It’s crunch time for Moonbeam–we’re now in the thirtieth week, which means he could be arriving in about two months, if his schedule is the same as Elena’s. This time around we’re trying to do a better job with the timing of all the important pre-baby events. In particular, with Elena we took a tour of the hospital way too early, and it overwhelmed Jenny. Last week we judged it was the right time to get to know the hospital, so Jenny scheduled a visit. I’m glad that she did; we got lots of useful information.
Our learning started before we even got to the hospital, as we had to locate it first. We had looked at it on the map, but it’s always better to do at least one run in person. Under good conditions, we’re less than 25 minutes away. In the event of bad conditions, which are unlikely during the height of the vacation season, there are at least two good alternate routes that should have different traffic profiles. The hospital makes it easy to check in once we arrive: there’s close parking and even a free valet service that runs during daytime hours.
Our tour guide was clearly extremely competent. She was waiting at the door to check everyone in, and after checking off names the first thing she did was point the pregnant women towards the bathroom. She told us that the entrance we were using was brand new; the hospital is expanding and the beautiful new lobby where we waited has only been open for a few weeks. The visitor policy also seemed to be a new, or at least different, feature of this hospital. They don’t restrict visiting hours, but limit the number of visitors to five at any one time, and the father is one of the five. For some reason siblings don’t count towards the total. It’s a moot point for us–we don’t want visitors until after Moonbeam arrives, and we don’t want big groups.
At various times the guide stopped to allow us to ask questions. After she finished telling us about what we needed to bring to the hospital and what, including diapers, we could leave at home, I decided to throw something out there. I asked what diaper sizes they had in stock–because our first baby didn’t fit in the newborn size. She didn’t even pause before saying that they have all sizes in stock, so they can handle the kids that are born to be football players.
The last stop on the tour was the Labor and Delivery room. Even though it was in a different hospital halfway across the country, there were enough similarities that it brought back strong memories. The tour guide paused her spiel to ask Jenny if she was okay, or if she needed to sit down. The moment passed and everything was okay; it wasn’t too overwhelming after all.
There are a variety of other minor details that I noticed, mostly because they represented differences between this hospital and the one where Elena was born. For one thing, there’s a daily charge to watch the television, which seems like a bum deal, but we’ll probably pony up for it, because there won’t be much else that Jenny can do. Also, the cafeteria doesn’t provide meals for the father. There is a Subway and a Chick-Fil-A located inside the hospital. After Elena was born, the only thing Jenny really wanted was a Chick-Fil-A milkshake, and I think she’s already looking forward to a repeat of that post-labor treat, so it’s good to know that it will be easy to obtain.