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She adds, “Sometimes you feel like a servant. One lady had a glass of water right next to her, but she called me to come and hand it to her.”
They often hear mothers say to them, “Don’t you know who I am?” They would answer no because honestly, they don’t.
One staff member observes, “They leave the labor ward looking like film stars.”
Consultant Who’s a Countess
If the patient has deep pockets, she can choose whoever she wants to deliver her little one. She can even have a countess assist her. Dr. Penelope Law is a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist at the Portland. She’s also the Countess of Bradford, married to the 7th Earl of Bradford. She is known at Portland as the doctor who is “not too posh to pull.”
Four-Poster Cot That Costs $20,153
Portland uses the same plastic, transparent crib for babies used in NHS hospitals. But if the parents think it’s just too plain for their little bundle of joy, no problem. There’s a first-class shop in West London that has a selection of luxurious nursery furniture called Dragons of Walton Street. Parents can get fancy new baby kit from the said shop.
If you’re curious at the price difference, well. The regular cot at John Lewis costs $50 while Dragons’ best seller basket has a price tag of $4,740. It has French Chantilly lace and silk crepe embellishment, sewn with hand-cut glass crystals.
Another favorite item at Dragons’ is the four-poster Little Duchess crib with a whooping price of $20,153. The cot is manually carved from beech, adorned with French silk and carefully quilted cushion.
Goodie Bags with Toys and Fizz
In NHS hospitals, moms leave the hospitals with few diapers and baby wipes. In Portland, they’re more extravagant. New mothers get a lavish giveaway bag that includes a bottle of Portland champagne, a stuffed toy panda called Portly Bear, and luxury toiletries.
The gift also contains a complementary photo session with a set of prints and a free consultation with an high-end baby list company (like a wedding list but for babies).
Arrival of the Chinese It-Girl
The most remarkable among the patients on the TV series is probably the beautiful Chinese girl Lu Hui. She’s the 24-year-old wife of a Hongkong tycoon, who gave birth by cesarean at Portland because Victoria Beckham, her idol, had her baby there. She found out by googling.
While most mothers are advised to do “skin-to-skin contact” immediately after birth, Lu Hui was different. She asked the staff to clean up and put on a diaper to her son first before giving the baby to her.
And in her private room, she had no idea that infants sometimes cry at night. She complained to the film crews how the baby kept waking up and that she couldn’t sleep, so she sent the baby to the nursery to sleep.
After her four-day stay at the hospital, where she paid a total of $57,500 bill, she finally got to go home with a nanny in tow. “It’s good to have a nanny live-in. I don’t need to cook or do dishes. The nanny will take care of me . . . and the baby.”
After two weeks, the crew visited Lu Hui and found her in tears. It’s not a tears of joy coming from a woman who just gave birth to a healthy baby, but she was crying because she’s afraid her husband will walk out on her for she has not yet regained her slim figure from before.
“I’m worried someone is going to take my husband from me,” she weeps. “I had a C-section and my belly is still very big. I know lots of men want their wives to be back to normal—the same size. Not big and no stretch marks.”