Last night, Steve and I went back over to United on our own and asked to look around at the birth rooms again. This time, they didn't seem so cramped. I think we must have seen an awfully small one during our first hospital tour. The nurse who showed us around, Holly, said there are a couple of tiny ones, and they'd do their best to make sure we don't get one, unless mid-August brings a slew of babies. And maybe my clausterphobic reaction was partly due to all the people from our class who were crowded into it the first time.
Holly also showed us the shower and tub room, and while I wish each birthing room had a private one, at least there's one available. She said it's not used very often, so I'm not too worried about that. And Holly? She was so incredibly nice. She encouraged us to ask all the questions we wanted and reassured us about things like episiotomies ("we really don't like to do those anymore") and their openness to birth plans, which made me feel good about the care we can expect. When we asked why United has such a high c-section rate compared to St. Joseph's, she pointed out that United is where all the preemies and multiples and other high risk babies (who are more likely to be born by c-section) are born, so it's to be expected.
Anyway, I left the hospital feeling so much better about United than I did after our first tour. It was almost exhilarating, the relief I felt as I stood in those rooms and realized they weren't the stuff of nightmares after all. So ... we have a decision: We are staying there and staying with our clinic and our doctor (who sings "Happy Birthday" to all the babies he delivers — I hope he's on call when we're there!). Cross your fingers that we get one of the all-in-one rooms, but if we don't, we'll be fine. It might not be perfect, but I have a feeling a lot of that will depend on how this baby decides to come out. I think the key will be to communicate clearly, have a well-thought-out — but flexible — birth plan, and be happy for the support we have (i.e. our doula). I know Steve feels better, too.
In other exciting decision-making news: We have consultations set up with three pediatricians at two different clinics, all of whom sound wonderful, so we'll have that figured out by mid-July.
And two diaper bags I ordered from Lands' End arrived yesterday — (already!) — and I love them both! The Little Tripper (mine has the fern green front pocket) is for short trips to the store, etc. It's sporty, and I can wear it as a messenger bag and fit it over the stroller handles. And I like that it doesn't scream "diaper bag."
The Triple-Compartment Diaper Pack (in deep claret) is for longer day trips, and the idea was for it to be unisex enough for Steve to use it, too. Both of these are so freakin' organized, with tons of pockets and compartments for baby bottles, wet diapers, cell phone, etc.! I can't wait!
I think I might also look for a cute, colorful backpack for myself that's slightly bigger than the Little Tripper, for longer outings ... I have spent so much time "researching" diaper bags online (a.k.a. reading reviews on obsessive chat boards!) — I think diaper bags could become an addiction if I'm not careful!