Tuesday, January 8, 2008

NYU Medical Center Mother-Baby Wards Tour

Last night we toured the 8th floor (labor & delivery) and 13th floor (post natal rooms and nursery) at NYU Medical Center. The tour took just over an hour - and that included lots of time standing around asking questions and such.

We learned that we should go straight to the A elevators to the 8th floor triage room. Don't stop at admitting - because triage has to call your doctor, who has to give the okay before you get admitted.

If you do get admitted then they move you to a labor & delivery room. We got to spend some time in one that was empty. They're pretty good size actually. The bed can be lowered pretty far to make it easy to get in and out of - and can then be raised to make it easier for the doctor during delivery. There are several chairs - including one that folds out to a bed for the father, in case you're there a long time. There's a fridge and TV with VCR and stereo that plays CDs.

There's an infant warmer next to the bed. And there's a bathroom with a shower in it. So basically from the time you get admitted until an hour or so after you have the baby, you stay in that room. You can get up and walk the hall when you're not on the monitor, but everything that is needed for labor and delivery is already in the room.

Then we saw the side where the do the c-sections. There are 2 ORs and a few recovery rooms there. It's basically down the hall from the labor & delivery rooms - so if they do have to rush you in for a c-section, it's not very far. And they said you stay in the room there for about 2 hours after the c-section.

There was actually a woman being moved from there up to the post-natal floor. She didn't look bad for having had a c-section 2 hours before. And she was holding her baby - the dad following behind the gurney they were moving her on. Kind of comforting to see that.

We then went up to 13 and saw both a private and a shared room. The private room wasn't bad - although not huge. I don't think we'll be requesting one - $350/night seems awfully steep. But the shared room - 2 beds with curtains that can be pulled around them and a chair at the foot of each and a cradle next to each - were incredibly small. I was a bit surprised by just how small they were. Also, the private rooms have bathrooms in them, while the shared rooms use the shared bathrooms in the hall. So I can defintely see the allure of a private room. But unless I suddenly feel differently after having the baby, I think we'll stick with the shared room that is covered by insurance - and just cross our fingers that I get a quiet roommate without a lot of visitors - or maybe it'll be a quiet couple of days and I won't get a roommate. I'll also be crossing my fingers that I get the window side of the room. The other side seems even smaller and of course has no view.

When we got up to 13, they were taking the baby who was just born via c-section in to the nursery. So we got to watch through the window as they re-measured him and changed his diaper and bathed him and such. He was absolutely adorable - and although the room is soundproof, we could see that he was screaming his head off as they checked him out. I'm sure that's totally normal, gotta' be a bit of a shock to the baby's system. But it definitely made all us moms-to-be a bit teary eyed to see this 2 hour old baby go from contentedly laying under the warmer to being so unhappy.

I don't think I'll want to watch my daughter getting cleaned up in the nursery. They only take the baby from you for 30 minutes to an hour to be checked and bathed and such - so I'll probably wait in my room for her to be brought back.

I definitely found it helpful to see all the facilities. The hospital gowns weren't too bad - they tie in such a way that there's really no skin exposed. I did realize that I want to add some flip-flops to my hopsital bag for wearing to the shower and such. And the labor room is big enough that I will bring my pilates ball to use as a birthing ball.

They also recommended that things like the car seat and going-home outfit for the baby can be brought by the husband the last day - no need to drag it along when you first go to the hopsital. Seemed like good advice.

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