What if difference being Beyonce (being incredibly rich and famous) can make.
First off, I'm over blogging about celebrities. It rarely happens these days. But something struck me as I glanced at the Yahoo news and I had to speak out. Two words, to be exact. Two words that are synonymous with "pit" and "hell". Those two words are... drumroll.... "Lennox Hill." It was shocking to me that Beyonce had her baby at Lennox Hill. See, Kate (our daughter) was born at Lennox Hill and when I see pictures of Beyonce's decked out baby birthing suite I can't even imagine that they are in the same building, or the same region of the Solar System as Lennox Hill.
I will give you a brief rundown of our experience with Lennox Hill:
We arrive pretty early in the morning and the nurses aren't exactly super glad to see us. Understandable, the graveyard shift at any hospital isn't usually the all-star cast. And most night-shift people are usually a little weird and need some serious vitamin D in the old bloodstream. In the first hour of contractions, two doctors started arguing in the room over a changing shift. Then later, two nurses argued over something, I think over a machine that was malfunctioning or something one of the nurses forgot to do, like take Amber's blood pressure or take take their clue pill before coming to work. I dunno. There was ONE nurse that seemed to be in tune with Amber while Amber was pretty deep into contraction-world (Amber was going natural birth with no drugs; the pain was for realz, ya'll) but after the first visit, this nurse seemed to pop in long enough just to say something about the baby's heart rate being a little high and then leave. Another nurse talked on her phone to her boyfriend and had to leave the room because Amber's pain scream was just too loud to hear her boyfriend. I just couldn't believe it.
One of the first things that we realized about the hospital was the general hygiene of the place; it was pretty dirty. Granted, we come from Dallas Texas where the clinics have flat-screen TVs in every room, and the clinic doctors call you two days later to see how you are doing (I know that sounds crazy but it's true) so maybe be are a tad spoiled... but I'm pretty sure I saw dirt-scum in about every corner the room and the window shade looked like a few crusty truck drivers had a peeing contest before they delivered the window shade and the window shade was the target.
Finally, Amber's doctor arrived. Amber's lady-doctor is really a wonderful Doctor. She really is. She's so great that she came into the room and demanded that they change the pee-stained shade on the window. (the air conditioner vent is right under the shade) Well, that would have been all fine if the repair guys wouldn't have gotten into an argument in the middle of one of Amber's contractions. At this point I wondered if everyone had to pass some sort of ineptitude exam to make sure that they measured up to the Lennox Hill standard of crappiness. Then, we found out the shower didn't work in the room. So the repair guys decided to give that a go. Basically, it turned into a construction site, where everyone, it seemed, was arguing and hollering over a first time mom and her praying husband and in the middle of the some pretty intense contractions. It was hell.
To top it all off, they decided to move Amber to another room, after the shade is fixed and after the shower is fixed, in the middle of a contraction. The reason is still a mystery. But they tried to make it sound like it was imperative. This room was bigger, but it had sticky dried up soft drink on the chairs and the shower and the birthing light (that really bright and important light the doctor uses to see the baby) didn't work either. They had to change the light out. All the while Amber is trying to get dilated and screaming her face off. This kind of crap went on for about 10 hrs straight. Just one crappy hospital experience after another. Finally, after 22 hrs straight of stressed-out contractions, Amber went on the epidural. She still had her own contractions but without the extreme pain. At this point all the nurses seemed to relax and stop running around like chickens. Then it occurred to me: If the women don't let the drugs take over as soon as they step in the building, the doctors and nurses don't have a CLUE as to what to do.
One might ask, well, Seth, this hospital sounds pretty Ghetto, didn't you tour the facility before sending your precious wife into the war zone? Of course I did. But guess what? You don't really pick your hospital, you pick your Doctor. And our Doctor was awesome and well-known and just one year from retirement. And she has delivered at Lennox Hill since Lennox Hill was Lennox Mountain and according to some ancient Mages and old-timer NYC soothsayers, Lennox Hill used to be the best of the best. Then some rich group of investors bought it and all the good doctors (except our doctor) left. Plus, it's in probably one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the country, the Upper East Side in Manhattan. If you look at the room furniture and the equipment, you'd think it was twenty years behind and in one of Billy Bob Thornton's indie films. The rooms had that Motel 6 feel about them (before they changed their image) and the furniture looked like it had come straight from the Good Will without a good scrub down. I think we would have been much safer in a missionary tent in Africa. Not kidding.
I will say the postpartum section of the Hospital had their stuff pretty much together, for the most part, except the bed. Amber's bed made an incredible racket when she wanted to incline which woke the baby up every time and scared the crud out of me half the time myself. The nurse actually LAUGHED at me when I asked if there was internet in the rooms. Not even a connection. I might as well have been asking her hand me a handful of pink diamonds and a ride on the spaceship.
This was our experience at Lennox Hill. It was not the posh, royale-with-cheese experience that Sasha Fierce and Jay-Z's little bundle got.
It sucked so bad that I will NEVER ever ever E-VER set foot in that hospital again and wouldn't if I had one foot in the grave and the other one on a banana peel.
They basically did everything they could to make the situation as stressful and uncomfortable as humanly possible. It's only because of prayer and the Doula that Amber didn't go into distress and the baby didn't either. I mean, it was that bad.
A part of me is glad that the Beyonce's or the Z's or the Fierce's or whatever their last name is.... renovated the whole wing of that Hospital. It's probably how they got the sweet deal that they got. Who else but a King would get that kind of arrangement in a NY hospital. Lot's of celebrities live here and they all play by the rules, for the most part. I see old Regis at our gym sometimes and he's gets his water out of the same fountain as I do.
But here, I can just see the convo: "Hey, Lennox-Hill-people, we the people of the Z family will renovate this whole CRAPPY floor if you let us be the absolute ruler and dictator of the baby hospital district during our stay. We want absolute power of the building and that means bouncing other parents out of the ICU area if we think they look like they want to snap a picture of our baby with their phones. I mean, cause when people find out about OUR baby, they aren't even going care about their own dumb and boring babies and will just be dreaming about getting the chance to snap a shot of our baby. Because our baby... is FIERCE and HAWT and SUPERFAMOUS and just downright Babylicious."
Lennox Hill People: "Deal. And may I say I agree with Kanye about that video and if I could go back in time and lift Kanye on my shoulders to the microphone, I would. And You deserved that Academy Award of Jennifer Hudson. I mean, have you seen that video of Hudson singing to her overweight self? Stinking weird. That's what getting an academy award gets you?"
Z family: "Don't mention her name in my presence and don't look me in the eyes when you speak... or when I speak. And don't look into my unborn baby's eyes when you speak either."
Lennox Hill People: "As you wish, Lord and Lady Fierce."
Z family: "Shut it, punk."
Alright: end rant.
God bless baby Beyonce. From all accounts (I really haven't heard any) it's a very beautiful baby. And babies are truly the equalizing force in all creation. They don't know how famous their parents are. They come out with one command for mommy and daddy whether they be pauper, prince or king: "Yo. Wake up. I just pooped. Clean it up. You dig? Awah."
The end. God bless Beyonce, and God bless Amarca.