Giving birth in a celebrity hospital for 3500 euros per night

Mary Mayer

It costs around 3500 euros per night, but then you get anything you want: three bedrooms and two bathrooms in the heart of Los Angeles, a flat-screen TV, three specially prepared meals and your own fridge with water and juice. Massages, manicures and beauty treatments are also available for an additional fee. It feels like staying at a luxury hotel, but it’s a hospital: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

The ‘Seeders’, as they are popularly known, have covered stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Madonna. The maternity ward has also had its fair share of famous patients: reality star Kim Kardashian, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, singers Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, actresses Gwyneth Paltrow and Salma Hayek. And perhaps the most famous of them all: Beyoncé, who, like me, was expecting twins.

They all used suites and birth packages specially designed for affluent patients who are accustomed to luxury and privacy. For mere mortals like me, it’s hard not to be the least bit curious about such stellar treatment, especially when you know you’re going to be giving birth in the same birth ward.

Sandwiched between the Steven Spielberg Building and the Max Factor Wing

An acquaintance who is married to the sister of a famous singer told me to ‘just ask for a room with big windows’. So he had, and he got a view of the Hollywood Hills. I politely declined the tip, as if my request would carry as much weight as that of his world-famous sister-in-law.

I’d never been to Cedars before and put a tour on hold after the pandemic, so I popped in for my C-section on Monday morning with no prior notice at the North Tower, sandwiched between the Steven Spielberg building named after the Oscar winner gave information. and the Max Factor wing, after the founder of the makeup brand of the same name.

Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.  Image EPA

Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.Image EPA

There was silence at six in the morning. In a small room, two cheerful nurses prepared me for the operation. Everything was gray; Not the kind of beige you see on Instagram, but the older kind of beige from the 1990s. In a faded surgical gown, I was staring at the suspended ceiling while I was already being pricked for an IV.

I was allowed to wheel myself into the operating room in hospital-provided non-slip socks (size: XL), where I wondered which celebrities had lay down on the cold tables here before.

vomit bag within reach

Afterward, I recovered in a shared room, where a thin curtain separated me from the other new moms before being taken as a family to a private room. It was one of the larger rooms, the nurse said, although I found it hard to believe. Two adults and two children just fit.

As I gazed through my tiny window: with a puke bag within patio-access, I envisioned the extra space for Beyoncé and her twins. But it stopped there. Because what good is a private chef if you have to vomit every ten minutes and why would you want to do professional makeup if you make it cry in pain? As glamorous as birth suits may sound, childbirth and its aftermath are anything but a vacation. Not even a view of the Hollywood Hills can change that.

The expansion of metropolitan cities accounts for an increasing share of the world’s population. How do people live there? Trou’s correspondents report weekly from their megacities.

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