It's been an emotional couple of weeks for the Garcia family. There are good days and bad. Happy days, sad days, scary days and normal days. Since our initial update we've met with numerous additional doctors, nurses, and staff. We've toured intensive care units at two hospitals and spoken at great length with cardiac care nurses in both places.
At this point in time we feel most comfortable heading to Cardinal Glennon Hospital for Charlie's care. It's been a tough decision (and one that we still question periodically) but one we are fairly confident in at this point. Cardinal Glennon hosts the top two pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons in the area. They house a beautifully renovated NICU where Charlie will be housed until his surgery and the PICU is slated to be renovated later this year. After many conversations with their staff we believe that Cardinal Glennon Hospital and their Fetal Care Institute run their medical team like a well-oiled machine. They meet regularly to discuss patients and rounds are conducted with everyone present (cardiac, neonatal, pediatricians, nurses, parents, etc). They are a smaller hospital which we are realizing means we'll have more personalized and attentive care. We already the cell number of the cardiothoracic surgeons' nurse. We view this as a good sign.
In the meantime, we're also realizing that this will be far from a cheap adventure in our lives. The first round of bills for Charlie hit our mailbox this past week while we were on vacation. Our insurance has been good to us so far - we'll see how long that lasts! But nonetheless, it's probably a good thing we were already on vacation when the bills arrived, because their arrival any earlier would have made us rethink some of our vacation expenses.
Our wonderful family and friends are already supporting us in more ways than we could imagine. Matt's cousins, Mandy and Daniel, have set up a GiveForward page for Baby Charlie. Local friends have stepped up the babysitting and child watching services for us as we've been meeting with doctors and having a huge increase in ultrasounds. Others have helped direct us towards sales for supplies we'll need once Charlie arrives.
Most importantly - the outpouring of prayers, thoughts and well wishes have been overwhelming. We certainly know that we have plenty of prayer warriors out there who are lifting Charlie up. We've received a blessed prayer shawl from Pfeiffer University thanks to Paula Morris who I used to work with back in the days before children. We've received several cards in the mail from friends and family letting us know their thoughts are with us. And most recently we spent a short but wonderful evening with Father Charlie (little man's namesake) who has a whole slew of people praying with him. Plus, he took the time to bless Baby Charlie and our family which really means the world to us.
Thanks again for all the support! We'll be updating as we continue to learn more!