Soon after finding out Evan had fluid on his brain ,we were referred to the Fetal Care Institute at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis. Growing up in the suburbs of St. Louis, I knew what an amazing hospital it was. The mix of emotions I felt pulling up outside before our first appointment were unbelievable I was heart broken and thankful, all at the same time. When we walked into the office, the receptionist greeted us by name and lead us to a room with a couch, a recliner, a flat screen tv and a computer. We met with our nurse who explained what the fetal care institute was, what they did and how they were going to guide us through the rest of this pregnancy. I had an MRI done and then a ultrasound. We met with neurosurgeons, a fetal care specialist, nurses, a nun, the geneticist, a social worker, our neonatologist and a doctor who's title and name I cant pronounce. Each doctor came into our little "living room" and spoke with us one on one. We were spoken to in terms we could understand, and the doctors never ONCE made us feel like there was no hope. I have heard horror stories from other hydro mommies. Tales of doom and gloom. My heart breaks for them because for us, we made it clear early on we were keeping this baby. We had faith and by the grace of God, we were paired with doctors who also chose to focus on the positive.
The MRI showed exactly what we expected, and from this, our team of doctors gave us the diagnosis of Aqueductal Stenosis. For the next 3 months, we would come here monthly and meet with our team. Soon after Evan is born, he will be airlifted by helicopter to Cardinal Glennon. This is where his brain surgery will take place. A shunt will be placed in his brain to drain the fluid. It is our hope that the brain will bounce right back into the space where the fluid once sat. It is our hope that he comes through the surgery like the champ I believe him to be. I hope he flirts with his NICU nurses and that his stay is short. I hope we get him home and his shunt functions just as it should, with no malfunctions or revisions needed. Hope. When dealing with a situation such as this, you can either crumble or you can lean on your faith and be hopeful. We choose to stay strong in our faith. Cardinal Glennon is amazing, it gave us hope that while Evan had a very scary and threatening issue, that he is in the best hands possible This isn't a place you WANT your baby...but your heart is so thankful to have a team like this, in a hospital like this. Although I have a feeling our journey is just getting started I will never forget what this hospital has done for us. And really, they haven't even gotten started yet.
This will be my last blog post until after Evan's delivery (Tuesday, Nov 6th.) I will keep you all posted by Facebook and when things calm down, Ill do my best to update this blog.
Much love to you all, and please keep Evan in your prayers :)