The scary hospital tour

Sunday morning, Jen and I went to Women & Infants for the Grand Tour class the hospital offers expectant parents. Five other couples were present, each woman in varying degrees of pregnancy. Four of the six couples were in their first pregnancies, and although it’s hard to guess what strangers are feeling, I think the other newbies were, like us, a little nervous.

Now, this wasn’t a full-fledged childbirth class. It was simply an overview of the facilities that parents-to-be might expect to see: triage and admitting, labor-and-delivery rooms, C-section ORs (we didn’t tour those, of course–they’re sterile environments–but we were shown where they are), postpartum rooms, and so on.

And we got to see the newborn nursery, which I think for many of us was the highlight of the tour. When the curtain opened and we could see the wee little babies, every face lit up in smiles and goofy grins. There may have even been some weeping.

We haven’t taken any other classes, including childbirth classes–although we do plan to take infant CPR at some point soon. We have a number of reasons for not taking the other classes, and at some point I might run through those. But this one came highly recommended by Jen’s nurse-midwife, and I’m glad we did it.

I pretty much hate hospitals, having buried a father and four grandparents, and having spent more than a month in one as a teenager after I broke my leg. I associate them strongly with pain and death, not life and hope.

I was relieved to find that W&I doesn’t remind me much of the hospitals I remember, at least not in the L&D and postpartum rooms. I mean, it’s not a boutique hotel, don’t get me wrong. But there’s at least an effort at minimizing the hospital feel of those rooms and making them less threatening and more relaxing. That alone was a relief.

Am I ready for my son to enter the world? No, of course not. But I definitely feel somewhat farther down that road.

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