Healthy child highlights importance of High Point March for Babies
Amanda Dill’s employer has long been involved with the annual High Point March for Babies, but now it’s personal for the young Trinity woman.
Now, Dill marches in honor of her own baby, Bella, who was born six weeks before her due date. Bella will turn 4 in January and is perfectly healthy now, a fact she attributes to the March of Dimes.
“There are so many things that were done to help her when she was born,” Dill explains. “Without the research from the March of Dimes to help the doctors know what to do, it could’ve been a completely different story.”
So when Dill and her family — husband Mitchell and daughter Bella — participate in the annual High Point March for Babies Saturday morning, she’ll no doubt be thinking about Bella’s premature birth, and how March of Dimes research may have saved her life.
Dill recalls that she had enjoyed a normal pregnancy until she reached 32 weeks.
“On that day, I started bleeding heavily and had to be rushed to the emergency room (at High Point Regional Hospital), not knowing what was going on and not knowing if the baby was going to be OK,” Dill says. “Thankfully, they did a fetal stress test and found out that her heart rate was fine and she seemed to be OK.”
In the meantime, though, doctors administered two steroid injections to help the baby’s lungs develop more quickly, just in case she had to be born early.
Dill remained hospitalized another two weeks, until she began showing signs of preeclampsia, a toxic condition in which a pregnant woman experiences a sudden, potentially dangerous spike in her blood pressure. Around that same time, the baby’s heart rate began dropping dramatically.
After consulting with a high-risk pregnancy doctor at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, doctors decided Dill would need to undergo a cesarean section as soon as possible.
“They told me there was no way she would survive a vaginal delivery,” Dill says.
Bella arrived on Jan. 15, 2010 — weighing all of 3 pounds, 6 ounces — and was immediately whisked away to the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, for further testing and monitoring. She remained in the NICU for 11 days, a tiny, fragile, but increasingly healthy baby.
“Having to leave the hospital and leave her there was like leaving my heart behind,” Dill recalls. “We would go back to the hospital each day and spend hours just sitting there watching her sleep in the Isolette (incubator). Such a tiny, tiny, little miracle.”
Finally, the Dills were allowed to bring Bella home.
“Because of all the help from the doctors, the pediatrician and nursing staff, we were able to enjoy our precious little miracle that could literally fit in the palm of our hands,” Dill says.
“Thankfully, looking at her today, 3½ years later, you would never know she was born premature and had such a tough start on life.”
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The 2013 High Point March for Babies will be held Saturday on the campus of High Point University, beginning at the Wilson School of Commerce.
Check-in will be from 9 to 9:30 a.m., with the 3½-mile walk/fun run beginning at 10 a.m. Children’s activities and lunch will follow from 11 a.m. until noon.
Proceeds from this annual fundraising walk will benefit the March of Dimes. Since 1970, March of Dimes walks have raised approximately $2.6 billion.
For more information, call (336) 723-4386 or visit www.marchforbabies.org.