Had the ultrasound last week. The heart's beating, extremities and internal organs are in place. All is well, and it appears that I won't have to go in for another ultrasound, which is a good thing.
We took a tour of the maternity ward. It was a little disheatening. Philadelphia is closing a lot of its maternity wards (yet I see lots of pregnant ladies schlepping around this city), and the one I'm scheduled to give birth in is going under construction in January. That means fewer recovery rooms, noise, and other inconveniences of construction. The tour guide was unsure of when construction would be complete, and as of Tuesday so was the nurse practioner. She said they are having a faculty meeting so I should know in January when construction is scheduled to be over.
I don't like that. I also don't like the fact that the delivery ward gets so crowded that women are laboring in the hallway. Plus the recovery rooms are small and I will have to share. The good news is that I wouldn't have to share a delivery room except for with my husband, and there's a shower in there too. The security system is good too- the hospital issues tracking bands to the baby and parents, and the alarm goes off if anyone takes the newborn past a certain point.
Water birth is a nice dream, but it looks like it will remain that way for me. According to my nurse practioner (and several studies I've read) water birth has not been proven to be safe, and Pennsylvania has a very high malpractice rate, so hospitals do not do it. We could rent a tub and see a midwife who has much experience with water birth. We don't own our apartment, so God forbid the tub should overflow into the neighbor's apartment. Of course, I can labor a while at home in my own tub, and in the shower at the hospital...