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Hospital Window Shopping

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I am 34 weeks and yesterday, the hubby and I went on a hospital-window-shopping spree. I am hoping to have a normal delivery, but they say you just have to be prepared for anything, hence we need it to be a place with well qualified medical staff, superior equipment, a clean environment, good facilities and a place that I will love to go back again. So the hubby and I went on a tour to four different hospitals within or near the range of our budget to assess their facilities. I must say that all the nurses who take us on a tour of the facilities are really good and friendly, and I liked them lots.
But there were some facilities that were a total let down. There is one particular one I went to whose post natal ward was quite squeezed. I don’t think the curtained rooms can accommodate more than one visitor at a time. Worse, this particular maternity ward’s washrooms were the least bit impressive. In fact, when I asked to see a private room, the nurse/guide was quite embarrassed when she took me to one whose loo had not been flushed in quite a while and the stench was extremely offensive. I definitely crossed that facility out of my list.

The next one we went to wasn’t that bad. Only that we met a patient being carried out, literally, in a member of staffs’ arms out of the theatre and being transferred to a ward I assume. The hubby and I wondered if there was a shortage of stretchers or if there was no ramp to the upper floors or what. I shuddered at the thought of coming out of theatre and being carried in someone’s arms to the post-natal ward. Not funny.

Off we went to the next one, but we were told we could not be taken on a tour of the maternity facility because all the beds were fully occupied. Our pleas to let us ‘just have a peep’ at one of the wards, beds or washrooms fell on deaf ears. We were told it would not be nice to invade the privacy of a patient, and more so, the hospital could be sued. We understood because I don’t want strangers peeping into my space either when I’m recovering. But we wondered what would have happened if we had already booked earlier and I was due for delivery at that very moment. Where would they admit me? Or would I have to wait until a mother is discharged for me to get a bed? I don’t know.

The last place we checked out was not bad either. Very clean facility actually. Can’t say anything negative I saw. Maybe I will consider delivering there.

Problem though I noticed with all these facilities is their pricing. They all have hospital packages for both normal and caesarian deliveries. Complication arises when you have your own private doctor whom you want to use during delivery. The itemized charges are not easy to understand, so you get out of there not knowing exactly how much you will spend, especially because they say the prices are all dependent on what you and your baby will consume during your stay in the hospital. Which is alright, only problem for us is that save for the doctor’s fees, we ended up not knowing exactly how much it will cost us to deliver in these facilities. And the estimates are so varied we ended up more confused. Grrrr.

One other thing is the talk out there by mothers about hospitals. By jove, I have heard all sorts of tales about different hospitals, including the ones I sampled. Both terrifying and good. One woman could have a horror story about a certain hospital, and yet another is all praise and heaven about it. There are such contrasting opinions about all these hospitals from the women in my network, right now I’m just about confused about where to go. And you know how convincing women, ESPECIALLY mothers can be about delivery and baby matters.

But you know what? I have decided if I listen to them, I will not deliver at all or I will end up popping my baby in the house. So the hubby and I will just have to make a decision and leave the rest to God.

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Maryanne Waweru-Wanyama is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.

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