N and I ended up going on a tour firstly at Box Hill. We arrived a little late which wasn’t too good but pretty much got our own tour around the ward. We mainly had a look at the birthing suite which was reasonably nice with its own kitchen, there was also a shower and toilet and had things to help with pain relief ie, balls and mats. Once the child has popped out you then just go into the maternity ward generally sharing a room with a few other people. It was possible for a water birth if trained staff were on. After going on this tour we still had no idea what we were doing and wernt too impressed, the benefit of us choosing Box Hill is that my besty C works there.
About a week later we went to the Angless for their tour. The tour there was a lot better, a lot more informative which was a relief since N and I still had no idea what we were doing. We firstly went to a room for an information session which gave us an idea about the services available at the hospital. We received an information pack containing a list of their approved GP’s and obstetricians which was handy since we didn’t really have a doctor.
After our lecture we went up to the birthing suites to have a bit of a look around. In the prenatal suite (after I have the baby) there were still rooms which would have to be shared but there was a possibility of having a single room or a room only one other new mother. In this area N would only be able to stay for so long to visit and therefore go home to sleep. It wasn’t very exciting just looked like a normal hospital ward.
Our group was then taken into the Family Birth Centre (FBC), this is a birthing suite run by mid-wives offering a natural surrounding, similar to a home birth, with little or no intervention. The upside to this is that there is the official birthing suite across the hall if complications did arise during labour. Within the FBC there are only 2 rooms, each room looked very similar to a motel room with beanbags and rubber mats also. Each room had their own bathroom with a spa bath (which had me sold) and N would be able to stay with baby and I the whole time until we would be discharged, generally 24 hours after bubs is born if all is going well.
After seeing the FBC we had a look in the hospitals birthing suite, similar to the prenatal suite it looked a lot like a normal hospital ward however the suites looked nice and comfortable. I was still no over my ‘morning sickness’ and after so much walking a was starting to feel hot, tired and faint. While looking in one of the birthing room I went extremely pale and had to sit down (how embarrassing) with the thought I might pass out, the nurse ran off to get me some ice water to sip on. I started feeling a little better so the nurse kept showing us around again enforcing the lack of funding for public hospitals. Pointing out that there were CD players only in some rooms as some had either been broken or stolen and still not replaced due to the lack of funding. There was the possibility to relax yourself during labour in a bath similar to the FBC however it was only the size of a normal bath which I’m sure would be extremely difficult to get out of once in and in labour, and basically carrying a watermelon in your belly, this concept did not thrill me at all. The nurse showed us a small patient/visitors kitchen which N had to ask the question if he could keep his bourbons in the small fridge, the nurse seemed very unimpressed after telling him the hospital is an alcohol free zone, I just kept sipping on my water pretending we weren't there together (he he he).
At the Angliss these were our two options. N and I hurried out of the birthing suite and went straight to the FBC to book ourselves in. July looked like a very busy month and were therefore booked out already. We were second on the waiting list which the nurse did say we still have a pretty good chance of still getting an actual booking as the pregnancies were still early and people move booking into other hospitals. We left the hospital hoping we would receive a call to book us in and more informed about what was going to happen and what to do now.