Tonight the Missus and I went to our hospital's Maternity Orientation. The hospital's only about 4 miles from the house, so we're all set if things come to a head (pun most definitely intended) quickly.
It was an odd assortment of people attending the orientation. It started in a lecture-style conference room, with one the staff pediatricians walking us through the role they play and the things to thing about during the birthing process. I was fascinated, and could feel a grin wider than my face the entire time. I looked over at the Missus, and wasn't surprised to see that she was choking back tears - but also extremely happy.
No, the surprise came as we surveyed the rest of our fellow parents-to-be. None of them were holding hands, or touching each other in any way at all. One couple was buts text messaging on their cell phones. Another couple was arguing in the back. Were we the only couple there who seemed genuinely happy to be having a baby? It seemed like it.
After another series of slides detailing our entire birthing process - from driving up to the front door to leaving with New Baby, we were led upstairs to view the actual facilities. Just as we arrived, as if on cue, a new father was rolling his son into the nursery. The room was suddenly filled with the oohs and aahs of 30 expectant parents. He was only an hour old, but he was already looking around, yawning, and grabbing the sleeve of the nurse taking his temperature. He seemed perfectly content to take in his surroundings, maybe sneak a nap later.
I will admit to maybe a stray tear falling. I won't swear in a court of law, but between us...okay, there was one.
Next was the Recovery Room (they were too busy delivering babies to show us the actual delivery rooms), where they take the mother an hour or so after the birth to recuperate and bond with their new baby until it's time to leave the hospital. A sample room:
You don't see it, but there's flat screen TV's and plenty of room for friends and everything else you might need. There's also a crib and warmer if the mother chooses to keep the baby with them in the room the whole time. The best thing we liked about the hospital is that everyone, from the delivery to the recuperation, gets a private room with their own bathroom. Visiting hours are very flexible, the fathers have carte blanche to come and go as they please, and each mother has a personal nurse who attends only to them while they're there.
When we left about an hour or so later, both of us couldn't stop smiling, or touching, or thinking about what would be coming in just a few short months now.