Hospital tribulations and other updates

So I’ve always been keen on delivering at SGH and the assumption is always that I have cost concerns in mind, which is not completely untrue but there are other more important considerations, the top of which is the fact that my obstetrician seems more comfortable delivering there than at the hospital she is practising in (strange I know). I kind of know the reasons: there are specialists on 24 hour standby should there be a need for any emergency help and the blood bank is as near as it can be. Other considerations for me personally are the fact that it is the nearest hospital to my home and work and that the other option, Mount Elizabeth, is notorious for jams. So I am very inclined to go with SGH but for some reason the public hospitals are really not good at providing information on delivery at their hospitals. For all the private hospitals I have contacted till date, they quickly put me to someone who knows admission and other labour related issues well and are good with organising tours etc. The same unfortunately cannot be said for SGH.

My attempts at finding out all I need to know about delivery at SGH began with a call to the number posted on the webpage for the O&G centre. It turned out to be a general appointment number and the person answering had absolutely no idea how to answer my question. She gave me the number for the O&G centre and tried to connect me to the O&G Centre. Nobody picked up so she told me to try again later. Tries later yielded no answer – the line was perpetually engaged or would just ring for eternity with nobody picking up. The following day in the late afternoon I finally managed to reach someone from the O&G centre but was told that the lady who knows about admissions where the doctor is not from SGH is not around at the moment and to call back later. Calls later were not picked up. The following day was christmas day so I gave the attempt a break and the next day, a sunday, I went with my husband to the hospital physically in search for an answer. The O&G Centre was closed (not unexpected) but the information counter was also closed – how was I to seek information if I had to deliver right there and then?? We then tried asking the admissions office since it was admission procedure that we were most concerned about. Sadly, after a long wait, we were shown the cashier instead of admission staff. The cashier had absolutely no idea how to answer our question and instead were asking us ridiculous questions like why do you want to deliver here (hoping we would say we don’t and she doesn’t have to answer our questions?) Anyway we eventually managed to make her call the labour ward who assured her that they would accept us as our obstetrician was a visiting consultant and that they knew what to do. However, even after this she couldn’t give a good answer as to what documents are needed for admission and later for birth registration and hospital stay etc. She just kept saying if it’s an emergency the staff will just wheel me in and proceed with delivery and deal with admissions later. That is all well and good but eventually admissions will still need to be dealt with. Moreover, onset of delivery is often not really an emergency, delivery itself happens hours later. When we requested that she direct our questions to the labour ward she refused to and just kept saying questions needed to be answered by doctors, they are just clerks. But what I wanted to find out were factual/administrative questions, not medical questions! “Best” of all was when she started to tell us about costs. She was clearly in her element there but I was not interested at all. Cost was really not a concern, what I wanted to know was whether the staff would know what to do when I got there about to deliver.

Today (monday) is certainly the most productive day in my fact-finding mission. I finally managed to track down the lady who knows about the procedure. She knows her stuff. It seems she is mostly doing financial counselling so she started off with estimated costs etc which I also wasn’t interested in but eventually she answered my other queries clearly. She also very kindly gave me brochures about baby care and brought me on a quick tour of the labour ward and post natal wards, also where the parentcraft rooms are and assured me that I will be taught basic babycare before being discharged. SGH does conduct prenatal courses but she said there is no point me starting on them now as I won’t complete it before delivery. My confidence level in SGH certainly went up a notch. delivering there doesn’t seem so bad after all.

She also told me that other than admission paperwork, everything – pads, diapers, pjs, baby clothes, baby blankets will all be provided (chargeable of course but how much can they cost). If we stay in an A1 ward toiletries will also be provided. So there is really no need to bring much. We can bring our own PJs if desired and own toiletries, pads etc and tell the hospital not to open their pack but there is really no need to.

On the home front, the maid clearly has experience with babies, she even wrote out a list of things I should buy. My only concern is whether I’ll be able to ask her to back off if and when I feel up to taking care of baby myself. Will she also keep commenting on my milk supply? I hope I haven’t invited a permanent confinement nanny home. I don’t think so.

Today I bought a pack of Chiew Kee chicken noodles, had about 1/4-1/3 of the noodles and all the chicken. Fingers crossed on prick test 2 hours after meal. The portion of chicken was generous beyond my expectations, so were the noodles actually, but I must say that I’m not sure I’m all that impressed by the chicken, which was rather dry and not all that flavourful. The noodles were good but remember that I am a deprived soul when it comes to carbs so not a good judge. The chilli was particularly disappointing really. The one I tried today was the big sister version nearer my home. Next time I shall try the younger brother version which I must say smells better when I walk past (and which Leslie Tay from ieat perfers).

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