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Our visit to Labor and Delivery

Whoa now…settle down. It was a planned visit. Didn’t mean to scare you!!

Dan and I registered for a hospital “tour” a few weeks ago and finally made it tonight. I say “finally” because we were registered once before this but our hospital is a satellite hospital of a major player in town and some wires have already gotten crossed more than once. So, we were registered for this tour a week and a half ago, but didn’t think we were and didn’t go and had to reschedule for tonight.

We realized on the way there that we might’ve picked the worst possible place to live should Baby decide to come during rush hour. No matter what hospital we are delivering at, there’s a good chance Baby’s head would be out before we got there if he makes an appearance between 4:30 and 6:00 pm (or 6:30 even). Traffic was kind of a pain. But, we made it with a few minutes to spare.

We walked in and told the nice people at the registration desk that we were there for the L&D tour. The lady smiled and said “Oh sure, just go up to the third floor and tell them that you’re here.” So we did. And the nurses looked at us with semi-blank stares and asked us to have a seat in their “waiting room.” The waiting room is a small corridor with six chairs and a tv that’s directly off the elevator. This corridor is shared by the nine L&D rooms. Let’s hope we’re the only ones there when it’s time for Baby to arrive because my family alone will take up more than just those six chairs and will probably create a fire hazard for those trying to get on and off of the elevator.

So we sat down, and I began to feel anxious because this hospital does not look anywhere near as nice as the main hospital. In fact, the people I saw getting on and off the elevator could’ve been transplanted from my hometown. They seemed like good ol’ “salt of the earth” kinds of people, if you get my drift. Eventually, one of the nurses came back to tell us that Patty would be with us shortly to give us the tour.

The anxiety was amped up because Dan was being a bit of a grumpasaurus (love you, babe!) and I had a craptastic day at work and I realized I’d forgotten my insurance cards and my license to complete pre-reegistration and Patty hadn’t shown up yet and we were talking about how we’re going to make sure the dog is taken care of when I go into labor and HOLYCRAP WE’RE SITTING IN FREAKING LABOR AND DELIVERY AND THIS BABY COULD BE HERE IN FIVE TO NINE WEEKS (and yes this is a run-on sentence but I am an English teacher and I don’t care)!! OMGOMGOMG!!!

Then, the elevator door opens and about eight people spill out of it into the tiny little corridor-like waiting room of L & D. OMG we missed the effing tour AGAIN!! Patty, the tour guide, saw us sitting there and said “Oh, are you here for the tour? We met in the lobby downstairs.” REEEAAAALLLYYY??? She handed me a pamphlet on the hospital’s lactation services and childbirth classes and the tears that I’d been holding in while sitting there with Dan just spilled out.

Yes, I really cried at the hospital tour, but I’d felt them coming all day long.

I’m not even sure what she said while we were in that little room because I was tightly clutching my pre-registration packet and willing the tears to not spill down my cheeks while refusing to look up and make eye contact with anyone.

All was not lost, however. We’d only missed the downstairs portion of the tour and what to do when we needed to check in. We saw an L & D room, complete with it’s jacuzzi tub and fold-out sofabed. We saw the dreaded door of doom (aka, the operating room where C-sections are performed). We saw the nursery, but there were no babies in it because they get to stay with mommy and daddy after being born. And we talked about how the hospital uses a Baby-lojack system to ensure that no babies are snatched. Awesome.

Then we saw the REALLY small post-partum floor.

Then we went back downstairs. The whole tour lasted about thirty minutes. Patty took the time to show Dan and I around downstairs and to go over the registration information that we missed being upstairs and then I told her that I was a teacher as such-and-such school and we had the obligatory “Oh, do you know so-and-so?” conversation and I had to say “No, I don’t.” And then we parted ways and she made sure to tell the people at the registration desk that anyone showing up for an L & D tour should be kept downstairs until the tour begins and should not be sent up to L & D and should not collect $200.

Overall, it was nice and I feel much better about the hospital now than I felt walking into the place this afternoon. Now let’s hope the next time I go back there is because Baby is really on his way and not because I’m a neurotic moron who imagines that every move he makes in his final weeks as an inside baby is a sign that he’s busting out.

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