Merry Christmas + Happy 7 mos birthday to Brandt! Had a wonderful time with our family together...so great to celebrate our Saviour's birth and His salvation. After our traditional Christmas story and gift opening -- interspersed with non-traditional hospital life -- we tried to find a place to eat Christmas dinner. We had called a couple places we knew would be open, but didn't think to get reservations, and found "no room in the inn." So after wandering around Charleston for a while, we discovered an open Hardee's. Again, certainly not a traditional Christmas dinner, but one we will never forget!! The nurses were very understanding of the special day and let the boys show off some of their "treasures" including running little Zu Zu mice through the nurses' station.
We also stopped by the ICU to visit some friends there...One of the families had set up Christmas in a box with homemade goodies all around, and even got little gifts for each of the kids+siblings they had met there in the waiting room. They also had a carol sing right in the ICU which we missed, but it really made an impression on me to see their joyful spirits while their little one has struggled on for weeks and weeks in the PCICU with multiple challenges in addition to his heart.
What an outpouring of God's goodness...another family from very near our hometown also got to discharge and go home today--Glenn had gotten a chance to pray with them earlier in the week and we hope to keep in touch with them once we all get home. Dr. Bradley checked Brandt's incision again today and decided to leave the drain in a little longer. While there is not a huge amount of fluid, he said it doesn't hurt to let it keep draining since we're here for observation and antibiotics anyway! We are all for anything that keeps the site clean and sterile... Brandt's white blood count came back as 9, which is fantastic. He slept on and off through the night for my Mom, and seemed to be feeling somewhat better. He sure enjoyed playing with his wrapping paper and new toys!
My dear sweet mother offered to stay one more night at the hospital with Brandt, another huge Christmas blessing for me. She and Glenn and the boys have to head back home tomorrow, so I hope she'll be able to catch up on rest after helping me catch up. The boys are hoping the snow we actually got at home will still be there! It figures, the first white Christmas there in 27 years and we are out of town...I will miss all of them but feel so encouraged by the blessed family time together on this special day of the year.