Bobby & I went on a maternity tour of the hospital last night. It was kind of an out-of-body experience… we’re walking into the mysterious halls of Labor & Delivery, a huge herd of giant pregnant bellies with a few husbands & significant others scattered throughout. We walked past a mirror, & I fought not to burst out laughing. It was just so… weird. Like if I caught sight of a herd of dinosaurs sauntering past. I still find myself shocked at my own reflection, so the reflections of 15 or so pregnant people at once was almost too much for my giggle reflex to handle. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who found it funny. Bobby gave me the side-eye.
The hospital where we’ll be staying is really nice… at least I think it is. You know, based on my vast experience with this whole maternity amenities thing. There’s one room where we’ll be the entire time until Rose is born — we’ll check in there, labor there, deliver there, & hang out for about 1.5-2 hrs afterward before being relocated to Mother/Baby on the other side of the hospital floor. We can have whoever in the room (ages 14+) until the actual baby-coming-out process starts… then there’s a limit of 4 people in the room & everyone else is kicked out to the lobby area. I’ve been in the L&D wing twice before when Maggie & Sadie arrived, but I’ve never really taken note of things. Like how big the L&D rooms are so that they can wheel all the medical stuff in. And the shiny vinyl sofa/futon that Bobby will be sleeping on. And the baby warmer heat lamp thingie in the corner where Rose will go after she’s born. And the discreet stirrups that pop out from under the lumpy little bed. I still had the distinct feeling that I was an impostor, like Bobby & I had just wandered off the street & were pretending like this tour applied to us. Our little tour guide said that assuming everything goes smoothly, Rose will stay with us in the room for 1.5 hrs (this is the window when I’m supposed to try to breastfeed for the first time), then go to the nursery for tests, her first bath, etc. Bobby will accompany Rose, while I’ll be moved to the M/B side of things.
Next, we herded back through the lobby to the Mother/Baby wing, where the rooms are smaller & the beds weren’t quite so torture-device-esque. These rooms had the same little futon things where Bobby can camp out, as well as a recliner for him to kick back. After I’m settled into my M/B room, a freshly bathed Rose will be returned to stay with us permanently unless we request that she be taken back to the nursery. I’ve been told to take advantage of this opportunity… to send her back while there are nurses available to help because it’ll be the last uninterrupted rest I get for a while. I’m not sure I’ll be able to though. We’ll see. There’s no visitor restrictions on the M/B side (except ages 14+), but the tour guide said that they have these nifty little “Resting” signs that they’ll hang on the door at any given time if we need a break. Jennifer’s been mentally preparing Maggie for the fact that she won’t be able to actually hold “Baby Wose” until we get home — until then, peering through the nursery window will have to suffice.
The tour concluded at the nursery, where there was a new little squirmy human lying there for us to gawk at. I completely tuned out… couldn’t stop staring at this tiny being sucking on his fingers, mewing, with his eyes squinshed shut. He was perfect — 10 fingers, 10 toes, a little belly, thin flailing arms & legs. It was.. well, completely amazing. I found myself fighting tears… like I seriously could have just stood there & cried over this random little baby just because… well, he EXISTED. I’m fairly certain that makes no sense.
For a first baby, our stay is estimated to be 48 hours. And then they release us back into the world. Oh, have I mentioned that this is all going to happen in 28 days or less?