Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Little Room of my Own

Last night we took a tour of the hospital where we'll be delivering. It's a smaller hospital, only 18 maternity rooms, but seemed to have a much better reputation as far as being "friendly." The other option would be downtown Seattle, where they deliver a million babies a day - which seemed like we would be just another number without a lot of personal attention. Plus this smaller hospital is only two miles from our house - even in thick traffic we could be there in 15 minutes. Trying to get downtown, although only eight miles, in traffic could take an hour. Having a baby in the parking lot or on the side of the freeway doesn't sound like fun to me.

The maternity wing of the hospital looks, from the outside, like an abandoned grade school. It's actually quite alarming. Do I really want to deliver a baby at a place with peeling paint and a big dilapidated totem pole standing guard out front? Luckily, they've completely remodeled the inside. Total night and day difference or else I would have turned heel and ran like the wind.

There was one other gal there for the tour. I immediately hated her. She was around 25 and at least 6' tall. Maybe 6'1 or 6'2. Blond Nordic goddess. By looking at her belly, I guessed she was about 6 months. Oh no. She's due a week before me. Whatev. She looked better in her jeans at 8 months than I do without packin' a baby. I tried to ignore her and make sure I walked in front so I didn't have to stare at her perky little bottom and long non-swollen legs and compare her confident stride to my pathetic waddle.

I was pretty surprised to see how small the rooms are - especially for giving birth and recovery. You do all that in here??!! I also got claustrophobic thinking of all my brothers, sisters, in-laws crowding in the little room to get a peek of the "freshie" (as my sister likes to call newborns). "Crowd control," I whispered to BigB, practically reeling from the idea of all my peeps staring at me after hours of labor. My skinny-yellow-haired tour buddy was busy figuring out how she'd be able to her big moment, I was busy figuring out how I could keep from hyperventilating.

Apparently there is one huge "suite" that is filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. I want that room. With it's huge windows and big jacuzzi tub. I told BigB that he was gonna have to sit outside the room for the entire two weeks before my due date so we could nab it.

This hospital doesn't have a nursery, and requires that if you take the baby out of your room, it has to stay in a rolling bassinet. "So what do you do if you want the baby to go somewhere else because it is screaming and you're exhausted and ready to have a nervous breakdown?" I ask innocently. The tour-leading nurse looked at me like I should be admitted right then and there. "Too bad, " she shrugged. "You'll be fine," she insisted. I guess a lot of hospitals have done away with the stereotypical "nursery" with the big windows where you can see all the babies. Now you hardly know there's anything going on because everyone, including the baby, is crammed into individual rooms.

Of course, drill Sargent-tour leading nurse described all the horrible things that could go wrong during a delivery but how they were "uniquely prepared to handle it." That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I did brighten up with the snack room. All kinds of little treats for the mom and dad-to-be (no extended family, please!). Although I noticed a eminent lack of chocolate (we'll be bringing our own special snacks). We were also promised a "celebratory dinner" before leaving. Complete with steak! and chocolate-covered strawberries! and non-alcoholic sparkling cider!

It was a bit overwhelming. I'm glad we did it, but overwhelming nonetheless. To think The-Big-Day is 9 weeks away. Just crazy.


tryingin2007 said...

a big jacuzzi tub! how cool is THAT?! 9 weeks will be here before you know it!


'Murgdan' said...

9 weeks!!! Wow, time flies!

Martha said...

9 weeks Wow!!
Who cares what other mothers look like? I prefer the waddle!
I hope you get the nice suite, but mostly access to good pain control if you need it and Super Healthy Happy Baby and Momma too!

areyoukiddingme said...

So, um, what do they do with the baby if you have a c-section and your husband can't stay overnight? My hospital wouldn't let you have the baby alone until you were up and walking unaided (which was the third day!), so if my husband wasn't there, the baby had to go to the nursery when I wasn't feeding her.

Anyway, I hope you get the giant suite with the jacuzzi tub!

I'm Kristin O. said...

Found your blog last week and haven't stopped reading. I am due in Oct. but recently toured our hospital and had the same comments. They say they are more 'friendly' but they just seem cold and small. We are going to make due with what we have and bring lots of warm fuzzies from home! Chocolate too!