Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Birthplace of Our Very Own Native New Yorker

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, where Lucy was born, is said to be the oldest hospital in the city and the second-oldest in the nation, after Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

Back in 1771, it was just called New York Hospital — not the mouthful of a moniker that it has now. At some point the hospital acquired more names than a South American heiress and decided it would be cool to turn the "New York" part into one word with an intercap ("it's NewYork, yo"). I assume this was during the dot-com era.

It also was one of the first "lying-in" hospitals, which means the doctors thought women should get to stay overnight after giving birth (rather than putting their placenta in a to-go bag and kicking them to the curb). Radical stuff in the 1790s.

This, of course, gave rise to The Lying-In-Wait Hospital, a facility in Queens that exclusively serves ninjas.

During our stay I discovered that NewYork-Presbyterian also is the official hospital of the New York Yankees. Unfortunately, Kelly was already in labor so we couldn't go someplace else.

Another downside: Whereas getting a private recovery room was expected in San Francisco, it's not here — unless you're willing to spend $750 a night. That means dads can't stay overnight with their newborns. (In our case, that was just as well; I had to go home to take care of our pre-existing children.)

There also were fewer niceties than at San Francisco's California Pacific Medial Center, where Elliot and Alice were born. At CPMC, they celebrate your final night in the hospital with a romantic dinner. I think there may have even been wine.

Nothing like that at NewYork-Presbyterian. The food seemed decent to me, but Kelly says it rarely bore a resemblance to what she ordered.

One nice thing: The nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian stamped my hand with Lucy's foot — a cool memento.

And while we didn't have a private room, we did have a view of Roosevelt Island. In fact, you could barely make out our apartment's living-room window.

It's not quite like clinking glasses of Cabernet while overlooking Presidio Heights (our hospital experience the last two times). But at least Lucy got an early glimpse of home.