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The Tale of the Waiting Room

Thank God it wasn't one of those tests where they make you drink a gallon of water that you have to hold until they're done. We arrived yesterday for our ultrasound at Loyola Outpatient a few minutes early. 2:45 appointment. At 3:30pm we were still in the waiting room.

Fifteen minutes late I can totally understand. Twenty minutes late and I start to feel like you're not doing very well on patient care. Forty-five minutes late and we were plotting an escape. We had already decided to walk out at 3:45. Not to mention that Cole was along.

He loves the place. There is a long, carpeted walkway he can crawl/walk along. There is a 2 story wall of water that trickles down. They left a free newborn/infant care magazine for him to play with. (Because we certainly didn't want was from WebMD and had conflicted advice for new parents even at just 4 pages long!) Luckily, being Super Dad, I'd brought sliced grapes and cheese for a snack but that was long gone. Poor kid fell and rug-burned his chin, too.

But they called us.

No real apology. Just a "oh, sorry about that" when Kelly complained a bit. Lots of white coats around. Turns out it was some sort of teaching show and tell. So in pops some random guy saying he'll be observing. Not real happy about that. I think patients should be--upfront--given the choice of whether or not they are ok with someone shadowing. Teaching hospital, blah blah. Kelly asked if we get the discount rate for having students present. Heh.

Baby is doing great though the tests took forever. They measure everything you could possibly think of. Cole was amazingly well-behaved and stared at the screen. No personality from them though. We've definitely sat through some conversational ultrasounds in our time but this was all business. Cold and scientific. I know not every ultrasound is happy--been there too--but it's supposed to be happy.

Anyway, she's 45th percentile and about 3 lbs. I asked, for no reason, what that may translate into for birth since the purpose of the screening was for her doctor to determine the baby's size. Pretty much all I got is "on track for 7 pounds though most 2nd babies are bigger than the first." Ok, so two of you do this for a living but have no clue how your measurements may relate to this kid 10 weeks from now?

On a related note, I'm done. Not the biggest fans of the medical profession at this point--at least when it comes to delivering babies. It's about as friendly & fun as Wal-Mart. We're ready for her to just be here. Today was supposed to be our tour of the other hospital, but at this point we're just sticking with where we're at currently. No point making more work for ourselves. I'm sure it will be fine. And by "fine" I mean my daughter will come into this world given the most expensive care possible while minor hospital deficiencies go uncorrected and we attempt to not let them steal our joy. It's not the most pleasant system no matter how you look at it.

Someone needs to invent a cross between a modern medical labor/delivery ward and the happy/friendly atmosphere of home births and midwives. Some way Kelly can get her epidural while we enjoy a calming environment.


  1. Sorry you're not having a good experience. Unfortunately, maternity care in this country is broken. My strategy with the hospital was get everyone to leave me alone and get out of there asap. You know, a doula could help you create the kind of environment you want, even with planning an epidural. They're good at keeping the medical staff away and advocating for the birth experience you want.

  2. I'm not sure Kelly would go for a doula and at this point it may be a little late to shake things up too much. It's a case of do I want to be outside the system or see it reformed? It used to be so much worse, I know. Keeping the staff away is a big one. Kelly was so annoyed at all the times we were disturbed for Cole during our stay. Let us and our newborn be!


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