Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hospital Tour

Last Sunday we visited Orange Coast Memorial Hospital in Fountain Valley for the maternity tour. We gave ourselves plenty of time to figure out the place. Sections of this hospital are so new they're still being constructed, so it's a good thing we had the extra time.

It's a smallish place. Everything seemed steps away from each other. The lobby had a dozen seats max. There are 20 beds total in the maternity ward (more on that in a minute). The staff seemed friendly and the atmosphere personable.

When we arrived I was surprised to find that nearly everyone else there was a good 2 or 3 months ahead of me. Plenty of big bellies, including some that looked like they could drop a baby at any minute. I know we're the freaks who plan way ahead, but the idea of visiting at the last minute and finding out you possibly hate the hospital isn't something I could do.

We marched our tummy parade into a labor room. Medical machinery was definitely present but softened with wooden furniture-style accents wherever possible. The nurse talked about basic rules and we asked a few questions. Their nurses would work with you throughout their shift, no floating or rotating. They have a dedicated anesthesiologist and lactation consultant. They practice "couplet care", where the baby stays with the mother from moment one onward. If you want to breastfeed, they encourage latching on almost immediately after birth, which is recommended for bonding etc.

These answers were all music to my ears, all concepts that were soothing and helpful, all things that I'd heard were possible but that not all hospitals offered.

After the labor room we got to see a postpartum room. We'd get to stay for 2 days. The default rooms have two beds to accommodate 2 recovering moms, but usually people don't have to share a room. When we arrive we'll find out just how busy it is, and if we're lucky we'll get a room all to ourselves, allowing Greg to stay with me overnight on a reclining Lazy Boy chair. According to the nurse, August/September is their busiest time of year, and at other times it's "95% likely" we'd have a room to ourselves. If we arrive when things are busy and we want to guarantee a room alone we can pay more money for our own single room, which we'd definitely consider, as the rate really wasn't that bad.

So...on the whole, very exciting, very soothing, and I'm glad to check another step off my list.


  1. I like the small hospitals. The hospital in Los Alamitos was very similar.


  2. Its not all one room??? huh. But cool. Is this one of the places that serves the dinner for two the night the baby is born? For you and your honey??

  3. They didn't say anything about a special dinner, but they did specify that the husband has to get his own food from the cafeteria or elsewehere.

    They are separate rooms, which is nice, because the labor rooms have a bunch of machinery while the postpartum rooms have a more hotel-style feel.