Ayla Heller was 38 weeks pregnant when she noticed her baby’s movements had changed. “Maddy was super active and it was always my favorite thing to feel her kick and wiggle,” the 19-year-old, who lives in Portland, Oregon, tells Us Weekly. So when Maddy stopped bouncing around, Heller instinctively knew something wasn’t right.
Heller chronicled what happened next in a Facebook post published earlier in September. As the day went on, Heller grew increasingly concerned. Though the mom-to-be felt Maddy “adjust her position,” and heard a heartbeat on her home fetal doppler monitor, she still hadn’t felt a kick. “I knew she was at least alive,” wrote Heller. But she still felt panicked.
“Online did not help (duh Ayla, it’s the internet),” Heller shared. While some women on message boards said to head directly to labor and delivery, others claimed that babies run out of room to kick when they are close to their due date.
Heller and her boyfriend, Dalton Henderson, headed to the hospital. And it saved Maddy’s life. After a series of tests, doctors informed Heller that her placenta had aged prematurely and calcified and Maddy was not receiving enough oxygen. Heller was rushed into the operating room for an emergency c-section. “She came out fine and cried a little bit,” wrote Heller. “But she needed oxygen.”
It could have been much, much worse. “My mother asked what would have happened had I not gone in when I did,” Heller shared in her post. “‘She wouldn’t be here,’ was the reply. ‘She wouldn’t have made it to the rest of the night.’”
Heller is telling her terrifying story in hopes of saving lives. “You know your body and what’s normal for your baby. And BABIES DON’T RUN OUT OF ROOM!! Babies will always kick whether there’s much room or not,” she wrote. IF YOU HAVE DOUBTS, GO IN. GO IN. GO IN. GO IN!!!”
Her post has been shared nearly 20,000 times. Wrote one woman: “I wish people would have shared stories like this a year ago. Maybe I would have paid closer attention. Maybe I would have went in earlier. Maybe my baby could have been saved.”
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