Friday, December 21, 2012

That'll be $120. Merry Christmas!

Remember last year when I told you we had a minor health scare with Aminah? It basically amounted to a visit to a pediatric nephrologist and two ultrasounds to make sure her kidneys were functioning properly. She was born with a small skin tag on her ear, and since ears and kidneys develop at the same time in utero, her pediatrician suggested we get her kidneys checked out just to make sure everything was working as it should be.

Our pediatrician referred us to a pediatric nephrologist who is one of the best in the business. We are lucky to live near an amazing pediatric hospital that is world renowned and this guy is not only the medical director of the pediatric nephrology program, he also teaches at a top tier university medical school.

Of course after the ultrasounds bills starting trickling in. We quickly met our deductible for the year, even though Aminah was born in October. I never did receive a bill from the nephrologist and at some point I forgot all about it. Until today when the statement showed up.

My portion of the bill for one office visit with this guy? $120. His original bill to my insurance for a new patient visit? $750.

Now, I know I am lucky to have decent insurance and the means to pay this bill. I am not in love with the timing (a full YEAR after the fact), especially because we just splurged on a trip to Disney for Miles' 5th birthday. But you know, I'll figure it out. It will get paid. At the end of the day it is a small price to pay for the reassurance that my baby is perfectly healthy. We are lucky that she didn't need follow-up care. And I know it.

I just still can't believe the healthcare system we have in this country and that we all put up with it. The day I took Aminah for this visit, the office was crawling with kids, from newborns like my daughter, to tweens. Some of them had obviously been coming there for a long time and knew the office staff well. That was so heartbreaking. What kind of bills do those parents get in the mail every month? Can they pay them? What other bills do they put to the side in order to pay the doctors who are keeping their kids alive?

I'm sure you all have your own health insurance woes and horror stories, which you can feel free to spill in the comments section. I hope that none of you are surprised with any huge healthcare bills any time soon. Happy holidays!

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Christmas Stock Up!

This post is sponsored by The Children's Place.

Every year before the holidays I head to The Children's Place to stock up. I get a cute Christmas outfit for the kids to wear to church and scoop up all of the discounted tees, pajamas and shorts that I can. This year TCP had the most gorgeous blues and teals and so I decided to get some matching outfits for the kids. For Miles, a blue V-neck sweater, a woven plaid long-sleeved shirt and a new pair of jeans. He got to pick one licensed Tee and chose Sonic.

For Aminah, I went with a cute tiered dress, leggings and some sparkly flats. The leggings were a steal and I stocked up here, getting different colors and styles.

I found this adorable faux fur shrug on deep discount for $3.99! There were only two left so I was thrilled to find it in her size.

I also loaded up on tunic dresses which were marked down to $7.99 each. These are perfect for daycare paired with ruched leggings. Thankfully it's not too cold here in the winter, but I did pick out fleece jackets for each kiddo, plus an adorable knit hat for the baby. $4.99 for this fantastic cat hat (and there are tons online! Get some now!)

If you still need to pick up some winter clothes, you can shop online and save an additional 30% with coupon code E4K3012 until December 24! Happy shopping!

Friday, December 14, 2012

What I'm Reading This Week

Here's some of the blog posts and news articles I've been reading and thinking about this week. Feel free to link me to anything you've loved as well!

Why do black moms die more often in childbirth? From Women's eNews:
(WOMENSENEWS)--It's been called a conundrum. A mystery. A disgrace. A national crisis. But when you ask why black women in the United States die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth at three to four times the rate of other ethnic/racial groups, the answer is usually the same: "We simply don't know."

How much milk should you expect to pump? From Nancy Morhbacher at Breastfeeding Reporter:
Do you ever second-guess your milk production after pumping? Do you compare it with the volume of milk your friend or neighbor pumps? Do you compare it with the milk you pumped for a previous baby? Before you start to worry, you first need to know how much pumped milk is average. Many mothers discover—to their surprise—that when they compare their own pumping experience with the norm, they’re doing just fine. Take a deep breath and read on.

36 Black-Owned Etsy Stores from Huffington Post:
OK so Black Friday is way past over, but you may still need to do some holiday shopping for your loved ones. Here's a great list of black-owned Etsy shops you can support. Most are women, many are moms. I love the cute stuff in IkdKids' shop, including a sling for your little girl to wear her dolls in. Lots more links in the comments, as well as on this post, 800+ Creative Black Women You Can Support.

Going for a Non-Stress Test/Biophysical Profile from Navelgazing Midwife:
This is a fantastic post on how to level the playing field if your pregnancy is going past dates or if there are any concerns about the baby and your OB or midwife requires you to get an NST and biophysical profile ultrasound. As Barbara states, "When going for an NST/BPP, a little preparation can help you make sure you are hydrated and the baby will be as active as possible before being hooked up to the monitors. This is not to fool the doctor, but to set yourself up for success. If, after following this regimen, the baby or amniotic fluid still shows there is something amiss, you will know you did your part to make sure both were as normal as possible. "

Rethinking Pelvic Typologies and the Human Birth Mechanism from Current Anthropology (2003):
A conversation popped up in my Twitter timeline on whether or not freebirthing (or unassisted childbirth or UC) was smart or asinine. I'll admit I am pretty much against UC, but I understand why some women do it. For many, there really is no "choice" involved. If you've had a C-section and live in a state that outlaws midwives from caring for you and prevents you from using a birth center, you are typically forced to have another C-section because the number of OBs who will consider VBAC is so low. From what I am hearing and reading this is changing slowly, but many mothers live in places where they have few options. I remembered that I had read an article that explained why humans need help during birth and why, unlike our mammalian cousins, we don't birth solo. Fascinating read if you've got the time and are interested (hat tip to Sol for finding the link!)

What have you been reading this week?

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