Posts Tagged ‘ Columbia-Presbyterian ’

Hospital Bag Envy

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Got my sunscreen. Got my hat. Ready for vacation!

I have hospital bag envy. My fellow blogger Berit, who shares my same due date (though mine is moved up due to a scheduled C-section) has posted about what she is taking to the hospital. Good god is she organized. All I have packed so far are earplugs so I can sleep.

I think one of the reasons I’m blowing it off a bit is because I keep thinking of Cedars-Sinai as a spa. Like Bliss. They’ll have all the beautiful toiletries and lavender wraps I need.

When I delivered with Fia at Columbia-Presbyterian in New York, we had these beautiful birthing rooms. Sadly, I never birthed in mine, though I did get 24 hours in it, looking out to Yankee Stadium while doctors shoved hands up me trying to turn her (she was head down, but sunny-side up). I was wheeled into the OR for the C-section, then taken to my room. In my case, we were allotted 4 nights. Let me tell you: it was like going from the Taj Mahal to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The rooms were tiny. And painted a dingy yellow. The floor tiles were stained with rust. Or was it blood? You couldn’t drink the water–or even brush your teeth with it. Apparently a few years ago they discovered bacteria in the pipes and have yet to remedy the problem. This is one of the top hospitals in the country, but even if we hadn’t moved to LA, and even though I loved my doctor, it would have been hard to want to birth there again.

There was one dingy light above our bed. Fluorescent. It made a buzzing noise.

It was so dark and dismal, that on day 2 the nurse held Fia up to the window to see if she had jaundice. She said she could never tell in the rooms because the paint is yellow, so she relies on the natural light coming in the small window. Fia did have jaundice. Thank you window light.

I could have brought a steamer trunk of supplies and I still would have felt dirty. We were right by the main door, so the security buzzer went off constantly, 24/7. We left after 3 nights, thinking even with the C-section and my swollen legs and traumatized vag, we’d be better off at home. And we were. (Not for birthing though. Still not a fan of homebirth!).

So now, even though I didn’t visit Cedars (just did a virtual online tour) I keep thinking I’m going to the Four Seasons. People say it’s really nice and they aren’t even coming from my third world experience.  I picture fluffy pillows and soft blankets. Sometimes when I’m daydreaming I picture a massage. I’m sure I’m up for a rude awakening–as it is still a hospital–and I will still be cut open. But this time I plan to stay the entire time if it’s even half as good as Columbia-Presbyterian. Plus, my father in law will be at our house and he has developed a constant humming habit. So I’d have to wear earplugs regardless of where I was.

I need to use Berit’s list to get my own bag packed. Time is running out to get ready for my spa week….err, the birth of my baby I mean.

Suitcase pic via Shutterstock

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