Women and Infants did not seem to offer private tours, so we took a group tour with two other couples. To schedule the tour, you must call ahead and sign up for an available slot.
Our tour started in a classroom, where a nurse handed out a four page pamphlet that detailed how birth works at Women and Infants. The paperwork was quite informative, but it did feel a bit impersonal at times. The nurse seemed to just read off the sheet, which is something I could have done at home. We did, however, make sure to ask questions when they arose, and she was able to answer them all. So while starting in the classroom wasn't my ideal choice, it was indeed informative and it got most of the questions I had about ABC out of the way.
I was surprised to find this living area was down the hall from the labor room, but it is nice that your family or close friends would be able to watch TV or use a microwave. If we chose to labor in a regular room, our family would need to wait in the general waiting area with everyone else.
The lighting is sweet and cast by table lamps, which makes the room feel warm and comfortable. It seems like an excellent place to go through labor and eventual birth.
If a mother chose to have an epidural or more serious pain mediciation, she would be sent to a regular labor and delivery room. This would also happen if her blood pressure went up, or if the team deemed it necessary. Blake and I were also able to tour the regular labor and delivery rooms, which were much smaller than the one ABC room, and had the regular computers and machines that people usually see in hospital rooms. The bed is much smaller, but does have the option to recline or move up and down.
The facility was very impressive, clean, big, and gave us a sense that our baby would be taken care of - especially if there was an emergency. One of the big advantages of Women & Infants NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) - which would suit high risk mothers, premature babies, or newborns with other medical issues.
Here is what stood out during the tour of the ABC and labor rooms at Women & Infants:
- The stunning facility
- The NICU
- The large percentage of babies who are born at this facility
- The whirlpool tub in the ABC
- The large bed in the ABC
- The private living room for loved ones
- Great reputation
- Located right off the highway- easy for people to get to
- Friendliness of the staff
- Issues with our name tags (mine once had the name of my doctor, and someone else in our group had a completely different name)
- Felt impersonal
- Your partner has to sleep in a somewhat uncomfortable recliner
- The bed in the ABC does not recline or move up and down. The nurse said that if I would want to be propped up, then I would need to bring my own pillows from home.
- Your postpartum shower is shared with another patient
Next up on our 4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks -- Kent Hospital! Where I was born!
|Blake and I at the Ronald McDonald House Gala|
I believe it is extremely important to make time for friends and events before Itty Bitty enters the world.
Yes, being pregnant and a soon-to-be-new-mom is life changing, but it doesn't mean that who I am needs to completely change. I freely admit the previous sentence is a little "pie in the sky," but I firmly maintain that one has to retain, as best they can, who they are and not become something else entirely just because a kid will, or has arrived.
|Before & After getting ready for a night out|
But then as I journey into The Dark Side, I hear a little voice inside my head that reminds me to get up and see people. I grumpily roll off of my couch, having an inner dialogue with myself, and generally the little voice wins. (Is anyone else thinking of Gollum as you read this? I think Downton is My Precious.) Searching through my closet, I pick out one of my four suitable outfits, throw on a little makeup, and ask my hubby to help me put on my shoes (it's getting a bit difficult.) After zipping up my coat, I grab a raw fish....oops, I mean string cheese (to keep the hungercrankies away) and head out the door. That's when my grumpy old hermit man melts away, and I realize that this was a great decision. I'm out, and will be thankful for this. Even if I only go out for an hour or two, it won't keep me up later than watching TV, and it will certainly be more fulfilling. I have found that The Light Side always wins.
So here are some of my suggestions for staying social during pregnancy:
- Bond with other soon to be moms in a pregnancy group or at prenatal yoga once a week. Share stories, ask questions, and laugh at all of the crazy experiences we are now going through. (Has anyone else lost complete control over their bladder or gas?). My hubby and gay best friend, try as best as they do, don't know what a tiny baby feels like on the inside. It's nice to be able to chat with people who are going through many of the same wondrous new experiences at the same time as myself.
- Make sure to see your non-mommy or daddy friends at least once a week...and try to keep discussions about your tiny baby to a minimum, unless they keep asking. Baby is always on our brains, but it's not on everyone else's. In other words, don't be that girl. That girl is self centered and concerned with only talking baby. It's annoying and turns people off. You were friends before baby, so being friends with baby shouldn't be hard.
- Stay active in networking events, continue to meet new people and keep your career alive, even if you'll be taking a hiatus. Your brain will thank you!
- Keep up your volunteer work! The topics and causes that you feel passionately about can always use your help. Sure, we may not be doing a 5K at this point, or won't be doing heavy labor, but there is still so much we can do.
So for now, I'll keep heading out into the world, making sure I continue to strengthen my relationships, and not become a hermit. Downton Abbey, despite my inner Gollum's protestations, can wait. There will be time for Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess later - when I look like a zombie. A glowing, on top of the world, happy, zombie.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
|Here is an example of me confidently telling the world "yes, I'm pregnant!"|
When we were ready, comfortable, and confident, my hubby and I decided to announce to our friends, family, and the world that we were having a baby. The key words being when we were ready.
Close friends knew that we would want a family at some point. Even closer friends knew that I had feminine issues that would make having a child extremely difficult. Maybe even impossible.
Last year, a friend asked me "Are you preggers?" It was asked with no sense of warmth, love, or concern. Actually, it was as kind as someone asking me if I stepped in dog poop. I ignored the question, and went on with my day. But later that night, the question still haunted me.
I wasn't pregnant, and I was actually looking into adoption. I cried every night that week, and wondered if anyone else ever felt this low when asked if they were pregnant. The other question that hurt, even though I knew people didn't mean for it to, was "When are you going to have a kid?" or "Why aren't you pregnant yet?"
The truth is, a woman being pregnant is no one's business but hers and her partner's.
- She could have infertility issues
- She may have miscarried
- She may be pregnant, but doesn't know, or isn't comfortable sharing just yet
- She may not be pregnant at all, and now you just made her feel fat, or brought up a sensitive subject.
If a woman wants to share news about her pregnancy, her journey to getting pregnant, or her struggles with her pregnancy, she will share it with you. So be considerate when talking to her, because you really don't know if she is, or isn't, carrying a tiny baby. If she brings up the topic of her own accord, then she is comfortable with you. But remember to still be kind. My friend who asked me knew of my feminine struggles, my dreams, and my hopes for a family of my own. Her being inconsiderate and cold was salt in a deep, deep wound.
If you are close with a friend, and she has told you that she has been hoping to get pregnant, wait for her to tell you. If she has been trying for quite some time, and hasn't brought the topic up recently with you, then it's for a reason. She either is (and its too early) or she isn't, and it's breaking her heart. You can let her know you care by asking a vague question like "How are you doing?" or "How have you been feeling?" If she doesn't feel comfortable sharing personal information at this point, then take that as your cue to back down.
And if your friend does come to you and tells you she has a tiny baby on board, please...do not refer to her as being preggers. Instead, give her the greatest hug, and take her out for a much needed chocolate peanut butter ice cream sundae. That tiny baby needs extra calcium anyway!
Have you ever been asked sensitive questions in an insensitive manner?
Friday, February 15, 2013
My Valentine knows me all too well. Instead of dressing up and going to an overdressed overpriced presumptuous restaurant, we dressed in our favorite jeans and t-shirts, and headed off to our local taco shop. I love tacos, and believe that one should eat what they love on Valentine's Day!
After having our delicious dinner, we went home for dessert. Many people get a box of chocolates on Valentine's Day. My hubby knows me so well, that instead of candy, he purchased my favorite - a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake from Gregg's. Not just a slice. A whole cake! Sure, I can't eat the whole thing in one night, but rumor on the street is that we are getting another snow storm this weekend. Sounds like a perfect time to lose myself in peanut butter goodness!
We topped off our night watching the most recent episode of Downton Abbey. Itty Bitty was getting quite jealous of all the attention Dad was getting during the evening, and made sure to punch/kick/dance during the entire hour and a half episode. I had to re-adjust my seat about a thousand times, but hubby had a blast feeling his son punch him messages in morse code.
It's crazy to think that next year we will be celebrating the holiday of love with our tiny baby! I'll have two Valentines. Two men to love, unconditionally.
And who knows, maybe I'll get another chocolate peanut butter cake!
What did you do on Valentine's Day?
Being pregnant over the winter has had it's advantages. I haven't ever felt hot. Wearing flat boots and other stable footwear isn't frowned upon. Big sweaters and leggings are everyone's go to outfit, whether they are pregnant or not. And, aside from my Aqua Zumba class, no one has needed to see me attempt to squeeze into a bathing suit.
I'm delighted that I will be welcoming my tiny baby in the spring. Truly, I am. However, being pregnant in the winter does have a couple of drawbacks. Especially if one loves snow as much as I do.
So here are the Top 5 Reasons Why Being Pregnant In the Winter Blows.
5. You can't go ice skating. Having a twenty pound basketball-like uterus really throws off ones balance. Falling on hard ice wouldn't be ideal, even for non-pregnant folk. So that's off the list. Good thing I stink at ice skating.
|2007- Bank of America Skating Center|
4. Say "see ya later" to sledding and snow tubing. I LOVE sledding and snow tubing! I could honestly do it all day, frozen toes and all. The problem is, rushing down a hillside at super sonic speeds isn't what my OBGYN would call "safe behavior." Plus, getting off the couch is currently a challenge. Getting out of a snow tube...may never end up happening.
|Snow tubing at Yawgoo Valley|
3. You feel completely useless when there is shoveling to do. Shoveling driveways is a serious pain in the rear. Well, for most people it is. But for this winter lover - any excuse to be in the snow for extended periods of time is a fun one! I was one of those high school kids that would go door to door charging $5 to shovel people's driveways. Now I'm kicking myself in the butt because I realize most people hate shoveling, and I could have charged a lot more. I now need to wait for others to shovel me out. I feel as useless as the broken shovel below.
|Broken shovel. *sad trombone*|
2. Making a snowman is way too hard. Bending over to roll a ball around in the snow seemed like such an easy task in past years. Now, I can't even touch my toes in my prenatal class during our squatting exercises. How the heck am I supposed to make a snowman? To make things worse, when I walk by neighbors' snowmen, I feel like their coal toothed grins and creepy stick hands are waving at me, smiling and saying "you can't do this!" Those snowmen are jerks.
|With our 2012 snowman.|
1. Your snow pants don't fit. Like, not even close. And if you're brave enough (or get crazy cabin fever like myself) and decide to go for a walk in your non-fitting snowpants, you'll spend your entire time picking up and pulling up your pants. My pants fell so low during my walk that I felt like a fifteen year old boy from 1997, bustin a sag. Fortunately, my winter jacket goes down to my knees. Otherwise my neighbors would have had quite a treat.
|This was the one moment they were above my hips|