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.