Last week hubs and I got to go on a tour of the birthing center (the 4th floor) in the hospital we are delivering at. It was so.much.fun! It created this excitement in me that if I were even a few weeks closer to my due date I probably would have hopped up into one of the beds and said, "Induce me now, let's do this!"
For the first half of the hour we sat in the main lobby and had a verbal explanation of everything and a Q and A session. There were 3 other pregnant woman there on the tour. A woman and her husband expecting their first, a woman there with her toddler expecting her second (I'm guessing), and finally a teenager there with her boyfriend or baby's daddy (not sure what he was) AND her parents were there with her AND her grandmother. Let me also just say (no judgement here....ok maybe just a little) that there is no way that the grandmother or the mother had their children when there age started with a 2 or higher. I think every woman in that family had their babies when their age began with a 1..............just saying.
Anyway, I hate when people ask questions, just for the sake of asking questions. This family with the entourage was like that. Also there was not one question they asked that was formed using correct english....again, I'm just saying.
Ok truly moving on. We got to learn all about the rules and regulations at the hospital, and the labor and delivery floor itself. The postpartum (recovery) side of the floor is totally renovated and brand new as of last year. Huge rooms, flat screen tv's, rocking chairs, and that uncomfortable pull out bed for the husbands (oh wait I mean coaches) to sleep on. We don't use the words husband there because you know, babies come from all kinds of families. There are 22 (I think) postpartum rooms. On the labor and delivery side there are 17 laboring rooms and 2 operating rooms. Labor and delivery rooms are equipped with soaking tubs, sink for baby's first bath, scale, huge flying saucer looking light that comes out of the ceiling to shine in your hoo ha, and again another uncomfortable bed for the "coach." As you can guess from the numbers it's a small more quaint birthing experience than huge hospitals. They encourage you to labor in any why that you please. You can use the tubs (which I will not, that grosses me out) or use the birthing balls or walk around or just lay there if that's what you want. Pretty much the only thing you can't do is eat. Damn. Besides that I really like how open they are to you laboring in whatever way you feel comfortable. (I hope they don't mind screaming.)
I think the best part of this hospital is that they do not have that typical nursery where you see all the babies lined up behind the window. All babies stay with the mother in the mother's room 100% of the time!!! Everything from delivery to cleaning the baby and weighing the baby, to having the apgar test, to having the pediatrician's first exam of the baby is all done in the mother's room. The only time the baby would leave the mother is if there is an emergency for any reason, or to get circumcised.
Also our hospital does not have any visitor hours on the labor and delivery floor. Therefore if we wanted to have a guest come in at 11pm that would be no problem. The regular hospital visiting hours end at 8pm. I really like that our guests can stay later than that. They do however have a "quiet time" between 1-3pm each day which is for napping and mommy's and daddy's to do their bonding with the baby. They said they won't kick your guests out during those hours but they will ask you to shut your door and be quiet. The nurses try not to come in during those 2 hours as well.
The last thing is super cool in a weird kind of way because I've never heard of this. Obviously security on the baby floors is super high. (Well duh, all us infertiles have thought about baby steeling once in our life.......haha, just kidding.) After they clamp off the umbilical cord they place a little tracker device on the baby's belly button. No joke. It will set off all the alarms in the hospital if it crosses the elevator barrier. If an alarm is set off the entire hospital goes on lock down until all the babies on the floor are accounted for. The funny thing about this is that after delivery the mom and baby are wheeled to the other side of the floor for recovery. You have to pass the elevators to get there and our guide has told us they are so sensitive that they have to watch so they don't wheel the baby too close to set the alarm off. Better safe than sorry!
We learned so much more on this tour, for example where the free food is for after delivery, but I think I've gotten out the gist of it. I did pipe up and asked a few questions like, "How does my baby get a social security number? Do I have to register it with the county like I did my dogs?" Hubs was just laughing at me as I asked that semi-serious question. For those of you who wonder the same thing the hospital should provide you with all the paper work to fill out the birth certificate and they will send it off to the social security department for you. All you have to do is pay for the copies to be mailed back to you. Hey, at least I wasn't the person asking, "Do the hospital provide them there car seats to rent, I heard them are some to rent!" Um no lady, and those of you who "accidentally" got pregnant are not allowed to speak on this tour. Thank you.