I do hope so, it’s such an important story to tell. xxx

  39. February 24, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Such a moving post, I cannot begin to imagine the pain that you went through. And then to write about it, you’re a very strong lady in bringing awareness in this.
    It’s good that there is so much more awareness nowadays, and hopefully the stillbirth rate will lower.
    I remember my mum asking me if the baby had started to reduce movements as it was a sign I would deliver soon and I said to her that that wasn’t the case – shows how much the information has changed.
    Sorry for your loss #thatfridaylinky

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 1:12 pm

      Thank you Jo. That’s definitely the issue, the advice has changed and yet the older generation especially are passing on the wrong advice to their daughters who in turn may share that with friends. It’s so important that these campaigns reach all generation and that the advice s is universal. xx

  40. February 24, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    Oh Laura…..once again you move me to tears. Well done for putting it out there such a hugely important post and beautifully written. Thanks for linking up lovely #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      Thank you Helen, so important isn’t it? xx

  41. February 25, 2017 / 2:57 pm

    Absolutely heartbreaking, I am so glad that there is more awareness around it now. Kicks count are an incredible charity x

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 1:00 pm

      Thank you Jenni. xx

  42. February 25, 2017 / 4:00 pm

    Everytime I read about Joseph my heart sinks and I can’t help but feel sad for your loss and wish that it hadn’t happened. I just can’t believe how relaxed the midwifes were and how much they misinformed you. I suppose I feel angry for you. That’s it thats what I feel. Angry that they made you doubt your instincts. Thank you for sharing your story and helping raise awareness. Hopefully you are helping and empowering many mothers out there. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassyMama

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 12:59 pm

      Thank you. I feel angry too, even though I try so hard not to as it would just eat away at me, but if I’m honest, I am still so full of anger and hurt that they did fail me, and most of all they failed him. I suppose because I can’t direct all of that anger and blame at them each day, I direct it at myself, and that’s tough to deal with too. I’ve accepted that I can’t change my story, but if I can change someone else’s then maybe that’s the best I can hope for. xx

  43. Nige
    February 25, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    This is heartbreaking Laura reading this has brought me to tears I can’t imagine how you both felt. Devastated. You write with such honesty and hold nothing back which is why I love reading your posts. For me you are up there with the best bloggers around today.
    Much love and hugs x
    Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 12:54 pm

      Ahh Nige, thank you so much. That’s such a kind and generous thing to say, especially coming from yourself. I shall be back next week for sure! xx

  44. February 26, 2017 / 11:07 am

    Oh, Laura, this post, this story of Joseph is so very sad to the core. My heart breaks for you and yours as you tell the authentic story each time to reveal something new, different and provocative. I wish for you the will to forgive yourself of any blame you hold. Sometimes life is simply unfair and tragic. But one thing that is very clear, Joseph continues to help you be the wonderful mom that you are and the caring giver of sage advice to those in need. Joseph’s life may not have been what you expected or dreamed of, yet he continues to help, save, and steer many women and families. Hold that gift dearly my friend. <3 <3 <3 Big hugs to you always. #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much Lisa, what kind words and so wise too. I doubt I will ever fully forgive myself, I’m not sure it will be possible no matter how hard I try, but I have reached an acceptance that although I cannot change MY story, perhaps I can change someone else’s. xxx

  45. February 26, 2017 / 11:10 am

    Count the kicks is such an important campaign. Thanks for sharing your experience. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      February 26, 2017 / 12:07 pm

      Thank you Emily. xxx

  46. February 27, 2017 / 8:45 am

    You and your family are amazing – there is nothing you could have done, but as parents we always feel a certain amount of guilt, it is natural. Such an important campaign. Sarah x #FabFridayPost

    • Laura Dove
      February 27, 2017 / 12:55 pm

      Thank you Sarah. That means a lot. I think the guilt is something all parents experience on so many levels, I wont ever stop wondering whether I could have changed things but one day I really hope that I can forgive myself. xx

  47. February 27, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Well done for campaigning to raise awareness, this must be difficult for you. After reading your story I honestly believe that should not blame yourself. Even if you knew these things at the time there is no guarantee that your precious baby would have made it, some things cannot be changed. Such a truly heartbreaking story x
    #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      February 27, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      Thank you Anne. I try very hard to tell myself that, it’s tough some days though. Thank you for reading. xx

  48. February 27, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Just reading this makes my heart ache for you. I can’t imagine going through it. I think it’s so important you’re sharing your story. I am so sorry for the loss of Joseph but I love how he lives on in your family and your writing. #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      February 27, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Thank you Anna. That means a lot to me, it’s so important for me to share my story and for others to read it. xxx

  49. February 27, 2017 / 1:19 pm

    Every time I read your blog, I think there is no way a post can move me more than the one you wrote the time before. Every time I am wrong. I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through, but your bravery in sharing your experiences and in trying to spare other women the pain that you have been through never ceases to amaze me. You are an incredible lady. Thank you so much for linking this post up to #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      February 27, 2017 / 2:53 pm

      Thank you so much. This was a hard post to write, I think any of us find it hard to admit to the mistakes we made, even more so when the results were so catastrophic. I think that I will always struggle with the guilt at what I could have done, but I hope that one day I can forgive myself for that. Thank you for your lovely comments every week. xxx

  50. February 27, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    It doesn’t matter how many times I hear this story, I always feel the same way. I’m so so sorry Laura #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      February 28, 2017 / 11:39 am

      Thank you lovely, always appreciated. xxx

  51. February 28, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    This was such a hard post to read and I imagine even harder to write, but do you know what, I too thought that movements slowed down in the 3rd trimester and I was only pregnant 2 years ago. So thank you THANK YOU for raising awareness. That’s something new I now know to look out for in future if we are lucky enough to have another. xx #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2017 / 11:13 am

      Thank you Susie, I really appreciate you reading even though I know it is hard. I’m so glad that I was able to raise awareness in regards to the movements, that’s lovely to hear. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. xxx

  52. February 28, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    I have no doubt that you are helping so many people every day Laura through the posts you write on this blog. I just cannot imagine what you have been to and every time I read your posts like this I end up with tears in my eyes. I follow kicks count on Facebook and I think what they are doing to raise awareness about baby movements is amazing. So many times I was told that movements slow down near the end, even by a midwife! It’s so important to get the correct information out there for expectant parents. Xx #BlogCrush

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2017 / 11:11 am

      Thank you so much Wendy, that means so much to me. I always tell myself that however hard it is for me to share my story, especially to revisit those feeling of guilt, I hope that it is at last helping others and perhaps changing the outcome of their pregnancy. I agree, there are far too many people who still give the wrong advice about movements, I hope that in a small way I can contribute to changing those misconceptions. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      March 1, 2017 / 10:02 pm

      xxxx

  53. susan (you are my sunshine)
    March 4, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I don’t think that there is anything that I can say that hasn’t been said or that will take away all those ifs and buts. It is a mothers worst nightmare. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss x #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      March 5, 2017 / 5:33 pm

      Thank you so much Susan, much appreciated. I just hope that my story will help others. xxx

  54. March 5, 2017 / 8:34 am

    Oh I am so sorry to hear and read your story, such an emotional read and my arms go out to wrap around you. This campaign is so thoroughly worthwhile and I think that you are doing amazing to put you and your families story forward to help raise awareness.

    Mainy xxx

    #fabfridaypost

    • Laura Dove
      March 5, 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Thank you Mainy. That is much appreciated. xxx

  55. March 6, 2017 / 8:20 pm

    Oh Laura, the description of the moment you last felt Joseph move is a tough one to read, so I can only imagine how tough it was to write. You are so right in your bid to raise awareness, it may not bring Joseph back, but it could prevent some other family suffering such a terrible loss.

    #BlogCrush

    • Laura Dove
      March 8, 2017 / 10:31 am

      Thank you Debbie, I will never forget that moment as long as I live, I just wish that I could have changed the outcome. I have accepted that I can’t bring him back, however hard that is, but I can help to change the outcome for someone else, and that’s so important to me. xx

  56. March 6, 2017 / 11:16 pm

    This is so terribly, terribly sad. I am lost for words. You are so brave for sharing this – it must be so difficult to force yourself to relieve these moments so that you can help others. But you have a message which needs sharing. Thank you so much for being willing to do this. And I am so deeply, deeply sorry for your loss.

    #blogcrush

    • Laura Dove
      March 8, 2017 / 10:29 am

      Thank you Lucy, much appreciated. It was the hardest thing that I have ever been through, then and now, but it does help me to share our story in the hope that it can help others. xxx

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