The Waiting Area
The USB Family Birthing Center is on the 5th floor of the hospital. Entering the reception/waiting area from the elevators, you feel like perhaps you're walking into a hotel lobby. The room is dominated by a large dark-wood desk in the middle, which is surrounded by various comfy seating areas for waiting families. Behind the desk are couches and a bookshelf and a child-sized table and chairs to occupy the little ones. To the right and left of the elevator bank are bathrooms and also cute alcove-type waiting areas with TVs that offer a more private place for families.
Aside from looking really nice, the waiting room seems like it will be a safe and easy place for, if necessary, grandpa/whoever to keep Andrew occupied when I'm in labor. This has been one of my major concerns being pregnant with our second, so I was relieved when I walked into the waiting room.
The Labor and Delivery Rooms
I was impressed by the delivery rooms mainly because they are big! When I gave birth to Andrew at LIJ in New Hyde Park, there was barely enough room for one guest chair in addition to the hospital bed. Good Sam's rooms are spacious and have showers for a laboring mother's comfort. We were told that some rooms and some showers are even bigger than others, so be sure to ask for one of the bigger showers if you plan to go without an epidural. Some rooms even have beautiful views of the mountains outside your window (I think my view out of the LIJ windows was of a construction site!)
After you give birth, you'll probably remain in the L&D room for another hour or two, so its really nice to have such a large and comfortable space in which waiting family members can visit, if you so choose. The nurse leading the hospital tour told us that there are no set visiting hours when it comes to the L&D side of the maternity floor--but be aware that only two people can stay with you in the room when you are laboring.
The Postpartum Rooms
A great thing about Good Sam's birthing center is that you will most likely have a private recovery room--unless the hospital is incredibly busy that day. The postpartum rooms aren't huge or gorgeously appointed, but they seem comfortable. They have a hospital bed, shelves/storage for your clothes, a TV, a sleeper chair for dad/partner, a private bathroom and shower with a shower seat (awesome) and enough room for baby to room in, visitors to sit around, and a toddler to entertain himself without running amok through the hospital floor.
Overall, I felt really good after the tour. I feel like baby and I will be in good hands and Andrew won't feel scared or destroy the place when he comes to visit. Also, the nurse expressed that the hospital is very pro-breastfeeding, which is nice. They won't even give your little one formula without you signing off on it--unless, of course, there is a medical reason that necessitates it. They also have great security measures like most maternity wards, which means baby will be wearing plenty of ID bands and an electronic bracelet that prevents anybody from abducting him/her.
Another awesome thing--the parking lot at Good Sam rocks! You can valet park or just self park for free just a short walk away from the hospital entrance. This is nothing like having to pay for parking in a 3+ level parking garage halfway across the universe from the entrance at LIJ!
So, we'll see what I think about the hospital once I actually deliver there! I'll be sure to post a birth story and "notes from the inside" come April or May. Until then, take a tour if you're expecting to deliver at Good Sam and let me know what you think! Just go to the fifth floor birthing center at 10:50am the first Sunday of the month for a tour--no registration necessary.