Russell and Andrea Underwood had it all. They enjoyed their beautiful family with two healthy, energetic girls, but they felt like there was something missing.
“I’m the last Underwood. I wanted to carry on the Underwood name, so I was hoping for a boy (laughter),” mused Russell Underwood.
It wasn’t long after that Andrea became pregnant with a little boy on the way.
But some scary moments were on the way as well.
“I knew something was wrong. I felt like my head was going to explode,” remembered Andrea Underwood.
Andrea was diagnosed with a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication (pre-eclampsia) high blood pressure – a serious risk to both mother and child.
“Monday I was fine … Tuesday I was literally dying … I felt my body shutting down. A nurse in triage says honey … your body is shutting down. It’s ridding itself,” said Andrea.
“So …I’m sitting there … getting ready to have a baby early … my wife is right there you know … I didn’t know if I was going to take either of them home,” recalled Russell.
Little Ace Payne Underwood was delivered prematurely at 31 weeks.
Russell got the son he wanted, but he was not allowed to hold him right away. Ace was so tiny and fragile. He spent weeks in neo- natal intensive care.
Little did the family know at the time; another life-changing event was just ahead of them.
Ace’s due date shared the same date of the 2016 deadly floods in Clendenin.
It turned out that Ace’s early delivery would be a blessing.
“Ace and I both would have died. God had a plan. Ace is fine and we wouldn’t have survived if I would have gone into labor with him and we would have been flooded in. So that’s why Ace came early,” said Andrea.
The Underwoods said they were thankful for all fo the efforts of the March of Dimes – not only in their time of need by providing services at the hospital with Ace’s premature birth, but also their help with the family suffering from the flood. Volunteers provided backpacks and coloring books and anything the family needed to get life as close to back to normal as possible.
The did have hope … through it all … many thanks to the March of Dmes … not only there providing much-needed services for moms and babies like Andrea and Ace … but also for the entire family … still recovering from the flood.
Now two years later, the Underwoods are the 2018 March of Dimes Ambassador Family for Charleston, West Virginia. Their family, and thousands of others, depend on the research, technology and advocacy of the March of Dimes to ensure the health of babies.
Your donations to the March of Dimes help keep this important organization at the forefront in the fight to help mothers and babies.
To help raise money to continue its important cause, the March of Dimes will host its annual Chefs Showcase on Monday, October 15 at 6pm at the Charleston Mariott Town Center. The event will feature some of the most prominent chefs in the Charleston area who are donating their favorite dishes to those who attend. Items will also be auctioned. Get your tickets here and join WOWK in its support for the March of Dimes.