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Team Approach in High-Risk Pregnancy Leads to Happy, Healthy Outcome

The Wiggins family

Dec. 12 2021

Sade Wiggins and her husband Timothy love spending time with their son Trey at their home in Northeast Columbia. The adorable 9-month-old baby enjoys music and toys that make noise.

Life with baby Trey is joyful after a difficult pregnancy for Sade that was filled with one complication after another.

“When I was about four months pregnant, I started having really bad pain that sent me to the ER,” she said.

Inside Lexington Medical Center’s Emergency department, Sade learned that her cervix was opening too soon during pregnancy, which can lead to preterm delivery. So Paul C. Browne, MD, FACOG, of Lexington Maternal Fetal Medicine, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, performed a procedure called cerclage to keep the cervix closed.

Head shot of Dr. Browne
Paul C. Browne, MD, FACOG, Lexington Maternal Fetal Medicine


“A woman’s cervix should not start opening or dilating until late in pregnancy. Typically, it occurs at 34 to 37 weeks gestation,” Dr. Browne said. “Potential causes for early cervical dilation include an incompetent cervix, preterm labor, too much fluid or twins.”

After the procedure, Sade continued to see Crystal Y. Johnson, MD, FACOG, of Lexington Women’s Care Sandhills, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice in Northeast Columbia. Dr. Johnson had been Sade’s OB/GYN for more than five years.

“Sade also had gestational high blood pressure and gestational diabetes, which can affect fetal development and growth. If severe and uncontrolled, both conditions increase the risk of stillbirth,” Dr. Johnson said.

Doctors put Sade on bed rest for a month and told her to limit her activities to safeguard her and her baby. What’s more, Sade had suffered a miscarriage before this pregnancy. Combined, all the issues created tremendous worry for the mom-to-be.

“Dr. Johnson understood my concerns. She was there when I had my miscarriage,” Sade said. “She listened to me and took time with me during my appointments to make sure I knew she was there to answer any questions with patience and kindness.”

Head shot of Dr. Johnson
Crystal Y. Johnson, MD, FACOG, Lexington Women's Care Sandhills

A teacher, Sade took a leave of absence from her job at the recommendation of Dr. Browne and Dr. Johnson.

Sade also continued to see Dr. Browne, who specializes in high-risk pregnancy and managing pregnancy complications, throughout her pregnancy. He and Dr. Johnson worked together to take the best possible care of Sade. The Lexington Medical Center network has the ability to administer this continuity of care for all patients, including those who are pregnant.

“With difficult, high-risk pregnancies, the team approach works best,” Dr. Johnson said. “Our hospital staff and specialists are committed to excellence, and it shows in our outcomes.”

Trey was born at Lexington Medical Center on February 2, 2021, weighing 6 lb, 1 oz, healthy and strong.

Sade has a message for women going through a difficult pregnancy.

“Look at the bright side. Be thankful for your baby. Keep pushing through and don’t give up.”

And she’s grateful for the care she received.

“Dr. Johnson and Dr. Browne are empathetic and patient with you,” she said. “They’re skilled, knowledgeable and focused on their patients. I’m thankful for them.”



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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.