I. Hate. Hospitals. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate
My last hospital stay (not birth ~ just surgery) was ok but the staff were jerks.
Most of my other hospital visits have been awful. Only one time, after my first laparoscopy ever, was it actually ok... the staff were nice, helpful and compassionate, etc. The small amount of food I was able to have after the surgery was good.
With that said, when my daughter had her surgery the staff were all really pleasant and helpful (probably because my daughter is so darn cute
Regarding birth ~ During my son's birth (my dd was born at home, UC
) the staff were incredibly rude and forceful, and at times downright mean. I had a nurse prosletyzing at me at the tail end of childbirth, saying it hurt because I had sinned against God.
Then after I had my son, I was immediately moved out of the pleasant birth suite, into the old wing of the hospital to a post-birth room... tiny, and cramped with peeling paint (but, thankfully, private)... the people in the room next to mine were ridiculously loud and the nurses never made them quiet down. I was constantly hungry, the nurses ignored my requests for help (I couldn't walk, had a catheter, etc), and just basically treated me like a burden. My son's dad had to go out and get my lunch because the nurses never brought any in when they were supposed to. And on top of all that the lactation consultants screwed me over.
ETA ~ I've been in a lot of hospitals in my life; they are generally not like hotels.
The best I got was the labor and delivery suite (my son's birth) but, like I said, immediately after birth I was put in a tiny little uncomfortable room, with insufficient lighting and scarce food.
I think it really depends on your area and hospital though. There are some really good ones out there. I've heard there's a surgery centre in Montreal that is absolutely fabulous (they do gender reassignment surgery - it's one of the ones I've been looking at recently - and apparently have a swimming pool there, great food, and a waffle shop across the way
~ mmm invasive surgery and waffles).
E(further)TA ~ the hospital my sister had her last baby at was incredible. The food was like, 4 star (immediately after birth she had a four course meal with chocolate cake for dessert), there was a sofa bed for the other family members to sleep on, and accommodations for the entire family. When my niece was born, in the room there was: my sister, obviously, and me, and her husband, and her other three kids, and my son)... we were all totally comfortable. There was also a TV with functioning DVD player, as well as a stereo system with CD player and remote control.
She had a HUGE window (one entire wall was a window overlooking a little patio / garden type area with lots of trees and greenery), a giant adjustable bed, and lots of blankets and a little table. The bathroom was also incredible, with a spa tub, a double-headed shower (that is, the shower had two sprayer head thingies), and plenty of space for laboring mama plus support crew (not that she used it).