*This post is sponsored by SSM Health St. Mary’s. The birth experience, thoughts and opinions on the positive experience (and the delicious shakes) are my own.
There’s always the joke about First Time Moms versus Second Time Moms. How First Time Moms are running around frazzled, pacifiers stuck in their messy 4 day unwashed hair. While Second Time Moms are the picture of calm. Pacifiers properly placed, mom bun up (in equally unwashed hair, let’s be honest). I draw a parallel between that to First Time Pregnancies versus Second Time Pregnancies.
My first pregnancy I had no idea what to expect, while the second time around I was ready! I didn’t even try to stick it out with my regular jeans and popped those maternity pants on week 6. I knew that all scented candles needed to immediately be put into storage, and I knew by heart what size fruit, vegetable and jungle animal my growing baby was every week. My husband was prepared for round 2 as well. He knew that it was important to watch the little one when I needed a nap (essential), to turn the channel when the Sarah McLachlan dog ad came on, and was aware of all places open 24 hours that sold ice cream within a 5 mile radius of us. Most importantly, the second pregnancy we knew where we wanted to deliver our new, sweet bundle.
My first time around we didn’t proactively make the choice, but rather let our insurance dictate where we went and hoped for the best. Luckily, we got way more than we hoped for. So when we found out we were expecting a second, we chose to again go with SSM Health St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites. I always joke around that I’m an SSM Health St. Mary’s fangirl. And I promise you it’s not just because of the shakes you can order from their menu (I have ordered one straight away after both deliveries), though it definitely helps.
It’s because of the absolutely amazing way I feel taken care of at their facility. I still remember the first time we visited SSM Health St. Mary’s. We had a hospital visit where we waddled (okay, maybe I was the only waddler), around the facility to learn where to go and what to expect when we delivered. I recall looking at my husband, his eyes all lit up. “It’s like a hotel- a luxury hotel!” he said. And he was right- apart from that tiny detail of stirrups on the bed. The facility is beautiful. Warm, natural lighting throughout. And the rooms are stunning with flat screen tvs and comfy furniture. For the next 4 months, he kept referencing “the hotel” we would get to stay in. Yes, that’s correct. Not the hospital, the hotel. I had to remind him that the big, luxurious soaking tub was for me and not necessarily for him to take a bubble bath.
When we finally did make it to “the hotel”, huffing and puffing (me, not him) we were greeted with big smiles and capable hands. The nursing staff was incredible. I had a long first delivery, and am so grateful for the kind faces that took care of me. SSM Health St. Mary’s has one to one nursing care, so I always felt like someone was available if I needed something. When the nurses weren’t trying to do everything in their power to help me have a pleasant delivery (and once the epidural kicked in), they joked around with us, and helped ease my anxieties. My husband and I became so attached to our nurses, we still talk about them. Thanks to Carmen, Kaity, Nicole (#1 was a long birth) and Marcy (#2 was much faster!) Kaity even came by the next day to visit us and the baby since she worked a shift earlier in the day before my first was born.
After our experiences with SSM Health St. Mary’s, we now know how important it is to make your hospital choice early. For so many of us, the hospital is an afterthought. We put so much research into where we do our shopping, what health club we join, and what restaurant we are going to any given Friday night, but will sometimes just take our hospital choice as a given. It seems silly, really, that we wouldn’t make the choice of where to deliver our babies and let someone make it for us. After all, the hospital is the place you meet the newest member of your little family. It’s where you count their fingers and toes, where you plant your first kisses on their foreheads, cheeks, tummy. Where you settle into life as a bigger, better family. It’s who you trust to bring your newest little life into the world. And it’s the place where you get to order delicious shakes. Because that’s important too.