Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Birth plan

To the tune of the original Batman theme song.

So, the new doctor I found is all right. She laughed at my inappropriate jokes, and that's really important to me. She seems a bit gung-ho to get this baby out of me, though. At our first meeting, she offered to induce me at 39 weeks. And yesterday at my appointment, she said she'd check my cervix and sweep my membranes next week at my 40 week appointment. Not really sure why. Last time around the midwife did a membrane sweep because my blood pressure was super high, but it was 112/80 yesterday. I think I'm the only person in my family who doesn't have high blood pressure.

A friend sent me a text yesterday and told me I should stop blogging. I asked her why, assuming I was some preachy weirdo blogging asshole that somehow bred a weird sub-group of super-sarcastic militant parents who think they are funnier than they actually are. But, no. Apparently it is because "Mommy bloggers are taking over the fucking internet." And, it seems, I am not preachy enough to be a real mommy blogger. I guess I should be more insistent on the meals you prepare for your faux-infant cannibalism diet?

At 39 weeks, Brown Sugar is the size of a watermelon or a rabbit. Did you know that is a site? Well now you do! And they have instructions on how to carve a motherfucking watermelon into a rabbit. Also, blogger tried to autocorrect 'motherfucking' into 'motorbiking'.

Oh, and you must carve a watermelon into a rabbit this week or you will be haunted by the creepy dead children from Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies.

What else?

NOOOOO!!!! I just went over to my new/old favorite pregnancy website, and the domain expired! Two days ago! So, instead, here is a flashback to the last time I was 39 weeks pregnant. It's pretty much the same. I haven't packed a hospital bag this time, either. Or installed the car seat. I did get a new car, though. I traded in the Fit for a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder that will be completely paid for in 6 months instead of three years. I'm pretty excited. Even though it's white.

Chumby is good. Now that he's in daycare, I feel like I never see him. I don't know why or how, but picking him up from daycare seems to add an extra 400 hours to my day. I'm ready to have this baby just so I can stop putting on pants every day. Also, Chumb weighs less than I thought he did. He's 31.5 pounds.

Finally, since I'm not delivering with the midwife, I typed up my birth plan. The midwife had a checklist because I guess the L&D staff are too busy "working" to read a 42 page detailed birth plan such as Jamie and Jeff's Birth Plan. Though I bet they may find the time to read that one through. Because hilarious.

So, I went through what we did last time and pulled the highlights that are important to me and got it all on one page. What?! That's right, suckers.

I think that's about it. The betting pools are open for when you think 2.0 will arrive. The prize is some melted and re-solidified dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's. They were only in the car for half an hour. But I guess it is summer in the desert.

Oh! And as for a billing update: I'm still going to wait a couple more weeks to make sure they have filed everything through my insurance but, after looking at my EOB's, they seem to have sent everything through and those fuckers at the midwife's office owe me $27. Assholes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Rage against the billing machine

I'm 37 weeks pregnant. My midwife is on holiday this week. Her partner in her practice is totally delightful and I was super looking forward to seeing her. My midwife is bad ass. Retired military, no kids and was the first midwife in my city to get rights to deliver at the biggest hospital chain in my state. Her partner is a former student who has two boys, two years apart (like mine will be). And I adore them both. Also, I like the practice they are at. But, I do not like the billing department.

After being a single income family for two years, money is tight. Having an unexpected pregnancy, money is tight. I've made payments when I can, I've been in regular contact with the billing department, but holy fucking shit. Now that we are at the end of the pregnancy, I received a voicemail from Becca in Billing letting me know that I need to be prepared to make some kind of payment at my appointment on Friday. I called her back and let her know that, I'm well aware I owe them money, but telling me I need to make a payment won't make money magically appear in my bank account. Then she started saying things like, "Well, because you've only paid x amount of money, you're essentially receiving services for free." I countered with, "That's bullshit. My insurance covers 80% of the costs." Then I told her how I used to see the best chiropractor in town, until their billing department back-billed my insurance for services I'd paid for out-of-pocket, without telling me. They were acting all shady, so I didn't trust them. And you don't mess with people's money. It makes them angry. And now I see the second best chiropractor in town. When I can afford my co-pay to see the chiropractor, which isn't very often. (Side note: I haven't had a pedicure since February. And that was a birthday present from a friend).

So, after my phone call with Becca from Billing, I called back to get the results of my group B strep test (negative) and cancel the scheduled appointments I had. I also talked to the billing manager. Then I started researching what happens if I don't find a provider before I go into labor. The hospital has laborists that work 24/7, so that's not an issue. But the nurse I talked to in L&D at the hospital told me I should page my midwife when she gets back from holiday to let her know about my billing issue, and that my midwife will probably be pretty freaking angry that the billing department is costing her clients. Especially since we moved hospitals when the midwife moved hospitals and our toddler was one of the first ten babies she delivered at the larger, fancier hospital.

So, I'm totally going to call her and let her know what happened, but I'm not going back there. I received an estimate of what I owe for services I've received and I'm trying to figure out what to do for the next couple of weeks. If it was just me, and I wasn't pregnant, and I needed three more weeks of doctors exams for something, I would just say fuck it and not go to the doctor, but shit can still go wrong even this late in the pregnancy game, and I have to make sure Brown Sugar is good.

And I came to a conclusion through this whole billing thing. You know how the billing department is always separate? I've determined it is for the same reason that nurses give shots in the pediatrician office: it's so you don't have a negative association with your direct care provider. And I don't. But I do have a negative association with the whole practice in general.

So, I called a local birth center to get a quote. My insurance doesn't cover the facility fee, so it's a minimum $1500 right there. And I don't mind delivering in a hospital anyway. Particularly if this labor goes even half as fast as the last one. So, I'm just trying to figure out the prenatal care issue. I'm going to call the health department to see if they have any recommendations. Or I may just hit Primary Health or something. It's a $20 copay when I go in there, but whatever. What extra super sucks is that we, as a family, are in that income bracket where we make too much money to get any kind of help, but we don't make enough money to have things like money in savings or a liquor cabinet so we can drink away our financial worries.

In other news, Chumby went to the dentist yesterday. They said his teeth look really good. His molars still haven't busted through yet (they're taking FOREVER) and they even let him use the whirring tooth polisher thing to polish two of his teeth. And they had a cool dragon with a mouth full of teeth and a giant toothbrush so Chumby could brush some dragon teeth. Yay! And he got a new toothbrush and the hygienist and dentist both complimented him on his manners. Such a polite young man. And I asked about flossing. They said it isn't necessary yet (until his teeth are touching) but may as well start to get him used to it. Maybe flossing his teeth will make me better about flossing mine (once a week FTW!).

This week, Brown Sugar is the size of a winter melon, Swiss Chard and a large mouth bass. So, make this. Just replace the radicchio with Swiss Chard and you will still be following the guidelines of an appropriate faux-infant cannibalism diet.

And, just for fun, here's a flashback to the last time I was this pregnant.

Friday, August 7, 2015


Chumby and I went to see my dad the other day. My stepmom is out of town, so I thought I'd check in and see how he is doing. He's doing really well. His cancer isn't in remission, but the doctors believe the tumor is dead. So, now he's living with cancer and has to get periodic maintenance chemo. He looks pretty good though and he's walking without a cane. Which is kind of amazing and surprising, since a year ago we were all (doctors included) pretty sure he was going to die.

The problem with my dad feeling better? He's back to his weirdly awkward, zero boundaries self. Every time I see him, he asks me some weirdly inappropriate or awkward question. He had asked previously if he could be in the delivery room when Chumbercules was born. (No). He asked if Chumby could have his last name. (No). He asked if Sean Connery/Brown Sugar/Cthulhu could have his first, middle AND last name. (No). I have two brothers. My dad already got to name his kids. And we aren't and never have been close, so I don't really get it. But the best? The best was the other day.

He asked me if I'm planning on getting my tubes tied. Let me say that again. He asked me if I'm planning on getting my tubes tied. Like, he opened his mouth and asked that question, thinking it was a completely appropriate and not weird question to ask someone. I was a bit taken aback and said, "What?! No!" And he said, "I've heard it doesn't hurt." Which lead me to ask if all his experience having a uterus taught him that. Then he asked if Mr. Adventure was going to get snipped. I told him I'm not interested in having an in-depth conversation about my contraceptive choices with him. If he brings it up again, I'm just going to tell him that my future plans solely involve using abortion as a contraceptive afterthought.

Seriously? WTF? I think that was on Tuesday or Wednesday. I'm still traumatized. I wish I had a therapist, just so I could talk about this. Mr. Adventure called me after work to see how my visit went (and to find out what weird fucked up thing my dad asked me/said to me. Because it's enough of a regular occurrence that it has become A Thing). Even he was surprised. I can't remember, though, if he was always like this or maybe it's the brain tumor? I don't know. I think our next visit will be after my stepmom gets back. She tends to let him know when he's being inappropriate and just fucking weird.

At 36 weeks pregnant, Sean Connery is the size of a honey dew melon or a breadbox. So, buy yourself a breadbox and shove a honey dew inside it, forget that it is there, then in a few months, wonder what the smell is in your kitchen! Or you can buy a honey dew, cut it up, bring it to a barbecue where no one will eat any of it, then leave it for the host to deal with. They also make excellent house warming gifts.

The same as last time, I can't sleep anymore because I'm peeing every ten minutes, then can't get back to sleep afterward. I saw the midwife yesterday to do my Group B strep test. I'll get the results next week.

According to my favorite pregnancy website, the baby is getting cuter. And I have been relieved of the ability to breathe. I mostly just announce that there is baby in my lungs and people look at me weird. But they do that anyway. All the time. Because I'm related to my dad. Probably.

We saw the Book of Mormon musical the other weekend. It was even more hilarious than I thought it would be. I wish I had lots of money, because I would have seen it three more times at least.

And I have heart burn.

Chumby is doing well in day care. The Little Miss is getting ready to start second grade. And she's super excited to have another little brother.

And I still have heart burn.

I feel like I'm running out of time. It was brought to my attention recently that I could have a baby as early as next week. So I should probably get a car seat or something, right?

And that's about it. Happy weekending!