While I was in the hospital (after the birth of Maya) I was asked if I would consider leaving a day early because they needed the extra bed. The difference wasn't much - we left at 5pm the night before instead of 9am the next day. Before we left I over heard a mid-wife telling patients 'don't bother calling for help tonight unless it's an emergency because we are severely under staffed'. So we made the right decision to leave.
But here's the interesting bit.. they offered us a choice of three incentives to leave early:
1) Three boxes of nappies - Nappies are expensive but we would buy them anyway, so we decided against this one.
2) Two day stays at a support centre - Again probably not cheap but we didn't know if we'd use it or not and if we did need extra support with Maya we would just pay whatever the cost.
3) Overnight accommodation at the Sofitel in Melbourne including a bottle of wine, breakfast and late check out - Yep we chose this one because it's not something we would have paid for.
We had four months in which to use the Sofitel voucher and last night was the only night I could find before it expired. We took Maya for a long walk along the Yarra River and through the city. Then we had a take away dinner in our room. At this point our plan was to put Maya to bed and then enjoy the wine and big screen TV but Maya refused to go to sleep with any light and noise in the room. So after a long struggle we had to give up and turn off all lights in the room and be quiet - which meant we had to go to sleep too. So it wasn't exactly a romantic getaway, but it was nice to get out and do something different. Plus getting served breakfast in bed was pretty nice. If only breakfast would appear every morning.....