Lauren's Childbirth StoryJun 6, 2019
Delivered her baby at Piedmont Medical Center during Hurricane Matthew
It has been two weeks since Hurricane Matthew, a monstrous category 3 storm that made its way up the southeast coast of the United States before making landfall southeast of McClellanville, S.C. South Carolina Governor Nikki Hailey enacted a mandatory evacuation for the Lowcountry which included closing the hospitals days before the storm hit.
Lauren Young, of Ridgeland, was in the last weeks of her pregnancy as her community braced for the hurricane. “A week before the storm hit, I went to Coastal Carolina Hospital thinking I was going into labor but it ended up being a false alarm,” she says. “I wasn’t due for a few weeks, but after my OB/GYN called to say they were shutting down, we knew we needed to evacuate in order to be somewhere safe and away from the storm.” Evacuating was made more difficult because her husband had to stay behind. Joey Young is a firefighter and EMT for Jasper County Fire Rescue.
On the Tuesday night before the storm, Lauren, her mom and her son, Patton, headed west; a day before the Governor’s mandatory evacuation. They chose to head to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C. just in case she went into labor. Lauren and her family had to make a pit stop along the way after she started having contractions while sitting in traffic in Columbia, S.C
On Friday night, as the storm was bearing down on the South Carolina coast, Lauren’s contractions started and she went into labor at Piedmont Medical Center. “My mom told me we were going to have to stay,” she says. “I called my husband, who had already been up for 30 hours as a first responder. At this point, he was stuck indoors because the storm was hitting. He put his phone on his chest and was with me the whole time.” Around 6am on Saturday, Charlotte Young made her debut during the middle of Hurricane Matthew. “I was literally in labor when the storm hit,” says Lauren. “My husband got to see Charlotte right after she was born and then it was time for him to go back out.”
It was hard for Lauren to be away from her husband during labor but she is grateful for her experience at Piedmont Medical Center. “Everyone at Piedmont was amazing,” she says. “Everyone on their staff was so good to us. We had such a great experience considering our last minute circumstances.”
Lauren was planning to stay in Rock Hill through the weekend because she didn’t know if she and her expanded family could get back into town because of storm damage. “My husband called and said we had power, that we could get into town and that he could have a few hours off to meet the baby,” she says. “The hospital usually keeps you for two days, but the nurses got the proper approvals across the board and they let me go by noon on Sunday.” Eighteen hours after giving birth, Lauren and her family were back on the road and heading home.
“My delivery was quick and easy. I was able to bounce right back,” says Lauren. “Even though Charlotte was two weeks early she is healthy and perfect. We are so glad to be together and safe.”