So, apparently expectant parents are “supposed” to visit prospective hospitals,
hear their sales pitches, tour their L&D units, and select an obstetrician based on the L&D look see. I’m not oozing with free time, so we narrowed the hospital selection down according to the following criteria (in order of importance): parking, NICU level, and proximity to home. If you live in a small or mid-sized town, you may have trouble understanding our ranking system; you’re just going to have to trust me that it’s reasonable.
We hoped that we could deliver at a smaller neighborhood hospital where many of our friends had natural, midwife-assisted births but the midwives won’t deliver twins and the NICU is across town so we let go of that dream. Besides, the expectant parent tour was fully booked for months! So that pretty well left us with one hospital to tour, which works out well because you couldn’t pay me to go on another one.
The tour started at 7:30 and we were a few minutes late, of course. We rushed off the elevator and walked right into the semi-circle of very pregnant women and their very male spouses. Cue the fish tank feeling. I looked over at R and suddenly realized we both had on fitted jackets, skinny jeans, and glasses. We try to always check ourselves for these kind of rookie mistakes before we leave the house. I sighed and then sucked the air back in through gritted teeth and waited for someone to ask if we were sisters. The tour guide was taking down each mother’s name, due date, and the name of her physician. It all felt way too personal, way too soon. I wasn’t prepared for so much sharing.
I found myself yearning for the warm, fuzzy neighborhood hospital that divides its L&D tours into stages–pre-pregnancy/early pregnancy and 30+weeks. I thought everyone was staring at R’s relatively flat belly. I felt flushed. Then out of the elevator walked another woman, who was forced to admit she’s expecting twins which instantly took the the heat off of us and onto her abdomen. Score!
The tour was pretty boring, to be honest. Especially once we heard (from the other MoM) that we’ll be delivering in the operating room, no matter which exit route the babies take. That was not exactly thrilling news. No CD playing the music of our choice, no birthing ball, no jacuzzi tub. Just the sterile OR walls and a gaggle of med students to gawk at the feminine looking dad. Oy.
The only comic relief came from a review of the infant monitoring equipment in the delivery room, which included this machine:
Maybe it’s better to give birth in the OR – it’s a reasonable distance from the blender.