We went for the hospital tour the other night. We have been looking forward to this for a long time. NRGH opened a new maternity wing last summer and we have heard nothing but raves about it.
We were both very pleased with the facility, and also with the philosophy NRGH presents. From my "Maternity Care" handout:
- Childbirth is a normal healthy life event.
- Mothers, babies and families should be together to nurture bonding and infant feeding.
- Our relationship with you is based on mutual trust and respect.
- We welcome a variety of health care providers to your birth experience.
There is even a little section on Birth Plans, which I think is a positive sign. Still not sure how far we're going to go with the Birth Plan thing, but that's stuff for another post. In any case, it's great that they are open to that concept.
The wing itself is lovely. It still looks brand new. I got the "right" answers to many of the questions I had (without even having to ask):
- Once admitted, we and whomever we choose to have with us will be in one (private) room for the labour, the delivery, and the recovery.
- Each room has a private bath with a giant bathtub and shower.
- Birth balls and squat bars are available (meaning, women are supported to labour and birth in alternative positions).
- "Early discharge is supported and facilitated if this is your wish."
- The rooms have TVs and CD players for distraction.
- We can use cell phones (but sadly, no wireless access, so no liveblogging*. Dammit!)
- There is an "early labour lounge" for us to hang out with other parents-to-be and pass the time.
- There is a very nice built-in bed for Dad, though it is recommended he bring his own bedding.
Also, a very cool concept - I believe the nurse giving the tour said ours was the first hospital in western Canada to have telemetry, which means that even if we need the constant electronic fetal monitoring, the sensors can be attached and Mom can still walk around; the signals will be sent via telemetry to the monitor in the room. Frightfully cool. The nurse also saw fit to mention at this point that only in the case of a medical issue would constant monitoring be used - it is not routine. See what I mean about having all the right answers?
In all, it was quite a trip to be in one of these rooms, picturing ourselves in labour, picturing our baby in the warmer next to the bed. This is where it's all going to happen. Amazing.
*We were told that unfortunately, many things have "gone walking" from the rooms since they opened only 8 months ago - lamps, CD players, all the niceties that weren't nailed down. The hospital has already used up their replacement budget for the year, so further missing stuff can't be replaced. This outrages me - people are ultimately stealing from the community, and it makes me sick to my stomach.
That - along with stories like this - are prompting me to want to leave lappy at home, anyway. I'd hate to gain one baby only to lose another.