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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Touring Baby-Land at UMC!

Hello! So last night my sister Mary, my Mom, Brian and I (with 3 babies heavily in tow) set off for UMC to take the highly anticipated (and somewhat dreaded) Labor and Delivery tour! Don't get me wrong, being informed is GOOD, but having to now BE informed means that D-Day is drawing closer! And I'm not gonna lie, I am getting nervous!

So I took as many pictures as I could remember to take, but lets' be honest, remembering ANYthing these days is not my strong suit! All in all, everyone agreed that the tour was worthwhile and definitely not a waste of an hour and a half, BUT...let's just say that we were the oddballs in the group. Including us, there were 5 "families" there for the tour...not surprisingly, they were each only having ONE baby at a time! :) What a concept! And then there was us...

But let's just start at the beginning...for those who may end up coming to visit when babies are born...start by getting your self to UMC. (On Campbell, just North of Speedway). As you approach a small intersection light, (but just before you actually get to it) turn left so that you are driving right into the main entrance. If the picture below is what you see, then you went to the right spot!

After that you'll make a quick left and look for the parking booth attendant station up to the right...you'll need to get a ticket and let me offer you this advice, KEEP YOUR TICKET WITH YOU and GET IT STAMPED somewhere in the hospital!! Because when it's time for you to leave, if you don't get it stamped, you WILL have to pay or the "parking man" (thats a nicer version than what I usually call him) will NOT let you past his booth! Even if you have no money! And yes, I speak from experience!! But if you got your ticket stamped, then it's FREE! So remember that...Now, you have to find parking in what is a very precarious parking lot...If you can help it, drive the smallest car you own...you can park on the top level or drive down the ramps to find a spot. Wherever you end up, just walk out of the parking garage and go right up to the main entrance doors that you were looking at when you turned left into UMC.

I'll be on the 8th floor, to actually deliver the babies, (8th floor is where Labor and Delivery and the NICU are, )

but apparently the Maternity Ward and the "waiting room" (or the "Coke room") is on the 7th floor. (Those who will admit to having seen the movie "Knocked Up" may better understand the reference to the "Coke Room". ) Basically, if you're lost, just call out for my brother in law Emilio....that's definitely where he will be! So the 7th floor is where you would want to go. Plus, that's also where I'll stay for the few days following the C-Section. You can stand around and look at other people's babies in the regular Newborn Nursery if the blinds happen to be open. It's just a few feet from the "coke room".

I still don't have all the answers yet about how many people can visit our BABIES at one time...all I know so far is that no children are allowed and you can only enter the NICU with either Brian or me. So don't just plan on showing up till I get some more info on that for ya! (Unless you're there to visit just ME because then the regulations are much more relaxed! )Anyhoodle...let's talk about the tour...

As I have mentioned before, I am having a C-Section. Period. End of story. Not up for discussion. So the part of the tour that included information on "laboring..." really didn't apply to us. I started to feel like that annoying student in your class that won't stop asking questions and trying to make everything all about HER! For instance, the tour would go something like this:

Tour Guide: And you'll begin your laboring process in an LDR room. Which stands for Labor, Delivery and Recovery. You can expect it to take anywhere from 13 to 24 hours...

Me: Excuse me, knowing that I will not be "laboring" per se, where will I have my babies?

Tour Guide: Well, they'll have everything already set up for you so you won't be in these rooms.
Me: Ok, thanks.

Tour Guide: (To group) Now, after you deliver your babies, they will take them right over to here to check them out (in the same room, one isolette for baby, literally only feet from mom's bed.) and then hand the baby back to you.

Me: Excuse me, will I get to see MY babies after they're born or will they be immediately whisked off to the NICU?

Tour Guide: That's a good question...your babies will not be in the same room with you... :(
Tour Guide: (To Group) Make sure on discharge day, that you have seen the Birth Certificate Lady and filled out all the right paperwork...
Me: Now, do mean on the day that MOM gets discharged or the baby, because our babies will be staying longer than I will....

Ok so you kinda get the idea right?...the tour goes on, and don't get me wrong, I find it all very fascinating, just not necessarily 100% applicable to US! She showed us all kinds of nifty things that I found just generally interestering, but in my head I'm wondering why we even bothered. I wanted to ask so many other questions, but I decided against it after I realized that our family was literally the only ones asking questions and we were asking ones our tour guide didn't necessarily have the answers for.

For instance, she showed us the monitor "moms" wear on their belly that gives a reading of baby's heartbeat while in labor and I wanted to know if theoretically, I would wear 3 of those? She showed us the nasal aspirator (or booger catcher as I prefer to call it) and told us that each new mom would be shown how to use it appropriately and would then get to take it home. I wanted to know if we would get to take home 3 of them! (My mom was wondering the same thing! She mouthed the question to me from across the room!) :) Good, at least it wasn't just me...She talked about the heartbeat monitors that the nurses watch constantly in the nursing station and showed us what each line means and where to look for the baby's heartrate. I wanted to know if all three babies of ours would be on the same screen or would we take up 3 different screens entirely? Anyway...you get the idea. So many questions still lingered in my brain, but I decided against asking all of them for fear she might snap at me! (Brian, God bless him, looked at it entirely different. He says he thinks she was feeling bad that she didn't have more answers for us, particularly since we were the ones with the most questions!)

She DID show us the outside of the NICU and made a point to show that to us, which was nice!
She also told us that we could schedule a tour of JUST the NICU if we wanted to. (HELLO?? Why didn't someone tell us that earlier?!) So we're going to try and do that soon...

So anyway, it was a fun night...my favorite part was stopping in front of the regular Newborn Nursery and looking at the babies. In fact, there, in front of us, were three little babies, each in their own little bassinets...nothing spectacular really until we realized that OH MY GOSH, that is going to be US! All three of those babies will be ours! Wow! Simply amazing!
So that's all for this entry I think...Keep your fingers crossed that those babies will keep on cooking! A few more weeks is all we need! :)
And don't worry, if I should suddenly go into labor, I will make sure that I post a quick blog to let you all know! (Or maybe I should teach Brian or my mom or Mary how to do it...) Either way, I won't let you down!


Anonymous said...

Hi, Ami,

Thanks for doing a fantastic job of keeping everyone up-to-date on your pregnancy. I am rooting for you and the three babies and can't wait until they make their arrival!

My twins were born at UMC via c-section. I LOVE the hospital and the staff at the NICU - so kind and caring. Definitely take the tour if you can. I was in denial that our kids would be in there, so that was harder to deal with.

Have you had any Non-Stress tests? I'm guessing no since you haven't described any of those. I had them starting at 29 weeks and they were SO stressful! Basically I wore three monitors - one for each baby's heartbeat and one for me. They monitored my contractions as well as the babies' hearts. I think those belts are what you'll be wearing.

And I only got one boogie catcher : ) But man, we put that to good use!!

Good luck, Ami! My thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

Kathy Meindl

P.S. After I wrote all of this I realized you might not remember me : ( I used to teach 1st grade at Cottonwood, the first year it opened. : )

Mary Tosca said...

Oh my gosh Ami, you are doing such a good job! You will be a great mama. Do you want any baby boy clothes? If you have everything you need that is OK because I can donate them or go to the resale shop.
Talk soon,

Anabelle said...

I like to think your tour was not a waste of time... your babies could be born 6 weeks early and weigh only 4 lbs and NEVER even see the inside of the NICU (like a certain little "bug" you love!)That's what I am hoping for!

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