Tuesday, April 8, 2008

We're Covered!

I found out last week that the girls and I have been approved for the State's Medicaid program! As a pregnant woman, I'll be covered for a certain length of time after the baby is born, and the kids will be covered until Hubby finds a job with benefits. Working at the store all last week kind of made it hard to make some calls to local Ob/Gyns and finally, today, the husband and I have been on the phone all morning and afternoon.

You'd think that it would be easy to find someone willing to take on a 6 1/2 months pregnant woman. Not so.

First, I called a local doctor's office that's about 18 miles from where we are. A pretty drive, winding through curvy roads and past forests, pastures and country houses. Turns out, if they were to take me on as a patient, I would have to give birth in a hospital that is more than 50 miles away on more winding and curvy roads. Not something I am willing to do-- driving over an hour while having contractions and 3 small children along for the ride. I declined and started calling offices across the border in Virginia.

What I really want is to have a home birth. Of the 3 births I had, the last one at home was the most favorable and the most memorable and I bounced back quickly after the birth. The problem is, with no money, we can't afford to pay for a mid-wife and it seems kind of ironic if I got medicaid that will pay for the medical bills at a hospital and not use it. I'm torn! I really want a home birth, but our funds just don't permit it. What we will do instead, is stand our ground at the hospital and make sure that we have a calm and as natural birth as possible without an epidural being forced on me.

We must have called between 10 and 15 offices today, inquiring if they accepted Medicaid and new patients. About a third said they were either not taking medicaid and/or new patients. Another third refused to take me on because I was too far along or because I have had no pre-natal care. One of the offices that was affiliated with another doctor we called, said that there was a note in the computer not to take me on as a patient because of conflicting information on my medicaid and my lack of pre-natal care! By this point, Hubby was getting worked up and I was getting frustrated and near tears at the lack of compassion for a 6 1/2 months pregnant woman!

I wanted to grab the phone and start spewing out cuss words and really let 'em have it! Look people-- I am sorry that my husband does not have a job which means we do not have any insurance and we had planned to have a home birth. Then along comes medicaid and all of a sudden, we have the means to get pre-natal care and check-ups with ultra sounds. What is supposed to make our lives easier is sort of making it into a hell. Just because we have not had any pre-natal care does not mean that we have been doing anything wrong. I eat right, I take my pre-natal vitamins, I exercise and don't do any heavy lifting or extended periods of stressful activities. This being my 4th, I think I have a bit of experience by now! Not to say that nothing could go wrong, it could-- I'm just trying to say that we weren't being ignorant about this pregnancy, we just didn't have the means to see a doctor about it.

Then the phone rang, and it was one of the doctor's offices that we called earlier. The secretary was calling to say that they will take me on as a new patient and I have an appointment with them next week! Finally! A load has been lifted off my shoulders and the world is looking a little brighter now. Hopefully the doctor is nice and I like her and she is as easy-going as the mid-wife was. The hospital that I will be going to, when it comes time for the birth, is 32 miles away in Virginia. Much closer than the one in West Virginia. Plus, if we end up taking the girls along, it would be much easier for the in-laws to find the hospital (and us) and keep the girls busy while I huff and puff and push the baby out.

I'm looking forward to an ultra-sound, to see that the baby is alright, to get checked out and make sure my iron levels are fine (I have had a history of low iron) and no other problems that are age-related. An ultra-sound will also confirm the due date when they can measure the size of the baby and will ease my troubled mind to have a more accurate due date. And of course, I want to know the sex of the baby. We will probably keep mum about it and let it be a surprise to friends and family, which means I cannot post it here, because friends and family read this, too! Anyway, it's a relief to know that the baby and I will be getting medical check-ups, even if it isn't with the mid-wife I want and the birth won't be at home. Beggars can't be choosy and I would rather make the best of what I have.


barefoot gardener said...

Oh, I am so happy to hear that you and the girls are insured! I will be looking forward to hearing that the new baby is beautiful and healthy and that everything is going fine with the pregnancy.

I know what you mean about dr.s being a pain about taking new patients and/or Medicaid patients. I went through a similar round of phone calls years ago with dentists (and I had an abscess and swelled face so that I could barely talk into the bargain). I don't understand what their issue is about you being so far along, though. Heck, I have a girlfriend who usually doesn't even KNOW she is pregnant until she is 6 or 7 months along!!!

I will be hoping that your doc is willing to let you give birth in the manner that is most comfortable for you. I know that most of the docs I have talked to have been very willing to let me do things my way, but I am several states away from you and I know that makes a difference.

Best of luck, darlin'!!!

jenny said...

Barefoot-- I would have thought that the doctors wouldn't care if the patient was on medicaid or not, I mean, who cares where the money comes from, as long as they get paid, right? And as for me being so far along, I don't understand that either.. But honestly, thats what I was told when I called through the relay operator. Kind of surprised me.

With my first 2 babies, the doctor I had was really laid back, it was the nurses that kept pushing the epidural and the IVs and suggesting to break my water etc etc.. It was very overwhelming the first time and it was better the 2nd time, but after experiencing #3 at home, I can look back at #1 and #2 and get nervous about going back to the hospital again. I'll have Hubby by my side and he'll support me and tell the bad old nurses to back off if he needs to. Wait and see...

I'm just glad to have the insurance, cause you never know!

Wendy said...

Yay! on finding a doctor to take you and on getting Medicaid. Having a baby is expensive, and it is a relief to know that "things" are progressing the way they should.

If it makes you feel any better, my first pregnancy, I was more than five months before I found an OB. My fourth pregnancy, I bounced around looking for a doctor and finally found one at about seven months along. My last pregnancy, I went to my regular doctor, and found out she couldn't deliver VBACs at the hospital anymore, switched to an OB, but really wanted a homebirth, and finally found a homebirth midwife at around six months. So, you're not the only one ;). It can be a pain in the butt to find a good doctor!

Lantana said...

Dear Jenny, 4th babies come rapidly! Being that you are 30+ miles from the hospital, I am wondering if the doctor would be willing to plan for an induced birth? I barely made it to the hospital with my fourth child, so be aware!

It sounds like some of your concerns have been taken care of. I always search Extra for your posts. You have a great attitude and you are not afraid, that is what I admire about you.

You mean we here at "DR" have to wait to know the sex of your baby? No fair! We all want to contribute, so in this case, I guess yellow or white or baby green will be safe.

Let us know how we can send you things. Do you have a P.O. Box? A Blackberry? There must be a way!

Why can't your husband work for the Post Office in your area? Or is that NOB? Anyway, glad you are doing fine and have had some relief where insurance is involved

In Washington State (where I am from) ALL CHILDREN have medical insurance. Period. Be sure and do your homework, there are loopholes out there!

Hugs, Lantana

Lisa C. said...

m SOOO glad that youy and your girls are covered with medicaid. Its better than nother. Having babies is very expective in these days. I nearly fainted when my young friend told the total $$$$.
Make sure your hubby is trained so he will know how to deliver your baby when you are on the way to the hospital!!(chuckle) I agree with Lantan about having a baby on the way. I'm a third child and my mom nearly had me in the elevator at the hospital! Be aware!

D-HOR said...

OH Jenny, I'm just so happy that you're covered! I know it's not exactly what you'd like but you've got the right attitude :) Just thank goodness you won't have to pay, WHEW! :) And we can't know the SEX??? Awwwwwwww How am I going to knit booties?? Ok so I can't knit, but dang! :P Ah, it's a boy anyways, I think I pychic-ed that for you months ago. :P

Barbara said...

Good news re the medicaid and finding a doctor. You know here in the UK we have free health care and I just cannot imagine the anxiety associated with having to pay for check ups.
I enjoyed the post about your thoughts wandering in the car. We drove 3 hours yesterday and it was kind of fun just to sit and be quiet thinking about this and that.

jenny said...

Wendy-- We found the midwife for Youngest when I was 7 months along. We kept thinking that Hubby would find a job with benefits and then we realized it wasn't happening and got on the ball quick to get a midwife. We still had savings then, so it was not a problem to pay her.

Lantana-- That is one of my concerns, the labor going quickly. It took me 3 hours with Youngest and I wouldn't be surprised if it was faster with this one. That's partly why I want a homebirth, because then I don't have to worry about going anywhere. I'd rather not have an induced birth. Ive been through that and it was hard on me and Oldest. We will just take things as they happen and hope for the best! :o)

jenny said...

Lisa-- Almost had a baby in the elevator?!? yikes!! My cousin had her last 2 babies on the floor at her home. Never had time to make it to the hospital! I think Hubby could do it himself if it came to that, but he isn't enthusiastic about it and says we will make it to the hospital on time. He doesn't do very well when it comes to bloody situations!

Dhor-- Oh, you can wait until June when the baby pops out!! I would post it, except news carries fast in the "deaf world" and the last thing I want is for the news to get back to family and then it is no longer a surprise! :o)

jenny said...

Barbara-- I didn't realize the UK provides health insurance for the people there. Must be nice not having to worry about that! People here either go without or go into debt if they don't have it. Quite common to see fundraiser dinners to help pay for a family's medical bills.