Growing up in the Valley, I’ve always known, and taken for granted, that Children’s Hospital Central California (formerly Valley Children’s Hospital) was the best place for kids with serious, or emergency, health conditions.
With the birth of my oldest son 16-years ago, I was comforted by the fact Children’s was just down the road. If anything happened to Jay, they’d take care of him. Heck, I could even piggyback him there if needed.
It wasn’t until I accepted a position at Children’s Hospital a couple of weeks ago, as their social media coordinator, that I started understanding the full scope of what they do.
And I mean I’m just starting. I realize this is going to sound like a big commercial, but these folks are amazing. Simply. Amazing.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to overload you with info too. However, I do want to share what I WISH I knew last year when I was pregnant and battling preeclampsia. Because of the early onset and severity of my condition, I was very aware of the high risk – certainty — that my daughter would be delivered early. Too early.
What I didn’t realize was I had options in choosing a hospital for Bella’s NICU stay. If I did, and was made aware of how safe transport was, I definitely would’ve asked for Children’s.
After working here a week, taking a tour of the NICU and learning about Children’s long history and success rates, I would’ve demanded it.
Want to know what gets me the most? I could’ve roomed with my daughter for her 14-day stay. That’s right, roomed with her around the clock. There are private NICU rooms available here with a pull-out bed for mom (or dad), a private bathroom and storage.
Instead of that more natural scenario: I commuted and hunted for a parking spot daily (a real pain) to visit my daughter while recovering from a c-section. I don’t even want to talk about the stress of separation and that little rush-hour fender bender on the way home one night.
Yeah, so biggest lesson learned: KNOW all your options for both you and the baby, even if you never need them.
It wouldn’t hurt to include some ‘just-in-case’ choices to your birth plan too.