the experience of registering to give birth here has been comparable to applying to graduate from college:
- college: you need a letter of completion from your department head stating you've obtained the necessary credits to complete your major.
- hospital: you need a letter from a doctor, stating what exactly, i'm not sure. that i'm really pregnant? cos it's not painfully obvious, right? don't flatter me.
- college: you need to settle all negligent fines, tickets, over due book charges, etc., that you've incurred over the past 4+ years and obtain a receipt as proof or they won't hand over that cap and gown.
- hospital: you need to make a $3,000 down payment in advance of the actual labor and delivery and flash the receipt when you arrive for the big show, or you can forget about even setting foot in the lobby, even if junior's crowning right there in the parking lot.
- college: all this paperwork and run-around seems a little tedious when all you really want to do is walk across that stage, shake hands with the dean and pose for a crummy snapshot, and get your mits on that diploma.
- hospital: all this red tape and phony chinese bureaucracy seems completely ridiculous when all you want is to have your husband be with you at all times, not just when the baby's about ready to fall out and during visiting hours, to use the doctor of your choice whom you've come to know and trust, and to be in a safe, comfortable environment when you bring that sweet baby into the world.
- college: you will truly miss being treated like a joe-bag-of-donuts by your jaded, tenured professors. funny how the day after you graduate you magically start getting those heartfelt letters in the mail from your dear alma mater asking you to fondly reminisce about your good ol' days at anywhere state university and to please send money.
- hospital: you are made to feel that getting a "booking" into their hospital so close to your due date is a total inconvenience to the hospital, even though they have created this artificial shortage of beds, thereby forcing you to wait to book til the last minute. and it's a big deal that they're bending the rules for you, even though the place is empty. oh, and don't tell anyone about this "special treatment" they gave you by letting you in with such short notice. now will that be visa or mastercard? thank you, and come again!
i never thought i'd be envious of the pregnant illegal immigrants in the united states. you go hermanas.