Archive for the ‘insurance’ Category

it’s a sweltering saturday afternoon, pushing 100 degrees, and i am nauseated and lounging in bed and tempted to get all nekked. we’ll see.

sparky is very active today, after being eerily quiet yesterday. i even had some contraband iced tea to see if that would stir her. it didn’t. she only came around as i floated on my side in the bathtub last night.

my charleydog–the alphabitch, as well as mama to 2 litters before being rescued and spayed and adopted by me–has been by my side more than usual, with a worried look on her face. h is convinced this means sparky will be coming soon. i just shrug. i have no idea. reading into signs get so exhausting.

and so i’ve resorted to taunting my fetus. at 3:00 today, i announced that if she wanted to be a may baby, she had 9 hours to get herself out of my womb. this was followed by some poking on my belly and “i’ll bet you don’t have it in you…” “i dare you to try…” “nah nah nah nah nah…” comments. she simply kicked me and ground her head into my pelvis until my cervix ached. i apologized.


in other news, i think we have found our pediatrician. he is a jolly guy, nathan lane’s straight brother, who was a (“responsible, because [he] was in medical school”) hippie with midwife michele in the 60s, as well as the pediatrician for her kids.

reasons why we dig him:

  • he accepts our insurance
  • if we should ever find ourselves without insurance, he generously works with self-pay patients
  • he is completely supportive of “families like ours”, and actually got rid of a pediatrician in his practice who had issues with same sex parents
  • there is a lab at his practice
  • he is not antibiotic happy.
  • he is very flexible with vaccine choices and schedules. he trusts parents to do their homework and make informed decisions about their children’s health.

i didn’t know how relieved i would be to have found a pediatrician. we’d interviewed one previously, who was very honest about not having much experience with “families like ours” but had nothing against us either. she was pretty rigid about sticking to the vaccine schedules, and had nothing but horror stories when we asked her thoughts about, oh say, co-sleeping? (she herself slept with her mother as a child, interestingly enough.) i just didn’t feel comfortable with her overall. dr hippie was so nice, and had the answers to our questions ready before we asked them.

also, i had an appointment with h’s psychiatrist yesterday. i’ve met him a few times when i’ve accompanied her to her appointments, and he’s a quirky ADD OCD kind of guy. boxes of files are strewn about his office, and he never wears shoes. he has a fantastic potty mouth, and tells the most bizarre stories. all of his appointments notoriously run late by an hour at least. and he’s fabulous. he actually assesses more than the symptoms he has the power to medicate. he asks for your whole story (hence the lateness of all appointments). yesterday was a baseline assessment of how i’m doing without meds for depression and anxiety. i am officially doing “enviably well”. after sparky comes, i will check in with him once a month to make sure i am maintaining my mental health.

i can’t tell you how good it felt to walk out of a psychiatrist’s office without a prescription.

ok, i’m out of steam. but before i go, i must recommend you go buy the new record, shotgun singer, by my dear friend, kris delmhorst. she’s good people, and such a fabulous artist. AND she is due with her first bebe one day after sparky is estimated to arrive. privately, i am competing with her. my baby will come first. i will win.

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my apologies for the lack of posts recently.  lots of life has come and gone since i last wrote, but mostly i’ve been a very sleepyhead.  take today, for instance.  it is nearly 1:30 pm, and instead of being knee-deep into my monday shift at work, i am snuggled in my bed, sparky rolling underneath my laptop.  i have absolutely zero energy, and i yawn and yawn and fall back to sleep awhile.

however, i do manage to muster enough energy to feel guilty about utilizing any fmla leave i am already approved for.  as i lounge in my jammies on a monday afternoon, i think thoughts of laziness and irresponsibility: a more responsible person would suck it up and just go to work.  granted, i could work today if it were absolutely necessary.  but i have a job-protected out, and i’m so so exhausted, and this third trimester fetus is growing her brain bigger and fattening herself up.  and so i sleep because i can.  remind me to let up on the guilt, will you?   (as midwife michele said on that scary day a few weeks ago: my perspective now needs to shift from being responsible about my joblife to being responsible as a mother.)

anyway.  in the middle of all this sleepiness and guilt, we still managed to have our first meeting with our adoption lawyer last week.  i confess that the whole conversation was surreal to me, as we discussed very scary topics like my death, the demise of h’s and my relationship, the coach demanding custody/rights, etc.  this conversation is necessary, of course, and our lawyer is fantastic with the protections.  before we hired her, i sleuthed around the internet for as much info as i could gather about her.  as it turns out, she is a lgbt adoption rights pioneer, who also happens to be very influential in texas state government.  she is the go-to voice of reason every time gay rights make their way to the news.  she is quite the formidable force here.

and. her fee for the adoption and wills is reasonable,  most of which she puts toward hiring gay rights lobbyists.

also, did i mention that she is a member of the fambly herself? and that she and her partner have two adopted children of their own?

as everything stands now, the adoption should be finalized before the end of the year.  now, to birth the child…

sparky is growing so…big.  her kicks are felt top bottom left right simultaneously now.  i feel her as one body contained the balloon of my uterus, instead of a constant whack-a-mole guessing game sensation.  and the bigger she gets, the more real her impending birth is…in a holy shit kind of way.  in a “there’s really only two ways for her to exit my body” kind of way.  cue the fear.  and the humility.  and the exhalation of panic: we can do this.

and now the fattening fetus is hungry.  for more peanut butter, i suspect…

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i’m so sorry for the silence here. i haven’t posted because i knew it would be boring. kind of like this post will be. the sick has continued to be really bad, with smells and textures sending me over the edge. last night i had my first actual hurl of the dinner, and i cannot express just how tired i am of forcing myself to eat. something. anything. i’m about halfway through week 10 (9w2d), and i am hoping against hope that relief comes soon.

i want to love being pregnant. and i am so excited to meet sparky. but right now, pregnancy has completely stolen my life. i feel terrible saying that out loud. but i’m frustrated and sick and hormonal and tired. and these potato chips aren’t fixing anything.

anyway, quick update: my doctor finally faxed the required forms a day after the deadline (which was extended to accommodate her tardiness). of course, the forms were incomplete. so now, i’ve been given a 15 day extension so that she can fix a very easy mistake and fax the forms again. i don’t have the energy to get on their ass again. i really hope they simply follow through.

had my first midwife appt last thursday. i got to stretch out on the big comfy bed. we went over the myriad health questions again, which was boring, and then michele tried to find sparky’s heartbeat with the doppler. unfortunately, we only found my heartbeat. she made no promises that we’d hear it, since i was only 8w4d, but she’s confident we’ll get it at my next appt in december. i’m not worrying about not hearing sparky. i’ve been so sick, i’m not spotting, and my belly is pooching. i’ve got to trust my instincts and believe sparky is okay.
oh, and my uterus is measuring spot on.

that’s all i gots for today. hopefully a more positive, less piqued post will come soon.

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insurance update.

1. the insurance company thinks the ineptitude of my (soon to be former) dr is ridiculous. they are giving me an extra day to hopefully get everything taken care of.
2. i just informed my boss of the situation, and he has promised that the time taken off already will be approved and not counted against me. ie, my job is secure.

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remember the fmla intermittent leave i was praising so excitedly? yeah, well, the paperwork was faxed to dr c on 10/24, with a deadline of 11/7 to return it. my insurance company has called me every day to advise they haven’t received the forms. in turn, i have called dr c’s office, and have told the nurse: please. fax. forms. my job depends on it. nurse’s reply: we are short staffed, but it’s on my desk and i’ll have dr c sign it “tomorrow”.

today, of course, is 11/7. i called dr c’s office once again to confirm that everything had been signed and faxed back. the nurse just called me: dr c refuses to sign the intermittent fmla form. we can give you a dr note for any days you’ve missed, though, she says. dr c won’t sign fmla leave until after the delivery.

fuck fuck fuck. debbie the nurse just got a fucking mouthful from me. i tried to calmly explain that pregnancy leave and post-pregnancy leave (ie maternity/bonding leave) are separate. one does not affect the other. and unless dr c approves pregnancy fmla, i am fucked. i will lose my job. because i have already missed days of work that were promised to be covered under fmla.

i told nurse debbie to call the insurance company and get the paperwork down to a language that ensures me the freedom to stay home from work when i feel like shit during this first trimester and still makes dr c feel comfortable…whatever the fuck that means.

i cannot even fathom the level of unprofessionalism happening right now.
i can’t wait to call and ask for my records to be sent to the midwife.

oh god, though. i’m worried about my job.

hopefully, this will all be resolved within the next two hours.

in the meantime, here’s an 8 week 3 day belly shot. (what i was doing when nurse debbie called.)

8 weeks 3 days.

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h and i had a shut-in weekend here in rainy (!) austin, texas. we were menstruating together–something that happens once maybe every two years. i became a contestant on the clomid challenge.

really difficult conversations ensued.

we have agreed to a new approach about project baby. we will try again next month through october. if i get pregnant, we will stay in austin another year. h will begin her first year of teaching here (which begins fall ’08). i will remain part time at my current job (aka the place that gives us both benefits).

if i do not get pregnant by october, we will stop trying for awhile. we will relocate to eugene, oregon next summer. (thanks to alayna and wendy for their helpful responses to my inquiries, btw.) we’ve been talking about oregon for a little while now, and are very, very excited to get out of texas. to get out of the south, period. we will relocate a year later if we have a baby next summer.

if we move to eugene without a child, we seem to have at least one option to continue ttc.

1. the coach has expressed a whole lot of interest in moving to eugene for his own reasons. and he is very much committed to continuing the ttc journey with us.

2. we have a backup donor who lives in san francisco. not exactly close by, but possible. donor 2 is a best friend of mine, who i’ve known since i was 15, growing up in pennsylvania. he is beautiful, and kind, and wants nothing more than for h and i to have a family.

so there you have it. it took a lot of probably unnecessary tears to come to some really great goals.

oh, and pee ess. day 2 of clomid left me feeling nauseous and ragged. today? i don’t notice anything at all. i think it may have something to do with being back at work, forced to be busy after taking a short vacation. (nothing like working for the company responsible for the iphone to keep me on my toes.)

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being the research monster i’ve become, i emailed every midwife in town about the insurance issue, and here are the responses i got:

“You should be able to apply for a gap exception
because there are no in network midwives or birth
centers. I have a client who just did this.
But if you decide to choose the self pay option we
would set up monthly payments for you.”

“I do give an early payment discount and I will consider trade/barter. Also,
a payment plan that works for both of us can be arranged. We have been suprised often by insurance
companies that will pay when they see my license information. Billing is always worth a try.”

“We have had luck getting waivers with some insurance company EPO plans.
Since there are no certified nurse-midwives available in network in Austin,
you can request a waiver. We have not tried it with United but it is worth a
shot…The need for labs and ultrasounds vary and are not included in the general fee.We would have both
labs and ultrasounds done at “in-network” locations for you and rarely cost
you anything.”

“United does pay me , or has in the past depending on your contract. I will be happy to fill out the necessary paperwork to be in network with them .So don’t give up completely on the insurance …….I can call and find out when the time comes .”

so there you have it. for now, i’m going to work with the ob/gyn i found for the preconception testing, since i am covered.

yesterday, h. and i both saw our GP for treatment of our sinus infections/mystery virus. we like to call her dr. glamorshots, since her business cards feature just that: bouffant do, sultry smile, and stethoscope around her neck, just so we know what she does. anyway, i told dr glamorshots that we were going to begin trying soon. she grinned, and immediately spread the word to her nurses, who we adore. we all had a nice giggle about it, and h. said she felt like she should be passing around cigars.

i also told dr glamorshots that i have all but quit smoking. as a former 2packer, she has hounded me for two years about my need to quit. she shook my hand in congratulations.

when my pulse was taken, by the way, it was 70bpm, down from the typical 80-85 it has been for the past 10 years. coincidence? hmmm.

in other news, h and i are really enjoying the codeine cough medicine. a lot. it goes especially well with a nice red wine. particularly when watching the lesbian drama reality show, workout, on bravo. nothing like living it up before becoming a teetotaler. we sat stoned on meds and vino all evening, gazing stupidly into each other’s eyes, confessing our loveloveLOVE for each other, and just how excited and scared we are to start our family.

i love my unwedded wife.
we are making plans to have a legal ceremony, sooner than later…

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insurance question!

does anyone have advice about dealing with insurance and midwives? my plan allows me to use in-network providers, and none of the birthing centers in austin, texas are in that network.

i’ve been in contact with a midwife who recommends i apply for a “gap exception”, and i am utterly confused about the process. my insurance company, of course, is not helpful at all, especially since my questions are hypothetical at this point.

also, if i have to pay out of pocket, what is a fair fee? in my research, i’ve come across a rather broad range of charges.

digression: all this birthing/insurance research is totally getting my mind off the countdown to insemination. funny, that.

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