Sunday, October 28, 2012

Holy frijoles, the bills!

I don't think that's quite all of our bills from having Whit, surely there's a couple more filed away somewhere. I have to admit I was not prepared AT ALL for how expensive the actual labor and delivery was going to be! We had saved up nearly $1000 for Whit's arrival and that covered about a third of the medical bills. I think in total we racked up $3500? Oy! And believe me I could spend a lengthy amount of time being angry at our insurance company for a couple of things (like changing our coverage in the middle of my pregnancy without telling us or giving us the option of switching plans, etc.), but I won't. I will however let you in on a few ways I've learned to save some money along the way.

1. If you know you're going to rack up a lot of bills, see if your employer offers a health savings account. A health savings account takes money from your paycheck before income tax is taken out and sets it aside for medical expenses. The downside is if you don't use that money, at the end of the year you lose it. Next time we're for sure doing this. Our insurance company had a cost estimator on their website before I got pregnant that estimated having a baby was somewhere in the $900 range. Had I known that was a gross underestimate or that Ben was also going to be sick, we would have signed up this year!

2. The cheapest option is home birth, then birthing center, then hospital. I was already hesitant about home births before, but now after Whit's scary beginnings I for sure won't ever have one. But we will definitely look into a birthing center and midwives next time around.

3. Don't have a c-section or epidural! Now I see why a lot of women want to go natural and not have c-sections... it's cur-razy expensive! Now, that being said, I will probably never try to go natural and I wasn't shooting for a c-section, but it's what had to happen. Shit happens.

4. Know your body. I've always been pretty damn in tune with myself physically. I can feel a cold coming on days before it does. If my stomach hurts, I can tell you which of my ten issues is causing the problem. Point is, I know myself way better than a doctor or nurse. So when I told the nurses I was nauseated because of the anesthesia and that I would like some Phenergran and they gave me Zofran pills instead I was furious. But I was exhausted and out of my element and went along with it. Now I know better, I want what I want and don't give me anything "in the mean time" to charge me for later. If you know stool softeners don't work on you, tell the nurse you're not taking it. (I hid a bottle of Miralax in my bag for just such emergencies.) And if you want to go home a day or two early, do it. We left a day early because we were too tired to stay any longer, and we could have left the day before that, which would have saved us about $600.

5. See if you can eat your own food and not get charged the "board". Honestly, I've always liked hospital food... I know, I know, I'm crazy. But when my friend Amanda was in the hospital after her c-section I heard her ask someone to bring her take out. And I thought, really?! We definitely had some people I could have asked to cook for us, especially once I realized I was getting as much leafy greens as I like to normally eat.

6. Take everything you can! Everyone will tell you this, so don't worry you won't forget.

Basically, speak up! If you have questions, ask. Once I was back to feeling like myself I found out the minor pain pills they were giving me were basically a big Aleve. Like I don't already own some Aleve!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Random fall and cute pictures... prepare thyself!

Vibrating rocking chair = awesome.


My friend Amanda, who is five days younger than me and her baby Pierce, who is 9 days younger than Whit.
Whit's buddy, Summer. Whit hadn't been very chatty until she got on the phone with him last week, then he was all ooh's and aah's.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Post-baby body blues

First, let me say I feel so much better than the scale would have you to believe. The other night I overheard part of this story on Nightline about celebrity moms affect the way we see ourselves and how we should look after having a baby. It wasn't anything new to me, but it felt so good to hear other moms talk about how they struggled with weight loss and accepting their post-baby bodies too. I knew there were other women out there struggling with the same things I'm beating myself up about every once in a while, but it was like I needed to be told right then that it's okay and that I'm on the right track with eating healthy and exercising and that I'm not alone. Something in the story that really struck home was the mom that when her son asked for a picture of the two of them together she started to say no because of how she looked, but then thought better of it. Lately I had been shying away from pictures of Whit and I together, not because of the weight, but I just look so tired and much older than I used to look. But then I remembered how annoyed I would get at my grandma when she wouldn't take pictures with me and how annoyed I get now at my mother-in-law about the same thing. So, I decided to get over it. My son doesn't give a shit what I look like! He will always love me for who I am, not how much I weigh. So...

Gosh, he's so adorable! And smart! This ended up being a pretty fun game. I had my iPhone camera turned so we could see ourselves and I would make a face, then he would try to copy it. Whit hasn't been a huge fan of mirrors (well, he would be except he loves the lights above them soooo much more), so this was a fun way to get him to notice himself and interact with me at the same time. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

You know you're a grown-up when... want to tell your husband all about your day, but instead shut up and listen to him babble happily to his newborn son.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"You have a first grader!" what the pediatrician said when he saw how big Whit had gotten since his two week visit. Whit weighed in at a little over 13 lbs. (about 70th percentile) and was in the 50th percentile for length and head circumference. So hooray, we haven't been feeding him too much! The doc and nurse were also pretty surprised that Whit's been sleeping the night through most nights, has been rolling over for weeks (Dr. said that's a 4-month milestone!), and how strong he is trying to stand up. Everything was looking really good for our visit and then... the shots.

Whit (and us) actually did pretty well considering. He didn't care for the sugar water rotavirus vaccine, didn't even mind the first shot, but shots #3 and 4 pissed him off! He had been such a happy baby while we were waiting to see the doctor, it broke our and the nurse's hearts to see him so upset. The nurse was so sad as soon as she was done she cuddled and apologized to Whit. Ben said she was pretty close to crying, too. Oh! I can't imagine having that job!

He only cried for a couple of minutes and calmed down, but didn't sleep. I was shocked! My sisters and I all require a nap after something traumatic, so I was hoping Whit had inherited that trait. He took a few catnaps the rest of the night, but once the fever started coming it was inconsolable. I had been waiting to see if he would even get a fever before giving him any baby Tylenol, but I know better now. Next time I'm giving it to him as soon as we leave the doctor's office, before he gets a chance to feel feverish!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Happy Two Months!

First, here's Whit's one month old picture. In the chaos, I did manage to take a few, just haven't had time to blog. Priorities, folks! And here he is at two months. What a difference four weeks make! 

I adore the fact he looks like he's doing the Popeye dance! 

At two months, Whit...

...weighs in at about 12 lbs. (I'm guessing here, but we have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so we'll have some accurate measurements soon.)

...smiles A LOT! And may even be trying to laugh, we can't tell if his new grunt or his sounding like he's gasping is about to become giggles, but he's definitely up to something. a morning baby. He is his happiest in the morning and any time he's on his changing table. But around 6:00 happy baby goes away and leaves behind a grumpy little man. 

...loves car rides and our walks around the neighborhood, when he stays awake for them. Out of nearly twenty walks, he's only been awake for three and he was a big fan. Car rides? Fuhgetaboutit, this kid is out in about two minutes of being in a car. (Totally gets that from me) a big boy! He's graduated to size 2 diapers and 3 months sized clothes. Some brands I'm putting him in the 3-6 months size. He's not quite long enough or big enough in the belly for them, but his shoulders are huge! We may have a future linebacker on our hands.

...refuses to take a pacifier. Alas, those days are long gone.

...loves being held, on your shoulder, all the time. This week I gave up and bought yet another baby carrier. This time a backpack-style front carrier and he loves it. This has helped tremendously with the 6-8:00 cranky time and my back is so grateful. a champion sleeper at night. Last night he slept for 12 hours straight!!! He's also a fantastic self-soother. It only took two nights of letting him cry it out (only for two minute intervals) until he could put himself to sleep at night. amazingly strong and coordinated. He's rolling over tummy to back a lot now, and finally in front of Ben. He acts like he may roll over from back to tummy any day now. He's held toys we put in his hand for a long time and occasionally brings them to his mouth. This morning his was batting the animals on his activity mat and for once I was sure it was on purpose. He holds his head up almost the entire time he's being held and a lot when he's on his tummy on the floor.

...his favorite toys are: Zoey, our Boston; his key ring of keys, a bunch of different colored links, his activity mat, and a toy giraffe that "talks" to him. I've never been a great puppeteer and his giraffe kinda sounds like Santa Claus, thankfully Whit doesn't mind. 

...his favorite things to do are: me swiping a tissue over his face, playing "tasty baby" (me "eating" him up with kisses), bath time!, being outside especially if it's windy, and listening to music (and occasionally Mama singing along and dancing-- this was how I managed to cook dinner the other night).

Mama is...

...not looking forward to tomorrow's doctor visit. Shots! Eek!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Dear Whit,

Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and hope I hear you cry soon, because I want so badly to snuggle you.