Monday evening, at 8PM... in the cold... when I was tired... while the snow was coming down... and it was icy out... I digress, Mark and I took a tour of the St. Ann's Labor and Delivery unit. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but I wasn't super overly impressed. It's a very nice hospital, but I wouldn't say it's any nicer than Riverside. Maybe I've just heard so much hype about St. Ann's I was expecting a magical place. ::shrug::
The unit is very nice and everything is new and shiny. The labor rooms have all the modern comforts including interwebz access and ESPN on the television, as well as a 24 hour Tim Horton's for Mark's iced cappuccino needs. The post-partum rooms are a little small, but not unusually so and definitely nice. Security seems good and the staff seems nice.
I've heard this is the hospital to deliver at if you want any sort of "alternative" birth. I'm not sure yet exactly what I'm going to do about medication, but I like the idea that the hospital embraces other options besides walk in and get an epidural even if that's what I end up doing! They do have 3 labor and delivery rooms equipped with jacuzzis that they like to reserve for moms trying to go the au natural route. That's a nifty extra.
We have decided this is where we're going to deliver. It's the closest hospital to us and it was very nice. And plus, I was born there. If a FAB person like me comes out of a place like that I'll go in hopes that the greatness rubs off on my baby ; )
Really, what sealed the deal for me was the fact that the R.N. hosting the tour kept talking about how they are changing things to adapt with new research. I LOVE that they aren't (or at least don't seem like they are) rigid about the way they do things in spite of new findings.
Something that was key for me - they don't immediately separate mom and baby following birth. Once baby squeezes out of mom's nether regions the baby is immediately (as long as all is well of course!) placed on mom's chest to warm up vs. being taken across the room to one of those little heater beds to be poked and prodded and that sort of thing.
They also said that they don't have to put the antibiotic goop in the baby's eyes or jab them with a needle for the Vitamin K shot immediately after birth. This is something else that I really liked. They said they are required by law to do it within the first hour post-partum, but it doesn't have to be right away. Poor baby! They have enough to deal with. They're being forcibly squeezed out of the only place they've known into a cold environment with strange people, bright lights, AND they have to breathe on their own all the sudden. Let's give them a break with the poking and prodding and shots, shall we? I'd like to give my baby a chance to nurse first.
Something else that was important to me - baby is allowed to transition with mom from L&D to post-partum and doesn't have to leave the mom's side AT ALL while in the hospital unless you want them to take the baby. This means the the nurse will come to your room to give the baby their first bath instead of whisking them away to the nursery post-birth.
Now, I don't judge anyone else for what they do with their kids including their preferences for birth, nor do I claim to be some expert - I've never even had a kid - BUT from the research I've done, it's very important to me to keep my baby with me and to have physical contact with him immediately after birth.
We did get to go by the nursery and see all the tiny (you know, the closer I get to my due date the bigger those newborns look! It's amazing how that happens.) newborns wrapped up like Chipotle burritos. That was exciting. In just a few weeks we will have our own little Chipotle burrito baby.
Speaking of having our own baby in a few weeks, I went on Monday for my now usual bi-weekly doctor visit. Blood pressure is good, weight is good, and then when the doctor measured my belly she says, "the baby is measuring a little bit big"! Whaa?! So, in 2 weeks when I go back for my next visit they are going to do an ultrasound to get a better idea of the baby's size and weight, but if they do find he's bigger than originally thought then the doctor says they might have to move up my due date a bit! THIS is an awesome and scary prospect all at the same time!
So, I'm very excitedly looking forward to this ultrasound. We weren't supposed to have another one, so this is a little unexpected. We haven't seen the baby since the sex ultrasound around week 20. I'm anxious to know what they find!