The Hospital Tour, What to Expect?

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Feature image from MERCY

So last night was our hospital tour. I had been really looking forward to it. I was so excited. I wanted to know how it would all look. 

I’ve been preparing for the birth of my son by meditating and visualizing the labor, but the visualization part was so hard because I had no idea what it would look like. I wanted to be able to imagine where we would give birth. I wanted to know what the midwives would wear and how big the birthing room would be.

I also had so many questions I needed answers to.  I had a Hospital tour question list all ready to go. It was the beginning of the end. It was so exciting.

So where was it?

This might sound funny, where was the hospital tour? The Hospital of course!

But what surprised me was we actually met outside the carpark outside the Labor Ward entrance. We gathered together, all 7 couples, heavily pregnant, eyeing each other’s bellies and smiling nervously.

The midwife showed us where we would park our cars, where we could get dropped off, how much parking would be and how we would get into the hospital after hours. There was a bright red button beside the front door with direct access to a midwife.

Once we were inside, we immediately go to the front desk and present our booking details and medical information. At our hospital, we were required to pre-book OUR BED after 26 weeks, so all the paperwork and administration will all be taken care of when it’s time to give birth.

The midwife on the tour said that the desk was just a formality to check nothing had changed and make sure we were the right people. We would not have to ‘file anything out’ before we give birth.

Once we were inside the Hospital…

After being admitted at the front desk, we saw the assessment rooms were every woman goes once she is in the hospital, where all laboring women are taken for their initial assessment. We were told that if we weren’t far enough along then we would be sent home, or for a long walk, before making the great walk through the big white double doors and into the labor ward.

We were told that if we weren’t far enough along in the labor, we would be sent home, or for a long walk. If we were definitely in labor we would walk through the big white double doors and into the labor ward.

I was quite disappointed that at the time of our tour, all the labor rooms were full.  I wondered what happened if we arrived and they were all taken.  Where were we sent?  It meant that we still have not seen the space where we will give birth and that is disappointing.

As we walked across the room to the elevator, I looked around at our group.  No one was asking questions, no one was smiling and no one seemed all that interested in what was going on.  I felt like the biggest nerd in the room, with my notebook open, my prewritten questions and pen ready to go.

I wanted to know if we could use a fridge while we were in labor, for my husbands food.  I wanted to ask about our babies first bath, and would that happen without our consent.  Did we have to request to be present and do it ourselves.

I asked the midwife who would read our birth plan?  Would anyone read our birth plan, or would they roll their eyes at us when we handed it over to the Hospital staff?

We went upstair to the Ante Natal Ward, also known as the Post Natal Ward, where we would stay after the labor.  The midwife said the transfer from the labor ward to the Ante Natal ward could take a few hours, but if there were lots of women waiting to get in, it could be very fast indeed.

Visiting hours are from 2pm to 8pm.  Wow!  There was so much to learn about making babies.  I wondered how women kept it all in their heads…

The midwife was excellent…

Told us more things to have in our Hospital Bag – such as very large underwear that went up to your waist.  She said in the event that I would need a caesarean, the place where they cut and then stitch is exactly where most underwear bands sit low on your hips.  She said you need at least one pair of very large underpants that will not irritate a potential scar area.  For more advice about what to pack in your hospital Bag, I have supplied a list of everything we packed and why here in LABOR HOSPITAL BAG PART 1.  And because there was so much to consider and pack there is also LABOR HOSPITAL BAG PART 2.

It was all over so fast. 45 minutes later we had presumably been told everything we needed to know about giving birth in a hospital. Had I not brought a huge list of questions the whole tour may have finished 10 minutes earlier.

I am so glad we went.

I could not imagine not going on the tour, and cannot understand why someone would choose not to go.  Crazy!

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