Life in the End Times

Shin's gift to Annie on their One Year Anniversary

Shin’s Birth Research

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 2:17 pm on Friday, June 30, 2006

Ok… I spent all that time searching for the cost of delivering, and here Shin finds these links in a flash. Here are some cost estimates from different sources.,1511,8285,00.html
With marked regional variation, estimates of the cost of having a baby in the U.S. range from $6,000 to $8,000 for a normal vaginal delivery and $10,000 to $12,000 for a cesarean birth (on up to as much as $14,000 in certain parts of the country).
But first things first. How much is your pregnancy costing? From pregnancy test through delivery, anywhere between $6,800 and $10,600. Your insurance company is picking up much of the tab, but as soon as your baby is born and named, they’re your financial responsibility. Their first year will cost about $11,000.

Wonderful World of Midwives

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 1:58 pm on Friday, June 30, 2006

I got in touch with two other midwife centers today. I spoke with John from Natural Birth and Women Center, and he spoke with me for a good half hour. When I told him I was interested in water birth he told me some shocking information. He said that Tonya Brooks, MS, CPM, had a strong research background. She studied brain damage in children, and he said that she’s been tracking the progress of the 6,000 children she’s assisted into the world. The ones delivered in water tended to have lung infection, breathing problems, and allergies. Also, he said, many of their infants did tend to breathe in the water. This is shocking news because most of the forums have said otherwise. He advised that bringing a baby into very contaminated water was not a good idea. I heartily agree. But I am all for laboring in warm water.

The next midwife I spoke with is Davi Kaur Khalsa, cnm, rn of Tender Loving Childbirth. The package price is $3800. She insists on a first consultation with your partner. They’re located very closeby at Pico and Robertson. She says waterbirths are only done at the client’s home. But.. I’m open to the idea of a regular birth, although, it’d still be nice to deliver at home. Maybe my mom and/or mother in law can be over. nah.. weird. So anyway, we have an appointment for july 6, 6pm. I’m excited.

Midwife Update

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 10:52 pm on Thursday, June 29, 2006

Today I met the first midwife in my search for a home birth professional. Her group is called “Westside Birth”. Her home was only 10-12 minutes away from ours. It had a very nice feng shui about it. Her doors were wide open, there was a koi pond out front. Very tidy. It was an extremely nice aura about the place. And then I met LuAnne, and she was really warm, answered my list of questions that I printed out. And then she pulled out her own list and gave me some more info. She charges $3600 in her package. A package appears to include childbirth education, prenatal visits, labor and delivery, and 2 postpartum checkups. I had a really great feeling about her. We talked for a good 40 minutes, and I hadn’t even signed on with her yet.

Birth Research

Filed under: Baby — Annie at 11:55 pm on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I’ve been doing lots of research into delivering a baby. Actually, since I got pregnant, it’s been a whole lot of research for everything. I applied for a program called “AIM Access for Infants and Mothers”. The first few days of trying to fill out the application I was looking at their list of providers under the offered health plans. So many obstetricians/gynecologists in the area and I have no idea who is a good doctor based on a list of names and their hospital privileges. I figured the more privileges, the better.

One of the offices I called, I asked the receptionist if I could meet the doctor in person. She answered that a consultation is $125. I said I would just like to meet her before choosing her as my provider (b/c changing providers, once you’ve chosen one isn’t easy to do). The girl said, “She doesn’t have time.” So, giving her the benefit of the doubt, and also wondering if that would set the tone of my visits, I asked, “Is she really busy?” and the girl replied curtly, “She only has time for patients.” I’m sure the receptionist was trying to protect the doctor from needless interactions, but if a doctor greets a potential patient on condition of payment, that, to me, is a callous doctor who isn’t going to provide much in the way of doctor patient relationships.

That has definitely been one of my fears. I saw my mom, cousin, and others go through some horrible experiences of negligence in the county hospitals. Its one of the major reasons I want to deliver somewhere that resembles St. Joseph’s medical hospital. Their patient care was so good that I was convinced it was my calling to be a nurse! So my first treasure hunt was trying to find a Provider from Cedar Sinai, because I have a strong assumption that they care about their patients. But no one there was affiliated with AIM.

Then I started doing a lot of research into natural water birthing with the assistance of midwives. Especially after watching numerous episodes of TLC’s Baby Story. One women labored for a long time and the baby just literally, slipped out, she didn’t even push. I’ve set my heart on delivering in water, the next step is to find a place that offers it.

I’ve learned that obstetricians/gynecologists don’t deliver at birth centers. They only deliver in hospitals. I called a Blue Cross hospital today and said, “Does Doctor so-and-so perform water births?” and the receptionist asked incredulously, “a water what?” I described it for her and she said with an amused laugh, “No. We don’t do WA-TER births,” emphasizing the word water. Also, I’ve learned that water births fall under personal care so they’re not covered by HMO.

I’m accustoming myself to the idea of a home birth, if possible. I first have to wait for this AIM application to come through, and find out if I’ve been approved. In the meanwhile I’ve been making phone calls to different centers trying to get an idea of the cost of delivering naturally. I spent a good hour just researching the cost of a regular, run-of-the-mill hospital delivery and I get these huge ranges that don’t help at all. The best round about number I got was $3,000, but it was from an outdated website. Most of the birth centers claim that home births cost around 40% less than a hospital birth.

This world of hospitals, and HMO’s and providers were all foreign to me before. I’m learning little by little through each phone call. Mostly I end up embarrassing myself with naive questions. But its been worth my pride to find out, get prepared, and learn how the world works.

The birth center researching has gone a lot better. I have a list of centers and midwives on a spreadsheet and I’ve gone down the list and called each one. A few of them, I’ve called their home numbers, and one of the woman just talked with me like I was her neighbor or one of her girlfriends. It was new but not uncomfortable. She gave me lots of good info, like the cost of a typical water birth, which is around $3000. And she referred me to midwives in the LA area because she’s actually based in OC. That extra recommendation is very reassuring. I’m waiting excitedly for the referred midwife to call me back. And at 3:00 I have an appointment to visit one birthing center and get more info. Yay!


Filed under: Extraordinary Days — Annie at 11:34 pm on Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My sister and her boyfriend are engaged!!!!
Shin and I were on the bed reading different books when I heard the startling fur elise ringtone from the phone next to my head. I had talked to her earlier while I was on the other line so naturally I thought she was calling me back. But she said, “Annie- do I have to tell you?!” *blink blink* “what?” and then she said, “You have a new brother-in-law!” And for some reason I had two reactions simultaneously. At the word, “brother-in-law” I immediately thought Jean was pregnant or had eloped. Duh “Oh! You’re engaged?!!!?!”
“OMG.. Congratulations…..Where are you?”
“We’re at Steves house and my coworkers, Jane, and the Antipala’s are all here”
“Wait, talk to Steve”

I think that means they’ll be married in 6 months, if I’m correct. Maybe it’ll be a getaway wedding… Oooh… I can’t wait. It’s gonna be one special ceremony, creative, classy, sentimental. Watch out! A serious bridezilla is on the way. Omg… does that mean I have to give a speech?

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