Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hospital Tour

January 2, 2010
Today Husband and I went for our hospital tour and newborn baby care class. There were about twelve couples there for the tour and class. Most were due in March, although two of us are due in February and two others later this month. Needless to say, I was one of the smaller women there, when looking at belly size. Some of the ladies due in March are huge. I can't imagine how much bigger they will get.

Before we went on a tour we started off in a conference room so a midwife could show us transparencies of baby positioning, explain the differences between false labor and real labor, as well as discuss the role of the coach in the process. She also showed us all the tools we might see or that might be used during the labor and delivery. We got to pass around a bunch of stuff, such as the catheter thingies, and another tubie thing they use to help induce, a fetal monitor, a fetal head monitor that actually goes into the baby's head, a vacuum to suck the baby out if it gets stuck, and maybe some other items that I don't really remember. She was really good at explaining what each item was and when and how it would be used. We also got a packet of information explaining more about the coach's job during labor, the different types of labor and what to do and expect, and information about breastfeeding.

Then we went on the tour. We got to see where to park, where to check in (always call before hand so they are prepared), and she showed us the labor and delivery rooms, as well as the postpartum rooms. I can expect to stay in the hospital for about twenty four hours. They have quite a few rooms, although some of the postpartum rooms are doubles. She said rarely do people ever end up sharing a room. I really hope I don't. I want baby/family bonding and me figuring out how to nurse to be a private experience.

Going through the tour and the initial class made me feel a lot better about delivery. From her perspective, it seems that they are very much inclined to follow the mother's wishes. I'm worried that they will try to tell me what to do and force drugs or baby monitoring devices on me. After listening to the midwife talk, it sounds like they really try to follow the birth plan, unless of course an emergency arises.

After the tour Husband and I were able to sample the cafeteria food for lunch. It was ok, but also a bit pricey. Not something to recommend. Then we went to the newborn baby care class.

We arrived and got to pick out our "baby" for the class. There were a bunch of dolls to choose from and so we chose a baby girl. The class was run in a jeopardy format. It made it a little more interesting, and the health education teacher was great. She was full of anecdotes and had tons of energy. She was very realistic and down to earth and tried to answer everyone's questions to the best of her ability.

The Jeopardy game had three categories: Hospital Stay, Newborn Care, and Safety. Then she had a couple pick the first category and point amount, we discussed it, then moved on to another couple to choose another category. A lot of it we already knew, such as no other items in the crib with the newborn, including blankets, babies should sleep on their backs, where the best place to take a baby's temperature (the rectum), etc. Some of the information was new, such as when baby's checkups would take place, and the immunizations. We also watched a video about caring for the newborn that showed how to properly give a bath and clean around the umbilical cord.
Facts that I remember:

Babies who are breastfed do not have smelly poop.
Babies who are breastfed have bright yellow poop.
Female babies can have vaginal disharge (like a mini period) when they come out. It is their body getting rid of the mother's hormones.
Male babies will have swollen testicles. Again, getting rid of mother's hormones.
Both male and female babies may have swollen nipples. Yet again, the mother's hormones.
Some babies might have blue hands and feet, which is perfectly normal. It is because they are still working on circulation and not relying on the mother for circulation anymore. It's called something, but I forget the term.
Wearing cloth diapers reduces diaper rash.
Babies should only have a sponge bath until two to three days after the umbilical cord stump falls off.
Newborns are very ugly, with swollen heads, coneheads, vernix all over them (it's like a white cream that protected their skin in the womb), and can get rashes and whiteheads very easily.
A baby's normal temperature ranges from 97 to 100 degrees Farhenheit.
Breastfed babies need to eat more often (like every three hours), because the milk is digested quickly, whereas babies on formula can sleep for longer periods of time because it is harder for their bodies to digest the formula.

That's about all I can think of off the top of my head. We were given a lot of information.

We went to Jamba Juice afterwards and a dad with three kids randomly asked when I was due. He told us that his kids were each a year apart. One was five, the other six, and the last one seven. His poor wife, I was thinking. The kids were really cute and sweet, though.

I like this stage in pregnancy where people hold doors open for me and ask me questions. I don't like the pain still in my ribs. When is this baby going to drop? I'm hoping that relieves some of the pressure. I don't think I will mind waddling too much, or having to go to the bathroom every twenty minutes. Seems like I do the bathroom trips all day long anyway. The midwife today talked about round ligaments (which connect the uterus to the rest of me. They start off about the size of a finger and stretch to accomodate the growing uterus.), and said some people might be feeling round ligament pain in the pelvis, like period cramps. Can I trade my rib pain for some of that, please? I don't believe I have had any round ligament pain. Just unexplained pain in my ribs. It hurts, unless I lie down. I spend a lot of time lying down at home. I can't really do that at work, though. Still trying to figure that one out.
Sonotrax -B, Ultrasound Fetal Doppler, LCD Display with Back Light

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