Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jumbled mess of a post

Dear Elliot,
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:

  1. 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).
  2. I found a bunch of quotes I liked on Pinterest, and used (a free photo editing program) to design the coasters. Just play around with the fonts to make them look the way you like.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 ( 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? :)



Jenny said...

I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I know exactly how you feel about the money/insurance stress.

I wish you didn't have to be afraid that you wouldn't need the things on your registry. I'm praying hard that Baby E stays active and doesn't scare you anymore. I can't wait to see his sweet face!

Mary said...

Kristin...I think it's time to start selling on Etsy...those are really cute!

I'm glad E is ok, but I'm with you...I wouldn't have hesitated one bit and I bet you the L&D nurses would blame you for being over cautious.

Brie said...

Oh Kristin, my heart goes out to you.. I have had a few nights just like yours, and it scares the crap out of me. I have ended up in L&D and been "that" girl, and guess what-if it makes you feel better, do it! My ob has been super compassionate about it, as was the hospital staff the day I went in for "contractions" and was promptly sent back home an hour and a half later as "normal"

Shan said...

Check out to see if you can find some of the things you need. There's a membership fee of $5 which will be waived if you say you're from BBC.
Also, look on Facebook for local swapping groups. The ones in my area are called Swapping Mamas and Kid2Kid Closet. They're local groups that collect clothing and other things for babies, children and women and then have "swaps." People who have donated or who just have a need can get some things to help out. It's customary to pass them back to the group when you don't need them anymore.

Hope these suggestions help offset some of Eliot's needs.

Shan :+)

Brooke said...

I completely sympathize with your insurance woes. Paying out of pocket for my hospital bills with Eliza was like adding insult to injury. It was really horrible. You're absolutely right--responsible, productive individuals should not have to pay thousands of dollars for basic health care (including maternity coverage). It's completely unfair. Sorry you're having to deal with such stress. Take a deep breath and remember that 10 years from now, this stuff won't matter. But that sweet babe of yours will.

Also a random tip for coaster making--I've found that glasses sometimes stick to the mod podge coating on my coasters (especially a warm mug of tea, for example) so I use a craft acrylic spray (from Michael's or Hobby Lobby) to sort of "seal" the mod podge after it dries. I put on two coats of the acrylic spray. It doesn't fix the stickiness entirely, but it does help. However, it's stinky, so you have to spray outside (maybe not so easy in a Minnesota winter).

Melissa said...

I know how you feel...I have had a couple of nights of panic and the other day got paranoid about my undies feeling damp. I went in to ake sure it wasn't fluid. Thank God it was urine. I wish we didn't have all this fear and worry!

Angela said...

Insurance makes me crazy. We paid $3,500 out of pocket for Bennett's birth plus another $3,000 for me, and our insurance is considered good. All told we've paid nearly $10,000 out of pocket for medical costs this year. I agree that having a baby should not cost so much.

I am sorry there is so much stress in your life right now. Take a few deep breaths and love on the boy growing in your belly. And don't worry about being "that girl." I hauled three people to L&D (an hour away) only to find out my membranes hadn't ruptured, I just peed my pants while throwing up.

Our family said...

Totally understand the insurance frustration ... for those without insurance or even those with high co-pays and such please go take a look at:

Paula said...

we must hang out soon!! cheap happy hour apps!! when are you guys free??

Anonymous said...

Being broke bites! I don't know if you're up for cloth diapering but you can save a ton of money (especially if your friends and family buy the diapers!). If you register for diapers, maybe you'll be lucky enough that you won't have to fund your own *stash*.

Ausmerican Housewife said...

We had one ER trip with Evan at 21w6d. I tripped and fell and Evan freaked out. This was just after I really started feeling him kick and getting his schedule figured out and I was panicking.

I called 13HEALTH (toll free oncall nurse support line type thing) and the nurse suggested lying down, drinking something cold and putting an ice pack on my tummy (to jolt Evan from his warm snug cozy spot and get him to move). It didn't work. I had some dinner and that didn't do anything. The nurse suggested I go to my GP the next day but I called my MIL and she took us to the hospital. The ER staff took us to the Birth Suites where one of the midwives on staff did a heartbeat check and Evan was fine. She told me to do a kick count in the morning and as long as Evan did 10 kicks in an hour, we'd be fine. If he didn't then to get my ass back in P.R.O.N.T.O! We got home, went to bed and in the morning I woke up, had to pee and as soon as I got back to bed, 10 kicks in rapid-fire succession.

Go with your gut though momma. The L&D would rather have you come in for a false alarm (especially since Stevie didn't make it) than for you to stay home and fret and it be a real situation. The Birth Suite ladies at my hospital told me anytime something didn't feel right to haul myself in.

Jessica said...

Oh Kristin I totally understand where you are coming from with being unemployed! I have been since May of 2010! We have basically "lost" $700 a month! It's awful! Somehow we manage to get by and I am lucky enough to have had insurance under my husband's job. Recently he switched though and we have a large deductible but his grandma is paying for it which is such a blessing and I KNOW that and feel so grateful! But things will still be hard but we will manage - but the stress does suck! (((hugs)))

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