Thursday, February 16, 2012

A First Date and Tulips

On Valentine’s Day we were invited on a “first date” with the pediatric neurosurgeon from Children’s Memorial Hospital (for those not familiar, we have information about each hospital in the Hospitals section as Children’s will be moving in June which will be discussed throughout this blog). This is the appointment we were most nervous about because we know the Spina Bifida will need to be treated immediately after birth.  With this appointment we would begin to get a timeline of JD’s first few weeks.

First of all, let me say we are not writing this blog to complain about doctors or the medical field in anyway. Yet, it is hard not to mention the fact that we arrived at the office at 8:45a for a 9a appointment. We were called into the room at 9:15a and the doctor walked into the room at 10:10a to meet with us. In most professions that is just unacceptable. To make it worse she did not even apologize or make up a story. All I was looking for was “so sorry, my last appointment took much longer than anticipated” even if she was really on Pinterest. Waiters/waitresses do that all the time (I was one in high school so I know) “I am so sorry the kitchen missed the order but they are making it now” when in reality I just forgot to put in the order (don’t judge it rarely happened). Anyway, Nate was not a happy camper but I figure this woman would be doing a very intense surgery on our son so I should put on a happy face.

Sorry for the little rant sidenote (see it is not hard to apologize). When we walked into the appointment (and any appointment) we assumed the doctor has been briefed or has reviewed our files or ultrasounds. However, that does not seem to be the case as we continue to explain the situation. I guess we figured everyone at Northwestern and Children’s would be talking as that is what they do but it turns out they still use fax (what?!?!). Dr. B walked in without looking at our ultrasound so we explained what we were told about the spine. I hope we were correct in our explanation as I question if advertising/media professionals are fully qualified to give medical information.

Dr. B was extremely nice and we could tell she works with kids as her attitude is very bubbly and positive yet it is also very medical. She had a tendency to jump around and speak to us as if we speak “spine” all the time. That being said, I will not go into great detail but here is the rundown:
·      She asked if we could move the c-section to a Monday (it is currently scheduled for a Thursday) so we have the whole week for surgery. I am picturing my c-section like Grey’s Anatomy with my OB, the high risk doctors, the newborn team, the nurses, residents (Northwestern is a teaching hospital), and a host of others. Now, if only everything could be wrapped up and resolved in a 1-hour show it would be much easier.
·      It was confirmed we will get to spend a few minutes with him after the c-section but they will take him to Children’s immediately so the newborn team can monitor him. Of anything we have heard this is by far the hardest for me because I cannot go with him. Nate will be with JD at Children’s the whole time but I will need to stay at Prentice. My negotiation skills are already at work trying to be released early.
·      They will monitor him for two days to confirm JD will be ready for surgery on the 3rd day.
·      They will be closing up the hole in the spine as well as watching the brain to insure no fluid builds up and he is breathing is regulated.
·      Depending on how things go, he will be at the hospital for 3-4 weeks for both the newborn team and the neurosurgery team to monitor him.

Overall, no new news just putting together the timeline of JD’s first few weeks. We will still meet with the newborn team at Children’s and the orthopedic surgeon for his clubfoot as well as return visits to Maternal Fetal Medicine and the Pediatric Cardiologist. Oh and don’t forget my 3-hour Glucose test where I get to fast for 8 hours then drink a terrible drink before getting my blood drawn 3 times. Yum!

Valentine’s Day ended on a positive note with beautiful tulips from Nate the Great who makes me smile inside and out every single day. If Connor and JD grow up to be even a fraction of who Nate is they will become the most amazing men.

 (P.S. Nate received a bottle of 12 Year Reserve Jameson and homemade heart-shaped cupcakes.)


  1. Yet again, your post makes me smile. Who has not had the waiting game at a Doctor's office with the same non-response response for the tardy arrival! Is it a course taken in med school? Back to the original reason for my post...I love reading and learning more about JD with each entry. I love being part of your journey and letting you know how special you and Nate are.

  2. Jen, the way you write this blog is just amazing. The positive, humorous spin on everything speaks volumes about JD already. I believe he will tackle things the same way. And I know you are, in no way, embellishing when it comes to the praise of Nate...he's the man most men strive to be. And those men who don't strive to be him are bums. Thanks for keeping up the news about JD and we're all more excited to meet him every day! With love,

  3. Sending love and support your way!!

  4. Jen, I feel like I should apologize....I work on a team with a doctor and we are ALWAYS running late. I like to think it's because when we are with each person/patient, we give them our 100% focus and attention. BUT from a personal perspective - I hate waiting! I'm glad you are getting to know the doctors who will be taking care of JD when he is born. If only they would open up that hospital a few weeks early for you.... :)

  5. Jen, thanks for keeping us posted on your experiences and JD's progress. I know it will be difficult to be separated from your baby but I bet that Nate will do an outstanding job of bridging the two of you. We will keep praying for you all! Love, Phil & Barb, your New Mexico cousins