Labor & Delivery Hospital Tour at Anne Arundel Medical Center's Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion

Ian and I took a hospital tour yesterday. Let's just say, I want that hour of my life back.

I'm hoping to save you some time by detailing my experience. **Note: these are not actual pictures of the hospital.

I did receive a refresher. This tour is mainly geared towards first time moms or new patients to the hospital. Our group was a little slow to start with the questions, so I took it upon myself to get things rolling. I asked question after question, hoping to inspire the other moms. You know how that one student sits in class and never asks a question, but is dying to know the answer? Yup. That's how it was. Ugh! 

December 24, 2001 delivery at AAMC
Not a lot has changed since December 24, 2001 as I labored, delivered and stayed at the Rebecca Clatanoff Pavilion at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, MD. I was for sure there would be some stunning, new information to learn. But nothing exciting happened. Well, define "exciting". 

The drive felt the same as it did years ago. I never really labored at home with Kaden because I was already admitted to the hospital with pre-eclampsia. This did alleviate any nervousness that a first time mom would experience. However, this time around, I'll have to wait it out and wait for the magical moment when my water breaks.

We parked for free at the hospital's garage C. It is opened 24 hours. Supposedly, there are designated spots for expectant mothers, but I did not pay attention to the signs. In order to get inside of the hospital from the garage, you must enter on the first floor, whether taking the elevator or the stairs. The other floor levels will just take you to the levels of the parking garage.

There is also valet parking available. The hours vary, so you'll want to check the hospital's website or call the information desk to find out when you can utilize this service. On the tour, I believe our guide said one is from 8 AM to 4 PM and the other is 8 AM to 8 AM. But as we know, babies like to come whenever they want, and it's usually outside of that time frame.

Once inside of the Clatanoff Pavilion, you are to head to the second floor to Labor & Delivery. This is the one piece of information our guide told us to remember, if nothing else. Everyone has to have the okay from someone (their doctor) before they can come to labor and delivery on the second floor.

Once you arrive on the second floor at Labor & Delivery, you are to check in at the front desk. Your information should already be in the computer because most people have to pre-register. I've been registered for the hospital since I was 16 weeks. It makes it a lot easier on the big day to just state your name and be checked in. You will also identify your birth partner at this time. That is usually your spouse, boyfriend, significant other, friend, etc. Whomever is helping you through this process.

NOT the actual room in the hospital
You will go to triage where the nurses will monitor you and determine if you are in fact in labor, or if it is a complete false alarm. One outcome will get you a room. The other outcome may send you back home, or have you walk around the hospital to further along the process.

The Labor & Delivery floor has 23 rooms. Two of those 23 rooms have special suites that include a tub. It is said to be very hard to obtain one of these suites, but it does not hurt to ask for it. The other L & D rooms are pretty much standard. They have the bed for mom, a pull-out bed for dad, cable television and a bathroom with a shower. There may be a few chairs in the room for other visitors. It seemed much smaller than I remember, but who says I was even functioning that day?!

Get this: You are allowed to have 5 people in the room with you during L & D and once you are moved to the third floor. This number does not including your other children (siblings). So, if I have 2 children that want to be in the room, they can be in there with 5 other people.

Not everyone likes a crowded room during this time. I, for one, do not care. When I delivered Kaden, there were people in and out of my room. I lost count. It's great to have that support, in my opinion. However, some couples want to share that intimate moment with each other. And that is perfectly normal as well.

You are allowed to make the experience personal. If you want to bring a radio to play soft music, you can. I guess I'll be making a playlist soon. I don't think Beyonce is going to make the cut.

Also, don't forget your video camera and digital camera. You'll have to check with your doctor to see if they have any rules about documenting the process, but most of them are okay with them in the room. The only part that you are not allowed to record is the actual delivery. No crotch shots! This changed a bit because I actually had a crotch shot when I gave birth to Kaden. It was destroyed though. LOL!

After about two hours after you deliver, you will be moved up a level to floor three. This is where you get acquainted with your baby, bond, receive visitors, begin feeding schedules and anything else that comes along with having a newborn.

There is a lactation consultant available 24 hours a day. However, this particular area of the hospital is pretty busy. Most visits will be made for those mothers experiencing extreme difficulty and to make sure baby is latching properly. This is usually the main problem most first time moms have.

Although the site lists that there is a massage service, that no longer applies. With the struggling economy, this perk has been taken away. So, your birthing partner now becomes the massage therapist. Ian thought this was funny, but I was not joking. 

 A few other points I learned on the tour are:
  • THERE ARE NO SET VISITING HOURS!!! Your friends and family (up to five at a time) can stay as long as you like, 24 hours a day. Of course you'll want to work around mom and baby's schedule without causing disruption. A 2 AM party in the room is not quite ideal. 
  • There are no waiting areas on either floor. If you are not one of the five people who are in the room, you can wait in the Clatanoff's lobby, or hang out in the cafe. They have hours posted for this. 
  • The hospital supplies you with almost everything you need. You can avoid freaking out over what to pack in your hospital bag. Just bring items that make you feel like yourself. Of course, a coming home outfit for you and baby are key. (I'll be reviewing the Mommy/BFFLBag soon)
  • All patients are discharged on their given date at 10:00 AM. Depending on the time you deliver, most patients giving vaginal delivery will stay between 24 and 48 hours. C-sections vary.
I'm sure there is a lot more that I am missing, but this will all go out the door once your big day arrive. No one will leave you stranded.

If you are interested in signing up for this tour or any other classes at AAMC, visit here.

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This is my recount of the hospital tour. You'll want to check with AAMC for more information.

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