Joseph, Our Little Miracle told by Fiona Devereux.

My third pregnancy wasn’t easy. I suffered with horrendous sickness and we found out our little boy was very small and struggling at our 20-week scan. It was thought that my placenta wasn’t functioning well and I had to have weekly scans to check how he was doing, and how the placenta was functioning. By some miracle, he kept fighting week after week and we decided to call him Joseph.

A couple of times I noticed that his pattern of movements had changed and because of the problems he was having I knew how important it was to get monitored. Thankfully all was well. 

I’m a midwife myself, so always knew the importance of monitoring movements. 

It was a beautiful sunny day and baby had made it to 37 weeks, so I decided to wash all baby’s clothes and put them on the line. My c-section was booked for 39 weeks so I was finishing packing my hospital bag too. That night I slept on the sofa because it was too hot and I was uncomfortable. I last felt him move around 4am.

The next day was a Saturday morning and I had to take my two boys swimming while my husband was at work. It was then that I noticed I couldn’t remember him moving since 4 am. I poked him, drank lots of water and had some breakfast but still no movement, which was very unusual for him. Whilst watching the boys swimming I rang the triage unit where I worked and told them I needed to come in. I started crying because I was so worried. I hurried the boys out of swimming and rang my friend from work. She could hear how worried I was and said she would meet me there. 

We arrived at triage and they put me on the monitor. I can’t tell you how it felt to hear his heartbeat. I was so relieved. Straight away though I could hear that his heart rate was very high. A normal heart rate is 110-160bpm and Joseph’s heart rate was nearly 190bpm. He still hadn’t moved, even when I was given extra fluids and put onto my side. The doctor came to see me and explained that, if his monitoring didn’t improve, they would be taking me for an emergency c section in just ten minutes. It didn’t improve and I was rushed round to theatre. My husband didn’t make it in time so my friend was my birth partner, whilst my boys were sat in the staff room!

Joseph was born blue and floppy and he didn’t cry. They worked on him for 30 minutes and not once did he cry. Then my friend told me there was a huge knot in the cord. I think there were three knots in it in total. 

Joseph was 5lb when he was born and spent a week in NICU, finally coming home at 12-days old. He is our little miracle. He went through such a tough time in the pregnancy and, if I hadn’t gone in to be monitored when I did, he wouldn’t be here now. 

He had stopped moving because the knots in his cord were preventing him from getting enough oxygen - he'd stopped moving to preserve energy. 

If your baby stops moving don’t ever ignore it. Be aware of baby’s pattern of movements and if they ever change or you’re worried, please ring your maternity unit.

It could save your baby’s life - like it did mine.

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