Wednesday, January 14, 2004

27 weeks

Went for our hospital birthing center tour last night. It was, well...

Erik left for work at 7:30 in the morning so he could get back into town in time for the 5:30 tour. i was planning on a quiet day at work and erik was supposed to pick me up at 5. But at about 11 a.m., todd sent a message out saying that larry ellison had gotten married. the editors wanted to blow it out into a big story, and when larry's fiance called our society writer and offered interviews with both of them, everyone was whipped into a frenzy.

everyone was nice tho, and let me bolt out of there shortly after 5, since carolyn the society writer was the lead writer on the story anyway. Erik drove as fast as possible through traffic all the way across town to the hospital, kind of a good dry run, except that he had a lousy mapquest that had us going down market street, so he had to kind of guess at how to get there. by the time we parked we were about 15 minutes late, but when we got to the appointed room they were just watching a slide show showing all the stuff that's on the web tour.

then we went up to the 15th floor where the birthing center is. the halls mostly looked like regular hospital halls, which i didn't expect, because at my mom's hospital the Birthing Inn looks more like a hotel, with nice wallpaper and warm colors. there were some pictures on the walls, but it still looked way more like a hospital.

we saw one of the 6 birthing "suites." it was huge! there were about a dozen of us on the tour, at least, plus the guide, and there was plenty of room when we were all standing in the room. it was also kind of chilly in there, and the guide didn't know the answer when i asked if there were individual temperature controls in the rooms. we couldn't really check out the great view because it was totally dark out and the window was like a mirror. there was a tv, but no vcr or stereo. i'm going to be listening to hypnosis tapes, but i'll be doing that on a walkman, so that's ok.

then we saw the postpartum room, which was just as small as it looked on the web site. like in the labor and delivery room, there's a chair that pulls out into a couch, but in post partum there's just barely enough room beside the patient's bed for the other bed. i don't think there was a fridge in the postpartum room either.

then we went to see the nursery, and the guide said it was quite unusual that they actually had a baby in there. a nurse was changing its little diaper, while talking on the phone. his arms and legs were very wiggly. when she was done she swaddled him in a blanket. but while we were all crowded around there, the guide told us to stand along the walls, because some doctors or nurses were coming down the hall pushing a bassinett. There was a high, continuous beep coming from one of the machines attached ot the bassinette, and there was a tiny baby in it. one of the staff held his hand over the baby's face as we passed by, and they headed toward a sign that said INTENSIVE CARE NURSERY. The group got very quiet after that. I asked if that was the neonatal ICU, and the guide said yes. Then the nurse in the nursery brought the healthy baby up to the glass, and we all cooed over that. But Erik and I were both getting a little teary, so we got our parking validated and left. As we were leaving, the nurse pushed the healthy baby down the hall ahead of us, and we heard it cry a little. The sound of a newborn crying, and seeing its little arms and legs wiggling around, made it feel more real that we were having a baby.

But when we left all Erik and I could talk about was the baby going to intensive care. Erik said the baby was dead, because of the continuous beeping sound. I hadn't thought of that. "Why did you tell me that??" I asked him. We were eating dinner at Crepevine on Irving Street. I went to the bathroom, and when I came out, I asked, "If it was dead, why would there be so many people going with?" Erik thought they were going to try to revive it. But i thought if they were going to try to resuscitate the baby, they would have done that right where it was, not bring it to the ICU, which erik thought did make sense. I thought the long beep could have been just an alarm from one of the machines. But i don't know, because i couldn't imagine why the doctor or whoever he was put his hand over the baby's face if it was alive.

Anyway, after being so excited to tour the birthing center, now we're both kind of down about it. I know the odds are in our favor that our baby will be just fine, but it's hard not to think about it. Especially since both Erik and I visited my cousin's baby a lot when he was in the neonatal icu in milwaukee, and he died. the memory of seeing that poor little guy all connected to tubes and machines is still very painful.

but happy thoughts: i'm going home friday for my baby showers. and for dad's retirement party. i can't wait.

oh, and, erik went to babys r us and got our pack n play, which my mom is buying for the Monkey. we got a new model that's all light blue, it should look nice in our room. we also bought a little sleeper with a matching hat, with the very hungry caterpillar on it. but then i thought the hat and the sleeper were different sizes, so i got erik to exchange the sleeper when he got the pack n play. but THEN, when i looked at the new sleeper and the hat at the same time, i realized that the old one was the right size. I HAVE PREGNANCY BRAIN! i've been doing all kinds of scatterbrained things lately, like i booked a frequent flyer airplane ticket at the spur of the moment the other day instead of putting it on hold, and now i want to change it but i can't without paying $100.

but hey, the monkey's kicking and punching in there at the same time right now. that's a new feeling.

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