Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'll Leave the Clean-up to People Who Get Paid for That, ThankYouVeryMuch

First, let me state that I totally respect everyone else's labor decisions.  I don't know what's right for you, only for myself, and I'm pretty sure that my own notions will change once I find myself in the thick of it.

Having said that, respecting others' decisions does not mean that I understand them.  For instance: Homebirthing.  Really?  Labor is Messy.  Are you kidding me?  I can understand desiring the comfort of your own home and no nurse coming in every 20 minutes to poke you.  BUT having to clean up the mess in your own home?  NO THANKS.  I would much rather leak all over the hospital, the hospital's bed, the hospital's gowns, the hospital's towels, etc.  I would also much rather, should I accidentally "make" while pushing, do so on the hospital's floor.  I already have to clean up "makings" from the cats and will soon be cleaning up the "makings" of a Little Baby Human.  But all of the fluid and the blood, and let's not forget the after birth - no thanks.  I'll let people who GET PAID take care of all of those things.

Something else I don't get: elective cesareans.  Seriously?  I would never CHOOSE to have my entire abdomen sliced open from hip to hip.  Sure, you don't have to go through labor, but I have NOT heard good things about the recovery process.  No thanks.  I'd rather take the pushing and ring of fire and all that other stuff (in a HOSPITAL or birth center) than to be almost completely cut in half.  Granted, an emergency cesarean = totally different story.  Even a cesarean after having previously had a cesarean.  But I've read studies on women who choose to have a cesarean because they think it is better for the human body.  Really?  Let's weigh the evidence here, shall we?  A Recent Study which says that cesareans are better for women's bodies or, I don't know, Millenia of Evolution and Human Reproduction.  Gee, which would be more reliable?  Now, I'm not discounting science and medical research.  But going completely against centuries of human survival just sounds completely asinine.  The human body has evolved all kinds of coping mechanisms to deliver a child.

Coping Mechanism #1: the hormones coursing through my body that currently make me feel like I'm a turkey on Thanksgiving day and someone is currently trying to REMOVE MY THIGH by WRENCHING it violently from the socket.  It also makes all of my other joints loose, which means that I woke up this morning with a shoulder that felt like it was completely separated from the rest of my body.  This will make my hips separate enough to pass a Little Baby Human through there.

Coping Mechanism #2: all of my internal organs migrate.  I can't walk up the four stairs from the family room to the kitchen without huffing and puffing.  This also means that my digestive tract is pinched - 'nough said on that front.

Coping Mechanism #3: in order to accommodate the growing Little Baby Human inside me, my digestive tract has slowed down to allow for greater absorption of nutrients from the foods I eat.  Again - 'nough said on that front.

There are numerous others, but frankly, I'm tired now.  LOL  Again.  So I'm going to pick the kitty up and make her take a nap with me while I continue growing this Little Baby Human.  And praying that there's only six weeks left, instead of eight.  And frankly, I have two of the cutest cats ever.  See for yourself.

Unfortunate Circumstances

I was reading my email this morning when I saw a headline (gotta love Yahoo! News).  First, read this, then continue reading here.

I'm originally from MI.  I had a great experience growing up there.  My family still lives there.  Will I ever move back there?  Realistically - no.  (Sorry Mom.)  The state is dying - property values have fallen, jobs are disappearing, crime is ridiculous.  It has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.  When we move back home, it will be more like moving back to the Great Lakes region (i.e. Most likely the Chicago area).  Anyway, so things are really tight in Michigan for a lot of families.  So some woman gets a bee in her bonnet about her neighbor BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN and making sure that some local kids are safe while they wait to catch the bus.  But that's not the worst - the worst is that the state has a law, obviously meant to protect children, which is being sorely misapplied in this case.  It's just sad, and once I read it online, I had to share it here.  Feel free to comment along here at the bottom - I'm interested in your viewpoints!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quick Thoughts Because I Can

So, following are a few quick thoughts I had since I posted earlier....

  • This is my absolute favorite time of year - I LOVE fall, and I consider this to be the start of the Holiday Season (yes, completely deserving of capitalization). Just think, Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's. There's one a month! And they're so much fun! Also, we have our anniversary in there (which Chad will actually be home for this year!), as well as a baby being born somewhere in there as well!! :) Double Smiles :D :D
  • **Bodily Fluids/Functions Disclaimer** Pregnancy = incontinence. Sneezing, coughing, laughing - all currently dangerous activities for 34 w prego me. Not fun.
  • This is the best thing I've read about post-partum EVER.
  • I've found where to continue following one of my newest and most favorite bloggers! Seriously, she is HILARIOUS!
  • Chad's mom sent us a package today (remember, he went to MI for his grandfather's funeral). In it: a pair of his jeans, a pair of his boxers, one of his t-shirts, three baby outfits, a baseball from a Brewer's game, and two Christmas ornaments. MOST RANDOM PACKAGE EVER. She also didn't use flat-rate shipping, so the box had a bazillion stamps on it. LOL
  • I am currently addicted to Farmville and Sorority Life on Facebook. Yes, yes, I know!
  • I got upset at Best Buy the other day because they have the Animal Crossing: City Folk book saran-wrapped. Again: yes, yes, I know!
That's all. Just thought I'd share. :)

And The Race Is On... Sort Of.

Well, 6 weeks left. Or possibly 8 (they would let me go all the way to 42 weeks as long as the fluid was still good and the placenta was working the way it should). I really don't want to go almost all the way to Thanksgiving! It kind of makes me want to gag. LOL

This morning I had three appointments. Yes, three. I had my growth ultrasound (he's in the 25th percentile (which is good but low because the femur is measuring small, which doesn't mean anything bad) and he's weighing 4 lbs. 14 oz.), my periconsult (read: meeting with doctor to ask questions and talk about OB history), and my MOD-BPP/NST/AFI (read: hook me up to monitors to chart the baby's heartrate and movements, check the level of amniotic fluid, get my blood pressure, etc.). The ultrasound went really well, the doctor answered lots of my questions (see below for that info), and being hooked up went well too.

In the NST (non-stress test), they had me hooked up to the monitors (if you've ever seen A Baby Story on TLC, when the mother is in labor and they have those elastic bands holding the two round monitors on the mother's stomach), with a blood pressure cuff on my left arm and a "trigger" button in my right hand to click every time he moved. It was really kind of cool. His little heart was thump-thump-thumping along, and then she said that they needed to see two plateaus in heartrate and then return to baseline. In order to get his heartrate to plateau, they took this tool that vibrates and held it against my abdomen. Shortly after that, HE WENT NUTS! His heartrate went up to like 170 and he was moving like crazy. She was amazed at how much he was moving, but it happened to also coincide with the time I usually eat breakfast, so I think that probably had something to do with it too. It also explains why when Hobbes lays curled around my stomach on my lap and purrs (she purrs LOUD) that he will start to kick. I mentioned this to the nurse and she said that he probably responds to the sound of her purring. How crazy is that?!

Anyway, meeting with the doctor this morning was great. She answered all of my questions and actually told me that they're pretty excited to have me there because I'm one of the healthiest mothers/pregnancies they have there! So she said it would be great because they prefer to have a midwife-like experience but that most of the pregnancies have complications that preclude that kind of experience. She also explained that they don't foresee any complications ahead of time, ergo I should have a normal delivery. She said that they wouldn't induce me until 42 weeks unless the fluid has decreased or other such occurrence which would necessitate induction before then. She explained that they like to let the pregnancies in their practice go until the mothers progress into spontaneous labor, which is cool. She also explained that they don't foresee any need for a c-section, unless of course, it is a rough labor. So, it was nice to have those questions answered. I will have a standard stay of two days (provided there are no complications), etc. All good things to know. And they are OK with Chad helping to catch the baby and cut the cord, provided that is what he still wants when the time comes.

Well, I think that's about all I've got as regards the latest info from the doctor's visit today. Stay tuned for more. :)

UPDATE: So my mom let me know that I hadn't written anything about the CCAM - it is still there, but it is not getting any bigger.  So now you know.  :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

And yet, it'll all work out in the end, just like it always does.

So, I was reading more of one of my favorite blogs this weekend, and I came across a post that was inspired by another Blogspot blog. The point is to consider your life as it was one year ago today and as it will be one year from now. I might do this a few more times in future as I really dig this idea. I'll probably utilize it as a writing activity when I go back to teaching too! :)

So, one year ago today, I was SWAMPED! I was a second-year teacher (which was almost harder than the first) at Sierra. Now, usually, this just means that you feel a little more comfortable in developing your routine. But since my mentor had left to take an AP job out at Falcon, I found myself moved (albeit by my own volition) into a position of ensuring curriculum alignment both within the department and across the district. This was not any official position, but it needed to be done and as I was the most comfortable and most knowledgeable (yes, as a second-year) teacher as regards the Spanish curriculum. Therefore, in district-wide collaboration meetings, I was setting forth pacing schedules and ensuring that curriculum maps were being utilized. I was also the one who spent the time to familiarize our two new department members with plethora of supplementary materials that comes with this series (it's practically astronomical, let me assure you!). I was also serving as advisor for the sophomore class, which included meeting after-school every Friday afternoon for SGA meetings. Lastly, I was tracking the libero position statistics for the volleyball team home games. This made for long days and evenings, but thankfully, it made the time fly by. Chad was deployed at this point, so it was just me and the cats, so I figured what was the point in coming home right after work everyday to just sit in the apartment and twiddle my thumbs.

Personally, Chad and I had started discussing having kids, so I had gone off birth control (I'd been on birth control for like 10 years, so I figured it would take forever to get out of my system and for my regular body systems to take back over).

One year from now, we're going to have a 10-month-old son! I'm so excited by this I can hardly stand myself. I mean, sure, it's scary - we're going to be COMPLETELY responsible for the health and well-being of a little baby human! But the more I read about the personality of children as it develops and all of the milestones that they hit, the more excited I get. I'll probably be back at work by then, which is a double-edged sword. I miss my students and I miss teaching, but at the same time, I don't really want my son to grow up in front of someone else, you know? It's currently something that Chad and I are still discussing, but I guess that it all depends on where we are next year. We'll still be working on the house - we've got lots of plans for the yard and for the interior as well, like replacing all of the interior doors, closets, knobs, and woodwork. As for outside, we want to get rid of all of the lava rock (EW!), pull out the rail-road ties that a previous owner has utilized to terrace the backyard and replace them will probably bricks. We also want to tear up and widen the driveway and tear up and re-pour the back patio, making a larger sitting area. I'm sure at that point we'll be discussing Baby #2 - i.e. when we should think about trying for Baby #2. We've started talking about spacing and we want our kids to be close in age. As we're both only children, we definitely know we want to have at least two.

I can still hardly believe that I'm going to be a mother. A MOTHER! Then I start worrying about trying to strike a balance that will make my kids independent but not too independent. I want to be there for them without smothering them. Will know when to step in and when to sit back? It's all so far away, and yet it's not too far away. Currently, I've only got six weeks left in this pregnancy. I'm really thankful for that right now because the nausea seems to be rearing its ugly head again and I'm so uncomfortable that when I need to change position during the middle of the night, I literally need to wake up, sit up, and heave myself over to my other side. I'm waking up multiple times to go to the bathroom - that's probably the most frustrating as I never used to wake up in the middle of the night before. I feel like I spent waaaay too long in first position in dance class. That's about as close a description as I can muster for those of you who aren't already in the know.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Freaking Rainbow!!

They say that when it rains, it pours. Well, if you've been reading along, Monday it poured! Between insurance, the doctor's office/appointments, and the Lamaze class, it totally cued a meltdown (i.e. read this for a refresher or this).

But over the course of this week, has it ever turned around! Just more proof that Jarvi was right when I was talking to her, if only I could've just calmed down enough to take that advice to heart. :)

Let's go back to Wednesday and I'll recap quick. Wednesday I went to the doctor's for an ultrasound (again); all is well my friends - the CCAM continues to become more difficult to view each time we go back. Mind you, it is not shrinking - but it is not getting bigger or more aggressive. Whew! Then, I spoke to them about my appointments. Got that all fixed too - btw they weren't happy when they realized (::cough:: I pointed out) that it's been five weeks since my last prenatal appointment (at Evans) and that I wasn't scheduled for one with them until another three weeks from now. Yes, this is what I was complaining about in my email to you all, people! But, they remedied that. They also moved up my periconsult so I have a chance to ask questions of the doctors instead of just seeing them real quick after an ultrasound. Score! My appointments are now all in order and sooner than they had been, thank God, so that way I'm not freaking out about that.

As the for the Lamaze class being canceled, well, we got a DVD to cover that, which I've already mentioned in previous posts. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing.

And lastly, the last piece of puzzle, it fell into place today. I got a phone call this morning (read: wake up call) from the Patient Financial Services department at Memorial Hospital. Remember, I wrote my appeal letter to TriWest on Monday. Well, my friends, PFS called to tell me that TriWest had reversed their decision and ALL CHARGES WERE BEING COVERED!!! Hallelujah! I cannot tell you the sense of relief. They only way you would understand would be if you had found yourself in my position. It is extreme relief my friends. Like to the point that I was yelling, "Yay!" and my cat was following me around and echoing me. And maybe I gave the cats extra treats this morning because of my own good fortune. :) Hey, they were here personally for the meltdown, I figured they deserved a little recompense.

Okay, the last thing I want to recap for you: the healthy moms and newborns class I took at Evans last night. Good information, both of initial newborn care, what to expect in the delivery and recovery rooms (in terms of what will happen with Munchkin), and then how to take care of myself and what to expect after birth in terms of what's happening to my body to get it back to pre-pregnancy. But, since we're having a boy (and so were several of the couples in attendance last night), we obviously had to talk about circumcision, since that will be happening, if we choose to have him circumcised (which we are) after he's born. Oh my goodness! Wow - the graphic pictures they showed. A few of the dads had to get up and leave the room! I'm not terribly squeamish, but I suddenly feel like an ogre for having decided we're going to have Munchkin circumcised. It was not pretty my friends - not pretty at all. But we stand by our decision. I just want to tell you, it was graphic.

Oh, P.S. For those of you who are waiting for me to slip and use the baby's name on here (instead of just "baby" or "Munchkin"), it's getting very hard! But I am sticking to my guns on this - you'll have to wait until after the birth!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blog Grade: C-

So, in recent weeks, I've been reading more blogs, and I've decided that I'm decidedly below par on this particular skill set. I don't have any links to anything in any of my posts (not that I've really needed any to prove a point as of yet) nor do I have any photos. So, my fellow friends, I'm going to try to experiment with some of those today. Don't worry, I'm not just going to post about my blog, lol.

Firstly, I got my last haircut/color as not-yet-a-mom today. It's kind of bittersweet. The last time I can go take two or three hours and have someone else do my hair and wash it for me without having to have a babysitter. Keeping this in mind, I decided to do something that won't look terrible when it starts to grow out. I was a little disappointed because the girl who usually does my hair had recently gotten engaged and moved up to Denver. :( So today, I had to go to a new girl. I'm still deciding if I like my hair exactly - I don't hate it, but I don't know just how much I like it. I'm posting a picture, so let me know what you think. Granted, it looks VERY dark, but it was taken on a camera phone with only light from the window coming in, but it is still dark.

So, that picture didn't exactly wind up where I wanted it to. Still a work-in-progress. Learning curve and whatnot.

Anyway, Chad's been pretty lucky during this pregnancy. Our friend Kate was sending her husband out every night to buy her ice cream bars or chocolate, things like that. I had one or two nights like that at the beginning, usually for pizza, but the other night - oh man! It was bad. I'd just finished eating dinner and I don't know if I saw an ad on TV or if it just occurred to me - but I needed to have a hot fudge brownie sundae. I said as much to Chad. Not anything unusual there - I often say, "I could really go for X right now." But that's usually all it ever amounts to. But when I repeated myself a few minutes later, Chad put his fork down and looked at me. He asked if this was a serious pregnant-lady craving, I had to confirm it. It was terribly serious. Then Chad wanted to know where we would have to go to get one - there's an Old Chicago just down the road from our house, so I said we could go there. Dubiously, Chad asked me what he would do there. I told him to have a beer and watch the Rockies game. So we drive to Old Chicago at 8:45 pm and take a seat in the bar section (remember, it's all non-smoking out here). Checking out the menu, I realize, oops! Old Chicago doesn't have a hot fudge brownie sundae! Oh no. But they do have the little big cookie, which is a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie - I got mine a la mode. Definitely a good substitute for a hot fudge brownie sundae. :)

(On another note, I did solve my hot fudge brownie sundae dilemma for future cravings by buying these. :) )

Lastly, I'm really glad that Chad's on the new team (he changed teams in February and he's been much happier under this boss than the other one!). But on this new team, there are two other guys who have children under 5. This is SERIOUSLY helpful. Especially because they really love their kids and aren't ashamed of it; I think they've really been helping Chad adjust to thinking about life as a father. The one, bless his heart, told Chad explicitly that he has to get up for at-night feedings, even if he does nothing more than provide moral support by being awake at the same time. He just made his way to the front of my list of favorites of who Chad works with. :)

So, I think that's about it for now. Except I just realized that I never posted about my doctor's appointments yesterday! LOL I'll just get to that later. I've got a Healthy Moms and Newborns class tonight, so I'll just write about baby stuff tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Appointments and Laughs

So, after my own personal nuclear meltdown yesterday, I'm having a better start to my day. To be fair, things did clear up a little bit yesterday, just like Jarvs said they would when I had an over-the-phone meltdown with her mid-afternoon. God bless her!

I got the appointments scheduled and cleared with TriCare (thank God! Not going to make the same mistake twice, you know) for both the neonatal specialist and the pediatric surgeon. And man, are they getting me in fast! The neonatal specialist is seeing me tomorrow (!) and the pediatric surgeon is seeing me on the first. It isn't a rush, they just had openings to get me in. I have to say, I feel like that's a first - a doctor's office actually having openings to get you in sometime before, you know, you die. LOL Chad's trying to be really good about the CCAM, but I still think it really freaks him out and he's just trying not to think about it. I mentioned the other day that they were sending me to meet with the pediatric surgeon and he had a mini flip out; he said how he was trying to look at things positively and that instead of focusing on the negative, I should have positive thoughts. At this point, I don't think (and I don't think the doctors do either) that the CCAM is just going to disappear. Even if it's not visible on x-ray, they don't just magically disappear. And it's usually still visible on a CT scan. It's important to remove it because they have a tendency to turn cancerous later in life. And let's face it, with my family history, this kid doesn't need any more help in being pre-disposed to cancer. But I just smiled and nodded because it seemed like that's what he needed from me at the time. He was home yesterday when I made the appointment with the pediatric surgeon - he asked me what the appointment was for, and when I told him it was with the pediatric surgeon for a consult, he calmly accepted it and filed the appt. info in his astonishingly rainman-like memory. So, my conclusion is that sometimes, he has a daddy meltdown just like I have my more frequent mommy meltdowns. Hey, we're only human!

Meanwhile, I wrote a very frustrated email to the perinatal care manager yesterday explaining how I feel like my needs aren't being met in the Maternal Fetal Medicine practice (read: the only appointments I've had are ultrasounds - my actual appointment was canceled, to be rescheduled (by them), but I wound up having to do that myself too). I also vented about how I resent the lack of concern on their behalf. She forwarded it to their office manager, who was not in yesterday. I'm expecting to be greeted by some answers and someone who is willing to expend a little time to listen to my cares and concerns when I go in for my ultrasounds tomorrow. And they sure as hell better see me before the (rescheduled) appointment on October 16th. I'll be 37 weeks by then, and by God, if they don't fix it to my satisfaction, Chad said he'd go in there and tear them a new one. Poor guy - I know it makes him feel helpless to come home and listen to all the BS I've dealt with thanks to the doctors and insurance. I guess it's turning out that I'd rather, at this point, deliver at Evans (if it weren't for the CCAM), because I felt like people there actually cared about ME and not just what was going on inside my womb.

Realistically, I've had issues with doctors and the medical profession for years now. I don't really trust doctors because I haven't met one who actually cared. There is a real lack of bedside manner, and don't give me that "they're overloaded" excuse. I had 120 students last year, and I knew what was going on in their lives, the things they worried about, etc. I saw all of them everyday - and I didn't get a chart to write notes down in and review real quick outside the door before I popped my head in. WTH are they doing caring for people if they don't really CARE about people?! Anyway, I'm not revisiting that rant right now - I've wasted enough time on it in the past. Just suffice it to say that until I meet someone who proves my personal assumption wrong, I'm going to continue on with my assumptions. So there. :P

Anyway, onto the second part of my posting title: the laughs. I recently joined (I've been on for a while now), and I signed up for some of their daily email things. Why not? Knowledge is power. Anyway, in this email I got from them this morning, they mentioned some blogs on their site. Turns out, I'm late to the game, because the two I read have since been discontinued as of the end of August, but I was reading some of the back posts - holy crap did I laugh! The stories that these women posted were comically horrifying and strangely edifying a soon-to-be parent. It also is making me start to look forward to when our boy starts to manifest his personality, rather than just seeing him and holding him. I can't wait to hear what funny things our boy does and to see Chad teaching him all those little things about being a guy (like getting stubble, although if he's anything like his father and paternal grandfather, the poor kid is doomed to never being able to successfully grow a beard, mustache, fu manchu, etc.). It's nice, especially after yesterday, to find a chuckle and get back to looking forward to our son. Plus, it's nice to end a post on a high note.

Oh - PS - since we can't attend an actual birthing class, we've ordered a lamaze video to teach ourselves; it's not the same, but it's better than nothing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Better Than It Was

So, no birthing class, BUT -- we've ordered a DVD on the Lamaze method to serve in its stead. I'm feeling much better now. I wrote my appeal letter to TriWest, emailed the perinatal care manager (CRN), and ordered that DVD. Taking steps forward, however small, always makes me feel better.

Thank you God! And Chadley. :) God bless my wonderful husband who lets me vent and then lets me think without holding the venting against me. :)

But Wait, There's More...

So I just got a phone call from Memorial's HealthLink System. The birthing class we registered for (for this coming Sunday) was canceled. So now we don't get a birthing class at all. Great.

I'm only a first time mother. I have read all I can read about labor and birth, but I would really like the benefit of a birthing class. But thanks to his f*d up work schedule, the only day that we could attend a class, it's been cancelled. So now, it's either take a class and have one of my "friends" go with me, to act as a labor coach for me, which I don't want because I don't want any of them in the birthing room with me because I don't feel that close to them, or go without. So I'm going without a birthing class because the only other options in Colorado Springs are six- and eight- week classes, which we don't have time for. So Chad is going to have no clue how to be helpful in the labor and delivery room and I'm probably going to wind up having an epidural, WHICH I DON'T WANT!!!!!!!! I can't even begin to express how angry I am right now.

Let me recap, since I woke up this morning: I found out that no one is addressing the insurance problems and I had to make more phone calls on that, my appointment which was supposed to be a reschedule isn't even going to happen until 3 weeks before I'm due (which prompts me to caustically ask, what's the F*ing point of even seeing the doctor then), I have to go to the SAME PLACE multiple times in one day because my appointments are spread several hours apart on the same day, the birthing class we were supposed to go to this Sunday has been canceled, and there's no other birthing class we can attend because of Chad's work schedule. F*ing fantastic.

I should never have gotten out of bed this morning. If this continues, I'll have a broken leg by sundown. Or who knows - maybe I'll go into labor, have complications, have to have a c-section, and have my son wind up in the NICU. It would be so fitting. F M L.

SUPREME Frustration

So, after still not getting a call back from Memorial Health System's biller, I called TriWest again to see what I could see. This time, I spoke to a representative who explained things thoroughly to me. You see, what prompted me to call again was the fact that I double-checked that I doctor I had seen was a contracted care provider (she was). So I explained that I wasn't really in violation of my authorization paperwork. This rep explained that the reason I was being charged a co-pay was because even though the two doctors work in the same practice and both are contracted providers, I was authorized to see a multi-specialty doctor and the doctor I actually saw was an OB. (Smack forehead here.)

She said that she agreed with me that it should be covered, so she gave me all the information I needed to write an appeal. That's right, she said that I could appeal it - not that Memorial would have to appeal it. I explained that the last rep had said that I didn't have the right to appeal, which she said was wrong because I was being charged money - ergo, I have the right to appeal! Hallelujah! She gave me the claim number, explained what I should say in my letter, gave me the address, everything. She also said that she would look back to see who I had spoken to previously and make sure that the rep understood what she had done incorrectly and see how she could have better advised me from the start, instead of misinforming me and leading me on a wild goose chase.

Conclusion: there are still good people (like my mom) who work in insurance who aren't trying to screw good people over. And sometimes, you need to keep calling people until you find someone who can give you a valid response.

But that's not all folks. No siree. Last Friday, I was supposed to have a periconsult for transfer of care appointment with the perinatalogist at Maternal Fetal Medicine. Thursday, I received a phone call saying that, due to an emergency, my appointment had to be canceled and rescheduled. As a result, my OB appointment (which was supposed to be this Wednesday), would also need to be cancelled and rescheduled. She said that they would need to confer with the doctors and see when I could be seen, so she couldn't reschedule me at that time. Well, Friday came and went with no phone call. So I called this morning to get the appointment rescheduled myself. Now I have to wait ANOTHER MONTH to see a doctor!!! The last time I saw a doctor who examined me was FIVE WEEKS AGO! I was supposed to be on a bi-weekly appointment schedule already, but instead, it's been over a month since I've seen a doctor who has taken the time to examine me, rather than just a doctor who looks over the ultrasound images to make sure that everything is progressing as it should. So, by the time I finally see a doctor, I will be 37 weeks. Fantastic. At that point, I'm supposed to be seeing the doctor EVERY WEEK.

So I contacted the nurse in charge of patient care at the MFM clinic via email. I explained how angry and frustrated this is making me and that I understand that they are busy, but that I really feel like no one is taking an actual interest in my care. Chad and I are both getting frustrated. At this point, I don't even know that I'll see an actual doctor for an appointment beyond an ultrasound before I deliver. That's so comforting. So right now, I'm just angry and frustrated. Again, I'll post updates as I get them.

Oh, and today, which is officially the end of summer, has brought snow to Colorado Springs. Happy Monday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dream, dream, dream....

So, crazy pregnancy dreams are not a myth. I've had some doozies lately! I had a dream that one of the cats ate Chad's bridge, that the baby was born able to walk, etc. Funny stuff.

Anyway, the insurance stuff is still on hold - I'm still waiting to hear back. Grr.

But, the baby birthing class is all set. We're taking our class on the 27th (for $75.00), and it will be from 9-5! Yikes! Eight hours of birthing class!! We'll have to bring a sack lunch (fun stuff) and we'll get a tour of the birthing center at the north location, rather than the central location, but they're both very new and similar, so that'll be good.

Other than that, not too much else is going on. Chad has been great - very supportive and caring, and it just makes me thankful everyday that he's the man I married! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Birthing Class Bummer

So, we won't be able to attend the free birthing class offered through Evans (the Army post hospital) due to Chad's schedule. But, thankfully, there is a one-session birthing class offered through the hospital where I'll be delivering - for $75! It's an 8-hour class too, offered on Sundays. Oh well - what can we do? It's just the way the cookie crumbles. We weren't even eligible to start signing up for the childbirth classes until this month, and we were in Chicago for the first offering, Chad had his grandfather's funeral/memorial during this current offering, and the next two, he'll be off for training. Then, it's crunch time, so yeah.

In regards to the insurance, it, of course, is a billing issue. The hospital, when it submitted the information to receive a pre-authorization for my appointments, specified a doctor. However, I wasn't seen by that doctor during my appointments (thus far). Therefore, when they submitted the billing, they said which doctor I had seen, which of course wasn't the doctor who was pre-authorized, so TriCare isn't paying for the non-pre-authorized doctor's office fees. GRR! So I thanked the TriCare claims lady for explaining to me, and then I called Memorial. Still waiting to hear back from them. Which should be fun, because this bill was only for one visit, the first one, and on the three visits I've had since then, I also haven't seen the doctor who was specified in the pre-authorization paperwork, so I imagine I get to deal with this quite a bit over the next couple of months. Great. Great, great, great!

Insurance Follies

So, the only reason that I'm going to Memorial for the remainder of my pregnancy care and for labor and delivery is because Evans classified me as a high-risk pregnancy and referred me there. I crossed all my Ts and dotted all my Is and yesterday, I got a bill in the mail from Memorial for $100! WTF?! I was told that as long as I followed the appropriate avenues, since this was a referral, that everything would be taken care of. And now, I see that it's not. That bill from Memorial, by the way, is only for the first appointment. I've already had 3 more ultrasounds since then (which is what the first appt. was for) and I'm approved for 12 more. Not to mention the perinatal consults, the OB consults and appts, the testing, the neonatal consults, and the pediatric surgery consults. WTF am I supposed to do? I wouldn't even be going to Memorial if Evans hadn't insisted on it, and even doing everything I was supposed to to make sure that my appointments are approved before I keep them and before I schedule them, and now I'm getting screwed!!


This is one of the big reasons that I'm awake at 4:30 this morning. :( Not cool. That, and I'm worried about the fact that because of Chad's schedule, he may not be able to attend the birthing classes with me. That's absolutely great if that's the case, because if you read my post yesterday, I don't have anyone out here who I would want to be able to stand in for him. So I'm just biding my time until he wakes up this morning and I can double-check some dates with him. I'm going to lose it if he can't go to the birthing class with me. So far, he hasn't been able to go to any of my appointments with me except for one at the beginning, and now he might not be able to attend the one class that I really need to him to go to with me. Can you say stressed? I'll be updating when I get a chance to let you know how the insurance stuff goes and whether or not Chad's able to attend the birthing classes with me. Who knows, I may not be taking a birthing class after all. :( That would be so comforting, considering that I've done this before. GRRR!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Gloomy Day

Well, after another fun night of waking up at 3 am and not being able to fall back asleep until 6:30, I find myself in a weird spot today.

I'm really missing my friends back home. I love Colorado and I love it out here, I love our house and everything, but I really wish right now that we lived closer to everyone. I keep reading in these baby books and online that all of these people will be right there to help you and that when people offer to help to take them up on it after the birth. But that won't apply to us. None of our family are here to help and the only one of my friends who may be here to help out would be Katie Jarvi, but that all depends on her schedule and when I actually go into labor.

I guess I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed by the lack of actual physical support but I still feel like there's so much we don't have yet. If it weren't for my cousin Christina and my mom throwing me showers while I was back home, I would've never had one. Maybe it's just the pregnancy hormones, but I'm starting to feel really negatively about having this baby so far away from everyone back home. Back home I have the support system that all of these books talk about - my family, my friends, my in-laws - but here, I just have friends who I'm not really all that close with. At least, thank God, Chad will be here for labor and delivery. He might have to leave some time in January, but that's still nebulous, so I try not to think about that. And at least my mom and dad are coming for Thanksgiving and my in-laws are coming for Christmas, and Jarvi is for sure coming out in February, if she can't make it out for the birth. She's the only person other than Chad who will possibly be here for that very first part.

I don't know. I've just started feeling pretty negatively about living so far away from everyone who I've known for so long. It's hard, because I can't wait to meet my son and to see Chad being a father, but at the same time, I just feel really resentful of living so far away right now. It's not that I don't have friends out here, it's just that I don't really feel like they are friends I can really lean on. So if you live back home, and I call you up in the very near future, please just be a little kind - I'm feeling a little homesick is all.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Munchkin's Wardrobe

So, today I decided to wash all of the baby's things. I came to some realizations.

We have a ton of onesies, some sleepers, and only two pairs of pants, which are red. LOL It's a good thing we plan on swaddling, but I'm thinking I should probably buy a couple of pairs of pants in the blue family.

Three Months:
We have a TON of 3 mos. clothes. I think the window on that size is pretty much closed. Although, they do go through a ton of clothes, so yeah....

Six Months:
We've got a few sleepers, some shorts sets, quite a few onesies, could maybe stand to buy a few more pants/shorts to mix'n'match with onesies, but we've got a little ways to go on those.

Nine Months:
He's got two sleepers. That's it. Wow. Will really need to shop for that size grouping!!!

Twelve Months:
He's got one Chicago Bears romper/onesie set and two Milwaukee Brewers onesies.

After that..... we've got nada.

For other stuff, I've got two hooded towels, three bath mitts, a pile of bibs, no socks, and a few hats. So yeah, I've got to get some more that I should get. Not to mention all of the stuff still on the registry. My mom and I did make a dent the registries last week, since all we really had things-wise was the crib and a high chair. So my mom and I both bought quite a few things off the registry because I've been kind of freaking out over the fact that I've currently got 8 weeks left. So between the two of us, we got the travel system, the pack-n-play the baby bath, the diaper genie, the breast pump accessories (still lacking the breast pump, though), the changing pad, the changing pad covers, the Boppy, Boppy cover, diapering station organizer, extra base for infant car seat, some burp cloths, and some other things too. Still don't have the swing, or bouncy seat, or play mat, or similar items, so I guess we'll have to see what we see.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Very Blustery Day!

If any of you are A.A. Milne fans, you get my titular reference. :) I woke up to the sounds of winds blowing past the house. Literally - that's what woke me up! Not the need to go to the bathroom, for once.

Meanwhile - I got the first of the stuff I ordered from my own registry yesterday. I've been trying to wait patiently because I was hoping that I would have a baby shower out here with my friends, but frankly, I couldn't wait any longer. I'm already just over 31w pregnant, and no one has said anything about throwing me a shower, so I'm guessing it's just not going to happen. Which is fine and dandy, but there were a lot of things we needed that we didn't have at all. Until Monday morning, we had the crib, a high chair, and a toddler car seat. Nothing else other than some clothes, bibs, etc. Not exactly very comforting as I feel like I'm entering my nesting phase. And no, that's apparently not just a rumor - it apparently is a genetic throwback to our wild ancestors and was not eliminated during evolution. Just as other animals frenetically prepare a nest, so do humans! Anyway, the pack 'n' play arrived yesterday, and I immediately set about setting it up to make sure everything worked. I'm sure Chad will yell at me when he comes back, because it's now up in our bedroom, where the baby will use it as his bed for the first little while so that he's within easy reach. But I didn't carry it up there in one piece (which would have meant that it weighs 32 lbs.) - I carried it up there bit by bit. I would say, in that method, it only weighed about 10 lbs, max. But he'll still probably throw a fit! LOL Ah, the curse of having a loving hubby.

I also picked up the baby bath tub and the diaper genie (in-store only purchases) and am still waiting on the travel system (which my mom ordered), the Boppy, the dressertop diaper depot, the changing pad, changing pad covers (thanks Mom!), and several other things as well. My mom did order me the breast pump accessories, but the breast pump hasn't been ordered yet, so that's going to be interesting! LOL It's a big ticket item ($$$), so I'm hoping that we'll be able to budget that in before he gets to be about a month old (which is the recommendation before you start pumping - make sure your milk is established before you start making mechanical demands on it).

Speaking of breast milk, and subsequently, breastfeeding, there is so much to read! I found a really great website, written by a woman who has been breastfeeding for the better part of a decade (can you imagine?!): I'm looking forward to taking the breastfeeding course offered through Fort Carson (which is free - the breastfeeding class through Memorial Health System (where I will now be delivering) is $35.00 per couple!), and my friend Kate, who had her son Jackson at the beginning of July, said that it was really good. I looked into other classes from MHS too, and they all cost money. Not that I'm a cheapskate (entirely, but I am Dutch, lol), but if there's a quality class offered that I can take for free, I think I'm going to be taking part in the free classes!! I still have the breastfeeding class to take, and then we have the infant safety and care and the childbirth preparation classes too.

Meanwhile, I think that's about it for now. I wound up waking up much earlier than I had planned, thanks to the crazy winds blowing around outside right now, so I thought I would blog a little bit, even though I only have two people who are reading, lol.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Bit of Baby Jealousy

So, sometimes I tend to question my level of intelligence. I'm 31w3d pregnant now, and I've recently become engrossed with TLC's A Baby Story. Really cool, because it really makes me excited for Munchkin to come along, but really unintelligent because I see all of these women going through labor and I don't know that I really need to be immersing myself in thoughts about painful labor right now! It also makes me cry a lot because you get to see all of these little babies, and well, I'm pregnant, so yeah.

Pretty much, this whole time, I've been really just not into the whole pregnancy thing. It's cool that there's a little guy growing in there, but at the same time, I feel like I'm hosting a parasite, which, in a way, I kind of am. Like, if I don't get enough nutrients and calcium, he'll take them from me. That's the definition of a parasite, if I'm not mistaken. It's the weirdest feeling - I've heard/read a lot that it feels like little bubbles or butterfly wings. Maybe for other people, but not for me; for me, it's like I ate a really big meal of Polish sausage or something - you know, when you can feel the food clunking through your stomach. That's what it felt like when he first started moving enough that I could feel him. Now, I can sit on the couch and actually watch my stomach move! The poor kitties - they come up to lay on me, and then they get kicked by the baby. Hobbes doesn't seem to mind too much - she actually lays on my stomach or near my stomach almost exclusively. Calvin, however, will get up and move away. It's just weird to watch him kick and watch the blankets move or watch my boob move when he kicks at the top! But I digress. For the most part of the pregnancy, I just felt really inconvenienced. I can't bend over at the waist anymore, I can't twist my body - I have to turn my entire body, I can't shave my legs or bikini area anymore, of course, no drinking, I get tired so easily, my feet swell, I have to pee all the time, the thought of chicken makes me sick, etc. etc. etc. But recently, I feel like I've become a lot more involved in the pregnancy. I don't mind it like I used to. Don't get me wrong - there are still aspects I dislike - feeling like a wishbone on Thanksgiving, for example, or the fact that my emotions are so unstable. But I feel a lot closer to him. I guess it's a really good thing that pregnancy takes 9 months - it gives you a chance to make drastic changes in your thinking and really prepare yourself.

Chad's been amazing. He listens to my weird concerns and dreams (I had a dream that all of my teeth fell out) and he lets me talk about things that we've already talked about a hundred times. I was working on filling out a preliminary birth plan (which everyone tells you to write but no one gives you any idea of what exactly should be in it! - has a birth plan worksheet to help you out, if you're curious), and Chad was sitting with me, asking me different questions about the things in there and offering his opinion. I think it was really good. We've also talked about pain management options. I've had back problems before (i.e. back spasms, pain, etc.), so I really didn't want to have any pain medication at all. There are two types - IV administered, which drugs you and the baby, or those administered via the spinal cord, which do not drug the baby. Since I've had back issues, I really didn't want anything at all to interfere with my back. I know some women back in MI who've had epidurals and had problems walking or had back pain issues afterward. I was not going to consider having an epidural at all. But Chad and I have continued to talk about it, and he's very supportive of my new stance: I want to try to do the labor without any pain medication, but that I will ask for the medication if I change my mind. The medication option that I will be going with if I do request it is an epidural. But I made Chad promise me that he wouldn't let the anesthesiologist mess up my back, lol.

Anyway, that's my random assortment of thoughts for now. You'll notice that they're jumbled - that's a normal state of affairs for me! LOL