I just had my second child. My wife and first son are on my insurance through my work. I am responsible for paying the bills and providing her medical and dental healthcare. It is I who is paying the hospital their thousands of dollars in exchange for a healthy wife and kid at the end of our 48 hours there. Not a bad trade at all, in fact I would pay good money to anyone that promised to return my family back to me in a healthy condition after undergoing such a traumatic event as child birth.
My only complaint is, would it really break the bank for you guys to offer me a meal, so that I can enjoy sitting next to my sweet wife, who just squeezed a watermelon out of her vagina, without going down to the cafeteria and eating alone?
It strikes me as ironic that being the one who is financially responsible for paying for all the doctors, nurses, bags of drugs, computer usage, comforting security protocols, and fancy craft-o-matic beds and I don't even get offered a meal, much less a free one? I think it is out of principal that I am annoyed more then anything, because not having to eat the hospital food is not something you would ever complain about.
The typical hospital meal consists of 5 components:
- Elementary-school sized juice cup
- A roll glazed with a butter-esque substance
- Mystery meat du jour
- A vegetable medley, and
So for any of you father's-to-be out there, take my advice, splurge on bringing your own meals in, and skip the hospital food. And by splurge, I mean, pick one of your friends that is coming to meet the new child and charge them a baby visitation admission of one lunch or dinner (depending on the time). That nice person will usually offer to bring you something also, which will result in a "two-fer". One being the free, good meal and two being the overpriced, bad, hospital meal that your wife will inevitable leave unconsumed once you brag to her that Bradley is bringing her a Chicken Caesar Wrap with tomato bisque from The Loop. (THANKS BRAD!!)
Once real food is secured, you should offer your wife, considering that she did just birth your child, the first right of refusal on the juice cup, bread roll, and fruit suspended in gelatin, or whatever other concoction they are trying to pass off as a dessert that day. The rest of the glorified TV dinner is fair game, but trust me you will feel dirty in the morning after eating it.
Note: The fastest way to identify the mystery meat is to read the meal description, which can usually be found 4 or 5 menu levels deep in that crappy interactive webTV hanging in your recovery room.
Now, it is normal to feel a little guilty when the food service staff comes back in to pick up the food tray, and you have left most of it uneaten and The Loop bags used to bring in the real food lay exposed on the floor, reminding you of that time in high school when your mom came home unexpectedly early and you and your girlfriend managed to get composed enough to play cool, until she walks in and you follow her eyes as they catch the bundle of female underwear sitting on the floor. Yeah, kinda like that.
So my final tip, is to let you guys in on the secret compartment designed specifically to avoid this type of situation. Next to the door to you room is a closet that opens on both the inside and outside of the room. This closet / pantry is your friend! It is a pass-through for dirty linens and finished food trays so that non-essential personnel don't have to enter your room, allowing you to avoid aforementioned situation and to enjoy your Law and Order in peace.
This was the "fancy" meal!