Well, I’m thirty-three weeks in a couple of days, and the nesting has begun; I’ve put together a dresser/changer, hung mobiles, and done more baby laundry than any reasonable person would undertake in a weekend. The nursery is starting to really look like one, which is satisfying. For whatever reason, I really enjoy seeing things that look as though they are ready for the arrival of the little bird—I’ve put a few diapers on top of the changer, and there is a toy in the crib. Mr. Book is supposed to assemble the glider rocker my parents bought us for Christmas while I’m gone this week, so my next big project may be packing a bag for the hospital. I’m thinking the best part will be picking out a coming-home outfit for the little dude.
I took a tour of the maternity ward on Friday, and it was an oddly mixed experience. When I first arrived, I thought I might have come to the psych ward by mistake—no, those security doors are to stop people stealing the babies, which is commendable but makes for something of a grim entrance. The woman who showed me around was just sweet as anything, and showed me a row of patient satisfaction awards they have received; she told me that people who have delivered elsewhere and then have subsequent babies at this hospital tell the staff what a wonderful difference it makes. She asked if this was my first, and then where I had delivered before. “Um, a freestanding birth center in California?”
“Oh. We’d love to have one of those, but we can’t. Oh, well! This may not be as impressive for you.” Yeah, sure enough.
Don’t get me wrong—this is clearly much better than the hospital my mother delivered in all those years ago, and there was plenty of good news (babies stay with moms in the rooms except when getting blood drawn or being circumcised, the rooms have a place for partners to sleep, they have a Jacuzzi, birthing bars, and birth balls to aid labor), but I kept making little mental notes of things that seemed less good. The bed they have for the baby is this odd, open-top glass box; I have already told the Mister that we will have to sleep in shifts so that one of us can always be holding the baby rather than leaving him in the bizarre box. They don’t, apparently, allow laboring women to eat or drink, but I’m hoping to get there extremely late and planning to bring my own food and drink anyway. We will have to change rooms after the baby is born, but we won’t have to go far. Altogether, a mixed bag, but it’s what I’ve got. Time to get really and truly used to the idea.