there’s no place like home

Monday, September 16th. We walked in the door from going out to dinner with my mom for her birthday. Cas grabbed the mail on his way in and dropped it on the dining room table. I saw an envelope from Quest Diagnostics, addressed to myself. I have been receiving miscellaneous bills since my first OB appointment so I thought “Great. Here’s another one.” I opened the bill, $445.28. I immediately said “what the hell is this for?” I originally thought it was for the prenatal blood work I had done a few months before. Then I googled the ICD code that was billed and it was for Cystic Fibrosis screening.

Flash back two months before, I was sitting at my OB appointment, arguing with the doctor about why I did not want the CF screening or any genetic testing at that. He made me feel pressured. As if I had to have it done, and if I didn’t I was making a poor decision. I still held my ground and said no. I did agree to the routine prenatal bloodwork and the following week I went to the laboratory to get drawn for it. That day I noticed on the paperwork the doctor still wrote an order for CF screening. I asked the phlebotomist not to draw blood for that, she was hesitant and said she had to draw for what the orders were for. At that point, I was tired of explaining myself so I said “ok, whatever, just do it”.

Now back to that Monday night. A $445.28 bill that I am responsible for, for a screening I didn’t even want.

My insurance plan has a $7,500 individual deductible, $13,000 family deductible and it pays just about nothing until that is met. So between my bill and the bills for the baby we would probably be looking at a $10,000+ bill for a hospital birth.

The next morning I started looking into switching my insurance plan. Come to find out, in order for me to get a plan where I have a $3,000 or less deductible I will be looking at a $600-800 monthly premium. AND I would still have a coinsurance once the deductible is met.

Cas and I started braining storming how we could make that work.

I was standing in the kitchen, Cas was cooking Mavericks breakfast, and I thought “what the f%#* are we doing?” Are we seriously contemplating spending nearly $10,000 a year on insurance so we can have our baby at the hospital.

When I delivered Mav at the hospital I didn’t have a terrible experience but I didn’t have a wonderful experience either. I hate to use the dramatic wording but I felt neglected. They did not respect me, they did not listen to me, I was just another number on their census.

Now, I don’t say this to dog hospitals or medical care. I work in healthcare, and fully respect medicine, and the individuals who work in it. Im just voicing my feelings on my particular experience.

The thought of paying that amount of money for that experience again, (which things already seem to be trending that way), I can not fathom.

I started thinking of my other options, maybe I could pay self-pay. We all know you get a huge discount when you don’t have insurance. I called the billing department at the hospital to see if they could give me a self-pay estimate cost. For starters, they tell me if I have insurance it is illegal for them not to bill it. Second, they tell me the estimated self-pay price for an uncomplicated, non-medicated delivery would be $5606.

Ok…so that’s an option. But then I’d have to cancel my insurance, the kids would have to get on Cas’ plan and we’d have to just pray nothing bad happens to me.

There was always a thought in the back of my mind, that I even joked about on IG the night I got that bill.

A home birth.

A home birth is not something that I have EVER considered for myself. In fact, I have been totally against it.

However, If anyone could be a good candidate for a home birth, it’s me. I went full term with Maverick, my water broke before my due date, and I had him in my arms 45 minutes later. The nurse barely had time to get an IV in me, much less pump me with labor drugs. I appreciate the fact that had something gone wrong I had all of the right people there to take care of us, but they didn’t need to do a thing for us, and typically, second time moms birth even easier.

The past few weeks I began looking into home birth more. I talked to a few girls I know who have had home births, went to an information night at the birthing center, and had an extensive discussion with my mother-in-law, who happens to be a midwife. I watched documentaries, listened to podcasts, and read articles.

It became very apparent that I have been so innocently ignorant about the whole process, and pretty quickly all my original thoughts changed.

So here I am, at 20 weeks. I am making the decision to transition from a hospital birth to a home birth.

It’s still hard to envision myself going through with this and I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% ready. But I can say I’m ready and confident enough to know that this is the best and right decision to make for our family.

I am very excited to share this journey, and hope that I can educate other moms on what I learn throughout my experience. I know if I had been educated sooner it would have changed a few things in the past.

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