Week 34 ~ February 23, 2004
~ Hospital Tour
I visited with the Maternity Care Coordinator at my hospital this week. I was very pleased with what I learned there and only hope I wasn't just being told what I want to hear. What pleased me most was discovering that all moms get private rooms after birth. I had to share after Susanna was born and it was a nightmare. We were in the same room for three days and I didn't sleep at all. My roommate's husband came into the room at 6:30-7 every morning (well before official visiting hours), walking past me to get to his wife. As I was usually partially dressed and breastfeeding, I could have done without his presence (the nurses never remembered to pull the curtains around me). By 8:00 a.m. each day, the television was turned on. For the next 14 hours, I was able to listen to the finest daytime television programming available - Jerry Springer, Rikki Lake, Maury Povich.... Add in a constantly ringing phone and an endless parade of visitors, and sleeping during the day was obviously impossible! I got my revenge each night, however, as Susy proved that she had the strongest lungs and loudest cry of any baby on the floor. At any rate. A private room that Mike and Susy can stay in sounds like heaven and I'm suddenly less driven to leave the hospital within hours of the birth.
We discussed many aspects of the birth and various newborn procedures, and everything was written down on a page to go into my chart. I hope that this page is read and respected! I have already signed the "no circumcision" and "no Hep B vaccine" waivers, as well as declining newborn eye ointment. I was warned that while I could in theory sign a waiver to skip the vitamin K shot, I will have trouble getting any of the pediatricians to agree to release us unless I let them give the shot. This has me less than happy, as I don't appreciate having my hand forced. I requested EMLA cream (a topical anesthetic) be used prior to the glucose heel stick, and intend to use it prior to the vitamin K shot as well. Hospital policy is to give sugar water prior to the heel stick, as they claim it makes the pain more bearable to the infant. That makes zero sense to me, and I see no point in adding sugar to the baby's system while you are in the process of checking his sugar levels, so I declined that in favor of EMLA.
After discussing all these issues and filling out a medical history form, we were able to take a tour of the birthing rooms. I was happy to learn that there is a whirlpool available, but as there is only one, I may not be able to use it. Birthing balls are also available, along with VCRs, DVD players and CD players. The last three may help entertain Susanna if things go slowly, so I was happy to hear they are already in each room. Although it may mean giving birth to the soothing sounds of the theme song to Dora the Explorer. Then came the highlight of the tour, at least as far as Susy J was concerned: a visit to the nursery, where she was able to see two beautiful newborns through the window. She has been asking for quite a while how big Sam will be, and I think seeing the newborns really helped her understand what her brother will look like.
Today I came across more information on polyhydramnios (excessive amniotic fluid) and it has me worrying again. I really need to stop using the Internet! Even the gentle birth and midwife sites were a bit worrisome in their warnings. Apparently it increases your chance of fetal malposition, cord prolapse and placental abruption. I am eager to meet with my midwife next week to discuss these issues and find out if she feels they are a real threat. The sites I have read caution against artificially rupturing the amniotic sac too quickly, as the rush of fluid can cause problems. They did not, however, say what happens if the sac ruptures quickly on its own. So now I am left with questions and concerns, but am feeling better about agreeing to have another ultrasound next week. I had been regretting it, but after reading about the possible problems during labor and delivery, I do see the wisdom of monitoring my fluid levels whenever necessary. So much to worry about! On the plus side, I'm approaching 35 weeks and the danger of preterm delivery will soon be behind me.