It was a typical day for us busy doing the net-cafe and April arranging her stock orders. I was starting to get a bit anxious as April was now full term and my concern being our mix there was a risk of the baby being big. So after a discussion we agreed today was the day as my wife had been putting off artificially having the pregnancy started.
April texted the doctor and we arrived up at South General first thing is a medical procedure known as extracting of the wallet. P10,000 deposit plus an additional P650 per night for a ward bed. We had no intention of using the Ward bed but you need to have a bed to go to depending on the labour time. Because after labour we would upgrade to a private room which worked out ok as Willhelm’s arrival and the time of the upgrade would push us past midnight.
Anyway back to the events of the day.. April disappeared off into the operations and labour rooms while I sat in the hallway. I could have gone down to the ward to sit but really didn’t fancy having an entire room sitting looking at the foreigner for a few hours. So I wasted my time messing around with my camera, running the iTouch’s battery out on games and reading some junk magazines. Every now and again someone from the medical team would ask for something which normally resulted in me running errands round the hospital. Problem with that is I had our bags of stuff for several days at the hospital trailing around with me everywhere I went to say I was sweating at the end of the night would be an understatement.
Then later in the evening when everything had gone quiet Aprils doctor appeared on the way in saying hi on the way past. Not long afterwards as I sat opposite the nursery which has frosted glass except for a sign in one corner which acts as a viewing window cover it was moved across and one of the nurses signalled me over. First reaction is maybe they got the wrong person as I was waiting to be in the labour room but headed over anyway to be nosey.
There he was Willhelm who was easy to recognise with white skin and my nose. At 8lbs 4ounces my concern was April ok as nobody had called me forward for the labour. As I was pondering the doctor reappeared with “congratulations your son is Gwapo!” and a quick discussion over Aprils health she was fine and I could see her in about an hour after she had been sorted out with the medical team. So the texting began and trying to despher Aprils coded friends names in her phone which are nearly all short-hand.
Next one of the nurses reappeared wanting more stuff and a run to the Pharmacy was next on the list which can be accessed from inside the hospital. Head towards the main glass doors and take a left just before accident and emergency there is a small hatch. Dropped off the supplies at the labour room doors at which point the nurse asked if we needed a room upgrade which then involved going all the way back downstairs to fill out another form and another P5,000 deposit. Although by this time I was pretty worn out and not a lot I could do, I had already grabbed photos of Willhelm everyone seemed pre-occupied in the labour room so I just went in checked in the private room to watch cable tv.
An hour goes by before April finally makes it back to the room a little pale and tired but in good health. A quick transfer to the bed and nurses in and out doing various things and we could finally relax and chat. The reason I hadn’t been invited in for the labour was simply the end part of the labour was so quick that they didn’t have enough time to call me. Bit disappointed on that fact but at the same time a swift labour and everyone being healthy was more important.
Room prices have had a price increase btw they have gone up from P1,350 to now P1,500 we spent the night in the room with what seems to be people in and out every hour.
A few important things :-
- Make sure you get a list of things needed for the hospital and buy in advance.
- Baby milk is not available at the hospital so you will need to go to Naga or Minglanilla to get some so bring it with you when you first arrive.
- I would advise bringing P20,000 for the initial days it cost us P15,000 in deposits plus P600 for medical screening for Willhelm, P100 for registration of birth (Which you can do on site before you had to wait 5 days and come back get it processed ASAP so its ready when you leave). Plus surviving on Jollibee food as although April has meals there was nothing available for me so a trip upto Minglanilla was needed as well as being lucky enough our friends brought food when they visited. Then there is the milk, diapers, baby bottles etc. etc. so preparation is the key..
- There is only hot water at the nurse station “on request” its free but at the same time its limited, Handy for Tea and coffee.
- The showers and tap water only has cold water which wasn’t a nice experience first thing in the morning.
- Wards have a limit of 1 person per patient overnight and rooms is 2. The term used locally is watcher but its more like a runner as you seem to be constantly on the go to get things.
- Medicines can be brought to the hospital or bought on site for a few more pesos, they will ask you which you want to do.
- There is a canteen on site although I prefer to head over to Jollibee as its meals were basic.
- Everything seems to get charged as an extra, charging a mobile phone is P100, using a stereo is P100 etc. etc. so would advise just bringing what you need. The rooms come with a TV which has mainly cable/satellite shows so to be honest you really don’t need much as the rest of the time you will be running around getting supplies and documents.