Giving birth is scary enough. Having to stay in the hospital for five whole days during this anxiety-ridden time adds a completely different level of stress and discomfort. However, if you have to go through it, all you can do is cross your fingers and hope that the people who are caring for you will make the experience as pleasant and as successful as it can possibly be.
In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote about how Sidney, Sloan, and I could not wait until the discharge papers were signed and we could leave Conway Medical Center and head off to the comfort of our own home. It is true. Cabin fever had started to set in and we desperately wanted to get our daughter out of the hospital. But even through our angst, there was never one time where we (and by “we” I mean the three of us) weren’t treated with the utmost top quality care and genuine human compassion.
If you don’t live in the Grand Strand area, you may want to consider moving to our beautiful area of the country for the sole purpose of having your baby delivered. Seriously. The Birthplace at Conway Medical Center blew us away throughout the entirety of our extended stay.
Although last Friday’s birth of our daughter was my first ever hospital delivery experience, from what others have told me, we had it very good. We were in an oversized room with a television, furniture, shower, speedy wifi, and an endless supply of items such as tissues and towels. The food service was consistent, speedy, and tasty. The doctors, whether it was Sidney’s OBGYN or the pediatrician, came by early in the mornings. I was able to stay each night and had the option of sleeping in a rollout bed or a comfortable recliner.
The Birthplace itself is equipped with the latest technology. The place is totally secure. Patients and babies are kept completely protected. The nurse/doctor main station is centrally located so no matter where your room is, help is available the moment you step outside your door (although you could buzz for help at any time). The nursery is a godsend. Not only is it easily accessible and offers a great view for all visitors to see the babies, parents are able to send their newborn to it whenever they please. After we had Sloan, we sent her to the nursery overnight so we could get some rest after the energy draining experience we shared leading up to her birth.
But the part that will forever stick out to me the most about our time at The Birthplace at Conway Medical Center, besides meeting our beautiful daughter for the first time, are the nurses we met over the six days and five nights we stayed there. The women who took care of us were truly remarkable. They took the concept of “care” to the absolute next level and watched over us in a way that far exceeded any expectations I had going in.
From the time we checked in on Wednesday morning to when we were discharged on Monday around noon, the nurses took care of us. Working 12 hour shifts, we would have a nurse from 7 a.m to 7 p.m. during the day and then from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at night. Over the course of the shifts, these nurses provided us excellent medical attention while also relating to us as people. Sidney wasn’t just a patient, I wasn’t just the annoying husband. Rather, it seemed as if we were a high priority to them, not just another number or inconvenience.
Let me tell you, if you deliver at Conway Medical Center they will wait on you hand and foot. Whatever you want to drink or whatever you want to eat, they will get it for you. If you have a question, they will answer it (or find the answer for you). If you have a special need, they will accommodate you. Best of all, the excellent service extends right to the husband. At times I felt bad asking them for something because I knew they were there to serve Sidney but they were always happy to oblige. They constantly brought me cups of ice, additional blankets, clean linens, and all the assurance in the world. After we had Sloan, the head nurse in the nursery met with me and calmed any fears that I had and explained to me that my daughter was a perfectly healthy little girl. She then proceeded to grab my phone and take photos with it of my first moments with Sloan.
But it was the care they gave Sidney that will forever make me feel indebted to them. By no means did Sid have an easy go at it. Despite some of the difficulties she faced, the nursing staff was always in her corner. They supported her, sympathized with her, and even tried to be her nurse the next day if possible. Actual relationships developed to the point where the nurses who were no longer assigned to her would make the effort to come back to Sid’s room and check in on her. It became personal to them and we were so grateful for their kindness and authenticity. How good was this group of nurses? So good that my mother-in-law, a registered nurse herself and someone who tells it straight, raved about the job they did.
People will mumble that the care given at the hospital should always be excellent because we pay hefty prices for it. I understand where they are coming from but I mean it when I say the care given at Conway Medical Center, especially from the nursing staff, goes above and beyond that standard of excellence. To Sidney’s doctor (Dr. Collins) to our pediatrician (Dr. Sangtian) to the nurse who taught our birthing class (Tammy) to the fabulous crew of nurses who helped us out during our stay (Penny, Becky, Dixie, Tracy, Jeana, Jill, Jennifer, Tracy, Abby, Amelia, Faith)…THANK YOU. We sincerely appreciate the incredible job you did. Don’t Blink.