I'm thankful for the ultrasound technician that performed my "routine" ultrasound back in January. Not all heart defects are picked up on ultrasound. No matter how much that day hurt, I am thankful we learned what we did, when we did, in order to give our little baby girl the best shot.
I'm thankful for Dr. Sami Awadallah (cardiologist here in Sioux Falls). Let me tell you, this man is incredible. I haven't met one person who has had previous experience with him who hasn't said "Isn't he great?!" Great doesn't even come close. Dr. Sami has seen me on my worst of days. He delivered news to Matt and I that made us feel like our whole world was crashing in on us. Though I hate that we have to know him under the circumstances that we do, I feel so blessed to have him taking care of our baby girl. I love the way that his face lights up when he sees her. I love the little noises that he makes to distract her during exams and echos. We are so grateful for everything that he has done for our family.
I'm thankful for our doctors in Omaha....
I'm thankful for Dr. Bonebrake (my Omaha perinatologist). He managed to keep me laughing in the face of my emergency c-section. Our sarcastic senses of humor were a match made in heaven, but I know that he could see the fear in my eyes. I met the man once before Charlotte was born--technically a stranger--but at my 2 week check up he hugged me. It was a genuine hug. He told me to be strong. He told me that it would be alright. He told me to take care of little Debbie Roberta. Did I mention that his name is ROBERT Bonebrake???
I'm thankful for Dr. Delaney. He is the first doctor that we had to officially hand little Charlotte over to when she had her heart cath and he was also a part of her big OR day. I don't really know what it is about him, but I liked him instantly. So much so, that I made sure to request him and only him when we go back for her cath in December. He took the time to come and sit with with us and our families after the cath, going over all of the pictures that he had taken and answering everyone's questions. He made us feel comfortable at a very scary time in our lives and was so incredibly reassuring.
That brings me to Dr. Hammel, Charlotte's heart surgeon. I'll be very honest here...when we first found out that Charlotte would need surgery and that it would be in Omaha, everyone started telling us about a Dr. Duncan and how good he was. Dr. Duncan this, Dr. Duncan that. I knew that she would be in great hands. When I heard "Dr. Hammel" my stomach dropped. WHAT!?! What about Dr. Duncan!?!? It makes me laugh to think about it now, knowing how perfect a match Dr. Hammel has been for our family.
The hardest conversation I've ever had in my life was with Dr. Hammel the day before Charlotte's OHS. Sitting with him made everything more real. She was having surgery. Her perfect little baby chest was going to be forever marked with a scar made by this man. Her life was in his hands. He spent a lot of time with Matt and I that day, presenting us with options and reassuring us that we were making the right decisions. He was always upfront with us and has made no guarantees, but he has made it clear that he would do whatever it takes for her. We will always remember him telling us, "whatever happens in there is between Charlotte, myself and God." This is the most comforting anyone could have said to us on that day. And even though he may have felt a little awkward at the time, I love that he didn't get weird when I asked him to hug me....both before AND after surgery. Hahah---poor guy! We are beyond thankful for Dr. Hammel.
Having singled those people out, I also feel the need to express our appreciation for everyone at Children's Hospital. After our recent overnight stay at the hospital here in Sioux Falls, I jokingly referred to myself as a "hospital snob." No, there was nothing wrong with the care we received here, but it was different at Children's. Our experience there was flawless.
We have so much to be thankful for.