Dan and I do not have a great track record when it comes to hospital tours, apparently. In fact, we have what may be the worst luck ever when it comes to 1) these things going smoothly and 2) me not crying.
Exhibit A: Tour #1, three years ago
Exhibit B: Tour #2, three days ago.
It seems I have a habit of not understanding how these things are supposed to work and cannot seem to get my act together to find out how these things work in a timely fashion. When I transferred to my new doctor’s practice, I knew I’d be transferring hospitals too. So I tried and tried and tried to call the hospital to reserve a spot on the tour and being frustrated when no one would answer the phone. Then, a couple of weeks ago, Dr. T is all “Oh, no, you just show up. They do the tours on the first three Thursday nights of each month at 6:30 and 7:30, so you just pick one and show up.”
Uh, useful information like this is useful, hospital. PUT IT ON YOUR WEBSITE.
The first Thursday night we could tour the hospital was this past Thursday. A week before my due date.
Dan came home from work early on Thursday so we–all three of us–could make the drive into downtown during rush hour. Oh yes, friends. Yes. The first-born, Mr. “NO I DO IT” himself, came with us.
After sitting in traffic trying to get off the interstate and freaking out that we weren’t going to make it to the hospital in time for the start of the tour (which inevitably led to much freaking out about whether or not I’ll end up giving birth on the side of the road should I go into labor during rush hour), we made it into the parking garage.
Except somehow the parking garage has its very own Platform 9 3/4 and we missed Level F so we had to circle back down, by way of Level H, to park the car. Someone clearly failed Alphabet 101 in Parking Garage Builder school.
Finally, we found Level F. Dan flew into a parking spot!
We threw open the stroller!
We tossed Joshua into it!
We made a mad dash to the elevators!
Except the first elevators we came to were only for the levels of the parking garage! DRAT.
We got off the elevator and made it around the skywalk, into the hospital, and to the correct set of elevators, punched the “up” circle, and headed to the third floor. We came tearing off the elevators and the lady behind the desk said “Y’all here for the tour, right? I’m just gon’ go ahead and let y’all catch up through those double doors right there!” and pointed in the direction we were supposed to go. So we went.
Whew. We made it. And then it all went to Hell because Joshua had a meltdown that ended in the nurse asking Dan to please take him outside. Which caused me to burst into tears because FOR THE SWEET LOVE OF SEQUINS I just wanted this to go smoothly.
Dan grabbed Joshua and headed out the doors and I could hear Joshua screaming the whole way and I burst into tears and apologized to the others on the tour for both my screaming child and my snot. One poor lady on the tour with me was all “Honey, you’re going to make me cry, too! It’s okay!”
(P.S. That’s something I love about being Southern. There is always someone around who will attempt to be comforting when s/he sees that someone needs it.)
I pulled it together, felt miserable, and continued the tour. I took in as much as I could regarding the nursery and procedures there and felt my pulse quicken when we got to the OR doors and talked about procedures for in there and post-op recovery, and then we moved on to one of the L&D rooms and things got better.
The nurse was saying so many things that jive with my philosophies of natural birth. Things like it’s good to move as much as you can during labor, especially the early stages. Trust your body during delivery and if you need to try a different position while pushing, try it. Your body knows what to do.
It was good to hear those things. Empowering.
She talked breastfeeding and the importance of nutrition and taking care of yourself after giving birth. She said there’s room service instead of set times the kitchen brings trays around which means I will likely avoid another Meatloaf Meltdown.
By the end of the tour, I wasn’t glad I’d essentially done the tour by myself while Dan and Joshua toured the non-medical areas of the place (i.e. the cafeteria and the fountain and the aviary), but I found myself slightly excited by the prospect of giving birth in this hospital.
Comforted somehow by the way the nurse talked about birth and breastfeeding and postpartum care.
I may not be completely ready for this kid to make her entrance, but I’m getting there.