This post is going to be a jumbled mess; sorry! A few things on my mind this week:
1) I hate health insurance. And money. Or more accurately, lacking money. So as you know I was laid off of my job at the end of September. Since then, I've been stuck paying Cobra every month to keep my old insurance benefits. You'd think that paying $600 a month (for just me) would be enough, but on top of that, my insurance keeps denying at least a portion of every appointment I've had during this pregnancy (and there have been a lot!), so not only am I paying a ridiculously high monthly premium, I've paid at least $1,000 out of pocket for pregnancy-related medical stuff so far. Okay, now add the the $750 copay I have to pay for my 'prenatal care package' (due at my 6-week postpartum appointment), and add another who knows how much for delivery (with Stevie, I was in the hospital for 24 hours and had to pay over $1,500 out of pocket)...and you get the point. This is just a racket, and in my opinion, totally unfair. Every woman should be able to have a baby without it costing thousands and thousands of dollars. Period. I mean seriously, what's the point of even having health insurance when there are so many out of pocket expenses to deal with anyway??
Anyway, the whole situation has me majorly stressed out. A lot of people have this idea that the unemployed, or the 'low-income' are these lazy, uneducated people who are trying to mooch off the system or something. This simply isn't true. I am now 'those people,' and it's been a really, I don't know if this is the right word for it, humbling experience. I've never been rich by any means, but I've also never been in a situation where I'm having to decide between paying rent and buying groceries. I've never had to worry about whether or not buying a package of frozen chicken breasts was going to break the bank. I'm not trying to have a pity party for myself because I know I am still a lot better off than some out there, but it's been a real struggle adjusting. I've certainly gained a new outlook (and a lot more compassion and respect) for those who are struggling to make it in this crappy economy.
I hate the money stress. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
Alright, moving on...
2) Dad and I have been putting off doing your shower registry for awhile now. Dad, just because he hates shopping in general, and me, because it kinda scares me. One of the worst things ever was getting constant reminders about and coupons from Babies R Us for 'items not purchased on our registry' after Stevie died. We had registered, but I never even made it far enough to actually have my baby showers, so essentially every item was left 'unpurchased.' For some reason, I just feel stupid doing that to myself again. Sort of like an idiot for assuming that this time, there will be a need for a registry.
So we decided to skip Babies R Us altogether and registered at Target and Amazon. I guess it wasn't too bad. It does feel good to cross it off the list. This kind of goes back to the insurance/money stress again, but seeing the list of stuff we need grow bigger and bigger is kind of overwhelming. I just keep reminding myself that while of course I will be beyond thrilled to get some of these items as gifts from our family and friends, so much of the 'stuff' the stores make you think you need, just really isn't all that important. At least not in the big-picture sense.
You will have a nice, warm place to sleep, a boob to eat from, dry diapers, and lots and lots and lots of love. That's all that really matters, right?
3) I had my first "I am going to hospital" moment last night. When lay down in bed before going to sleep each night, you are always super active. Like for the last month or so, that time has consistently been your most active time of the day. Well last night I snuggled into bed and you were hardly moving around at all. I was feeling some little nudges and small kicks here and there, but none of your usual kicks and jabs that make my whole belly jump. I started to get really concerned. I know babies have lazy periods, but I also know that a sudden change in movement patterns can be a sign of fetal distress and a cause for concern. I was in tears. I got up, jumped around, and drank a big glass of cold water. I told dad that if you didn't start moving more in the next 30 minutes, we were going to the hospital to check things out.
Thankfully, you did start moving around more shortly after. I've never been so happy to get kicked in the crotch as I was right then! I stayed up and monitored things, and finally fell asleep about an hour later when you had finally convinced me you were doing just fine in there.
I'm glad we didn't have to make a trip to Labor and Delivery, but I'm also not going to apologize for being overly cautious. If this happens again, and my gut tells me I should get checked out, I won't hesitate to do so. If I end up being that crazy, paranoid girl that comes goes to the hospital every other week, so be it--I'm not taking any chances this time around!
4) A couple people asked me about the 'tree of life' pendants, and how to make them. Here's a link to the youtube video I followed. I did tweak her instructions quite a bit, but this is a great place to start.
5) As for the quote coasters and hanging tiles/signs, I don't have a link because I took a bunch of different ideas and combined them to make these :) Here are some quick instructions if you want to make some yourself (they are perfect for cheap Christmas presents!):
For the coasters:
- You'll need 4X4 plain tiles from Home Depot; they are $.016 a piece (and even cheaper if you buy a big box of them), plain white tissue paper (just the regular kind you'd use to wrap presents or whatever), mod podge, a paint brush, a hot glue gun, and something to line the back (cork, felt, whatever you want).
- I found a bunch of quotes I liked on Pinterest, and used Picnik.com (a free photo editing program) to design the coasters. Just play around with the fonts to make them look the way you like.
- Print the coaster designs onto the tissue paper. To do this, you have to 'trick' your printer by taping he tissue paper onto regular 8.5X11 printing paper. Make sure all the edges are taped down well, or it will get stuck in the printer.
- Cut out the tissue paper designs and mod podge them to the tiles. Be really careful as the tissue is very fragile and will rip easily. I purposely scrape at the corners so that you don't have super straight edges. I do about 3-4 coats of the mod podge.
- Glue on your backing using a hot glue gun.
For the hanging tiles/signs:
It's pretty much the same process as the coasters, but using 6X8 tiles, also from Home Depot (they are like $.50 a piece). You'll also need to attach a hanger of some sort--I used a thick hemp/twine.
Hope that helps! You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Alright, I think that's about it for today. Sorry for the long, whiny, and all over the place post!
I love you so much, Baby E. No more scaring mama (at least for awhile), okay? :)