Last night, Jamie and I returned from our “Grand Tour.” For the first time in months, I had no appetite. And let’s not think about the phrase, “Grand Tour” in the conventional sense, my dears. This was no fabulous European adventure filled with fine wine, Caravaggios and Italian beauties astride Vespas– I’m talking about my and Jamie’s spin around the maternity ward at NYU Hospital.
The eager, bright faces of the expectant mothers were, well, eager and bright because they weren’t due until, oh, September. (I asked.) As our well-versed though somewhat unsympathetic tour guide glided backward on the shiny linoleum floors, she kept repeating, “There will be so much blood. There will be SO MUCH BLOOD. You should consider sleeping in the hospital-provided nighties so you won’t have to throw away your blood-stained pj’s.” I loathe the expression “pj’s.”
She reminded me that in exactly one month’s time, I face the imminent challenge of foisting my leg in stirrups, pushing out 8 pounds of baby, forgetting about sleep as I know it (“You and your coach will feed the baby every two hours…”) and feasting on cafeteria-style chipped beef and jello.
And, wait, wait, wait–back up. Who’s my “coach?”
If the nausea hadn’t been overwhelming, I would have started humming John Fogerty.
“Oh, put me in, Coach–I’m ready to play today;
Look at me, I can be Centerfield!”
Turns out “coach” is my husband. And actually, he won’t be by my (aching) side at 3am. You see, I’ll be stuck in a “semi-private” post delivery room–where “coaches are banned”– for a minimum of 2 nights. NYU has only 4 private post-delivery rooms–where “coaches are allowed”– and they’re first come, first serve.
And if you are that lucky gal who snags the private chamber? That’ll cost you an additional $525 a night. Our guide made it very clear that this sum was out-of-pocket–“no insurance company known to man covers this surcharge.”
“Let’s just go to the Ritz,” one man muttered to his wife.
Even the bright, eager moms deflated.
After our guide gave us one final demonstration on how to give birth in the squatting position while holding onto a horizontally-positioned bar (“It looks like a roller coaster ride!” Jamie beamed) it was time to hop into a cab and cruise west, homeward bound.
Girls, check your patches, rings and pills. And next time you think having a baby is like purchasing that puppy in the window, take a Grand Tour–at NYU.