Tuesday, March 24, 2009

To Be Continued...

There's a lot going on right now,and I don't really want to get into any of it until we know the final outcome of everything.

In the meantime, I just ask that you all send me crossed fingers, good thoughts and good karma. Right now, I'll take all the luck/prayer/what-have-you I can get.

Hopefully, it will all be good news, and a huge update will be coming your way!


Morning sickness is turning into any time-I'm-not-sleeping-sickness. SWEET.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's up, Doc?

I love my OBGYN.

He immediately made me feel at ease, he answered all my bajillion questions, and even though there may be some challenges ahead, he didn't get all DOOM-and-GLOOM on me about it, which was so refreshing, I could've kissed him....but I didn't. That would have made things awkward...

Oh! Oh! Oh! Annnd, he said I should be able to travel this summer which means that we'll be able to go see my brother and sister-in-law over 4th of July weekend. We're so stoked for that, as we'll (well at least I'll) miss their wedding in October. :(

In summation, my OB is currently my new buddy.
I hope this burgeoning relationship keeps trending toward the positive!

As for the details of my visit, he said that everything looks good, but he wants me to see a specialist just to talk about and get informed on how my CP may interact with the progression of the pregnancy.

I am also scheduled for an ultrasound to make sure that we have my due date correct and to double-check that development is on the right track.

Last but not least, he wants us to talk to a genetic counselor. There is a history of Huntington's Disease in my husband's family, so the doctor wants us to speak to someone about possible outcomes, testing, etc.

It's a lot to absorb, and we have a lot to think about. It's definitely a tricky situation, at best.

Anyway, I should be getting the results of my pap and blood work today, and I have a consult with the genetic counselor AND I have my ultrasound.


As per the usual, I just want everything to be okay.

Cross your fingers for me, kids!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Houston, we have APPROVAL!

I received my approval notice for Medi-Cal in the mail!
Hallelujah! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I was terrified that we would be denied.

We were only approved for prenatal and pregnancy-related services, but that is more than enough for me. While I would love to have health care for myself, my main concern was/is making sure the baby is covered, so HUGE sigh of relief there!

Now, if Friday would just hurry up and get here, I may be able to allow myself to relax a little bit.

I'm supposedly right at 6 weeks, and my due date is 11-7-09, but I will remain skeptical (read: worried-out-of-my-mind) until everything is confirmed by a doctor, and it is decreed that all systems are GO.

On a more fun note, I started filling out a pregnancy journal last night.

They want me to chart down my waist size and weight each week. This is supposed to be a "fun" part of pregnancy....

According to who, exactly?

Those numbers do not need to be recorded for posterity. They'll stay in my medical chart where they belong!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The "Waiting Game" is not one of my favorites...

Now that the Medi-Cal process is fully underway, and I have my first prenatal appointment set up for this Friday, I feel as though I'm just sitting on my hands...

I HATE that. I'm not good with waiting, as I am verrrrrrrrry impatient. My appointment just can not come fast enough. I'm dying to know just how far along I am (the initial assessment being 5-6 weeks), to make sure my pap is clean, and to know that everything looks healthy and on track with the baby.

I'm terrified that something will be wrong. My mom was diagnosed with Cervical, Ovarian, and Uterine cancer when she was 34. Since it was probably there for much longer than when she suspected, as opposed to when she FINALLY went to see a doctor, she had to have full hysterectomy. Thankfully, she'd already had 3 children.

Since she and I shared common menstruation issues/maladies, I've been holding my breath for my turn to get cancer as well....at every annual pap, I cross my fingers.

Now that I'm having a baby, every worst-case-scenario runs circles around my brain.

Add the cancer worry to the fact that I've already suffered a miscarriage in 2003 AND the complications that could, and probably will, arise from my Cerebral Palsy...it's enough to make my head explode with paranoia.

I'm trying my best not to "what-if" myself to death.

I know that it's pretty useless to worry about things that may not even be there, but I can't help myself!

I'm just so excited about this baby! It feels like a miracle.

My husband and I had already started having the "so-we're-not-going-to-be-able-to have-babies" convo this January...

With our financial situation the way it is, and the economy seemingly getting worse everyday, we knew that it would be at least several years before we were stable enough to even entertain the thought of a baby, which was not really going work in our favor.

While most would consider 2.5 weeks shy of 28 still very young, for me, it's not...in terms of childbirth, that is.

Because of my Cerebral Palsy, I was told that pregnancy and labor would be very difficult for me, and the younger that I could have children the better. The same can be said for Chronic fatigue, which I also have, and then we've got the high risk of cancer, so again, we're back to the adage of "younger is better."

All of those things and knowing that for anyone, risks increase with age (staring at minimally 30, and increasing from there, in even healthy women), I did not want to start having children past the age of 32. Even that, for me, was pushing it. I was just not willing to put myself or the baby at risk, rare or otherwise.

This is not to say that I judge women who DO choose to have children later. This was personal choice for me, given my health issues and family history.

So, yes, we'd pretty much given up. We wanted to do the "right" thing, the responsible thing.

Too late for that now!

Money be damned, we're having a baby!

I hope.

I realllly REEALLLY hope.

Because despite my best efforts, I'm already in love.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Great, I'm going to be a Mommy, but I'm still uninsured. Not so peachy.

As I mentioned in my first post, this crumbling economy has not been kind to us. Much like almost everyone else, I'm sure.

This past year has left us pretty broke, both financially and emotionally.

We went from being an engaged couple with a great two-bedroom apartment, two good jobs with potential, and a cute little dog, to a married couple living with our in-laws (who, don't get me wrong, are GREAT, but it's still not the same), one shaky job that we hope lasts, AND we had to give up our dog.

All of this (and more), is why I wasn't immediately over-the-moon about the pregnancy.

Of course, I want this baby; to be a wife and mother is all I have really ever wanted (and somewhere, a feminist cries...), but all I could think about is: How the hell are we going to do this?

Well, in times of crisis, all I know how to do is to go into planning/organizing/fixing mode.

So what's first? How to get insurance for myself and the baby.

My husband has insurance through his job, but it would cost us like $500 a month to add me and we just couldn't afford that.

I used to have insurance through my job, but was laid off. I've since desperately tried to procure private insurance for myself, but no one would take me b/c of my pre-existing conditions, baby notwithstanding.

So after doing some research, and talking to a good friend who'd been in a similar situation, it seemed like my only option was to head down to the local Social Services office to apply for Medi-Cal.

Medi-Cal (as defined by the CA Healthcare Foundation) "is California's Medicaid program. It provides health care coverage for more than six million low-income children and families as well as elderly, blind, or disabled individuals. Medi-Cal is jointly funded by the state and federal government, and administered by the California Department of Health Care Services. People enroll in Medi-Cal through their county social services department."

Now, I know a lot of folks get into an uproar about things such as Medi-Cal, talking about people living off the system, angry b/c they don't want to support other people's families, etc., and I understand that, but I don't want to hear any of those gripes here. I've been working my ass off since I was 14, supporting myself since I was 17, and paying taxes ever since. I've been paying into this system, and now, I need help. If I can get it, You bet your buttons, I'm going to take it.

Off the the Medi-Cal office I went!

If you are in a similar situation (Pregnant and Uninsured), here's what you need to do:

Go to the website and find your local Social Service office
Get there ASAP
The site will tell you that you can download and mail in your app, but it is safer and more effective to go in. You don't need to fill out the application b/c a worker will do that for you when you are seen.


When going to apply for Medi-Cal, two things to know are:

1. be prepared!
2. be prepared to wait, and then wait some more

The Medi-Cal application will require a lot of info of you and if you have one, your spouse:

Proof of CA residency
Proof of Pregnancy (can be obtained from a free clinic)
Birth Certificate or papers
Marriage License
SS Card
Bank statements for all accounts
Pay stubs
Vehicle Registration
Proof of Vehicle Insurance

There are even more documents if either of you own property, stocks, etc., or if either of you pay child support or alimony.

If you receive any other types of state or government assistance, you need to bring documentation of that as well.

None of that applied to me, so I just needed to bring what was on the aforementioned list, and wait to have an interview and then be assigned a worker.

Be warned:

Even with all of my copies and documentation in tow, I was there about a total of 4 hours, AND the income rates are higher than I expected.

Even with our one income and shoestring budget, we barely qualified for anything, and my application is still processing.

Medi-Cal does not care about how much you pay in rent, or how much your student loan payments are. They just care about what's listed on your pay stub.

That being said, I will hopefully be able to get enough coverage to take care of my prenatal visits, my labor, delivery, and hospital stay. After the baby is born, I can then apply for Medi-Cal for him/her separately. All I care about is that my child gets what he/she needs.

It can take up to 45 days for your application to process. If you're like me, this is far too long to go without prenatal care. Here is a back-way into seeing a OBGYN faster:

Go to a free clinic, like a community health care clinic.
(don't tell them that you've already been to the Medi-Cal office, that you already have proof of Pregnancy, or that you have a case-worker)

Tell them that you need a pregnancy test...

Once your test comes back positive, they'll issue you a proof of Pregnancy

They will also give you a Presumptive Eligibility Card. This entitles you to 45 days of coverage with Medi-Cal so you can start the application process, but you already have, so score on for you!

Once you have the PE card, call your worker and get the physician referral number. Your worker may have already given it to you during your interview.
Call that number and find a OBGYN in your area.

Call the OBGYN, tell them that you have a PE card, and that you've already turned in your application for medi-cal. They will then schedule you for your first prenatal appointment. Victory!

Whew, that was a lot!

More to come....

I'm Pregnant! Wait...WHAT?

It all started with intention of going to the doctor for an annual pap exam. Last Tuesday. March 3rd, to be exact.

I arrived on time and filled out the appropriate paperwork. Then they called me back and asked me to pee in a cup, you know, like you do...

As I sit in the waiting room waiting for the gynecologist to come in and the torture to begin, my thoughts are not even remotely on pregnancy or conception of any kind. This will change in a matter of seconds...

So all of the sudden a nurse pops in. She looks at me and says: "So your pregnancy test came back positive...."

(It did?! WHAT pregnancy test? I'm sorry, are you speaking English? Condoms LIE!)

I immediately burst into tears.

Don't get me wrong, I love children and I have always wanted to be a mother, but we've pretty much been kicked the shit out of by this current economy, so great timing this is not.

But timing aside, my husband and I would do nothing other other than keep any child that came our way, so after assuring them that I didn't need info about abortion OR adoption services, I called my best friend who talked me down from the panic attack I was having, and then called my husband to inform him of his newly appointed daddyhood.

(And by the way, they wouldn't even give me the pap exam. They said that I needed to schedule a prenatal appointment with an OBGYN.)

So, it's official: I'm pregnant. NOW WHAT?