Tuesday, April 21, 2015

choosing a hospital



After returning from our fetal surgery evaluation day with Vanderbilt, J.B. and I elected to take a few days to detox from all the information. But it was less than a week before we received a call letting us know that we needed to select a delivery hospital pretty quickly.

While we loved having Jake locally at Huntsville Hospital, Eliza was going to need a team of pediatric neurosurgeons that would only be available if we went to a children's hospital. Our two choices were essentially equal distances away - Vanderbilt Children's or Children's of Alabama. While we aren't committed forever, there is more than just delivery to consider. Once Eliza was born and even brought home, she would continue to be a spina bifida patient at whichever hospital clinic we choose. Ideally, we'd like to use the same clinic for delivery and pediatric care.

Due to some medical complications that Jake had during his first year, we've had previous experience with both hospitals. And even though we'd had a great experience with the team at Vanderbilt during the evaluation, both of our guts were definitely leaning towards a delivery at Children's of Alabama.
At this point, however, I had yet to speak with anyone there about their spina bifida program. 

After days of voice mails and being given different contacts and phone numbers, I was finally able to speak with the appropriate contacts at Children's of Alabama. And let me be honest, I was incredibly unimpressed. Maybe I caught them at a bad time, but everyone I spoke to seemed bored, unorganized and less efficient that I'd like for them to be. Based on their scheduling, I think its fair to say that their team also sees less spina bifida patients that the team at Vanderbilt. 
Ultimately, I was pretty uncomfortable with the idea of using them for Eliza's care. 

How funny, to have a gut feeling about one place for one child, and then to have the roles reversed for the other. Silver lining? It was an easy decision! Vanderbilt has a great program that has impressed us since day one. So we're thankful to have that team as our go-to. 

When I called to let them know of our decision, they were so happy to have us. We have a follow up appointment scheduled towards the end of May to see how Eliza has progressed. From there, we hope to have a little more concrete delivery plan for this summer. 

It's nice to have another (not so) tough decision under our belts!





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