West Valley Medical Center - December 20, 2016

A few weeks ago, I talked in detail about why I chose West Valley OBGYN and its providers for my pregnancy care. Today, I thought I’d share a little about why I’m choosing West Valley Medical Center for the delivery.

I know some of you are thinking, “Ummm, because you work there, genius,” but it’s not quite as simple as that. At least not for me. Here are a few things I want you to keep in mind:

Insurance is a Factor, But …

Money is not something growing on trees in the Wiemerslage household. My husband and I are both fortunate to have full-time jobs with benefits, but student loan debt is an ever-present and most unwelcome guest on our doorstep. So, in the interest of full disclosure, my insurance does cover West Valley more favorably for inpatient services (like having a baby) than it does other facilities in the area. But it’s not all or nothing — if I chose a competitor, like the Boise hospital located 1.3 miles from my house (per Google Maps), my insurance would still provide coverage. Just not as much.

That being said, Cam and I both agreed from Day 1 that our baby’s well-being would always come before money. If I felt strongly about having the baby in one of the big Boise hospitals, we would find a way to pay for it. And I know with 100 percent confidence that my boss and our West Valley administrators would support me if that’s what I wanted. Which brings me to my next point …

My Safety and the Baby’s Come First

Trust me when I say I wouldn’t accept a paycheck from a company whose staff and work I couldn’t stand behind. I truly believe we have some of the best obstetricians and labor nurses in the area. But it’s also true that West Valley is a smaller facility than some and not outfitted (currently) to serve moms in certain high-risk situations or babies delivered very premature. I’m a low-risk patient and already considered full-term, but I can say without a doubt that if our providers and staff had even the slightest concern about their ability to safely deliver my baby, they wouldn’t hesitate to transfer us to another hospital. You can ask anyone who works here - patient safety is not something we take lightly.

But I’m excited to share that, in mid-2017, West Valley’s Family Maternity Center will have a Level II nursery. This means when a baby is born a few weeks premature and needs extra care, we’ll be able to keep them in our nursery and — for many families — much closer to home than downtown Boise. Needless to say, it’s a big win for moms in the western half of the Treasure Valley. Stay tuned for more information about this project in 2017.

I Want to Feel at Home, Kind of …

One of the absolute biggest compliments I hear about our Family Maternity Center is that it doesn’t feel like a hospital. Now, being around hospitals my entire life, I don’t have a phobia about them like some people do, but I’m familiar with the stereotype. You think hospital, you think glaring fluorescent lights, the smell of disinfectant, crackly loud-speaker announcements, bad cafeteria food.

The post-partum recovery suites in our Family Maternity Center

Thankfully, our Family Maternity Center is nothing like that. It’s quiet, the rooms are spacious, the lighting is low, the food is very good (IMHO). I won’t say it feels like my home, because there are no stacks of unopened mail or snowdrifts of dog hair in the corners. But I’ll agree with some women I’ve spoken to that it feels more like a birth center than a hospital. Calm, comfortable … like my home, but infinitely cleaner.

When I first learned I was pregnant, I was actually tempted to choose a birth center. After all, women have been having babies incident-free for, oh, 200,000+ years or so. And I liked the idea of being in a cozy environment where my husband could walk around in sweats and no one would bat an eye. But, as someone who has been around the healthcare industry for pretty much her entire life, it’s important to me that expert care is at-hand in the event of an emergency. When I think about everything that could go wrong (not that it will), it gives me peace of mind to know that an operating suite is literally across the hall from the labor rooms. That doctors with 30 years of experience bringing babies safely into the world are on-call and ready to assist.

And beyond money, beyond creature comforts, that’s what really matters. That our baby arrives healthy and in one piece. I have zero hesitation — employee or not — that our West Valley team will make sure that happens. It’s one of the many reasons I’m proud to come to work each day.