Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

Hotel or Hospital

I’ll jump into our daily routine and events in a couple of future posts, but I’d first like to recap some of our history partly for your information and partly as a record for us. So, let’s wind back the clock to March 2011 when we first found out my wife was pregnant. We were in Chengdu, China at the time visiting my wife’s parents and ended up checking out and doing some initial care and testing at Chengdu’s premiere birthing hospital, Angel Women’s and Children’s’ Hospital, http://english.angel-hospital.com/featur/.

 

One can’t help but be amazed by Angel no matter how many nice hospitals you’ve been in. Then again, how many people describe hospitals as nice? Angel is incredible. We were most impressed with the 24 hour care, hotel-like facilities and plethora of medical and creature comfort services the hospital offered. If you wanted an appointment at 9:13 AM on Sunday, you got it. If you were hungry, they fed you (daddy and family too). If you needed to kill some time while waiting for a test result, there was a bank of computers and a lobby lounge. All of this comes at a price of course that typically only the Chinese elite can afford, however, a typical American could swing it.

After visiting Angel, my wife and I were seriously torn apart debating where to have our child. Assuming there were no complications, I can easily say that the care and service received in China for the same money would have been better for both my wife and my child. However, we ended up choosing to have our son in the U.S. for 2 main reasons: instant American citizenship without the hassle of petitioning for it in China and superior neo-natal care in case there were any complications.

Having chosen the U.S., overall, we were very happy and comfortable with our Dr. and his staff. He was knowledgeable, supportive, patient, and always in good spirits throughout the entire pregnancy. However, typical of my American medical experiences, there were appointments that were scheduled for 9 AM, but we didn’t see him until 10 AM and there were also times where we paid for our routine visits where he’d sit with us for (less than) a minute to tell us that everything seems to be fine and sent us on our way.

FYI, pre-natal care mostly consists monthly weight and blood pressure checks, measurements, occasional ultrasounds, and question and answer time with the OB/GYN. For the most part, they’re fairly routine just to ensure the pregnancy is going smoothly with a test thrown in every once and a while (down syndrome, glucose, etc). All of our visits went smoothly without any complications. We did have a couple of extra ultrasounds towards the end as the Doctor was having trouble figuring out the positioning of the baby. As the ultrasounds showed, it turned out that JJ was burying himself into Claire’s body effectively "hiding" her belly.

These ultrasounds and heartbeat listenings were always a treat at these visits. Early on, we thought we’d get to see JJ each visit, however, the Doc later explained that he wanted to limit the radiation to JJ and would only use the ultrasound when medically necessary. Shucks. In addition to the Dr.’s visits, we started attending baby classes around the 6th month. We attended the following classes sponsored by the hospital and its nurses: Labor and Delivery, Baby Safety and CPR, Baby Massage, Breastfeeding, and Daddy Boot camp.

I forgot to mention one silly thing about the Doctor’s waiting room. The TV was always playing TLC’s "A Baby Story." All of the expecting mothers and fathers would universally cringe when they got to the labor portion of the show. Time to change the channel.

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