Is It a Hospital or a Hotel? | Toddling Through the Silicon Valley | Cheryl Bac | Palo Alto Online |

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Toddling Through the Silicon Valley

By Cheryl Bac

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About this blog: I'm a wife, stay-at-home mom, home cook, marathon runner, and PhD. I recently moved to the Silicon Valley after completing my PhD in Social Psychology and becoming a mother one month apart. Before that, I ran seven marathons incl...  (More)

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Is It a Hospital or a Hotel?

Uploaded: Aug 2, 2014
Before our son was born my husband and I, like many new parents, took the hospital's child birthing class. The class was led by a nurse who clearly has a passion for making pregnant women feel comfortable and heard. She gave us a wealth of information in a calming and relaxed voice. She thoroughly answered all of our questions. And she always had a positive attitude. Many of us felt so comfortable with her that we wanted to specifically request her to be present during our own labors and deliveries

Our instructor led us on our hospital tour when I was very pregnant with our son. I was extremely lucky to be giving birth at a brand new hospital. Not only was it equipped with top of the line technology, but mom's comfort was also clearly a priority. She showed us how wires and most hospital equipment was hidden behind beautiful nature paintings on the wall. Each laboring mother had access to a large whirlpool. And, depending on how crowded the hospital was, you could even request a room with a garden view.

My husband remembers the accommodations for spouses also being a priority. Extra beds that appeared large enough and somewhat comfortable were provided. And the rooms were spacious enough to not only accommodate mom and baby, but also dad and everyone's belongings.

After touring the hospital, I felt a great sense of relief. I could picture myself giving birth there. Now, when I talk about my son's birth with other moms, I sometimes slip and say "at the hotel" rather than "at the hospital." This mistake is not far from the truth.

I recently toured the hospital where I will deliver baby #2. I'm lucky to be delivering at a hospital with fantastic doctors and technology. And I am confident that my doctor will do everything in her power to help me deliver a healthy baby, but touring the hospital left me feeling underwhelmed. The hospital environment was far from relaxing, comforting or calming. This time around I doubt that I will mistakenly say "hotel" instead of "hospital" when I tell others my birth story.

I'm thankful to have a few more weeks to get more comfortable with this different hospital, its facilities, nurses and protocols. As a second time mom, I forget that some of the things I took for granted the first time around (access to a birthing ball) are not readily accessible everywhere.

Did you switch hospitals between births? How was the experience for you?
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Erin, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Aug 2, 2014 at 11:32 am

I did not switch hospitals between the births of my children, but felt differently about being there the second time around. The first time, I was happy to be there, even with the poking, prodding, and checking vitals at all hours of the night. I was nervous about going home with a newborn and not knowing the first thing about taking care of a baby, let alone the nerves about how our family had instantly changed. I stayed a few hours longer than the 48 hours recommended.

When the second was born, I couldn't wait to get home and away from the poking, prodding, and checking vitals. I was comfortable with a newborn and knew that we would be fine at home. I was begging to be discharged less than 12 hours after delivery.

Perhaps, the hotel won't be needed this time. ;)

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Erin - Thank you so much for sharing your story. And great points about how different the experience can be the second time around even if you labor and deliver at the same hospital.

Did you end up going home 12 hrs post delivery? If all goes well, I also think that this time I will prefer to spend more time recovering at home than at the hospital. My doctor also keeps reassuring me that labor is typically faster the second time around, so most moms spend less time laboring at the hospital with baby #2.

Posted by Erin, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 8:56 am

I was induced with both for high blood pressure, so I labored for almost the same amount of time. We had a little scare about 12 hours after delivery and I was happy to know we were getting the best possible care, even if the rooms weren't so cozy. I think I ended up being discharged about 36 hours after delivery since my daughter was born in the middle of the night.

Good luck to you, Cheryl! Enjoy your last few weeks of pregnancy and spoil #1 rotten while you still can!

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 5, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Erin - Sorry to hear about your scare post delivery. And, thank you! The last few weeks of pregnancy sure are different the second time around.

Posted by rhody, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 10:58 am

But what hospitals are you talking about? Is there some regulation that prohibits you from naming it/them?

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Rhody - I've heard similar comments about many of the hospitals in the area - that although they have great doctors, nurses and technology, they might not prioritize comfort as much. Have you had a different experience?

Posted by Stanford Mom, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Cheryl, I think you're going to have to go over the hill to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz to find what you're looking for. You can get a jacuzzi tub, birthing stool, birthing ball, really nice bed for dad, etc. My sister-in-law have birth there twice and loved it. The culture in Silicon Valley is just not very progressive about that stuff on this side of the hill, which is too bad.

Posted by Cheryl Bac, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on Aug 6, 2014 at 10:17 pm

Cheryl Bac is a registered user.

Stanford Mom - Thank you for sharing your sister-in-law's birth experiences. It sounds like comfort is a high priority at Dominican Hospital. When we first moved here, I was quite surprised when I heard other mom's birth stories. I had taken a lot of the hospital's amenities for granted.

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