After finding out about Poppy’s diagnosis, Brad and I started doing research about Children’s Hospitals in our region. We also got in touch with a family Brad grew up with who also have a baby boy with HLHS. They had just gotten back from Seattle after baby’s first surgery. It was so comforting to have someone to confide in and ask questions, who have been there and are currently living it. They had seen Dr. Hardy, a pediatric cardiologist in Missoula for their son’s care. Dr. Hardy is affiliated with Seattle Children’s Hospital, of which they raved about. The thought about possibly going to Seattle for Poppy’s care hadn’t really crossed our minds until now.
Before Brad and I even met, we both lived in Seattle around the same time. I attended cosmetology school and Brad attended the art college, and worked in interior design. We attended the same church, but had never met until we both moved back home to Montana. While living there, we both became quite familiar and comfortable with the city. The possibility of revisiting Seattle for Poppy’s care quickly became a comforting thought. Just knowing the city and where things are provides great comfort in a time of so much uncertainty. Such a tough decision. We had Dr. Haugan and Dr. Sillitti’s support to do what we felt was best for our family; to go with our gut, because any major city would provide great care for our sweet girl. By the way, these two doctors, and the whole practice for that matter (Bozeman OB/GYN), is the most compassionate caring office I’ve ever experienced. We were in constant prayer for guidance and direction. Where did God want us to go for Poppy’s care? Whatever the outcome, we just want to be in His will. We did feel that God was pulling us to Seattle for Poppy’s care. We decided to get an appointment with Dr. Hardy and feel it out.
Dr. Hardy’s office in Missoula was impressive from the beginning. It was the week before Christmas when I called for an appointment. I ended up having to leave a voicemail, expecting to hear back after the Christmas holiday. Christmas Eve, Dr. Hardy’s nurse, Kelly called. I was so pleasantly surprised to hear from them so promptly, and on Christmas Eve! She asked me about the diagnosis and other specifics, and after finding out how far along I was (28 weeks by this time), she got us in right away! Dec. 31st! She was already so kind and compassionate just over the phone! Little things like that mean so much.
Our trip to Missoula was a mixture of anticipation, anxiety, relief, comfort, and peace. It is hard to explain. We went in knowing that probably the diagnosis would be the same, but anticipating a plan….a real life action plan for our baby. Hearing from the doctor about how this all works, what to expect, after care expectations….and on and on. This part would be a relief…..right? Dr. Hardy was absolutely amazing. Within 1 minute of speaking with him, we knew he was the perfect fit for our Poppy. He began by genuinely asking about us! Us!! His kind, and caring spirit was so genuine and continued through the entire appointment. He spent almost 3 hours with us! We also learned that he visits Acorn Pediatrics in Bozeman once a month, where we already take Crosby. We absolutely love Acorn! What a comfort! We left his office knowing basically the same things we knew going in, but even more hopeful. We had a doctor who had hope for our baby girl…he was going to fight for her with us. We left so at peace and full of relief that God had, without a doubt, made a clear path for us to go to Seattle. We will see Dr. Hardy once more before we head to Seattle at about 35 weeks, around (Feb. 7th).