Emma Crosby describes how 'counting the kicks' saved her daughter from stillbirth

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Emma Crosby has described how 'counting her kicks' saved her pregnancy from potentially ending in a tragic stillbirth.

The Sky News presenter got to hospital 'just in the nick of time' as her daughter Mary, who is now three years old, became distressed and swallowed her meconium while in the womb.

Emma has since revealed that she 'shudders to think what might have happened' if she had dismissed her concerns and gone back to sleep that night.

The 38 year old describes herself as having had a 'textbook' pregnancy until 39 weeks, when she first noticed 'something had changed' in her baby's movements.

Emma told the Daily Mail; 'She didn't seem quite as active as I'd been used to, so I immediately went to hospital to get checked out but was told everything was fine.'

Partner Jeremy and Emma were reassured by doctors that if she hadn't gone into labour by 41 weeks she would be induced so the pair were discharged from hospital and returned home.

The Breakfast TV host said; 'I'd had a bath to relax me and felt the baby kick while I was in the water, but by 1am I was still awake... I realised she hadn't moved for quite some time and the worry set in. I couldn't shake the feeling that all was not well.'

The St-Albans-born journalist had been introduced to the Kicks Count website by a friend. The charity advises expectant mums to call their midwife if they think the baby's movements have slowed down or stopped altogether.

Emma recalls; 'Despite it being the middle of the night, with that advice in my head, I called the hospital.'

After a further two hours with no movement, Emma was rushed to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital at 6 o'clock in the morning; 'I was taken to an assessment room and when they found the baby's heartbeat, the whole room breathed a sigh of relief.'

But panic began again when the baby's heart rate suddenly dropped; 'Jeremy ran out of the room for a midwife, and I was transferred to the labour ward and had my waters broken. The water was very dark and Mary was showing signs of distress, so a caesarean was necessary.

'I had got so far in the pregnancy, I really didn't want anything to go wrong at the very end and now I was facing the real possibility that I could lose my baby.

'The doctors described Mary's condition as very poor, but said that she should be fine. I didn't like the sound of "should" in that sentence.

'I'm so very grateful that I knew about the importance of monitoring foetal movement, otherwise Mary might not be with us today, which is a terrifying thought.'

Emma is now an abasador for Kicks Count. To count your kicks, mothers should be aware of baby's movement from 16-24 weeks onwards.

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There is no set number of kicks you should be feeling, what is important is that you know what is normal for your individual baby. If you notice a decrease in your baby's regular movement pattern, contact your midwife.

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