First Baby Appointment

We had our first baby appointment today. Last time, we didn't hear the heartbeat the first time, so I didn't get my hopes up this time, but we did! We heard it! It was 160. I can't find what Gulliver's heartbeat was, but I was able to find an old blog post that indicated it was over 140. So I guess we can't count on it being a girl for sure. We'll have to wait about 9 more weeks or so to find out.

This pregnancy will be a little interesting because as I mentioned before, we'll be paying for everything at 100%. For the self-insured, there is NO maternity coverage from any health insurance provider. Help will kick in if something goes wrong, but we can expect to pay for everything if all goes right. At least we got in on Aflac before they closed their supplemental policies to Utahns.

We love our doctor and are thrilled that our insurance situation won't get in the way of her delivering baby number 2. She's also willing to work with us to find ways to bring down costs. For example, if I have gestational diabetes again (which I probably will), I won't have to go to the diabetes center every two weeks this time. I was able to manage the whole thing with diet last time, so I know what I'm doing. I'll just report my numbers directly to my doctor instead of going to biweekly counseling. By the way, she's a family doctor, and I also have to say that I LOVE that our doctor is a family doctor. I highly recommend it. It's just nice that she knows all of us, and there's no separate pediatrician or anything. She's it. And she's wonderful.

The epidural is still a big $2000 question. Our doctor said, of course, that unless I prepare for natural birth, then it doesn't matter HOW much the epidural costs, I will pay it. Not that I was planning on NOT preparing. But still. I already feel like we'll just end up paying for the epidural anyway because right now the only reason for me not getting it is financial. And I'd love to be all passionate about natural childbirth and hop on that trend, but I still do NOT see the appeal of doing it naturally. Please feel free to weigh in. Tonight I bought Ricki Lake's book that changed Dooce's perspective on everything. I haven't made it past the forward yet, but I'm very very not convinced yet.

I think that the best way to go about it is to just dedicate a job, or a couple of jobs, to the epidural. For example, tonight, I need to work on a client's rush job. I don't expect this job to take me more than a few hours. So then mentally (or "physically") I can put the money from this job aside into an "epidural" fund. Three more rush jobs like this and my comfort is all paid for.

I'm leaning towards that solution.

ON THE OTHER HAND, $2000 is still $2000 no matter how I make it. And it's still $2000 I could spend on something else. Here is a list of things that cost $2000:
- two tickets to Europe (I'm being optimistic)
- two tickets to Hawaii + part of the hotel (I've never been)
- a 27" iMac (I don't need one, but STILL)
- an incredibly comfortable, perfect rocking/gliding/nursing chair so that I can take care of the new baby as comfortably as possible
- 4 iPads (no, I wouldn't buy 4 iPads. But STILL)
- 2.5 family trips to Maryland (maybe even 3)
- 6 (?) hours of relative comfort that previous generations lived without during childbirth

What would YOU do?


Jordan said...

I'll let you know how it goes for me. I'm giving it a try this time around for various reasons. I am emphatically not an advocate of natural childbirth, nor am I against it. When the time comes I will ask for an epidural if I want it. However, I am preparing to go without and feel like I'm prepped for it. I've been keeping track of my classes (and my reaction to them) on my blog. They're all under the HypnoBirthing label. The last class is Saturday and the birth could be any day now, seeing as I'm dilated to a 3 and that didn't happen with Ellie until I was in labor.

kadusey said...

I had an epidural with my first baby and I loved it, it was perfect, I couldn't imagine having done it without it.

With my second baby, I was entirely planning on having another epidural. My insurance would have covered it, the hospital anesthesiologist would have done a great job with it, and I didn't want to go to all the work of reading books and taking classes and meditating and all that stuff I felt was necessary to be properly prepared for medicine-free childbirth.

Unfortunately, I ended up being dilated to a four for the last several weeks of my pregnancy, had some false labor a couple times, took a bath to ease some painful contractions one night and missed my water breaking, finally woke up several hours later with consistent very painful contractions, went to the hospital, and was already at a 10. So, no time for an epidural or any narcotics or anything, less than an hour there and I had a new baby.

It was very painful. I screamed those guttural screams. The nurses had to remind me to not hyperventilate.

But, overall, it really wasn't too terribly awful. I mean, it wasn't really quite as bad as I had thought it would be for not being prepared to cope with it or remove myself from it or whatever. I think it scared my husband a bit, he was completely unprepared, didn't know how to help or anything other than holding my hand. But really, not as bad as I'd been expecting. And recovery was awesome fast and easy. Though I don't know how much of that was the lack of an epidural rather than it being my second baby and therefore just easier, or the fact that I didn't have to have an episiotomy that time around like I did the first time.

Anyway, if I were in your situation, having my current experience, I'd skip the epidural and buy the glider. (I've been coveting a glider for years now.) And take some hypnobirthing classes or something to be ready.

On the other hand, every birth is different, you can never be sure how it's going to go. Maybe save up the money for the epidural just in case, prepare to not have it, and then you can get it if you want it and if you don't (or, as in my case, are unable to), you can use the money afterwards for any of those other things.

Kristeee said...

I got mad about how my experience with my first went - I felt like I had no options, that everything was dictated to me, including a completely unnecessary episiotomy. This time around (I'm due in 2 weeks) I decided that I wanted to be the one "in control" of the labor and delivery situation (you know, along with my baby), so we did Hypnobirthing classes. I have to say that if I were to do it over again, I'd probably do Hypnobabies instead - they have a more comprehensive program and actually give you scripts to practice with, instead of having you guess and make up your own.

I'm not against medicated births, though. I just am excited to take my body out for a spin and see what it can really do, and I like the idea of the freedom to labor with my body, instead of when the nurses tell me to do stuff.

C. said...

Wait a second, if you're self-insured in Utah there is not maternity coverage AT ALL? I mean, here in Illinois it's pretty lame (I'm also self-insured) and in a lot of ways I think that it will actually cost us more in premiums, etc., but at least I get the somewhat-comforting thought that I am actually covered. Technically. At a low level. After a waiting period so they can rip me off first. And then watching my premiums skyrocket after the fact. You know.

jeri said...

Did you ever meet Missy who used to come to cooking club? She just had her third baby naturally because an epidural would have been too expensive with their insurance (pretty much the same situation.)

Jenny said...

I for sure wouldn't use Rikki Lake as my natural childbirth mentor. Because she isn't a scholar and while she has value and merit, holy false info peppered in.

Do it naturally and use the $ for something more awesome, but still have the fund ready, but take a class. I took a awesome class, and everyone raves about hypnobirthing.

Ellen said...

epidural all the way, baby. you won't be thinking: "i could be in europe right now!" when you're lying on the delivery table in agonizing pain. instead you'll be saying:"i'm glad i'm having an enjoyable delivery with meds, i'll get to europe another day." ;)

AzĂșcar said...

I hated, HATED my epidural and you can't make me get another one ever.

I'd go to Europe. $2,000 is enough for two tickets to Europe plus a few nights of hotels (go during the off-season, any time between September and May.)

Stupid epidurals. Hate them.

brinestone said...

I posted about epidurals vs. natural last time, so I'll spare you this time. But I just wanted to say that it ultimately will come down to, "Would I rather have an epidural or . . . ?" $2000 sounds like a lot, but if you think in terms of opportunity cost (which it sounds like you're doing), it starts sounding less significant (maybe, if you're not me and actually have $2000 to spend, hahaha). Also, Kristeee's experience sounds eerily like my own, except I didn't have an episiotomy with my first.

Jen Davies, MA, CDP said...

I would pay $2000 to not suffer during childbirth. I would find a way to fit that into the family budget.

Tori said...

I made it to a 5 before I had my epidural and wanted to fact I may have said "if I were a pioneer I would rather die on the side of the road" ha ha

2000 dollars is worth my comfort

Shannon said...

Our 2nd baby came in August, and in June we thought we'd have no insurance. That's when I learned how freaking expensive everything is out of pocket. But also how there's "insurance prices" and then "super secret regular prices"--which are less than what they would charge your insurance company. So look into that. My friend got a great discount at the hospital after delivery by paying for everything in cash before they left.

I studied hypnobirthing and had two natural deliveries. They were both different experiences. I vote for doing whatever feels good to you and makes the most sense for your situation. I loved the fast recovery from having no drugs hindering my body afterward, and my baby was alert and quick to catch onto breastfeeding. However, my second delivery was the worst pain I ever felt and hope to feel. My first delivery was more manageable. In retrospect, it's temporary, and the reward is so good. However at the time I wished many times (like every contraction) that the labor part was already over. It was hard. I'm undecided about what to do next time, whether to get the epidural or not.

annily said...

watch 'the business of being born.' it's on instant play on netflix and it's seriously fascinating (and faster than reading that whole book). and i'm with azucar....never again with the epidurals for way. i say buy 4 ipads to distract you during labor! :)

noelle said...

Not sure I'll have a choice about epidural or c-section, but I've been doing the hypnobabies and really like it. Looked at hypnobirthing but it didn't suit my situation as well. There's still the TENS machine that is widely used in the UK if you want inexpensive pain relief, and they often do gas & air as well, check if that is an option for you. In your situation, I'd use the 2000 and come to Europe, you're welcome to stay here :)