Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hospital Survival Info

As a follow up to Geoff's last post, I wanted to share some very important information - "Shannon & Geoff's Hiranandani Hospital Survival Guide" - for other intended parents that will soon be staying at the this birthing hospital.

For those that don't know, Hiranandani Hospital is not a shabby place and has an excellent reputation.  It's known as an upscale hospital throughout Asia and although we refer to it as a birthing hospital, it is in fact a full service hospital.  This happens to be the hospital that our agency - along with several other surrogacy agencies - works with as it accepts the legality and morality of surrogacy (unlike Lilavati Hospital, for example).  There are different grades of rooms from which we were able to choose at check in. It's pretty straight forward - they shared a chart showing the type of room, what floor it's located on and the associated cost.  We were able to visit any empty rooms/suites with security and I'd highly recommend doing so.  We opted for a deluxe suite on the 12th floor, which is a newly renovated floor.  Once we made our room selection, a full deposit was required upon check in and included in that fee is a guesstimate of medical costs as well as three meals a day.  The nightly cost for this suite is currently 7,500 Rupees - the equivalent to $165.17 USD.  Outstanding balances must be paid in full upon discharge.

Our suite had two rooms separated by pocket doors. On one side was a sitting area, kitchenette and full bathroom while, on the other, a second full bathroom, a hospital bed and a chaise lounge we easily used as a second bed.  Flat screen TVs and DVD players were located on both sides of the suite. Finally, this room came with a microwave, refrigerator, sink and a very sweet nursing staff who took excellent care of Archer.  See pictures below...

Just like our last trip to India, we packed some food and snacks, but this time we packed a little differently for obvious reasons.  Not that any hospital has good food service but I can honestly say the food service was horrific and sparse - and that's sugarcoating. (please keep in mind that this is our experience and others may very well disagree!)  There was no rhyme or reason when meals were delivered and when they were, they were often minimal and inedible.  Geoff can choke down anything whereas there was not one meal that I ate even 50% of.  I mostly ate microwave popcorn, peanut butter crackers and stale toast.  The meals of champions!

Without further ado - Shannon & Geoff's Hiranandani Hospital Survival Guide. (Apologies to those for whom this does not apply!)  Aside from clothes and everything baby....
  • Snacks - lots of them! Microwave popcorn especially!
  • Nuts, peanut butter and anything with protein that you can travel with
  • We'd recommend stopping at a local grocery store and picking up some bread and jelly to make PB&Js
  • Juice boxes and/or powdered gatorade/lemonade
  • All toiletries
  • Outlet converters for each plug
  • Hair dryer (for those that need one)
  • Slippers/flip flops
  • Hand soap
  • Disinfectant wipes and spray
  • Room air freshener
  • Bottle brushes, antibacterial soap, sponge
  • Antibacterial gel 
  • DVDs (there were only 3 channels that had English language movies/shows and they repeat them over and over and over and over and over)
  • Medela micro-steam bags for sanitizing baby bottles and bottle parts (I love these things and each bag gets 20 uses)
  • Diapers (the hospital only uses a padded hospital chuck)
  • Swaddling and receiving blankets (the hospital only has sheets and they're rough)
  • Pacifiers or soothies (the hospital does not provide any)
  • Formula - only if you do not want to use the hospital's formula or you are not breast feeding (the hospital provides an Indian brand of formula called NAN)
Things to expect & things to do - 
  • The nursing staff are truly great and will assist you in anyway - either fully hands-on or second to the parents, but you should set the tone
  • There will be a parade of people who come through your room each day at all hours regardless of whether or not they're invited (nurses, residents, pediatricians, senior level management, housekeeping, nursing assistants, food service...)
  • A variety of hospital staff will be picking up your child, so get used to it
  • If your child is in the NICU, it is a very sterile environment and there are always nurses in the NICU.  You will need passports to get in and out of the NICU each time
  • If interested in having Internet access, ask for a user name and password right away
  • Construction is taking place all over the hospital and can be disruptive at times
  • When in doubt or if you don't understand exactly, ask to have it explained
  • Security is at each outside exit and is present in the lobby, on each floor, at each elevator and especially more visible at high risk areas, such as the NICU
  • It's not necessary, but we'd recommend bringing a gift to give the nurses at the end of your stay (chocolates or candy or something small)  Note, flowers and balloons are not allowed in the hospital.
Any questions on what you should/shouldn't be packing, feel free to email us and we're happy to help!

1 comment:

  1. looks like a nice room...but I don't envy it one bit. Your bed is going to feel like heaven when you get home...especially sandwiched between two handsome sleeping young men!