I’m sitting back, feet up sipping on some bubbly and enjoying the quiet. No, I’m not in the spa… and yes, it is a hospital bed I am sitting in. The bubbly is sparkling juice, and the quiet is really just a tease- it won’t be long before my new babe is crying. But it’s as close as I could possibly get in this moment. This was my husband and I enjoying our Celebration Dinner at SSM Health St. Mary’s.
As we enjoyed our meal that- quite frankly- is not your mama’s hospital food, we toasted. We cheers’d to our new life as a family of 3. We celebrated the fact that we had made it through the birth with limited snapping at one another. And we happily proclaimed that we hoped to come back again soon.
SSM Health St. Mary’s was a wonderful place to welcome our new baby into the world. After Vera came, all sparkling and new, we began our adjustment to life as a new family. And during these first few days, we wanted to feel the comforts of home while still having experts available to us if and when we needed them. SSM Health St. Mary’s offered this perfect balance in the St. Mary’s Family Birth Suites.
From the moment I was wheeled in the door of my new “home”, with my sweet little baby in my arms, I felt taken care of. The beautiful family room bore a striking resemblance to a hotel- a hotel with a super handy call button attached to your bed! The bathroom was large and had a great shower in it, and the room was so comfortable for both myself, my husband and our infant.
One of our favorite things about the space was the double bed for my husband and I to sleep in. When you have a baby, your life gets a turned a bit upside down, so any sense of normalcy was eagerly greeted. I was so happy to be able to be close to my family those first nights. My husband on one side, and our baby safely in her wheeled bassinet on the other.
Beyond the physical comforts of the room, we were emotionally comforted by the nursing staff who took care of us and answered my lengthy list of questions with ease. As a new parent (and as someone who rarely took a babysitting job), the idea of changing a diaper, swaddling properly, and bathing a newborn felt incredibly daunting. The St. Mary’s nurses supervised the diaper change as needed, are Olympic-level swaddlers, and gave us a tutorial during Baby’s First Bath in our in-room bathing sink. They also checked on both my baby and I, making sure nursing was going well and offered a lactation consultant if we needed it.
Both my husband’s family and my family live about 5 hours from Madison, so you’d better believe when they got the “I’m-in-labor-ow-you-better-ow-head-this-way-ow” call they were racing to get there straight away. With our baby being born in the evening, we were not ready to take visitors until late at night. We were so grateful for St. Mary’s 24/7 visiting hours, as were were able share our new babe with our excited family at 11:00 that night.
Recently some of those family members who visited from out of state became pregnant, and tried to find the equivalent of our SSM Health St. Mary’s hospital. They kept referencing all of the great things we had: the double bed, the nice nurses, the gorgeous room, the delicious food. They never did find something similar. I’m not quite sure it’s possible!