On Saturday morning, 7:30am came way too early. Though only a few months removed from the all-night bar-hopping days, going to bed at 2am and waking up super early was painful.
We got out the door, coffees and bagels in hand, in just enough time to make it to our all day childbirth class at our hospital. With 15 minutes to make it to the hospital that’s only 4 miles away from our apartment, we timed the “without traffic” drive. Mind you, between our apartment and the hospital lies one of the busiest arteries to NYC, which means, our drive to the hospital can take any where from 10 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes. Since we were timing our practice drive, we knew it’d be an unrealistic gauge of what would really happen. Thus, we timed it anyway. You never know, we might get lucky on THE day.
Our whole town seems to sleep in on the weekends, so there were only a few people walking around at 8:45am. We drove to the hospital with no problems, but made notes about our specific route, determining that the way we went wouldn’t be the most efficient if there was a lot of traffic on THE day. Even though we misread the hospital sign and turned into the wrong parking lot, we still parked the car in just 10 minutes after leaving our house. Not bad.

We were the 2nd couple to arrive to the makeshift classroom. There were 2 nurses who were conducting the class: one was an outspoken laugh-talker who represented the medical side, the other was a soft-spoken recent mom who is also a L&D nurse. I noticed that the nurses were quite young, maybe a few years younger than us. I also quickly noticed the snack table and the delicious assortment of muffins. When all the other couples arrived and got situated, I looked around the room and noticed a sampling of the North Jersey/NYC diversity. Of the 8 couples in the room, we were 1 of the 2 biracial couples and at 30 and 31, we were most visibly, the youngest couple in attendance. When we went around to introduce ourselves, we were all asked to name our doctors as well. Half of the couples were patients with our same practice, signifying that they were probably our neighbors too. I also noticed that in comparison to most of the ladies in class, I was carrying so differently. I’m mostly belly with a bigger frame, but I really don’t think I have a waddle going on yet. Almost all of the really petite ladies had a very distinct waddle and a much slower stride, as if they were struggling to walk. It was pretty cool to survey other 32-33 weekers.

The nurses presented the topics of discussion by way of a very thorough Power Point presentation, which we viewed on 2 very large flat screen tvs. Even though she was annoying for my taste, the laugh-talker nurse presented the majoritypain.jpg of the textbook topics. She did so in a way that was very informative and reassuring. The other nurse, who represented the new mom role, as well as the experienced L&D nurse, took a more secondary role. The topics at hand were all very informative including, premature labor vs. real labor signs, the lovely stages of labor, pain meds and the epidural (the lovely diagram to the right shows what, how and where the meds are administered,) pushing techniques, the actual delivery and then baby care.

After lunch, we went on a tour of the L&D department. On the way there, before we hopped on the elevator, the laugh-talker nurse said, “let’s go to Labor & Delivery: where all the magic happens.”
Of course, my quick-witted, smart ass husband had to say, with a glance at my belly, “I thought the magic ALREADY happened.”
As usual, Jeff got the crowd in an uproar and the other nurse quickly countered, “At least we know YOU’LL be back here for a 2nd time around, won’t we!!?”
In total embarrassment, all I could utter was, “Let’s focus on this baby first…” haha.
Jeff and his one-liners!

lsuite.jpgBack to the tour…we checked out the waiting room which was spacious– accomodating enough for the “village” that will likely join us at the hospital, I thought. The nurses reassured us that they’d be the liason for family in case anyone needed one. haha. That tidbit of info. is in my mental bank. We toured the labor suite which overlooks the Hudson and has a great view of the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Not that I’ll be vacationing while I’m in labor, but still, something cool to note. We went on to see the post partum rooms which wasn’t as glitzy, but definitely comfortable looking as far as hospital rooms go. On the way out of the tour, we stopped by the nursery to peek in to see any babies. We got to see 2 gorgeous babies– one was 3 days old with a HEAD full of black hair and the other was a chubby, freshly hatched baby who looked of Asian decent. Seeing those babies was a reminder of the prize at the end of the day.

Through all the topics of class, the nurses would inject their experiences with our doctors and most notably, that our doctors are not “lazy” and are extremely involved in delivery. One major point that they kept reiterating, that I loved, was that from their experience, my drs are not C-section happy, and that at 26%, our hospital’s C-section standard is well below the national standard. In the same vein, as most of my mom friends have said, the nurses reiterated that even though I may aspire for a short labor complete with an epidural, things may be just the opposite. As far as my delivery is concerned, I fully expect things to go the complete opposite as I imagine. Expect the unexpected will be my mantra from here on out. In fact, during one of the breaks, I overheard the cooler nurse talking to the lady next to me about my favorite dr. The nurse asked the lady, so you have Dr. M? The lady said yes and confirmed her love for him. The nurse went on to say, don’t you just want to marry him? Of course I chimed in and said, um, yeah!

But really, he is a very wonderful dr. with a kind bedside manner. He’s extremely professional, but personable at the same time.

I must say, I’m so glad we chose to attend this specific class. Contrary to what a lot of people have told us, the class was extremely informative and a great supplement to everything I’ve read thus far. From the class, I think Jeff and I left feeling so reassured and completely comfortable knowing how great the facility really is; I feel so relieved that our baby and my delivery will be in the hands of 2 capable doctors and a very capable L&D staff.