Thursday, January 19, 2012

Children's of Alabama

This post is a little different than the normal Carter updates.
Today I would like to talk about an important part of our world as of September 2010. We have been blessed to be a part of the UAB and Children's family. I began going to UAB's Women and Infants Center in September to have targeted ultrasounds done to closely monitor Carter's growth and progress through the last 4 months of my pregnancy, to include a procedure and delivery. They have an amazing facility, some of the sweetest nurses, and skilled doctors that are eager to educate not only their residents, but the parents with whom they are using as their teaching examples. As scary as it was to have a room full of nurses, nurse aides, residents, and doctors when I delivered Carter, I am glad that they were able to have that experience with this rare condition. UAB's Regional NICU is top-notch, and Carter was kept comfortable until his transport to Children's. I was treated like a queen after delivery, and they even did a special "Celebration Dinner" for Josh and I both before I was discharged (every couple gets this... but it feels like a very big deal!).

I have a love/hate relationship with Children's of Alabama. I hate that we have to be there, because that means my child has some serious problems and is not well... but I love that I can trust them. I remember talking to a friend (who has been a frequent flyer mom at Children's more often than I can imagine), and she described how she felt when taking her son who'd been burned to the ER there. She said as soon as she hit the elevators she felt at peace, because she knew they were close to the people who were going to fix everything. I catch nurses all of the time that have on shirts for her daughter, who's been battling cystic fybrosis. This is not just another hospital - this is a family. These nurses don't forget their patients, and they work hard to ensure that the children and parents alike are comfortable during the stress of being sick and away from home. These doctors are among the best in the country, and if they aren't the best, they typically have a close working relationship with the best and can reach out when necessary. Yes, we have to drive an hour and a half and sometimes wait extensively for the ER, clinic visits, testing... but it is worth every mile, every minute, and every packed bag.  I can't imagine trusting my son with anything less than the best. I can't explain to you the excitement we get out of the events that they have at Children's Harbor while we're admitted... they make passing the time so much easier! And the $400 million expansion project that will be finished in August makes me absolutely giddy (even though the wing we're usually admitted to will probably not move to the new building). We were even able to sign Carter's name to the final beam that will be placed in the new facility!

This looks SO cool at night. 

I can't wait to walk this.... NOT! But what an amazing structure!

I'll take a minute to brag on some of the recent awards our specialties recently received:
Among "The Best Doctors in America" were mentioned our:
Neurosurgeon - Dr. Wellons
 Urologist - Dr. Joseph
Neonatologist - Dr. Coghill
In the "Best Children's Hospital's U.S. News & World Report Magazine", Children's of Alabama had the following ranked specialty clinics (that we see):
#11 Neurosurgery
#22 Nephrology
#23 Neonatology
#25 Urology
#39 Orthopedics
You can see more here.

Also, this year is Children's 100th Anniversary - 100 years of caring for children. We're proud to be a part of this milestone, and blessed to be a part of the Children's family!

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