Friday, May 22, 2009

Tour of L&D

Well, Aunt G. was right -- I was surprised at the labor & delivery section of the Med Center. But not because of anything other than size. I'm sure all the medical gadgets and procedures are as impressive as anywhere else, but for such a LARGE medical facility, L&D was surprisingly small.

There are only five L&D rooms and two operating rooms. And when they get really busy, there are two post-partum rooms that can be quickly transformed into L&D rooms. There are more post-partum recovery rooms, but I was really surprised Hershey doesn't deliver more babies. Even when they're busy, max capacity is nine babies coming into the world on any given day there.

But I guess as long as they have room for me come July, it doesn't really matter anyway.

Although last night all five L&D rooms were in use, so they didn't think we'd be able to check one out. But then one of the women went into an OR for a C-section, so we ended up having an opportunity to quickly check out her recently vacated L&D room after all.

Not much to say about the L&D rooms: they're pretty standard hospital rooms, I guess, except they're bigger. Each one has a private bathroom with shower and three chairs for visitors. Plenty of room to move around, and there's a birthing ball in each room, too. We decided last night that since the L&D room is of decent size and since the waiting areas outside are pretty small, we're OK with L&D visitors (up to two at a time, per hospital guidelines) until active labor starts. We imagine our parents and/or siblings may appreciate visiting. But then everyone other than Brian and the med center folks has to leave the room when the tough part starts (that's my rule, not the hospital's). We came up with a code word, and as soon as Brian hears it, he'll clear the room and thank everyone for waiting outside until the big show is over. :)

The post-partum recovery rooms are MUCH smaller, but they're each private with a private bathroom. No room sharing between moms at Hershey. Brian's chair looked horribly uncomfortable and didn't resemble the sleeper chair I thought they had, so I asked one of the childbirth educators about it. She told me to ask for a comfier chair as soon as we got placed in a PPR room -- they're few and far between, but if you know to ask for one, they can usually scrounge one up for your stay.

Also learned that a new mom and baby are typically discharged on Day 2 following delivery. But Day 1 doesn't start until midnight following the baby's birth. So regardless of whether munchkin is born at 1 a.m. or 11:30 p.m., the day he's born doesn't count.

After the tour we watched a couple of videos, and for the first time Brian saw what babies look like at birth. He was grossed out and wondered (whined) why he couldn't just have a clean baby not covered in cream cheese or blood, and one without nose pimples, a funny-shaped head, shoulder hair, bruises or rashes. I told him my parts and me would do our best to fulfill his wishes, but he should probably expect to be at least a little disappointed.

And my wonderful husband packed me dinner to eat during the class, since I went right from work to the Med Center. However, while I enjoyed my snack during a break following demonstration of a few personal hygiene healing recommendations for mom, Brian made me laugh uncontrollably and choke on my turkey and swiss wrap when he expressed his lack of support for "pissing in the party hat." He had never seen or heard of a sitz bath before, and apparently the demonstration was lost on him.


Gunnar's Mom said...

I have been reading your blog with some regularity since I too delivered at Hershey. In talking with the staff they deliver several thousand babies a year, after my son was born via c-section I was moved out of L&D down the hall on the other side of the rotunda, same floor.
Good luck to you and your husband and baby. I hope you have a smooth delivery and a very happy and healthy baby.

Liz and Brian said...

Thanks, Gunnar's Mom -- both for reading and for the best wishes!