The other day I signed Chris and I up for a hospital maternity tour so that we could acquaint ourselves with the hospital baby #5 will be born in and learn about any new procedures that may have come up since giving birth to our last little one. It was a bizarre experience to say the least. There we were in a room with numerous parents anxiously taking notes and asking questions. All I was focused on was how young everyone looked...how scared everyone looked. I don't think I really heard a word of what the hospital staff person was saying, it was more like the wahh, wahhh, wha, whaaaa you would hear from Charlie Brown's classroom teacher.
There I was touring for baby #5, but could not get myself motivated to really CARE about what was really being said. I was there mostly because I thought I needed to be...as some sort of baby rite of passage. Meanwhile as the staff person continued her whaaa, whaaahing, I DID notice how sterile everything looked and how uncomfortable the labor bed appeared. The rooms were not as "cozy" as rooms I'd given birth in before. The wallpaper was shabby and some of the drywall in the bathroom was broken. I sensed that the placed was not as clean as other hospitals I had been in. I peered at all the familiar gadgets and gizmos that were at the reach of the doctors for last minute emergencies. Memories flooded in and out of my brain of each birth I had experienced (as well as one miscarriage). And I remembered how scary it all was and could only feel dread for the whole experience.
Chris and I walked out of one of the delivery rooms and just looked at each other with a sense of dread. Chris said sarcastically, "Oh, boy..won't that be fun to do again." I responded in similar fashion, "Well, at least you don't have to have people poking and prodding at your privates the whole time." Chris said, " Yeah, you definitely get the hard part of the deal." Needless to say, my attitude about the whole birthing process was not so....positive.
We continued on to the 5th floor where all the newborns are cared for. The guide casually pointed to the nursery and all the fancy security features of the floor.( I was not so impressed with the security procedures since I had walked in earlier with no badge and without picking up the security phone without any problems. Chris did the same thing at the NicU accidentally without any real alarms going off.) Humph. But while all the newer parents continued to listen to the tour guide and hang on her every word, Chris and I turned our bodies toward the nursery and saw the most incredible thing of the night: Babies. Newborn babies. So small and helpless, looking around at their new environment like little fresh peaches. I put my hand to the glass and whispered to Chris, "Oh look! That one moves just like the one in my belly. I recognize the movements. It is so amazing!" Chris stood there for a few seconds, just as amazed as I was...staring. Just staring at the new life before our eyes. "Look Georgie, we are about to have one of those and we have no idea what he/she will be like. What an exciting thing". And it was exciting, WE were excited for the first time, realizing the miracle about to enter our lives. All my anxieties melted away as I remembered the end product of all the "yucky" stuff we would have to go through beforehand.
It is SO worth it!