Week 14 Wrap-Up

Boy, I’ve been slack-a-lackin. We’ve had an insane few months, so let me catch everyone up on the progress.

A week or two after Joel injured his back, we got a phone call informing us that we had an outstanding bill for our local hospital. I was very confused because I didn’t think we’d received a bill for Joel’s ER visit yet. Come to find out it was a bill from Sisu’s birth. Yes, folks, a year and a half later, the hospital is finally billing us for my daughter’s birth.

Weeks before Sisu’s birth, I called BCBS to ask what amount we should be expected to pay because I’m not stupid and I know surgery ain’t cheap and it certainly isn’t free. The woman at BCBS informed me that our annual deductible had been met and the amount we would need to pay would be negligible. As in a few hundred dollars. I had her verify this information three times because I didn’t believe her. After Sisu’s birth I was sent a large bill from the hospital which showed BCBS had paid some amount. I called BCBS to contest the amount I was expected to pay and I called them at least a dozen times over the next few months asking for the status of the internal investigation. They were supposed to be validating my claim of misinformation. Every phone call informed me that the investigation hadn’t even started and there was no way to directly contact the department which was supposed to be investigating this claim. Six months after the original bill was issued, I called the hospital to explain what was going on and I was informed that if the Insurance did not refile the claim or if there was no action in x-days, I would be reissued a bill and expected to pay out of pocket. I understood and thanked them.

Around a month later I was issued a bill and set up a payment plan to pay it. Unfortunately It was not the hospital bill, but a bill from my pediatrician’s office. BCBS had also screwed up the pediatrician bills from the hospital, but it was billed through the pediatrician’s office. The hospital has now reissued a bill, and here we are with 15 month old Sisu cleaning out our savings to pay the bill outright and clear the debt. This has put us in a bit of a tight budget, but we’re definitely on the upward slope.

I don’t say this because I expect miscellaneous donations to pour in. I don’t. Please keep your money, or better yet, give it to someone who needs it. But I want to share this information to illustrate how terrible and uninformed the health insurance industry is, and how absurdly expensive it is to have a child these days. You should brace your bank account with around $5,000 in savings if you believe you may have a c-section. This is more than we needed to pay, but it’s less than half of what our hospital bill was before insurance. You should be prepared financially.

All of that out of the way, I’m starting to feel a bit more energy these past couple of weeks. I can tell I’m transitioning into the second trimester with all these little energetic bursts, but then there are times I just want to curl up and sleep a month. Those first trimester hibernation urges are tapering off slowly.

Something I don’t remember writing about last time around is the feeling of my chest getting heavy. Maybe because my cup size jumped early in my first pregnancy and I didn’t notice a gradual shift. This time around I can feel my chest not just getting larger, but heavier. It’s a strange sensation.

Also a bit different this time around is the way my organs are moving around to make way for baby. I’m not sure if the different feeling is just because it’s my second pregnancy, or if it has something to do with having most of those organs pulled out onto a table just over a year ago, but the shifting around feels different and sometimes very uncomfortable. Things will pinch at times or lurch from one spot to another. It’s a strange and sometimes unnerving feeling.

I’m feeling more pressure on my diaphragm as well. With all the organs squishing north, I can tell that I can no longer fully expand my lungs. This is probably something I’m very sensitive to after my limited experience singing. The limit in lung expansion isn’t really a huge problem, I rarely get short of breath due to daily physical exertion, but it does cause some anxiety that needs to be squelched instantly. Yoga is excellent help on that front.

Joel is doing much better. His physical therapy sessions have made all the difference in the world and he is now walking cane-free. The gait of his walk is still a little irregular, but it’s evening out over time. Although it happened in a terrible way, I think we’re both glad that the physical therapy is helping his recent back injury and also issues he may have had in his past. We’re all around improving and hoping that Christmas and New Year’s are a bit quieter.

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