One of many parts of the FutureBaby! process that I was lamentably ignorant of is the idea of the hospital tour. When I first mentioned to colleagues that we were expecting, many of them (mostly women) asked “Where are you going to have the baby?”
My initial response was “How the hell should I know? In a hospital, I hope. Preferably not in the back of a cab.” I always just assumed you went to whatever hospital was closest when things started happening. Probably because I grew up out in the sticks, where hospitals aren’t exactly thick on the ground.
But no, this is a Major Decision– people choose hospitals well in advance, and in fact, the local hospitals all offer tours of their delivery areas, so you can see what they have to offer. So, guess how we spent our Saturday?
There were a lot of “LA LA LA LA LA” moments on the tour (“We’re really just a baby-and-mother hospital, but we do have a crash cart in case the mother has a cardiac event, so we can stabilize her, and then transfer to another hospital…”), and some TMI stuff, about which more later. One thing that amused me, though, was the baby warmer in the delivery room.
First of all, the concept of a “baby warmer” is pretty amusing– the woman giving the tour said “Once the baby is delivered, we take it over here, and pop it in the warmer…” I half expected her to finish that with “…and in three to five minutes, it’s toasty warm and ready to serve!”
Beyond that, though, I was amused by the fact that it was a Panda brand baby warmer. Now, really, could there be a worse choice of a mascot for maternity products?
I mean, sure, pandas are all cute and fuzzy and photogenic, but really, is there a more incompetent potential mascot for equipment related to reproduction?
As I understand it from my time in DC, and the constant panda updates from the National Zoo, pandas are fertile for about fifteen minutes a year, they give birth to ridiculously small young, and have absolutely no idea how to take care of them. It’s a minor miracle that the species has survived long enough to have its habitat destroyed by human activity. They seem like the Shakers of the animal kingdom– very photogenic, great furniture, but you expect them to just wither away for lack of reproduction.
I mean, why not a Sea Turtle brand baby warmer? “When the baby is delivered, we bring it over here, and bury it in the sand for a few months, then swim back out to sea…”
If you want to choose an animal mascot for a baby warming device, give me an Emperor Penguin baby warmer– an animal that will huddle in the cold for months at a time, putting its own body between its newly hatched chick and the Antarctic chill. That’s the sort of committment I want to see from a medical device dedicated to keeping FutureBaby warm in the moments after birth.