People often ask me about the strangest request I’ve had as a hotel manager. Having been in the business for over 12 years, I’ve encountered my share. The one that comes to mind happened recently, here at Opus.
A woman – a seemingly rational, articulate, sane woman – contacted me to ask if it would be possible for her to check into a room and, um, give birth in it. She explained that she wanted to have a “natural” childbirth, but needed to be close to a hospital in case something went wrong. She identified every conceivable objection I might have, which she outlined in an email as:
4. What if something went wrong?
She addressed each issue in turn, promising to keep screaming down to a minimum and, very considerately I thought, offering to bring her own sheets and towels. She assured me that she had no problem with being rushed to the hospital by ambulance if necessary. “Admittedly,” she said, “that might cause a few stares in the lobby, but this is only the worst case scenario.” She also promised not to wander the halls or public areas. I envisioned her going door to door with her newborn baby, telling guests, “Oh yes, I just had her down the hall in #503.”
She also urged me to think of the great publicity we could get. We could issue a media release like a birth announcement! Now I’m not one to shy away from publicity, but what our sweet, thoughtful mother-to-be hadn’t considered was how the guest who checks into the room after her might feel.
Many couples have told us their babies were conceived at Opus. Some send us baby pictures. One couple even named their daughter after us. That’s Stella May Opus Broom pictured above, daughter of the guitarist with Jann Arden. (Note the logo on her shirt.) But so far, no one (as far as we know) has ever given birth at Opus. We’re a hotel, not a maternity ward, and we’d like to keep it that way.
So, I politely declined, inviting her to stay at Opus for a birthday or anniversary instead.
posted by Daniel Edward Craig at 8:41 AM
You should totally have let her stay! 🙂 Lots of women have really peaceful births – I did. I made more noise than I would have if I’d been in a hotel, but I was in my own home so it was okay. We stayed at Opus before we had our baby, and we loved being able to bring our dog. Next time we come we’ll bring the baby! (I assume you allow babies that have already been born somewhere else?) 🙂
Daniel Craig said…
Yes, mama, you are most welcome to come stay with us and to bring the baby! Thanks for writing.
Maryam in Marrakesh said…
This is really the most fun blog I have read in a long, long time. Bravo!
Shannon Norberg said…
As a midwife in Vancouver, I have to say that some of the most beautiful births I’ve attended have been in hotels! For some out of town clients this is their only way of having an out-of-hospital birth.For more information, see www.midwivesinvancouver.ca