(I wrote most of this blog entry on Sunday. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it because I came down with a nasty cold/cough on Friday and am still feeling rough. Note: If you get pregnant, do everything to not get sick! Sickness in pregnancy is 10x worse because your immune system is suppressed. I have been lucky enough to avoid getting sick until now.)
We went on a tour of the Toronto East General maternity/baby ward today (Sunday). With every little step, like this one, it just becomes more and more real that we really are having two babies very soon! The hospital recently renovated the ward, so it looks more inviting than the typical sterile hospital maternity ward. The delivery suites (no, not rooms), are very spacious and even include a cot for the support person. Jenn can have a nap...if I let her ;) Twins cannot be delivered in those rooms though. Once the babies are ready to make their entrance into the world, I'll have to go into the operating suite (again, not a room...it's a suite).
The hospital is the only "baby friendly" hospital in Toronto, a very difficult designation to get. It is given by the WHO (World Health Organization) and UNICEF. The designation mostly has to do with providing an optimal and supportive environment for breast-feeding. I think that there is also something to do with keeping c-section rates at minimum. The hospital is very big on skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth. This means that providing the baby is healthy, she/he is put right onto the mother's chest or abdomen (or partner's chest). This helps to regulate breathing, blood pressure, body temperature etc. The hospital keeps mother and baby (babies) together 24/7 after birth, providing baby is healthy. There is no nursery, only a NICU. The hospital is huge on breast-feeding, hence the baby-friendly designation, and provides lactation support immediately after birth. They also have a free breast-feeding clinic that is open 7 days per week. Lastly, I loved that the nurse giving the tour said that the worst place to labour is in bed (think: lack of gravity). Rooms are equipped with birthing balls, showers, Jacuzzis etc. and women are encouraged to walk and move around to help labour progress. I think I'd go nuts lying in a bed for hours.
Anyways, it was nice to see where we'll be meeting our little girls for the first time. There will be enough surprises, so it's good to eliminate a few :)