Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Brandt!

Happy 2nd Birthday Baby Brandt!
Busy as can Be--2 Years Old!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Charleston Appointments and a Huge Surprise

My wonderful husband and I had a good trip to Charleston yesterday, for an understatement of the year. I dreaded the 7 hours of driving, and just didn't want to be in Charleston since I'm enjoying my time at home and with the boys so much, and was feeling so unsettled about our housing arrangements. Not to mention my directionally-challenged self trying to find my way around if at any time my "Mr. Atlas" happens not to be there when I attempt to navigate Charleston on my own. But wow did God turn all that apprehension around yesterday. . .

We met with an OB for a "pre-op" check for my c-section. Seems I've hardly thought about that part of the process of getting Brandt here, in light of what will happen AFTER he's here. But they pronounced him officially "full term" during this visit. He also passed his non stress test very quickly. (He has had twice weekly testing for the last couple weeks to check heart response, movement, breathing motions etc.) That made Mom VERY happy as he hasn't always been so cooperative, and I've gotten stuck at several appointments for hours on end.

The fact that he's now full term relieves a little pressure in case I would go into labor early--not likely given my past history however. Now all he has to do is GROW GROW GROW. Dr. Greig, the maternal fetal specialist here has me on restricted activity and tells me to eat eat eat. Any other time I would probably "dig in" with zest, but at the moment I find myself with litle appetite due to the scrunched quarters in my stomach region. Just saying, human nature is so contrary. But we really do want Brandt to get all the "chub" possible on him to help sustain him through the procedures after birth, so eat I will!

Next we met with a neonatologist from the NICU unit at MUSC. May I say I did not even know so many doctor titles existed before we began this journey? Please forgive any medical incorrectness in this summary -- it's not intentional! Anyway, apparently the NICU staff handles the stabilization of the babies directly after birth, even if they transfer from the stabilization room to the Pediatric Cardiac ICU (PCICU). That is what will happen for Brandt if the PCICU has a bed available after stabilization procedures, otherwise he will go to the regular NICU unit until his first surgery. But the neonatologist explained in detail how they will perform the normal apgar testing for newborns, and then get both an umbilical venus catheter (UVC) and umbilical arterial catheter (UAC) started. These catheters will allow blood draws for testing and immediate infusion of prostaglandin (PGEs) medication to prevent closure of Brandt's ductus arteriosus so that he can breathe after birth and until his first surgery. This will take about an hour -- Daddy will get to be present except during insertion of the catheters-- and then they will bring my sweet Brandt in his incubator to see me before settling him into the NICU or PCICU.

Once he's settled there, we can visit him in ICU -- the cardiologists will be working with him to get echocardiogram info for surgery and monitor his blood and oxygen saturation levels to help them determine when the Norwood surgery should be scheduled -- hopefully within a few days. We will meet with Dr. Scott Bradley, the cardiothoracic surgeon, once surgery is actually scheduled. The neonatologist we met with should be on duty the day Brandt is born, so it's likely she'll work with his stabilization. How comforting to know of the full staff of attendant and fellow doctors as well as nurse practicioners on duty 24 hours a day, and have a treatment plan laid out for him when he makes his first little mad cries in this world!

THEN, I got a phone call from an amazing contact at CrossBridge Ministries in Charleston, asking us to take a look at an apartment complex while we were there. Now please keep in mind I had only been given her contact information and e-mailed her one day earlier, and I mostly wanted to see if she might be able to help us find inexpensive housing. We have been blessed with offers of Ronald McDonald housing, a personal family's home opened to us through a contact at our church, and discounted hotel rates through services at MUSC.

But none of these would work for long-term or when we have the boys in Charleston. We were just going to do our best to juggle whatever worked from week to week based on availability/visitors/child help we had in town at the time. So, we decided we should at least CHECK into a rental. But no, Melissa at CrossBridge Ministries found and offered to us--within 24 hours of my e-mail to her-- a 3-bedroom furnished apartment for up to two months. I was still very confused and thought this was just an "affordable option", but this church ministry actually provides the housing free of charge for families facing long-term relocations/stays there at MUSC. She went on to say they would be "adopting" us in prayer and helping with food and child care and things I had not even thought of during our time there in Charleston. I was literally crying at how our God provides beyond all that we ever ask or think!!!!!


  1. Lindy, I have tears running down my face at the amazing providences of our God. Thank you so much for posting these, such specific and encouraging, updates. I love you!! michelle

  2. I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy to hear this, Lindy! God has provided for you and your family, just as He said He would. Praise Him for Melissa and her team at CrossBridge -- they truly are doing the Lord's work! I'm so very glad a lot of your burdens and worries have been lifted! YAY!!!


  3. Welcome to Cross Bridge! We are going to love on ya'll like Christ Jesus himself! Can't wait to meet Brandt!