Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prepping For Battle

I don't know about other women, but ten weeks is when I start to think The Embryo may just stick around for awhile.  Actually it's almost a fetus now...maybe that's the landmark I unconsciously wait for before taking the pregnancy too seriously.  As in, I haven't rushed out to buy a car seat just yet. 

At any rate, it is now time to begin the barrage of doctor's appointments and to decide how my medical care is to be juggled during hopefully the next 28-30 weeks.  

A little history:  With Matthew, I wandered into a regular OB at the end of my first trimester.  Why?  Because I was caught unprepared to face pregnancy, and I felt fine.  Obviously that changed later on.  With Kiddo, I was hyper-monitored.  HCG levels, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, progesterone levels, monitoring for incompetent cervix, weekly appointments and ultrasounds throughout.  You name it, I had it done.  While I found all the second trimester and beyond medical interference to be reassuring (since my problems, after all, occur in second-third trimester), the first trimester stuff really freaked me out and made me worry.  And as you must know, dear Internet, worry doesn't get you anywhere in the first trimester.  You can't count kicks.  Until the end of the trimester you can't use a doppler.  There just aren't many medical interventions to prevent a train wreck at 6 weeks along, and there just isn't a lot of reassurance that anyone can give.  It's sad, but it's true.

So after Kiddo, I decided that next time I wanted a few weeks of pregnancy where no one messes with me.  Or with The Embryo.  And so it has been ten weeks of silence from the medical field.  Just me in my bubble.  It's not that pleasant in here, but I've been hunkering down anyway.  Preparing myself for battle if you will.  I quit drinking caffeine, I take my vitamin, I stay away from lunch meat, and I joined Baby.Center.

Now?  It's go time.

Although I am currently covered by my own health insurance policy, I'm worried that it might be a bit flimsy.  Jerry and I decided it would be best if I get on his and maintain my own as well in order to have the best coverage possible.  Both policies will cover my pregnancy, and his group policy cannot count my pregnancy as a preexisting condition (Because HIPAA says so).  I researched this right when I got a positive test, so I think we are as covered as we are going to get.

The next problem to overcome is our new location (well, my soon-to-be new location) in The Middle of Nowhere.  Allow me to elaborate.  

The Middle of Nowhere is located approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from Small-Town Hospital.  Small-Town Hospital is capable of performing prenatal care for low-risk women and delivery for low to moderate risk women.  Small-Town Hospital is also the hospital Matthew was born at.  And let's just suffice it to say they took a ridiculously long time to decide that hemorrhaging really IS an adverse event and a 27 week newborn really SHOULD be sent to another hospital with a large NICU.  So I would really like to avoid any sort of future situations where my life and/or my baby's life are in their hands. 


The closest hospital that employs a perinatologist is two hours down the road from Small-Town Hospital.  That's 3 hours and 20 minutes from The Middle of Nowhere.  I don't think it's too far to drive to get prenatal care, but it is too great a distance to try to make if an emergency situation were to arise.  It is also the hospital that houses the NICU where Matthew spent his little life.  I am mostly satisfied with the care they provided so if I/We have to spend time there again I can live with that.  As long as I leave with my baby this time.  Otherwise I might kill them all.  

This is the best plan we've been able to come up with so far:

1. Be seen for weekly or biweekly appointments at Small-Town Hospital so that OB can get familiar with my history in case I show up fully dilated at 3 am.  Again. 

2.  Small-Town Hospital is affiliated with Large, Appropriate Hospital and can, therefore, refer me to the appropriate perinatologist that I have in mind.

3.  Large, Appropriate Hospital with perinatologist will monitor monthly and plan on delivering infant if all goes as planned.

4.  To minimize my risk of being in labor in Small-Town Hospital, I will be parking it in the city for approximately the last trimester of the pregnancy.  In the hopes that proximity to Large, Appropriate Hospital will prevent any and all issues. 

Friday, September 7th will be my first appointment at Small-Town Hospital.  It was pretty harrowing even making the appointment.  The receptionist cheerily asked me what doctor I wanted to see.  I said I needed to see an OBGYN.  She says, "And what for?"  "I'm.....pregnant.  Last menstrual period June 18th, 2012."  Yep, I even said the year.  "Oh, Congratulations!!" she squealed into the phone.  I did not respond.  

Then there was some transferring and I was all, "Hey, remember me?  Allow me to spell my name for you so you can say, 'Oh.....' when my name pops up and then put me on hold to figure out what the heck to do with me. "

And after all this, I realize that the perinatologist I want is out-of-network.  Forehead slap. 

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