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2016 March of Dimes Charleston Ambassador Family:: Meet the Paynes

{Disclaimer:: This post is sponsored by the March of Dimes. We would not promote something that we did not believe to be true.}

When Bill and Amy Payne of Mt. Pleasant, SC found out they were expecting their second child, they set about celebrating and preparing for their daughter’s arrival. Amy’s pregnancy progressed without incident, and their sights were set on her due date: February 13, 2016. All that changed, though, as Amy began experiencing some unusual and concerning symptoms late in her pregnancy. Was it simply the stress of preparing for the holidays, or was something more serious afoot?

We are proud to introduce you to the Paynes and invite you to learn more about this year’s Ambassador Family by reading their harrowing story, as written by Amy:

A Mother’s Intuition

Over Christmas weekend 2015, I called my doctor to complain of swelling, nausea and elevated blood pressure. The preeclampsia tests came back negative but my liver enzymes were elevated.  I kept pushing that something didn’t seem right.  My doctor, Maggie Evans, didn’t like it either and recommended that I be admitted to the hospital for a 24-hour screening.  It didn’t take long to get the news that we would not be going home due to suspected preeclampsia.  I was only 33 weeks, and we were so worried about our baby girl being born 7 weeks early.  Thankfully, I still had time to receive two rounds of steroid shots to help with the development of her lungs.  Hayes was born two days later on Friday, January 1st, the first baby of the New Year at East Cooper Hospital.  I was able to hold her for only a couple of minutes before she was taken away for monitoring.  She was a healthy 5 pounds and 1 ounce but we knew she would require a NICU stay to monitor her breathing and growth. Bill was able to take our son William down to meet Hayes later that day.  I still can’t believe I missed that moment.  I had to wait 24 hours before I was able to finally love on Hayes.  I was so relieved that she was doing well, yet so disappointed that I couldn’t hold her without all those cords and that she couldn’t come to our room. I remember feeling really sad that we wouldn’t have that family picture of all of us piled in a hospital bed. My body had let me down, and I felt very guilty about that.  It was a rush of emotions, but the scary part was over, or so I thought.

Rare. Atypical. Unusual.

That evening, I got a burning sensation in my chest and Bill urged me to call the nurse. It sure seemed silly to complain of heartburn, but within minutes, Dr. Evans was at my side.  She said my labwork revealed scary levels, and my blood pressure was dangerously high.  Things were going downhill.  The diagnosis was HELLP syndrome, and I was at a high risk of an internal bleed or stroke.  I was transported by EMS to MUSC shortly after, but not before being wheeled down to say goodbye to Hayes.  At this point, that family photo sadness seemed quite silly.  There were a lot of teary hugs from my family, the nurses, and Dr. Evans. I remember asking Bill if I was going die.  He reassured me that I was going to be just fine, but I saw fear in his eyes too.  It was one of the scariest moments of my life.  I was leaving my baby and my family behind and had no idea when or if I would return.

Rare.  Atypical.  Unusual.  These words were repeated over and over by the doctors regarding my specific case of HELLP.  It presented atypically, it happened on a second pregnancy only, and my labs improved after delivery and then declined. The cure for HELLP, like preeclampsia, is delivery, and thankfully the effects go away as quickly as they appear. I don’t really have the right words to describe those three long days I spent at MUSC while Bill stayed behind with Hayes.  It was absolute torture.

Hayes spent the next 22 days in the NICU at East Cooper Hospital, and I spent my days and nights right by her side.  I missed William terribly during that time and was so eager to have the whole family home and healthy.  That day finally came! Hayes is doing great now. She is crawling, saying mama and is finally on the growth charts.

mod-photoMarch of Dimes

The March of Dimes has earned a wonderful reputation for the research they do to prevent birth defects and premature births.  Lesser known, but equally important, is the work they do to ensure healthy pregnancies.  More investigation is needed to determine the causes and prevention of preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome. Your support of this wonderful organization will ensure that many more families will have happy endings like the one my family and I have enjoyed.  We are so grateful for the work of the March of Dimes and for our sweet family of four.

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One Response to 2016 March of Dimes Charleston Ambassador Family:: Meet the Paynes

  1. Andy Jackson October 6, 2016 at 11:11 pm #

    Thanks for sharing and supporting the March of Dimes!