Hospital Bill

A while back I mentioned that I’d write a post about what it actually costs (at least what it cost me) to have a baby.  It’s taken me a while to collect all the data to write this post because I’m still receiving bills from the hospital, and we’re still trying to figure out what some of these charges are for (currently waiting for the hospital to call us back to explain it).

All in all, I’ve received 9 bills from the hospital – and I’m waiting on one more.

Before insurance:

  • My hospital bill for the delivery and 3 night stay totaled $11,322.93
  • Henry’s hospital bill was $1,713.90
  • Henry’s newborn care and discharge was $310
  • Lactation consultant charge was $172
  • Epidural charge was $2,930.00 (that’s one hell of an hourly rate –  but worth every penny)

All of that totals to: $16,448.83 before insurance

After my insurance kicked in my bill looks something like this:

  • My hospital bill for delivery: $1,456.50
  • Henry’s hospital bill: $285.90
  • Henry’s newborn care: haven’t received an updated bill yet
  • Lactation consultant bill: $37.88
  • Epidural bill: $255.00 (again, worth every penny)

All of that totals to $2035.28 so far

Add in my insurance deductible of $1750, and the $241.44 that was for my midwife and you get a grand total of:

$4,026.72

….and that’s just to have the baby…..

There are definitely charges on here that are suspect, such as a $1200 nursery charge when Henry never spent any time in the nursery.  We’re currently waiting for someone from the hospital to call us back to explain why that’s on there.  I could definitely keep writing to vent about how exorbitant the bill is, but I think that speaks for itself, and honestly I’m lacking the energy to do that.

However much it cost to deliver Henry, I do have to say that it was all worth it because he’s absolutely precious.

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1 Month Well Visit

Today J and I took Henry for his one month well visit to the doctor.  It was fairly uneventful, they weighed him and he’s now 9 lb 5 oz, 20.5 inches long, and his head is 15 inches around.  When the doctor came in we talked about the fact that Henry sounds a little congested, which he told us was perfectly normal.  He said that he might be developing a little bit of a cold, but at this age there’s nothing they can do but let it runs it’s course.  So, we’ll just keep a close eye on Henry to see how he’s feeling.

The pediatrician told us that Henry is measuring in the 13th percentile for height, and the 34th percentile for weight.  Meaning that he’s short and chunky – which for a baby is perfectly normal and healthy.  I have to say that I’m happy that he’s gaining weight; it makes me really happy to know that breast feeding is going well and  that he and I are both doing our jobs.

I asked the pediatrician about Henry’s sleep – or lack there of (we had a rough night last night – and I’ll write about that later).  J and I were told that basically this is what’s expected, but when we put Henry down to sleep we need to make sure that he’s awake when he goes down so that he can learn to put himself to sleep (this is part of the reason that last night was rough).  So, we’re trying to make sure that Henry develops good sleep habits, but it’s difficult and I’m not sure that we’re being successful – I guess we’ll see.

hmm….maybe I’ll let my parents sleep tonight.

Here’s to wishing for a good night of sleep!

 

 

 

Month 1!

Dear Henry –

Today you are one month old!!!  It’s hard to believe that you’ve been around for over 4 weeks already; this time with you is just flying by!  Your dad’s and my life has changed so much in the short time that you’ve been here and it’s hard to imagine life without you in it.  I can’t express to you how happy I am to have you in my life and how overjoyed I am to be your mother.  Every time I look at you I’m overwhelmed with happiness and hope – you really are one of the greatest things to ever happen to my life.

Today not only marks your one month birthday, but it also marks my return to work.  You’re currently sleeping in your carrier on my desk while I try to work, but it’s difficult to work because I keep glancing over to look at you, because let’s face it, you’re adorable.  I’m starting back to work slowly, and I’m working mostly from home (I do have to go into the office a couple times a week to do a few things).  But, it’s nice to have the flexibility to be able to work when you’re sleeping and be able to cuddle and play with you when you’re awake.  Not to mention that I can feed you easier when we’re together all the time and not have to worry if I’ve pumped enough.

At the one month mark you love:

  • Cuddling
  • Sleeping
  • Showers and baths
  • Eating
  • Your swing
  • Looking around at the world
  • Car rides (if your not hungry and/or have a dirty diaper)

And you hate:

  • Having a dirty diaper
  • Having your diaper changed (the irony)
  • Being naked
  • Having lotion put on you
  • Being hungry
  • Being tired
  • And just lately you hate sleeping in your bassinet – although your dad and I are trying (and failing) to rectify that

You and your dad are the loves of my life, and so special to me.  I’m trying to cherish every moment I have with you, because what everyone says “that they grow up so fast,” is so incredibly true.  You’ve changed so much in the short time that you’ve been with us and I can’t wait to see how you continue to grow and change.

He’s too cute for words!!!

I love my boys so much!!

Smile!!

 

Keep growing and remember that I love you oh so much!

– Mom

The Longest Day?

J, Henry and I had a busy day yesterday, and it quickly turned into one of the worst days we’ve had so far.

Our morning and early afternoon went by without a hiccough.  I had an appointment at 2:00 to get the car seat inspected in my car (J’s car had been inspected about a month before this).  J also had a music rehearsal at his school that he needed to be at, so we had our friend Annalisa come over and watch Henry while I was out (I was only away for 20 minutes). This is a time line of what our day was like yesterday, and I hope it’s a day we don’t repeat anytime soon.

  • 12:00 J leaves for music rehearsal at his school
  • 12:00 – 1:00 I fed Henry
  • 1:45 I left the house to go to get my car seat inspected
  • 2:00 car seat inspection
  • 2:15 arrived at home
  • 2:30 – 3:00 I fed Henry
  • 3:00 Henry and I passed out on the sofa
  • 3:45 J arrives home
  • 4:15 We all leave and head to Greensboro so I can  get some things done at work and J can show off Henry to friends
  • 5:00 Arrive at work, and I fed Henry
  • 5:45 J and Henry head out and I start working
  • 7:15 J and Henry come back
  • 7:45 I’m done with work and I feed Henry
  • 8:00 I cut our nursing session short so my father-in-law can lock up and head home
  • 8:15 arrive at our favorite sushi restaurant for dinner, but Henry’s crying for more food, so we sit in the car and I nurse Henry until he’s full
  • 8:45 Henry’s done eating, and we walk into the restaurant, but we’re told that they’re already cleaning up the kitchen and can’t seat us, even though they don’t technically close for another 15 minutes….grrr
  • 8:45 We get back in the car and drive to another restaurant downtown (at this point J and I hadn’t eaten since lunch…)
  • 9:20 After driving around trying to find parking Henry starts to wake up so we give up and decided to just go home
  • 9:22 Henry starts crying
  • 9:23 I start tearing up because Henry’s crying and I can’t pick him up and cuddle him because we’re in the car driving home
  • 9:24 J is in the passenger seat, reaching back to let Henry suck on his finger to keep him quiet (and spends the next 30 minutes like that)
  • 10:00 arrive home with a screaming baby
  • 10:01 I feed Henry and he’s attached to my boob for the next hour, and I scarf down my dinner while nursing him
  • 11:00 start our bedtime routine of changing his diaper, slathering Henry in lotion and swaddling him up tightly
  • 11:15 – 1:30 Console a screaming/crying over tired baby who refuses to be in his bassinet for longer than 15 seconds
  • 1:30 we all pass out and Henry spends the night in our bed and blessedly sleeps until 6:45

I definitely don’t want to make a habit of cosleeping, but if it’s the only way to console my baby so that we can all get some sleep and rest, I’ll do it for the greater good.

Yesterday had J and I were at our wits end for quite a while.  It’s complete torture to be in a car with a crying baby and not be able to comfort him – I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that.  As bad as the car ride home was, the crying fit that Henry had from 11:00 – 1:30 was much worse.  It seemed no matter what we did we just couldn’t get this kid settled down.  I’d let him nurse and he’d almost fall asleep, but then he’d fill his diaper and cry, and then we’d change him, which would make him cry harder (it’s ironic that he hates having a dirty diaper, but also hates having his diaper changed), and then we’d have to repeat that whole process.  I supposed the lesson learned here is to not let Henry get over tired.  We didn’t realize this until we were trying to go to bed, but Henry was awake from 8:30 pm to 1:30 am without a wink of sleep.

So far Henry’s naps today have been great, he’s currently in his swing asleep and as cute as can be.  I don’t think I can express enough how much I love this little boy.

Been too Long…

I’m so sorry that I’ve been a horrible blogger lately.  I think the biggest reason that I’ve taken a break from it is that my maternity leave and quiet alone time with my family of 3 is almost over, and I’ve been wanting to enjoy every moment of it (and I assure you that I have).  I go back to work on Monday – but at least I’ll get to work from home.  It will definitely take me some time to figure out how to work and take care of an infant at the same time, but Henry and I will figure it out.

I’ve come to realize that caring for a baby is incredibly difficult, but also incredibly rewarding.  Sleep is our biggest obstacle right now.  Some nights Henry will sleep with only waking up once – which is awesome.  And other nights he’ll wake up 4 times or more.  The thing that’s the hardest with sleep is that Henry is a slow nurser.  It takes him about 30-45 minutes to eat – around 15-20 minutes per boob.  Add in a diaper change when he wakes up at night, plus another diaper change when we switch boobs, and that means that I’m up for over an hour every time this kid wakes up.  This also doesn’t take into account all the times when Henry refuses to go to sleep after a feeding in the middle of the night and J and I have to walk around the house to lull him back to sleep.  Eventually I’ll figure out what I’m doing right/wrong when it comes to his sleep, but as he’s way too young to do any type of sleep training, J and I will just have to get through this difficult stage.

So far, I love being a mother.  Way more than I like being pregnant – you all probably know that I wasn’t the biggest fan of pregnancy, but I do have to say that I’m loving the end result.  Henry is starting to be awake more and more, and not just because he’s crying.  The faces that he makes and the looks and smiles that he gives melt my heart every since time I look at him.  My favorite thing is still to just hold and cuddle him to me and stare at him, marveling that he’s mine.  I love this kid so much!

Baby Burrito. At least someone can sleep well in this household.

Recap of the last two weeks

I feel like so much has happened while I took a break from blogging but I’m not sure where to start. I’m going to make this a catch up post to try and recap all that’s happened in the past two weeks.

After Henry was born we spent two days in the hospital recovering and learning how to be parents. The hardest thing at the hospital was getting breast feeding started. My midwife got Henry to latch while we were still in the delivery room, but he would quickly fall off, and I couldn’t get him to latch on on my own. I had a nurse come and help me once we were settled in the mother/ baby room, but she wasn’t much help as she couldn’t get him to latch either and she quickly gave up. She did put me on the schedule for a lactation consultant to come and visit me though.

The first lactation consultant had trouble getting him to latch as well, but showed me how to spoon feed him to get him interested. That whole day I spent working on getting a proper latch, but I really didn’t succeed. On Monday another lactation consultant came to see me and she did get Henry to latch and showed me how, and since then we’ve been doing great at the whole breast feeding thing.

I had a follow up lactation appointment on Thursday and was told that Henry was doing beautifully. As of yesterday he is back up to his birth weight plus one ounce (7lbs 11oz). So that means I must be doing something right when it comes to breast feeding.

As for sleeping we seem to be doing ok. Henry has good nights and bad, but for the majority of nights he’ll let us get 3 to 4 hours in a row. He is incredibly hard to wake up to feed him, but he’s now starting to wake up on his own to eat, which makes things easier for J and me.

Right now J, Henry and I spend our days camped out on the sofa watching movies, and taking breaks to take pictures do this sweet little boy. He has so many cute faces that he makes, but my favorite is his Zoolander “Blue Steel” impression.

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His smile, which is probably just gas at this point also melts my heart.

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I love this little boy so much.

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Henry’s Birth Story

At my 38 week appointment it was decided that I was to be induced on Friday, June 22.  The reasons for the induction were that the baby’s heart rate was increasing at each non-stress test that I had, and my blood pressure and heart rate kept increasing as well.  Therefore, it was decided by all of us (J, myself and the midwives) that I’d be induced before my high blood pressure turned into preeclampsia, and before the baby’s heart rate became too high.  I was put on a beta blocker to help lower my heart rate and blood pressure and therefore lower the baby’s heart rate, and I was given a week for it to get into my system before the induction.  During that week I had two non-stress tests, two ultrasounds and two midwife appointments to make sure that the baby and I stayed healthy.

On Friday, June 22, J and I checked into the Women’s Hospital at 7:00 pm.  Our induction was scheduled for 7:30, but the hospital was incredibly busy and we didn’t make it into a room until 8:30.  It turns out that we actually got the last room that they had – a room that they don’t usually use and that wasn’t stocked very well (our nurses kept having to leave to get things like a stethoscope and thermometer, and the equipment that monitored the baby’s heart rate).

Getting settled in the labor and delivery room.

At around 9 or 9:30 that night my midwife came in to start the induction.  I was given a heparin lock because I was Group B Strep positive and they’d need to run antibiotics throughout the labor to keep the baby safe.  In addition to having Group B Strep, I also had a resistant strain that needed a super strong antibiotic, and since I’m allergic to penicillin, I was to be given vancomycin.  After the heparin lock, my midwife put the balloon in place that would dilate my cervix.  The balloon was filled with saline and was left in overnight.  Putting in the balloon didn’t hurt, but it was pretty uncomfortable, and afterward I had a lot of cramping.  After it was inserted I was offered an Ambien to help me sleep, and I gladly accepted it.  After that, I promptly passed out and slept straight through the night until my midwife woke me up at 5:30 am.

At that time the balloon was removed and my water was broken.  Having my water broken felt extremely weird, like I was peeing myself, but not.  My midwife told me that there was a little bit of meconium in it, but that we weren’t going to worry about that at that point in time.  She then checked my cervix and told me that I was 6 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  Needless to say that I was ecstatic that I only had 4 more centimeters to go before the baby would pop out.  I was sure that things would go pretty quickly from there on out.

Almost immediately after I started contracting on my own.  The contractions weren’t bad at all and I was easily able to handle them without even breaking a sweat.  My doula arrived to our room at around 6:30 or 7:00 and started setting up the birthing pool.

Sometime that morning I was given my first round of vancomycin, and immediately I started having a reaction to it.  My scalp started itching like whoa and I started developing a rash around my hairline.  At first it didn’t hit me that I was uncontrollably raking my nails over my scalp until I could do nothing but scratch my head.  I was then given Benadryl and that put everything back to normal fairly quickly.

A few hours later my contractions started increasing in intensity and my doula suggested that J and I walk the halls to help things progress even more.  So, we walked, and walked and walked.  During contractions I would lean on J, and walk slowly while trying to stay completely relaxed.  It’s around this point in time (around 9 am I think) that I started having lower back pain.  It wasn’t bad, but enough to make me uncomfortable.

At around 10:00 am my contractions had increased even more, but I wouldn’t say that they were painful.  I was still able to relax completely while I was having one and just breathed through them.  My doula kept telling me that I was handling them beautifully and doing exactly what I needed to.  I should mention here that my doula was fantastic and really helped me stay focused.  She also really helped J help me – which I found invaluable, and I’m sure he did too.

Soon after the tub was set up and I was more than ready to climb in – I was actually really excited for it.  The warm water felt amazing, and it helped to take the edge off of the contractions more than I ever thought that it would.  If I ever have another child I’ll definitely be using the tub again.  For the next several hours I was in the water – minus several trips to the bathroom.  Between each contraction J would hand me my water cup so that I would stay hydrated.

Laboring in the tub.

Around 12:00 my midwife wanted to check my cervix to see how things had progressed.  As things had been picking up and increasing in intensity I was thinking that I had progressed and that things were moving right along as they should.  I was wrong.  I was still 6 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  7 hours of labor (going from when my water was broken) and no change at all.  That was completely disheartening to me.

During the vaginal check my midwife told me that the baby’s head was transverse – which means sideways!  The head being sideways is what was causing all of my back labor.  The baby wasn’t completely sunnyside up, but had his head turned just enough so that things were painful and slow to progress.

After checking my cervix my midwife told me that she’d give me a couple more hours to progress on my own, but if things continued to stay the same she wanted to start pitocin – which you all know that I didn’t want that to happen.

For the next two hours things increased and even started to become painful.  The pain was coming from the back labor that I was having – oh my god, that shit was intense!    I was having a harder and harder time relaxing through the contractions, and I was quickly losing my sense of humor that I’d maintained all day.  I was now moaning through the contractions and tensing up during them.  My doula was squeezing my hips while I was in the tub, while my midwife used massage oil that my sister had made to massage my shoulders and back during the contractions.  At some point while I was in the tub I threw up everything that was in my stomach and started thinking that this whole labor thing was too much for me to handle and that I didn’t want to do it anymore.  Needless to say that I wasn’t being reasonable anymore.

My back labor was getting worse and worse and at around 2:00 or 2:30, I wanted out of the tub.  I got out and went to the bathroom and almost started crying while I was on the toilet because of how much my back and hips hurt.  I remember being in the bathroom and looking in the mirror at myself and thinking that I didn’t want to do this anymore.  After I got out of the bathroom I crawled onto the bed and I hung out there for a while, moaning and slowly losing my composure.  While I was on the bed my midwife wanted to check my cervix again, and I was still exactly the same – 6 cm dilated and 80% effaced.  I was started on pitocin at around 2:30.  I don’t remember being hooked up to the stuff.  I was pretty out of it from the pain, but I do remember that the pitocin really made it all worse.

Pitocin is miserable – which is the biggest understatement that I could ever make.  I was completely justified to be afraid of it and not want it.  My back felt like it was being ripped in two before it was started and then it felt even worse – I have no comparison to demonstrate how bad it actually was, you’ll just have to take my word for it.  On top of the back labor, I was also starting to have contractions on top of contractions – as in several in a row with no break in between.  It’s at this point in time that things get a little hazy to me and my memory of events is blurred.  Sometime after the pitocin was administered my midwife checked my cervix once again and I was then dilated to 7 cm and 80% effaced.

After all of those hours of labor and my back feeling like it was being broken in two and then some, and I only had progressed one measly centimeter, I lost all of my motivation and will power to continue on the natural route and I broke down and asked for the epidural.  I actually had to ask for it for over an hour.  At first I was talked into trying nubain instead of the epidural, and I did.  I was given it very quickly and it did help.  I was able to relax and breathe for a little while, but it wore off quickly and I was afraid to ask for more.  After the nubain wore off the contractions were back to being incredibly painful (I should note that the actual contraction wasn’t horrible, it hurt, but it was manageable – it was just the back labor that completely derailed me, at least that’s what I’m telling myself).

I asked for the epidural again, and J and my doula tried to talk me out of it (they were trying to remind me of my birth plan – but I had already given up on that.  I remember withering in pain and snapping out of it long enough to make eye contact with J – glaring at him – and demanding that I NEEDED an epidural and I needed it now.  Apparently that got my point across.  I’m not sure how long it took for the anesthesiologist to get there, but it felt like it took forever, J thinks that I got the epidural around 5:30 (12 hours into labor).

I always assumed that an epidural would get rid of labor pain immediately.  But, that’s not the case at all.  I continued to wither in pain for what felt like an eternity.  And, of course, the epidural only worked on my left side… Once it started to kick in, my doula started taking down the birthing pool and that’s the only time that I got upset about the fact that I had an epidural.

Sleeping after the epidural.

I think that I was given a low dose of the epidural because I never did lose the ability to move my legs.  They were difficult to move, but I could still move them.  My hips also continued to hurt even after it was in place and my left side was definitely more numb than my right.  My midwife had my lay on my right side to help draw the epidural down to that side, which kinda helped.  Eventually I was able to relax, and then I passed out and slept for the next several hours until I woke up feeling tons of pressure.  I was checked again, but wasn’t complete yet – but I wasn’t told how far I had progressed.  I dozed off and on until I was told that it was time to push.

Again, things are kinda hazy for me during this time, but I’m told that I started pushing around 7:30 pm.  I was averaging 3 pushes per contraction.  Because the baby’s head was stilled turned in the wrong direction my midwife would have me move all round during pushing to try and get the baby to turn.  My midwife had me push three times for one contraction and then rest through the next contraction.  After a while of doing that, she had me turn onto one side and push for a few contractions, and then switch sides and push for a few contractions.  I repeated that for quite a while.  Pushing was difficult for me as I couldn’t really feel where to push, so I definitely had a cheering section for when I was doing it correctly and a very stern midwife for when I started to get tired and not push as well.

I was completely oblivious, but apparently everyone else was getting concerned that a C-Section was going to be needed because the baby wasn’t moving down.  I was told later that he got stuck on my pubic bone and my midwife was actually reaching her hands inside me to slowly move the baby into the proper position, thankfully I had an epidural and didn’t feel that at all (the baby also still has a bruise on the back of his head from where he got stuck).  I continued to push and push and push, and at some point they wheeled the mirror over to help see how to push.  I didn’t think I would like it, but it was actually really cool to see the baby’s head move down slowly, and it was actually a very effective tool.

I was finally finished pushing at 9:11 pm when my baby was born.  He came out very chill and calm and didn’t cry at all, but his eyes were opened and he was moving, so the not crying didn’t bother me so much.  My midwife cleaned out his nose and mouth with the bulb syringe before she plopped him on my stomach and I grabbed him and held him skin to skin – marveling at my baby for over an hour.  While holding him, J and I decided to name him Henry.  We were really leaning towards the name Asher before he was born, but the name Henry seemed to fit him so much better.  I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful it is to hold your baby after spending hours and hours in labor – and it is true that you forget all the pain that you were in the moment that they’re born.

While I was holding Henry, I delivered the placenta – which I didn’t even feel come out.  After that my midwife informed me that I had a second degree tear – meaning that the skin and muscles of my perineum tore and had to be stitched up.  It seemed like my midwife spent a long time stitching me up and when I commented on it, she told me that “she’s making it pretty.”  I have no idea how many stitches she put in me, and I don’t wanna know.  All I know is that my lady parts are still sore, but they are getting better.

After an hour or so of holding my son, he was taken to be weighed and given his vitamin K shot.  I was really curious how much he  would weigh because of the gestational diabetes, but he turned out to be a “normal” size of 7 lbs 10 ounces, and he was 19.75 inches long.  A perfect size in my opinion.

Henry being weighed.

A few hours after Henry was born we were moved into the Mother/Baby room and my family of three settled in for our first night together.

Loving on my little man.

I know that this post is incredibly long, but a lot happened in over 16 hours (over 24 if you count from when we checked in).  All in all it was a great experience and something that I will remember all of my life.  I felt completely supported the whole time.  J was wonderful at his job as my labor partner and his sense of humor really kept me going through those tougher times.

I’m completely in love with my family and couldn’t be happier.  I have so much more to post, but I’ll save it for another day.

Settling in at home with my new family.