We recently welcomed our 2nd child into the world. Mom, baby, and big brother are doing well.
Here are a few obligatory baby photos, and for those interested, a cost breakdown and overview of a Taiwan birth and luxury postpartum experience.
First things first, let me introduce to you young Jaiden, aka 聿平, born August 6th at 8:30 pm in Taipei, Taiwan, weighing 2960 grams.
Attempting to escape hand first, he is perfectly healthy except for some bruising on his hand. He even has the correct number of digits.
For months big brother has talked of nothing besides the baby and Pokemon, so he was very excited to finally meet. (No battles… yet.)
We are in the early part of a 3-stage childbirth experience.
Winnie woke me ~4 am to report kid #2 planned to arrive a few weeks early. A few hours later I brought Jr to school and then joined her at the hospital.
Around 8 pm they rolled her into the operating room for an emergency C-section – the baby had his hand/arm stuck in the exit door and needed some manual assistance. Half an hour later I was presented with our new family expansion pack.
Normally we would stay 3 nights in the hospital, but with the operation that was extended to 5. The hospital room was large with an extra bed and small sofa, so Jr and I were also able to spend the night. It was pleasant as far as hospitals go.
I changed my first diaper in several years, which of course involved a fire hose of filtered milk around the room. The nursing staff politely informed me that they were happy to perform all diaper duties from there on out.
On day 6 we moved into a postpartum center – a luxury baby hotel if you will. These have a plethora of doctors and nurses on staff 24 hours a day who take care of Momma’s every whim and need. It’s been a week and I still haven’t changed a 2nd diaper.
The room is quite nice (4-5 star hotel-ish) with a nice view and comfortable furnishings.
In total we will be here 20 nights – I spend most of the day here for moral support, Jr comes by for a couple hours in the afternoon, and during the evenings the nurses roll the kid in for feeding time.
Between feedings the baby can sleep in the baby center and Momma can keep an eye on him via 24/7 webcam. We elect to have him in the room with us most of the time, but it is nice to have the team support. Mom definitely naps easier knowing somebody is always watching him.
When the 3 weeks is up we will return to the comforts of home. For 20 more days a kindly grandmotherly woman will join us daily from 9 am to 6 pm to help care for the baby, assist mom, cook meals, clean, etc… We met with her a few months ago based on the recommendation of several friends and she was a wealth of knowledge and experience.
This will be a nice transition back to normal home life, with some expert guidance to ease the way.
The healthcare system in Taiwan is incredibly efficient and well run – we paid our complete and final bill as we checked out of the hospital.
Total cost: 142,480 TWD ($4,842 USD.) With a natural birth it would have been $1,700-$2,000 lower.
(About $20,000 discount to the US? Data.)
This is all inclusive – 5 nights of private hospital room, emergency C-section, twice daily doctor visits, all nursing staff and support, all meals, and pediatric care. It would have been higher (not sure how much) without Taiwan health insurance (5 years ago the bill was reduced by ~$750 thanks to insurance, see Birthing Babies for Fun and Profit.)
For 20 nights in the postpartum center we paid 178,000 TWD (~$6,050 USD.) Or about $300/night.
This is also all-inclusive (meals, diapers, baby formula, pediatric care) and also includes some “perks” like a baby photo session.
For home care, we will pay 53,000 TWD ($1,800 USD) or ~$90/day.
In summary, total cost of the 45-day 3-stage childbirth experience is $12,692.
(Offsetting this cost: an extra $500 in CARES Act stimulus and $2,000 in additional child tax credit.)
(Alas, all of these bills had to be paid in cash – no credit card rewards points! [Sad face.] Fortunately we knew the bills were coming, and I started stockpiling cash for this purpose as soon as the pandemic began. This saved us about 3% over the now lower currency exchange rate – ~$400!)
After several tries (and almost giving up) we have become parents for the 2nd time.
Everybody is doing well, and over the next month or so we will slowly transition back to normal life. The new normal, that is.
Hopefully family will be able to visit shortly – our earliest visit to the US isn’t likely to be until 2022. Until then… stay safe.