Looking at the list of baby costs that hisboyscanswim.com have put together has been really enlightening. We are going to have a bit of insurance to cover us, but in the end that means we’ll probably pay about half to 66% of the total costs of having a baby.
We haven’t even had our first doctor’s appointment yet. That’s coming up in a week or so, I believe. The doctor that we had chosen (and who had come highly recommended from several friends) for the last pregnancy (which only got to 7.5 weeks, sadly) has since left the practice, so we’ve got to choose another doctor.
I’m curious to see how the $3,300 cost for a vaginal delivery compares to the cost of a birthing center. Also, we’re highly interested in having a midwife and possibly also a doula for before and after the birth. But I have no idea how much they cost, whether midwives are covered by insurance if they’re connected to a physician, etc.
I am expecting total out-of-pocket expenses to probably be in the $10,000 range, hopefully not more. Again, I could be way off. I know nothing.
I’m about 100 pages into a fascinating book called Pushed. The best way to describe it is as a Fast Food Nation or Omnivore’s Dilemma of the field of obstetrics. The enemy in the book is not necessarily the doctors and physicians, but rather the strange dance between hospitals, insurance companies, and the “malpractice crisis”.
It has turned me from a casual “yeah, it would be nice to avoid an epidural, induction, and Cesarian if possible” to a more emphatic “we should probably try to have the baby outside of the hospital system”.
It doesn’t seem like anyone is really at fault. Everyone is trying to make the business of having babies as safe and efficient as possible, but there are just some pretty glaring conflicts of interest when a doctor needs to pay $900,000/year in malpractice and therefore has to race through births as fast as possible, sacrificing care and patience for fast, risk-adverse, insurance-friendly planned Cesarians.
And then there’s the self-reinforcing loop of wanting to control everything. Inducing a pregnancy that isn’t even to term yet, rather than sending someone back home, for example. The fact that inducing a pregnancy seems to lead to a more painful birth, therefore increasing the need for an epidural. The fact that a failed induction often encourages a Cesarian. All of it could be avoided by simply not going to the hospital until you really need to be there. Or, not going to a hospital at all and having the baby in a birthing center or at home under the care of a licensed midwife.
I’m really coming at this as a complete newbie, so please correct me if I’m incorrect in any of my statements. Esther and I talked about it a bit this morning and think that using the hospital for ultrasounds and all those checkups seems good, and then having the actual baby at a birthing center or under the guidance of a good midwife.
We just need to figure out how much each of these options cost, which things are covered by our minimal maternity insurance, and also talk to our yet-to-be-chosen doctor about some of these things to see where our local hospital is on the spectrum of overly aggressive birthing.
I recently left my well-paying job to start up a little company. Of course, along with a fat paycheck I also lost my health insurance. Perfect time to procreate, right?
We’re now paying $300/month for Regence BlueShield health insurance that has a $3,000 family deductible. It covers maternity after deductible at 80%. So, if the pregnancy costs $10,000 (which is cheap), we’ll be paying $300/month ($2,700) + $3,000 deductible + 20% of $7,000 ($1,400) which comes to $7,100 total over the next 9 months. That doesn’t count coverage of the baby once it’s born, of course.
Our house is a loft. Which means there are no separate rooms. This worries us a little. So we’re also thinking about moving somewhere that has separate bedroom.
We don’t have a car. Does modern parenting involve taking the taxi to the hospital and strapping in a baby seat on the way back? If we move, one of our desires would be to have a parking spot (they cost $150/month or $30,000 in my current building and it’s a little ridiculous).
Should we move? Should we consider delivery options (birthing centers, home delivery)? Should we get a car? Should I get a high-paying job with health insurance?
Except for the last one (no way), these are the questions we don’t yet have answers for. And, despite it all, while the situation seems a little financially scary, it also seems like the amount of change and adventure in store for us will keep us on our toes. I like a good challenge, in other words.
Now, all I gotta do is read them, right?
We’re in that limbo between knowing she’s pregnant and not really being able to get our hopes up about it. It’s a little insane. And of course here I am starting a blog and buying these books and sort of setting myself up to be really sad if the pregnancy doesn’t get past that magical 12th week again.
But, you know, this is just the way it is. Sure, things might not work out, but I really think that they eventually will. So consider this stuff preparation for this time, or the next time, or the time after that.
And really, this limbo state is simply the first of many limbo states that we will continue to be in for the rest of our lives. Uncertainty about outcomes is part of the magic of life, especially when it involves bringing another life into our lives, and this will be good practice for acting while uncertain.
Truth is, I am excited. And I am aware that I’m wholly not prepared for what we’re getting ourselves into. This new blog is my attempt to get ramped up to speed on everything I need to know during Esther’s pregnancy, and beyond.
My wife is gonna have a baby in about 8 months. Holy shit.