Insurance AGAIN.

Yet again, the insurance company/doctor has made me furious.  I’ve written before a bit about how our insurance has been incorrect since we switched (October 1st), and YET AGAIN we have to deal with the fall out from the mistake from the doctor’s office.  In short, my midwife’s office incorrectly billed my insurance listing our NY insurance as my primary and our AL insurance as my secondary after the date of change.  From that one mistake I have had nothing but problems, as it took 30 days from the time we caught the error to correct it, and then an additional few days for the claims that were denied in that period to be retroactively paid.  I finally took care of it, and the claims were finally paid (despite lots and LOTS of denial and sarcasm from the midwife’s office).

So that’s old news, right?  I’ve made my peace with it now, and I look forward to that 6-week postpartum appointment when I will tell the midwife and the billing woman why, exactly, I’ll never be a patient there again.  Well, yesterday I got a call from Hazel’s doctor telling us to pick up another form for blood work.  As it turns out, the lab screwed up her blood specimen (we’re testing her for lead, since we rent this old house), and so we have to go have her blood taken again.  When I got home with this news, Amos told me that he’d received a paper from the insurance company saying that they’ve denied Hazel’s well-baby visit claim until her primary insurance makes a payment.  W.  T.  F.  Apparently, when the midwife incorrectly filed the claim, the insurance company RECORDED US ALL AS BEING COVERED BY ANOTHER PRIMARY INSURANCE COMPANY.  So, as of yesterday the 30-day countdown begins for Amos and Hazel to have corrected insurance information, and then after that sometime the doctor will get paid, and in the meantime we have to look like idiots.

Alabama, I wanted to move back here, but you are making it very difficult for me to maintain a normal blood pressure.


Hazel Update

Um, no, I haven't forgotten my firstborn!  These past few weeks, really since I was pregnant but before we knew I was, I have been so exhausted that the blog has fallen behind a bit.  All you silent but loyal readers are familiar with this phenomenon from me 🙂

I took this video this morning.  Hazel has become very interested in books – us reading them to her many times a day, and her reading them to us as well.  Here's a quick peek at her reading us a nursery rhyme book this morning:
You might notice how red this video is…sadly, this house doesn't get the same intense natural light as our apartment in New York.  The whole central AC thing is a nice trade-off, though.  
A friend of mine from high school recently studied and became a photographer, and seeing her pictures online has made me want to get my "big" camera out again.  Seriously, between school and moving and normal family stuff I haven't used that camera in months.  That's WEEKS X WEEKS people!  I like these little pictures I get from my tiny, very lightweight point & shoot, but I admit to always being bothered by the high red saturation, the blurriness, etc.  Yeah – I'm definitely getting out a bigger lens soon.  This weekend will be a great opportunity, since I found a farmer's market in Madison, about 25 minutes away from us.  I'm going to check it out this weekend, and hopefully every weekend until October!
In other news, I believe I have found an OB for this new baby (and, you know, for me after ol' Catfish is born – yes, we're calling the baby Catfish until we figure out if it is a boy or a girl, so be prepared to hear that nickname for at least 5 months!).  I was truly dismayed this morning to find out that there were only two – MALE – OB's in all of Athens.  You guys know me…do you think I'd want a dude messing with my lady parts during their most trying time?  Not so much!  So my hormones got a hold of me, and I might have said the F word a few times, but then I calmed down quite suddenly (thanks estrogen and progesterone!) and called the dude.  Turns out he has a female nurse practitioner, who is his wife, and a – wait for it – certified NURSE MIDWIFE who also work with him!!!  I felt like I had won a small lottery!  Then, when I made the appointment for next Monday and found out that the midwife would be covered by our insurance through the OB-GYN's practice, I felt like we'd won the Powerball!  I'm so excited about this.  I hope she doesn't suck.  I'll keep y'all updated; until then I'm just working on my poetry skills, which class is turning out to be super fun and kind of easy, and trying not to get too nauseated every time I see food, or smell food, or think of it, or someone else talks about it.

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Well Baby

Today I took Hazel to her 6th month well baby check-up (ok I know she's almost 7 months, but somehow we got off schedule).  She is, of course, doing just fine.  My baby now is 26.5 inches long and weighs 18 lbs.  Her growth has slowed just a tad; she's now somewhere in between the 50th and 60th percentile for weight and height.  Overall, her visit went normally and well, although I'm happy we don't have to see this doctor all the time.  

Our regular doctor is on maternity leave right now, so for this check-up we were referred to another doctor that is affiliated with the same hospital.  This woman was nice enough, but it was pretty clear that she wasn't listening to anything I said.  For example, when we were talking about what food Hazel eats, I mentioned that she is also drinking from the sippy cup.  The doctor responded with, "oh good, she's trying that already?"  Um no, she isn't trying – she drinks from it with every meal.  It was like that when I said she could flip over both ways and crawl.  Also, both she and the nurse (separately) seemed confused or something when I said that we make her baby food.  The nurse asked me what she eats, and when I started naming the vegetables she got a vague expression on her face and asked how many stage 1 jars she eats a day.  When I said that I couldn't quantify it that way, since we make everything, she said, "I'll just write down 'veggies' then."  What?  Whatever!

The kicker, though, came near the end.  I mentioned that Hazel seems to be having a difficult time pooping (sorry, TMI warning!) though she's not constipated.  The doctor suggested I put corn syrup into her food.  Corn syrup – the sugary, nasty, refined, fake sugar that's in Cokes and Little Debbies and junk like that.  What. The. F***.  She was serious, too, you guys.  What a doofus!

Here are a few photos we took before Hazel went to Dr. Weirdo:

She can totally drink from a sippy cup.She's going to eat the camera!!Playing with a new toy (thanks Nana & Papaw!)Almost 7 monthsAlmost 7 months

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The Verdict: Innocent

Yep, the pediatric cardiologist declared Hazel's problem to be an "innocent murmur."  He said that what we were really hearing was the blood in her lungs rushing about, something like that, and that everything would be normal and regulated by about 6 months.  I am so relieved; I was definitely worried, no matter what kind words people had to pass on to us.  The doctor was really nice, too, which was awesome.

Since baby girl was okay and we were in Syracuse, we hit up the mall together!  Let me tell you, it was way harder than I thought it would be.  This is the first time I've used the stroller by myself; Amos and I have used it a total of three times.  Getting it in and out of the trunk was a major struggle, way harder than it looks.  That thing must weigh 25 or 30 lbs!!  Add a freezing rain to that, plus me in a dress, and I'm sure you can imagine what choice four-letter words crossed these lips.  That I kind of expected; having a hard time once in the mall was kind of a surprise.  I never thought about having to always find an elevator, not an escalator.  I scraped my knuckles a couple of times trying to get into the bathroom with a heavy wooden door bearing down on us, and in Steve & Barry I gave a sales associate crazy face when she opened a regular-size dressing room for us.  Naw, holmes, I wanted to say, we need to super-size it.  In H&M I even just blocked off the door to the last dressing room with her stroller and changed with the door open (at 10 am, with a newly-opened and subsequently empty mall this is possible).  Also I did maybe seven accidental wheelies because of the pile of clothes riding on the handlebar.  Note to self:  don't try on a pile of clothes that weighs more than she does.

Summary – driving a stroller is really tricky!  I thought it just meant that you had a cup holder and an easy place to put your lip gloss.  Today I felt like a 15-year-old doing a school project about not getting pregnant; you know, where you carry around a bag of flour and pretend to feed it, except I was driving through a obstacle course with one hand on the stroller and the other holding a 10 lb. bag of flour that really pooped and screamed and breastfed in the food court.  All these little adventures are shocking; not maddening or upsetting, but I'm always surprised that those things aren't what I thought they would be.  

More photos to come, also!  I have slowed down a bit on taking pictures, but promise that I'll have some new ones very soon.

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Another Week Already?

Before I had Hazel staying at home, not working or doing too much of anything, drove me to unspeakable acts.  I was so worried that I would be bored at home with her, and that is sometimes true, at least while she is still so young.  Yet the time seems to fly by, and I can't believe my baby is 5 and half weeks old already!  We took her in for a check-up on Monday and she is growing like crazy.  She's at the 75% for height and is gaining weight appropriately to match, weighing in at 9 lbs 11 oz.  

Not everything was perfect, though.  She was sound asleep at the appointment, so the doctor got a really great listen to her heartbeat and noticed a murmur.  The two of us are headed to Syracuse tomorrow to a pediatric cardiologist to get it thoroughly checked out.  We have to be there at 8 am, which means Amos will be dropped off at work at an awesome 6 am.  I am worried, even though everyone and their momma has assured me most of the time it's either temporary, as in will close up on its own, or minor.  Still, I think it's having to go to a "pediatric cardiologist" that makes it freaky; someone so small shouldn't have to see such a serious doctor (say that 5 times fast!).

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I am sick of the doctor.

We went in today for a non-stress test and a check-up.  Everything is fine with the baby; her heart rate is normal, she's still up kind of high but apparently nothing to stress over.  I am not dilated whatsoever but have effaced about as much as possible, so there you go.  What I am not thrilled about is talking inducement.  I really, really, REALLY  do not want to be induced or use any kind of hurry-it-up measures.  Also I feel like this is getting serious so quickly – I mean, I'm only one day overdue, and I thought the due date was a guess anyways!!  I'm perfectly happy to wait another two weeks.  I'm bored, impatient, but don't feel sick or even that uncomfortable.  Sure, I want the swelling to go away (did I mention that I am also retaining water in my torso, not just extremities???), I want to bend over, I want to wear my shoes and work out again, but I am absolutely fine with hanging out until she makes the first move.  This pregnancy has been a total breeze, with really no complications or even concerns, so I think she's fine but just taking her time.  

And so, to help keep me in good spirits, here's a list of Why I'm Still Happy to be Pregnant:

1.  Eating for two is still awesome and delicious.
2.  Amos is still willing to run out for a diet cream soda whenever I want him to.
3.  My maternity clothes aren't all crappy looking, so I can still look pretty decent.
4.  Getting traffic to stop so I can cross the street is easier than ever.
5.  I can still take naps and sleep 10 hours a night at the same time.
6.  I'm getting a lot of Christmas knitting out of the way!

Ok so it's a short list, but those are some high-quality items!  Especially #1.  And #5, since I seem to be either hungry or sleepy or both all day, everyday.  Speaking of, I conned Amos into making pizza again tonight, and into making it obscenely early at 5.30, so maybe I should go see if he needs any help with that in the kitchen…

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Baby Update!

I had another check-up today.  I'm going once a week now, and these visits are picking up in exciting news.  For months it's been like a revolving door with me; seriously, I'm in and out in the span of 15 minutes.  Now I go and we get to check on all this exciting stuff, seeing where she's at and having her kick at the nurses' hands!

Unfortunately I don't have any excitement from this visit, though.  My cervix is soft, but closed, and the baby's still at station -5.  For those of you who don't know, and really who knows about that except preggo's or women who have had kids, station refers to where the baby's head is in relation to my bony pelvis.  The scale goes from -5 being at the very top, to 0 when labor usually starts, to 5, which is when the baby's head crowns right before she's born.  The good news is I get another ultrasound on Monday!!  The doctor wants to check on her size and get a more accurate feel for how low she is.  The OB said she was sure the baby isn't really big, maybe around 6 lbs., but wants to get a better idea.  I personally feel that she's a little small, and of course I'm worried that being a smoker before I knew I was pregnant is affecting her, even though the doctor assured me that's not the case.  I can't help but worry just a bit though!

The good side to being so far away from labor still is that I'm cleared for travel!  Our first anniversary is coming up quickly on July 28th.  I can't believe we will have been married for a year already.  I love Amos and am so excited that we can celebrate our anniversary with something special instead of just staying at home!!  We are planning to spend a weekend in Ithaca, home to Cornell and, I've heard, tons of other awesome stuff.  There are a bunch of cool restaurants and shops on their visitor's website, so I am really looking forward to a change of scenery.  Especially if it involves delicious food and kitschy merchandise!!  :D

I have been doing quite a bit in the business and DIY arenas, also.  I'm not quite ready to talk shop just yet, but expect an update/new post by tomorrow to show off a couple of new crafty things for the baby.

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Last Twenty-Something Week to Post!

I'm at 29 weeks, people, crossing the linea negra to the thirties on Monday!  I can hardly believe it.  Sometimes I feel like she can't get here fast enough, other times I want to delay the pain for ALAP (as long as possible…that should be the new ASAP).  I went to the doctor today and everything is fine.  I don't have gestational diabetes, yay, I gained another mother$&%!ing six pounds, which puts me right around a hot 20 lbs. total, lame.  Next Tuesday I get to have another ultrasound to make sure the placenta is out of the way and just to check up on cutie pie in there.  So new photos next Tuesday!!!  She has gotten so unbelievably active in the past couple of weeks it's amazing.  Amos and I can see her moving in there, which is both weird and cool and earned me the nickname "Ripley" around the house.

My first week of maternity leave couldn't have happened at a better time.  Monday morning I woke up with a sore throat, which quickly escalated into a full-blown upper respiratory infection.  I'm at the runny nose/stuffy ears/stare at you with my mouth open phase.  Tomorrow night I'm supposed to hostess, so I hope I don't look like a zombie then.  That isn't attractive when you're trying to eat dinner, although I don't think I'm contagious, since Amos is untouched by the sickness.

All the house projects I wanted to do have been put on hold, obviously, but next week I'm going to TOWN on her part of the room.  We are so close to having everything done that I can't wait to get it all set up and take some photos.  Oh and I got my hair cut today, nothing drastic, just fixing it up so it can continue to grow longer without looking all choppy weird layers, but seeing as how I've got the zombie face I'll post a photo later.  I LOVE the new hairdresser I used and will use her until the day I die…or actually probably till the day we move.  Anyway I love her!

Sorry for the stream of conciousness post…being kind of stuck in the house/in my brain for the past few days has left me a bit loopy, and Amos won't talk to me anymore since I've made him rotate Junior and Shrek 2 in the DVD all week.  Whatever, both those movies are hilarious!  ;)

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We Have Confirmation

There's really a baby in there!
I know because I heard it.

Its little heart was going about 150 to 160, the nurse said.  So, so fast.  I confess, I was a little worried that we'd get there and she wouldn't hear anything at all.  A little part of me was convinced that there would be no heartbeat and then they'd find out it was a tumor or something.  In the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzenegger, "It's not a tumor."  It was difficult to get to listen, though, because the baby kept moving around in there.  So active already!  😉

Other than that bit of excitement, everything else was fortunately routine.  I don't have the gene for cystic fibrosis, so that's a definite no even if Amos does, bloodwork was fine, no preggo problems, plus I even lost a couple of pounds.  The only thing the doctor said was that I need to drink more water.  I don't know where I'm gonna put it though, I feel like a dang camel!  LOL

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August 13th

I can hardly believe the news, but Amos and I are going to have a baby!!
I am almost eleven weeks and due on August 13th.  I decided to keep a blog about my pregnancy so that my lovely friends & family in other states can keep up with what's going on with us during this awesome, heartburn-riddled time.

So far I've just been a little nauseated at night, really really REALLY tired, and yes, I have to go to the ladies' room quite a bit.  Normal pregnancy stuff I guess!

We go back to the doctor on February 13th, where we will definitely hear the heartbeat, probably get a sonogram, and maybe even find out the sex!  I am so super pumped.  I want a girl, Amos doesn't care, and my friend Leah thinks it's a boy; but for now, we're calling it Trogdor.

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