Friday, May 4, 2012

Baby #2: 12 weeks


How far along: 12 weeks, 1 day (measuring 12 weeks, 4 days)

Size of baby: A plum. At the ultrasound yesterday, the tech said he or she was 2 inches long.

Weight Gain: -7 pounds by the doctor's scale, -15 by mine at home. But honestly, it doesn't look or feel to me like I've actually lost weight!

Symptoms: Same. But overall, more good days than bad.

Exercise: Still battling first trimester yucks and exhaustion, but I did manage to do the TurboFire toning DVD once.

Clothes: Regular stuff. Still can't find my bella band.

Cravings/Aversions: Last night, I told Justin that I really wanted pizza for dinner. He basically said that we just don't have an eating out budget this month (which is totally true, and yes, it's our mutual policy to hold each other accountable about budget stuff like that). And I snapped back that pizza was the only thing that I could possibly eat that night, and that if I couldn't have pizza, I wouldn't eat anything at all. Yes, it was quite melodramatic, and came out of my mouth before I even knew what I was saying. Needless to say, Justin told me to up a $5 pizza from Little Caesars, and it was delicious. And it'll probably come out of my grocery budget, but it'll be worth it.

Movement: Yesterday morning I thought I might have felt some "popcorn" movement, and pretty much pretended all morning that it was the baby. However, I think it was probably gas bubbles or something else, because (a) it's looking like I'll probably have an anterior placenta again, and (b) the baby was moving around like crazy during the ultrasound and I didn't feel a thing.

Worries: Today, I'm feeling okay. Thank you God, for the peace that only You can provide!

Milestones: Most of baby's critical systems are fully formed already. He or she is opening and closing his fingers and curling toes, too. The brain continues to develop fast, and the baby is wiggling around there like a worm.

Best moment of the week: Seeing the little one via ultrasound yesterday! I had literally had nightmares about yesterday's appointment for 10 days in a row, so I was super nervous going into it, and super relieved that everything looked just fine.

Also, an amazing story about my OB and insurance that I want to remember: I debated about whether or not to include this, because I know a lot of people get really passionate and opinionated about government assistance/healthcare, and I feel like I'll probably get some side-eyes and nasty anonymous comments for talking about it. But, it is a true, honest blessing, and goes. In addition to having a ridiculous $5,000 deductible for insurance, which we have almost met thanks to the skin cancer procedures from January, we also discovered that even after we reach that deductible, they only pay 70% for maternity, up until we've paid $15,000 out of pocket each calendar year. Nice, right? So, it turns out that in Oregon, during pregnancy, you can apply for Oregon's version of Medicaid (OHP) to act as supplemental insurance to your private insurance in some cases, such as when you have a very high deductible. We talked about it for awhile. It wasn't a decision we made lightly. Ultimately, we applied, and I was approved, and that was and is a huge blessing to our family. 

But, a lot of OBs don't accept OHP as supplemental insurance, including mine. I knew this going into it and was fine with that--it would still apply for the hospital and be a huge help to us there. However, when we met with the billing person at our OB's office yesterday, she was explaining that we'd have to pay $300 a month to cover the remaining $1000 or so we have left before we hit our deductible, plus the 30% after that. I almost cried. We told her that we were more than happy to pay in full, we just couldn't pay $300 a month. We're still paying down the skin cancer surgery/biopsies/doctors, which are broken into multiple different bills, and I feel like I'm having to spend an inordinate amount of time each month explaining to people in various billing departments that we budget down to the penny each month and will send them absolutely as much as we can, but that it may not be as much as they are asking. Still, we get letters that say things like, "Thank you for your payment. The minimum payment that we require is ____. Please send that amount next time." It's hard sometimes, trying to make everyone happy. Often, they're not, but we're doing the best we can.

As we explained this to the billing person, she said that she'd be right back. When she came back in, she told us that my OB had said that he'd make an exception in our circumstances and accept OHP as secondary insurance. Which means we'll probably pay around $100 out of pocket for this pregnancy. And I'm not really sure I can express in words how truly thankful I am for this because we have spent (and continue to spend) a LOT of money on medical expenses this year. It is a blessing. A huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I am so thankful. And if I get flamed for being on government healthcare in this circumstance, so be it. Obviously, it's not the place I'd like to be in an ideal world. But, I'm so thankful it's an option that was available to us and wish there wasn't such a stigma around talking about it.


  IMG_8072 {Heartbeat was 178. I believe Lizzy was 168ish around this same time}


  1. Wow. I can't believe how much the baby ... LOOKS LIKE A BABY already... :)

  2. I can't imagine you getting slammed for being on "government insurance". You are NOT abusing it, and that is what it is for... people who need it and do not take advantage of it.

    You gotta do what you gotta do. This season won't last forever.

    But seriously? Hallelujah! What a blessing! And I am over the moon happy for you!

  3. So glad everything went well! It's amazing how much the baby looks like a real baby already. We had our last u/s at 10w and you could see the little arms and legs but it's amazing how different a 10w vs. a 12w u/s is. I can't wait for our anatomy scan in a month!

  4. So happy that everything is looking good for you and baby right now! As far as the insurance goes, my opinion is that if they agreed to give it to you, than you should not feel guilty about it. How you go about 'paying for life' is your business. I'm obviously on the opposite end of the spectrum on how we're getting help (we wouldn't be able to live our life the way we do if it weren't for my parents). Both scenarios, yours and mine, are 'flameworthy' so to speak, but I think to each their own.

    Thinking of you!

  5. Ok those have to be the cutest legs I have ever seen! So long! I don't understand how a person could not see that as a life, but that's another subject ;)

    I think it's great that Oregon offers assistance for maternity care! It is now something I will look into if we decide to have a third because we have super high deductibles as well and the kid would be down with college before we would pay them off. I wouldn't worry about any stigma attached to it, in my opinion that generally applies when it is obvious someone has not used their money wisely (driving super nice car, expensive clothing, electronics etc) and then suddenly needs help, which is not ya'lls case.

    Just enjoy your pregnancy! I know that has to have taken so much stress off of you (it would have me).

  6. I'm Canadian, so you definitely won't get any side eyes from me. It saddens me that these are concerns that you have to deal with. I am thrilled that things worked out for you guys. I love seeing God ease our burdens a little bit!

  7. Baby looks great! And this is exactly what the government supplement should be used for - you're doing everything you possibly can without it and not abusing it. God bless you!

  8. Aw, I'm so glad that the insurance thing worked out! Stuff like that is such a huge blessing.

  9. Wow - that is a huge blessing! That makes me happy that you'll have that comfort.

    LOVE the little legs in the ultrasound picture. And um, pizza out of the grocery budget? That's something I'd do. ;)

  10. Love the ultrasound pics!

    I think it's wonderful that your OB is making an exception and letting you use the OHP as secondary insurance. Trying to pay tons of medical bills (been there, done that) is completely frustrating, so it's nice to see help go where it's needed! :-)

  11. We are fortunate to have excellent maternity coverage, but I realize that is not the norm, even with plans that otherwise have excellent coverage. I don't know why anyone would have a problem with you applying for supplemental insurance when it's obvious you're being responsible and working hard to pay your bills from your skin cancer treatment.

    Congratulations to you and your family!

  12. I am so glad you were able to get the assistance with your insurance! What a true blessing. You look great and baby is adorable! Those ultrasound pictures never get old, I could stare at them all day long!

  13. You look great and I love seeing ultrasound pictures. No slams from me, I fall into "that's what it's there for" category. :)

  14. I couldn't say it any better than Megan! AND I'm SOOOOO happy that all is well and continuing well. God is good, all the time.

    ps :: not helping baby fever over here.

  15. I'm not sure how anyone could really flame you for your situation, Meredith. People that make me furious are the ones that abuse the system, expect everyone else to pay for their healthcare while they sit at home doing nothing while claiming to be victims, feeling entitled to assistance that they haven't really earned. You are definitely not a part of that group at all and I think it's wonderful you can get help that is needed. What a huge weight off your shoulders!

    And hello, that is the cutest little baby ever!!! I'm so happy your US went perfectly, lady.

  16. Kansas also provides assistance with maternal care. I know, because we also used it with Kylie. And I cannot agree with you more, it is such a blessing. We paid about 15K (I forget the exact amount) for hospital expenses with the birth of Cameron with our insurance. Every time I think about it, it makes me sick to my stomach. Praise God that you are able to use it!

  17. We had issues when I was pregnant with our second and our insurance company. A whole lot of "we can't add maternity now to your plan. You have to wait x amount of months and it can be added Feb.2010" She was born in Jan. 2010. Really helpful right. We unfortunately did not qualify for any of the state programs because we had health insurance. That is awesome your state has a program for people who need it! Our obgyn gave us a discount on his services and we paid it each visit that I had and we have a monthly bill from our hospital that we send it.

  18. Yay for a strong healthy heartbeat and baby! Sounds like a fabulous week - emotionally, physically and financially!

  19. So happy that everything worked out with your insurance. In my opinion, this is the reason that assistance is there - for hardworking folks like you. We are super duper lucky because I'm covered 100 percent under both my employer and Ryan's employer's plans, with low deductibles and no copays. It's pretty much insane and I know we are the exception rather than the rule. I have no problem with families taking advantage of the programs that are out there just like I wouldn't expect anyone to have a problem with our insurance situation.

    I'm not sure that makes sense, but I just get my heart broken a bit when people feel like they can't take advantage of those programs that are out there that are for them.

  20. Aww! Praise Jesus! I'm so happy your OB is flexible with payment, that's truly an example of a good doctor!

  21. No dirty comments from me, Mama. So glad that you qualified for OHP and that your OB made an exception! SO GLAD! Also, I'm always amazed at what a 12 weeks ultrasound looks like. Love those sweet little legs and that sweet little face!

  22. I am so glad to see that you haven't gotten a negative comment about the insurance. As many have said, families like yours are exactly why it's there!!

    And seriously, those legs. So long! Love it.

  23. I'm so glad everything's going well! Fiance and I had the big talk about when we imagine having kids, and even if it's not for a couple years, I so appreciate all the details you include. Definitely no eye-rolls regarding healthcare. In my opinion, affordable health care is of the utmost importance, and only the abusers of the system should be flamed. So happy for you, Mere!!

  24. You look truly beautiful! I am beyond happy about your good news. Isn't it such a good reminder that when God is with us, nothing is against us... I like to think that way.
    So, now? relax and let that belly grow! ;)

  25. You look great! :) That is so wonderful about your insurance. God truly does provide!


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