Kiki Searcy is an athlete who’s also married to a professional football player, so she’s no stranger to hard work and physical challenges. But when Kiki was pregnant with her son, she faced a tremendous number of obstacles. Luckily, she came through it like a champ and she and her husband now have two healthy children, Kenna and Dominick.

Womens Health | one month ago

After Serious Pregnancy Complications, Kiki Brought Home the Ultimate Trophy

Kiki Searcy is an athlete who’s also married to a professional football player, so she’s no stranger to hard work and physical challenges. But when Kiki was pregnant with her son, she faced a tremendous number of obstacles. Luckily, she came through it like a champ and she and her husband now have two healthy children, Kenna and Dominick.

Kennetra (Kiki) Searcy is a former track star and personal trainer – and wife of pro football player Da’Norris Searcy – so she’s accustomed to seeing herself and others tackle daunting physical challenges on a regular basis.

But no matter what your athletic ability is, there’s little that can prepare you for the challenges of a complicated, high-risk pregnancy. It all started when Kiki had her first child, Kenna, and experienced a post-partum hemorrhage which caused severe bleeding. A few years later, she suffered through a miscarriage after she and Da’Norris became pregnant with their second child. On top of all of those challenges, Kiki also has lupus, an inflammatory disease that can cause symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and other issues. So, when she became pregnant again but started bleeding in a manner similar to her previous miscarriage, Kiki became concerned and went to Jennifer Kalich, MD, at Atrium Health Eastover OB/GYN immediately.

A complicated pregnancy that required careful monitoring

Due to the high-risk nature of Kiki’s pregnancy, her doctor referred her to Lorene Temming, MD, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Atrium Health’s Women's Institute to provide the expert care she needed for the duration of the pregnancy.

“Kiki was already concerned because of her lupus and her previous miscarriage, but we also discovered during her anatomy scan that her placenta was near her cervix. This put her at risk for a condition known as vasa previa, where there are fetal blood vessels running unprotected by the placenta, in the membrane near the cervix,” says Dr. Temming. “It’s a rare complication, but it can require an emergency delivery.”

This meant it could be dangerous for Kiki and the baby if she went into labor or had her water break. In addition, Kiki’s cervix had shortened, which is a risk for a premature birth. Dr. Temming prescribed needed medications for Kiki and insisted that she take it easy.

“I was told to limit my activity which wasn’t easy for me,” says Kiki, who’s used to staying very active. In addition, Da’Norris was often away for practices and traveling for games, but he was still very supportive of Kiki, staying in constant contact with her. He says, “I was worried about her, but I did my best to give her the emotional support she needed. We had our family behind us as well – my mom and Kiki’s mom – so that helped us carry the load.”  

Kiki followed doctor’s orders – she got as much rest as she could, took her medicine, and saw Dr. Temming regularly so her pregnancy could be closely watched.

Even more surprises

Dr. Temming had planned to admit Kiki to the hospital for a scheduled cesarean section, ideally around week 35 of the pregnancy. But even before then, Kiki developed contractions and had to go to the hospital to receive medication to stop the contractions.

Because of all the risks Kiki was still experiencing with her pregnancy, she was admitted to the hospital at 32 weeks for observation until she could deliver via c-section at 35 weeks. Kiki continued to rest, and she was given steroids to help the baby’s lungs mature.

About two weeks after she came to the hospital, Kiki’s pregnancy took yet another unexpected turn. Suddenly, her blood pressure spiked. “It was 172 over 102,” Kiki recalls (normal blood pressure is generally considered to be under 120/80). She was given medication, but her blood pressure remained stubbornly high. Further testing revealed a high level of protein in Kiki’s urine.

Kiki had developed preeclampsia, a condition where a pregnant woman’s blood pressure rises to dangerously high levels. Preeclampsia can cause serious complications and can even be fatal to a mother and her baby. With this newest concern for Kiki and her unborn baby, it was time to deliver right away.

Dr. Kalich, contacted Dr. Temming, who went to see Kiki immediately. Kiki was nervous, but Dr. Temming told her she would assist Dr. Kalich and stay with her throughout her C-section, even though Kiki would need to be sedated and intubated because of all her risks.

“Dr. Temming’s care for me was amazing,” says Kiki. “It was a life and death situation, and she was with me the whole time.”

At last, a happy ending

On January 29, 2019, Kiki delivered her baby boy, Dominick.

Patient, Kiki Searcy's son, Dominick

“I’d say having this baby was at times harder than taking hits in football,” says Da’Norris. “But I’m grateful to the Atrium Health medical staff for delivering our child safely and bringing my wife through this.”

Kiki, Da’Norris, Dominick, and his sister Kenna recently celebrated Dominick’s first birthday together. Everyone is happy and healthy. “I love the care I got at Atrium,” says Kiki. “Everyone was willing to do whatever it took to make sure my baby and I were safe. The concern, care, and wisdom they had was overwhelming.”


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