Monday, May 26, 2008

birth providers: wwyd?

i could use your opinion or advice or reality check or something. i've thought around this situation so much i'm thinking in circles. this post is prob going to be too long too, as i sort things out.

so, i am on my husbands tricare insurance. it is military insurance, as he is currently on active duty. there is a huge military medical hospital near me (i'll call it army clinic--original huh ) where active duty and dependents give birth. the funny thing is, i have a history with this place even before my current involvement in it; i happened to spend 2 mos rotating there in L&D full time as an elective in nursing school. there are pros and cons to this place.

pros: it is completely, 100% covered. every lab, every test, every IV, every everything. all of the births i witnessed there were professional, and even the ones with unexpected turns of events were handled well. they also have a level III nicu, where i also spent time, and which i was impressed with.

cons: if i deliver at army clinic, there is no opportunity to meet the staff who would be present at my delivery ahead of time. none. there's no way even to narrow the universe of people it might possibly be. whoever will be with me that day or night is whoever is on duty that shift at army clinic. if my delivery crosses shifts, then the personnel that i've gotten to know the previous 12 hrs shifts as well. i have always known this about the army clinic, both because it was that way when i rotated there, and because they told us about it in 'orientation' . but, to be honest, it didn't bother me as much before, because i think part of me never thought i'd make it this far. now that i'm about halfway there, i'm starting to think i might make it the whole way. thus, the newfound concern.

another con about army clinic is they do things their own way: for ex, i could not get an NT scan through them at all, so i had to pay out of pocket for one through another provider.

what i'm worried about: what worries me is the instrumented vaginal delivery. as odd as it sounds, i'm really not worried about a planned c-sect. i have confidence that whoever is my provider is proficient at c-sections. further, i have a bicornuate uterus so my risk for c-sect is higher in the first place. i've made peace with that along time ago. frankly, i'm just going to be happy to have a real live baby, the planned c-sect doesn't bother me. in fact, if i could just plan a c-sect right now i wouldn't even have an issue. the vag delivery where nothing goes wrong doesn't bother me either. what worries me is the worst case scenario: the stuck baby, the crash c-sect, the bottoming out heart rate, the dystocia, the forceps, the vacuum, the episiotomy, the 4th degree tear, the retained placenta etc. etc. etc. THOSE are the situations where i want to be able to be able to concentrate on nothing but myself and SB, where i want to take for granted that my provider is skilled and qualified, and has done thousands of these before and i'm in good hands. in short, i want to be able to trust my provider so that in a worst case scenario, i don't also have to worry that they might not know what they're doing. its sorta like what nicole said in her thread, she trusts her doc to make the right call re: her induction. i want to do that too...but i have no opportunity to do that because i can't meet anyone ahead of time. instead i have to trust the institution that whoever is there when i'm there knows what they're doing. i feel like it's alot different to trust a whole clinic than to trust one person or even a group of people.

so, i wrote an email to my old ob-gyn whom i've known for-EVER and who has known me for-EVER and who did my laparoscopy. i have utmost trust in her. the problem is, her practice doesn't take tricare. i called the hospital where she delivers and they do take tricare, i just have to switch the version of tricare that i have. if the hospital didn't take tricare, i couldn't even contemplate this switch because it would just be too expensive. but they do. her flat fee is $3200 which includes prenatal appts, vag or c-sect delivery, and postpartum care. it's a significant discount from what she generally charges. labs/sonos are NOT included.

pros: trust is not an issue. i know her. she is very good, very skilled, very experienced. if she busted out the forceps, i would not worry that my babe would end up with a mashed skull. i know she would never cut a senseless episiotomy. she would always treat me with dignity and respect.

cons: $3200 is a LOT of money for us right now. especially when that seems to be a floor, not a ceiling, as what if i need extra labs/a sono at the end for some reason? money would suddenly become a huge factor in the delivery, where it isn't now. plus, i'm spending on what is essentially a luxury item. it's not like i don't have care and would have to pay for the delivery no matter what. i have full coverage, and would be not using my coverage (wasting it) and then paying out of pocket for sort of the same service. it's not money i have to spend.

there is one more option. i could ask her to recommend to me someone within the tricare network that delivers at this other hospital (not army clinic) that takes tricare. then i could try to meet everyone in this other practice in the next 20 wks to try and get comfortable with them. it would cost alot less, but i don't know if i can meet and get comfortable with someone or someones that fast. i'm sorta under the gun as i only have 20 wks left. i would have thought of all this before hand, but i really just wasn't sure i'd make it this far.

thanks for making it this far through this rambly post. now, wwyd?

Monday, May 19, 2008

bad reasons to have children

i guess there are alot of really good reasons to have children--and probably twice as many really bad ones--but having comfort in your old age is probably NOT a good reason to have children.

my grandpa has two children (my mother and uncle), two grandchildren (me and my sister) and two great grandchildren (my sister's twins), but since the death of his second wife he just feels lonely. he definitely feels like his children and grandchildren don't visit often enough, and don't do enough for him when they visit. i know i'm guilty on this score...but since the first half of any encounter with him is chock full of guilt "who did you say you were again? my granddaughter? oooooohhhh, i thought my granddaughter FORGOT about me. it's been SO. MANY. WEEKS. since i've heard from you, i thought you didn't REMEMBER that you had a grandfather." cue repeat x10 minutes, or until my end of the conversation falls completely silent long enough for him to take note. (maybe he would use a different guilt tack if he were aware of how rampant alzheimers is among his peers where 'WHO did you say you were?' actually inidicates genuine confusion on the part of the inquisitor...but somehow i doubt it.)

anyway, one gets the feeling that the feckless children and grandchildren are something of a dissapointment to the grandfather. and, honestly, he has a point. i live close enough to him that i could and probably should visit alot more often than i do.

i guess it just makes me think that being a parent will probably bring you nothing like what you thought it would...or at least you can't count on it bringing you what you hoped for. you can hope to get something back from it at the end, but there are no guarantees. just ask grandpa nathan.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

my a$$ really hurts

so, the irony is thick being a health professional and all, but i'm pretty sure i gave myself sciatica with all of the self PIO injections into my buttocks. today i had excruciating pain with **walking**. that's right, walking. and since people tend to need to walk, i spent alot of today gimping around hurting quite a bit.

so, my sisters in the IF wars, watch where you shoot yourself because the sciatic nerve is unforgiving if tampered with.

in other PIO news i am just NOW--mind you, 6 or 7 wks since my last shot--gaining feeling back in the old top half of the tusheroo in general. for a while it was just straight numb, and then i'd have deep tingly itchy feelings, and when i went to scratch i couldn't actually feel my own fingers on my skin. now i get zings as the traumatized nerves and tissue slowly regain feeling, combined with feelings of warmth and itching. the rebirth of my a$$.

science babe seems to be doing ok, as far as one knows from the doppler, which is the good news at least.