Wednesday, February 2, 2011

24 weeks

I'm about to get on my soapbox, so beware.  This post is really more a therapy session for sorry if it's long and makes no sense what so ever. 

You know when you have one of those moments where something happens and all of the sudden daily annoyances of life, all the stress of the previous month, and any other negative feelings that you can otherwise dismiss come flooding out through every pore of your body.  I categorize these moments into 'emotional meltdowns' or 'complete breakdowns'.  An 'emotional meltdown' is like {for example} when you're driving home from dinner and you start thinking about the day you have to go back to work after being on maternity leave for 4 months with your sweet baby girl.  You have to drop off your infant love with a total stranger and go to work and actually function knowing she is in the care of some random.  Before you know it, you're driving down the road, tears streaming down your eyes.  Emotional breakdowns are mainly in your head...when you think too much.  They're quick and over in minutes.  When you stub your toe and scream an expletive as loud as you can and then you're fine...that's emotional.

Now, a 'complete breakdown' is what I experienced today.  It strums up emotions from a dark place.  They can ruin an entire day...not only yours, but anyone else you come in contact with. 

I had my 24 week doctor's appointment this morning.  At my last docor's appointment I was told that I only had to pay $90 for our "birth plan" which would cover our deductible and the birth of the baby.  Thank god.  We have shelled out $1500 WITH INSURANCE so far, so to know we only had $90 left {plus 20% of any hospital bills} was reassuring.  At the beginning of the year, I changed my $60/mo cheapo insurance plan to the mack daddy $150/mo insurance plan because I was getting tired of the bills rolling in of things the insurance company didn't cover. 

It also must be said on a side note that I do not care for going to the doctor's.  I don't ever feel confident that they know what in the hell they're talking about.  I think they care equally that you are a paying patient with a job and insurance as  they care for your health.  I feel like Americana's with insurance and a job pay for the others that don't.  I know that is probably a horrible outlook, but I just really cannot stand anything related to healthcare.  I avoid doctor's like the plague. {I could write an entire other post on my views regarding this issue, but I'll spare you}

So, I stroll in totally prepared for my 30 minute wait because god for bid they actually call you back even remotely close to your appointment time.  I have my magazine and I'm ready to pay my last $90 and be done with the 'baby bills' for a couple of months.  I hear my name.  Go up to the counter.  "Six hundred and fifty nine dollars".  I just stare at her and start to look behind me like "who are you talking to?".  "What?" I say.  "You have $675 more dollars on your birth contract and you're insurance denied another $300 something dollars worth of previous visits, blood work, etc, so you're portion today is $659".  I calmly say "at my last appointment, the chick confirmed that I only had $90 more to pay".  I start crying.  "No, blah, blah, blah".  I can't even focus on what this woman in front of me is saying. I'm sobbing and shaking and so mad that I could literally pick up the sign-in clipboard and smash it against the side of this girl's face.  I'm trying not to make a scene since all of this is happening at the check in counter with a jam packed waiting room, so I calmy just say "I understand that you've checked all of this out with my insurance company and I owe the money, but do you understand why I'm livid that I was expecting to pay $90 and now you tell me I owe $659 with no notice?  Can you please call me next time there is that much of a difference in what you tell me I owe so I have a little time to prepare".  Get this- the girl behind the counter goes "what is the limit that you want us to call you if it differs?" in her most annoyed voice.  {I'm still crying and I can feel the heat radiating off of my face}.  "If you tell me I have to pay $90 and you figure out that it is actually $90.50, I want you to call me!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I look at her like she is quite possibly the most ignorant person I've ever come in contact with.  Then I sling my credit card on the counter. 

As I sit there waiting to be called back, I can feel my complete breakdown coming on.  I start thinking about my hatred for the heathcare system.  I run through my long ass list of things I need to do now, during, and after the baby is here.  I think about work.  It all hits me at once.  They call me back. 

It is the appointment where you have to drink that sweet drink to see if you have diabetes.  {it really isn't that bad at all}  The nurse asked me to sign a paper for my HIV test.  I tell her I just had an HIV test.  She said she knew, but that there is the option to get another one now.  AM I BEING PUNKED?!?!?  I'm freaking married and pregnant.  Why in god's name would I need two HIV tests in a matter of 3 months?!?!?  Could it POSSIBLY BE because it costs money and you can bill my insurance company.  NO, I declined the test. 

Back in the waiting area, I hear my name being called again.  I'm ready for a fight.  I whip my head around and this lady is talking about education on cord blood banking.  I watch some videos on the amazing healing powers of banking your kid's cord blood.  Of course, why wouldn't I want to do this.  Then she tells me about the costs.  I was done.  I just asked her if we could discuss this another time.  I knew if I went into it, I would surely regret my words, actions, or both. 

Finally, I made it out.  I got in my car and bawled.  I call Drew.  I cuss and scream and tell him what a crock of poo I think the whole morning has been.  He says he's sorry.  I yell at him that I'm overwhelmed and that I need his help.  Somehow in that moment, it was partially his fault that I had a rotten morning.  I'm still not sure how.  I got home and he was still home.  Normally, I would be elated and soak up every second he is with me.  I walked right past him and went inside.  I knew he was confused and I felt a little guilty, but I just wanted to get inside and not "talk about it".  I walked inside and the house was a mess {we are in the middle of doing so many house projects that there is crap everywhere}.  In the kitchen was a full sink of dishes and one that Drew used this morning freshly soiled on the counter.  I screamed at the top of my lungs, burst into tears, and picked up the plate and slammed it into the sink {it was plastic}.  I just stood in the kitchen for the next couple of seconds fuming about that dirty plate screaming cuss words so loud that every vein in my neck was bulging and I was starting to sweat. 

Then like a blanket suffocating me, every "issue" I've come across in the past month+ came to the surface.  Some as small as wearing the same pair of ill fitting black faded maternity pants 4 days a week and others like finding a childcare service I feel comfortable with that doesn't cost more than my monthly mortgage.   

I continued to have a crappy day wishing I could call into work and just say "I really can't do it today.  I cannot emotionally handle work today", but I sucked it up and went to my afternoon full of meetings. 

I feel better now, but I still feel like as a working wife and mother, we are expected to do so much.  I think it's easy to get overwhelemed and fear that it will just get worse when my newborn baby gets here.  I'm going to make a conscience effort in the next couple of months to come up with a plan for balance.  I'll share my journey with you...

Any ideas on balancing all of the struggles of being a working mom who's husband works alot would be great!  Is there anything you guys have found to make your lives easier and more peaceful? 

Happy Hump Day,


  1. Girl, I completely feel you!!! Only at least you have a job to go back to; I'm applying/ trying to find one at the moment and am about to shoot myself in the foot. I have been home for 4+ months now and need some human interaction.

    I'm almost glad I never made it to 36 weekd so I never had to visit the doctor every WEEK. I would have gone crazy....

    I know how you are an absolute ball of emotions right right now I'm ready to get out of the house and work, but the second I do and have to take Shelby to a sitters house for the day, I know I will bawl my eyes out...we just can't win!

    One thing Chris and I started about 6 months before Shelby was born (and you may do this already) is that we have a designated 'date night' every week. Ours is usually ever since she started going to bed by 7p.m., things have changed some and 'date night' has ended up at home instead of El Ran. But we really try our hardest to make sure it happens every week...its SO important for you and Drew to have that time, before and after Annie arrives...I can't stress it enough. If I can think of anything else, I'll share!

    Hope your week improves! :) Hang in there!!

  2. I am not sure there is a balance. I know, I am not one to dish out advice on balancing work and parenthood (since I stay at home), but most of my friends who are moms do work. They are constantly asking and trying to find the balance. I think it is important to prioritize your life. I am sure Drew and your daughter are at the top and work is at the bottom. I know you must work, but take time to realize, that there are other things a lot higher on your list than work. Believe it or not, but Shawn struggles with this as well. He is the hugest family man, and from the moment we got married he begged for kids. He wanted to be a dad so bad. But he is constantly struggling to find the balance. Most weeks are crazy, but we can always depend on Sunday. We wake up, eat breakfast as a family, go to church and just hand it all over to God. Sundays always bring it back into perspective for us, and it really helps shawn focus his priorities for the upcoming week (God 1st, Wife 2nd, Child 3rd, .........Then work)

    Sorry you had a rough day. I used to have crazy meltdowns as well. Men will never fully understand how hard it is to be pregnant.

    The 1 tip I can give is to try and get into a routine with the baby. Who will cook dinner? Who will give baths? Who will read bedtime stories? Who will clean kitchen? Divide these up between you and Drew so that each night is predictable. You know what you have to do and Drew knows what he has to do. If you give the bath while the other is cooking, and bedtime stories are read while the other is cleaning the kitchen, by the time you put your daughter to bed, you can try and relax and enjoy each other.

    Being a parent is no easy ride. The work never gets done (and I'm home all day!) But there is nothing more calming than holding the greatest love of your life in your arms..... even if the sink is full of dirty dishes!

  3. hey sweetie!

    I am so sorry that you are going through all of this...and I'm sure that it's amplified due to all of the pregnancy hormones! I loved reading this and if I had something like this to help calm me while I was pregnant, I think Christopher may have liked me more... ;)

    First, I would like to touch on all of those crazy insurance things. Does Drew have ins.? If he does, you could use his as a secondary which could pick up the difference. Also, look at your explanation of benefits, they may not be allowed to bill you for charges that the insurance company doesn't allow; it has something to do with their maximum allowable, and providers aren't suppose to balance bill you. Your explanation of benefits should show you what they are billing your insurance company for and what your insurance company will actually cover; they may be charging them for things that you didn't get or that you already paid for. It will also have a phone number on it so you can call the insurance company and ask them what's right and wrong about what the Dr.'s office is doing. Make sure to go through those EOB's that the insurance company should be sending you with a fine tooth comb...remember there is so much fraud out there that you don't want to be a victim. I understand that this only adds to your laundry list of "todo's", but it may help you out in the long run and save you some money in the meantime. Another thing, you may be able to appeal their decision and get your money back, there is always a possibility that they did not fix your plan to the mack daddy plan from when you swtiched from the el cheapo one. Also, the Dr.'s office may be billing things in groups and not coding them properly so everything gets denied when only one part should have gotten denied. You would be able to see that on the EOB as well.

    Breakdowns will happen and sometimes you can learn from them! I can not stress enough that working is not "me" need to set aside time just for yourself...even if it's at 2 am! You need that time to reflect on everything! You should also make sure that you set aside time for you and Drew, even if you don't really like him at the will give you the opportunity to tell him how you are feeling and where he may or may not be slacking in any area of will also allow him to tell you how he is feeling and how he may feel that you might be slacking or overachieving in some areas of life. We get so caught up in ourselves and think that we can do it all, and then one little thing happens and it's going to be Drew's fault no matter what, and sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. You have to make sure that before she comes you guys sit down and hash everything out so both of you know where the other stands on certain issues that might come up. Like if you feel that the household projects are falling behind because he is not helping you enough, or he feels like you aren't communicating your needs effectively enough; you guys can get all of that out and try to work on how to get those issues resolved before the baby gets here....she is only going to add to the stress and you two have to be able to effectively communicate your needs to each other. Christopher and I have had countless run-ins with each other because we weren't talking to each other and just assuming that we knew what the other was thinking and then when it wasn't right, it became a huge issue when it shouldn't have been. It will be hard to listen and sometimes what you are hearing is not what you want to hear at all, but you just have to take a step back and take it all in and try to learn something from the conversation.
    Lastly, try not to focus on things that you can't control, and try your hardest to stay positive and know that you are doing a great job and a meltdown every now and then, is ok.