What a fiasco that final trip to the OB/Gyn office turned out to be!
I'd debated (in my head) about whether or not the postpartum visit would be worth the gas money or even the stress of taking baby girl out on a car ride exceeding 15 minutes!
It was already paid for, so why the hell not, was the winning argument of the debate. Oh yeah, that - and the minor issue of birth control, which cropped up last week following a Crimson Tide!
Incidentally, NONE of my babies have liked being in the car - so much for short-cutting bedtime with a drive around the village.
Anyway, after lots of shushing, key jangling, car seat wiggling and only ONE stop - we pulled up at the OBs right on time (4:00pm).
I jumped out and raced around to baby girl's side, disconnecting her car seat and plopping it onto the stroller, which Daddy had already pulled out of the boot and readied precisely on cue. Without a word, I headed for the clinic doors and Daddy jumped back in the driver's seat to take the boys around the corner to the big Goodwill.
This had been a ritual of ours - minus the transfer of baby girl - for the past 9 months or so. Obviously, she'd been with me on all the previous visits, but until now, she hadn't required all the superfluous baby bumph crammed beneath her stroller seat and draped over the handlebar (she probably didn't need it now either). For the best part of those 9 months, she'd been much easier to carry also.
She kicked off (again) as soon as I struggled to get our overloaded stroller through the too-heavy self closing doors, and, of course, the waiting room was jam-packed. Sweating profusely, I 'strolled' to the front desk with all 'expectant' eyes burning a whole in the back of the Momma with the screaming baby - they'd find out for themselves soon enough...
I picked her us ASAP, but she was too pissed over the car seat to forgive me anytime soon. I resorted to the most effective silencing technique I knew. Standing by the desk, I yanked my top down and plugged her on.
A cursory glance around the room gave a man count of seven - since when did the fellas start getting this supportive? It annoyed me that I felt compelled to throw a blanket over my shoulder. Not for me or for the men - but so the women didn't turn all bitch-ass-hissy on me for flashing my milk-filled titanic titty at their blokes!
With my one free hand - the left one - I made a pathetic attempt to sign-in. Thankfully, I was granted a small reprieve when the receptionist, who'd recognized me as
This was a first. Not bad after three years of throwing baby business their way.
Once baby girl had drained my left booby and was hanging limply over my shoulder in a calm state of burp bliss, I headed to the ladies to pee in a cup.
With no other choice I sat her back in her car seat (on the stroller) facing the toilet. The clock was ticking. Her tortuous journey here was still too fresh in her memory to tolerate more car seat so soon. No sooner had I sat down did she start to fidget, then fuss, then FREAK OUT....
As did my baby brain : ''Aggghhh! Quick! Hurry up! Hustle! Finish up your pee and save her!'' is what it screamed. So I panicked, and I peed.
I was just thinking about cleaning-up with one of those fancy-ass-wipes (stacked neatly beside the cups.. the CUPS!), when the penny dropped - after I'd already spent my penny .....
Ah, crap! I was supposed to wipe BEFORE the mid-stream-clean-catch!
I'd forgotten the bloody cup.
I was embarrassed for a split second at my baby-brain behaviour before shrugging it off. It was my postpartum visit - who really gives a rat's ass?
It was too late anyway, I was all out of pee!
In spite of my mad little madam's patience running thinner by the second, I cleaned up post-pee instead (I was still waiting for Aunt Flo to pack her bags) just in case there was a postpartum vaginal check on the cards.
Before whipping up my pants, I caught sight of my spiky - and publicly exposed - shins. Thankfully, we're NOT talking about a full six weeks worth of postpartum regrowth. I'd actually managed to scrape a BIC razor up my lower legs a few weeks back, during a luxurious five minute shower - much longer than the thirty second cat-lick I'm accustomed to!
Sadly, the same cannot be said for Ground Zero.
It's funny how with one extra baby, and negative free time on my hands, hairy legs and a furry fanny is suddenly bottom of my infinitely expanding to-do list.
If the Doc has to go hunting for my 'LOST' hatch with hedge clippers and a garden fork, so be it!
After failing the first hurdle (urine sample), I returned to the desk - babe in arms - to admit my baby brain blunder! The receptionist actually didn't give a rat's ass - she was more concerned about my lack of Insurance data in her computer system.
Bouncing baby, cradled in my left arm nook, I attempted to complete the clunky electronic tablet which she handed to me. Another first.
They'd gone all trendy green and paperless - and it was causing them all kinds of techno teething problems. Unfortunately, now it was MY problem too.
She offered to hold my baby while I filled out the information, so I passed my now calm little girl over the counter, affirming the need to keep her bouncing...
My affirmation fell on deaf ears. What did the lady think - that it was OK to hold my crying baby for me? It's NOT OK. For the record, I can't think or function for SHIT when my baby is crying. I can't sit down and eat, or pee, or nap - let alone fill in a medical form. My brain starts to scream along with my baby, and the only thing I can think is, I NEED to help her stop crying.
So I took my balling baby right back, and bounced her back to happiness.
The lady resumed tip-tapping away on her desktop, her brow furrowing more deeply by the minute. Nothing scared these administration assistants more than the prospect of a patient who potentially can't pay!
Their grubby grabby tendencies have always irked me no end. Forget service and healthcare - they might as well post a banner over the desk saying:
SHOW ME THE MONEY!
They've gotten worse each baby. I'm probably their MOST REGULAR customer, and the fact that they have always received full and prompt payment has done nothing to improve their bedside manner with me.
I actually felt like withholding my last payment a little while longer, just to get their already twisted knickers in a big fat knot!
So, I'm bouncing and reading and scribbling my signature as required, when some important nugget of information pops into the front of my baby addled brain.
We changed over my insurance! Of course - that's what was throwing them all for a fruit loop. It shouldn't have mattered. The postpartum visit was already covered. It was all part of the pregnancy package which had been billed before the birth.
But what if I bled out - right - while on the table today... or they had to do something to me outwith the terms of a standard postpartum check....... they didn't have my new insurance info... what if I couldn't pay.....?
Seriously!? Sometimes I really miss the NHS.
I handed the tablet back. There was no point attempting to fill in insurance information I didn't have with me. A little flustered, she moved on to her second issue - my outstanding balance.
Still bouncing lady on the left, I retrieved my wallet from my bag with my free hand, fiddled with the clasp and proceeded to pull out my disorganized cards from the various pockets. There must have been fifty cards piled up on the counter; US credit & debit, UK credit & debit, library, store cards, points cards, gift vouchers.. etc.
"Can I help?" The lady receptionist interjected a little apologetically. She couldn't. Only three years of recouped sleep and a ton of omega-3 could assist with my brand of brain disease....
I hadn't used my credit card in over six weeks. I HAD to pay by credit - our bank balance was close to bust, and we'd already dodged one overdraft penalty this week. I stared at all my cards blurring before my eyes on the desk - like a magic eye picture - and for the life of me, I couldn't identify which one was the right one.
|Can you see what the hidden picture is?|
Last year, I made an accidental payment using my UK credit card - duh! Baby brain has a lot to answer for.
They'd be shutting up shop in less than 20 minutes, and I hadn't even been in to see the nurse yet! They were holding out on the postpartum check until we'd cleared administration (i.e paid our bill in full) - if the Docs weren't so great, I'd have bailed on this prissy practice a LONG time ago!
That was about when Daddy rocked up at the doors, ready to complicate matters further. He had some Government form for my Doctor to fill out I'd forgotten to take it in with me. Unfortunately, I was scheduled to see the nurse, who wasn't authorized to complete the form - and in any case, the ladies up front had never seen a form like it (not surprisingly).
Daddy passed me his credit card, and skedaddled back to the boys in the minivan, just as the nurse's assistant came out to collect us (baby and me). Without further ado, we made our way through to the back, without settling up our account and without providing my new insurance details.....
S**t rolls downhill, right? The account lady would be reaming the receptionist's ass the next day for sure!
Baby girl cooperated wonderfully for the next ten minutes or so, which was pretty much the total length of time I was back there - after a 'wait' of 45 minutes!
My weight was back up to 152lb. It had been 142lbs a few weeks back when the life insurance medic weighed me. So much for being able to eat anything when you're breastfeeding...
What a load of codswallop! Of course, you can't get away with being a greedy guts - that's just some crap other women fill your head with hoping you'll gorge yourself to a permanent state of FAT, just so they can be the skinnier cow!
I should've known my cake and ice-cream nightly fix wasn't 'just' flavouring baby's night feeds!
For the first half of the visit, baby girl sprawled happily across my lap on the Boppy pillow, latched on to my boob, while the Nurse Practitioner's assistant rehashed all the birth data with me. They were the ones that helped deliver her, only six weeks prior to this postpartum visit.... how did they not already have this information? .....birth date, weight, vaginal or C, name... etc.
The only 'new' information I provided was LMP (last menstrual period) = 15 Sep 2012
After my file was up to date - at least until my annual check comes around, when (I betcha) they ask 'Do you have any children?' - the assistant handed me a list of five thousand (or so) professional services dotted around Austin, which provide counselling for postpartum depression.
She spoke very briefly about all the emotional and marital postpartum problems I'm likely experiencing, before I signed away my husband's right to sue them if he were to find me later that week with my wrists slit in the bath.
I joked with her about my marital problems (no smoke....., as the hubs likes to remind me..). Our battles are mainly over (and down to) exhaustion. Generally speaking - the one who is most tired is the winner! There's not much more to it than that - at least nothing that a bit of quality 'bedtime' won't fix...
Which, of course, is one of the main reasons I was sitting there.
The NP finally got around to seeing me just a little before 5pm. She wasn't quite as eager to chew the fat with 'The Brit' as the last time - more important fish to fry (for tea). She was ready for clocking off and getting home, and who could blame her?
The fact that Aunt Flo was already visiting didn't concern her at all - and it gave her the perfect get-out for delaying my overdue pap smear. There was apparently no other reason for me to get (bottom half) naked, so instead, I laid baby girl down on the bed and played with her, while the NP and I got down to the business of discussing my contraception options.
Apparently, things have progressed since I was last prescribed the pill (we're talking almost a decade ago). There aren't differing levels of hormones to choose from anymore. All the pills are made up of pretty much the same stuff. And that goes for the implant and the IUD also.
I asked about Seasonique, and I got the same answer - it's the same as any pill. The only difference is the name! You just keep on popping any pill when you want to keep Aunt Flo at bay, and when you're ready to deal with your raggedy Aunt, you take your 'break'!
So the choice was a temporal thing...
An IUD lasts five years, the implant three, of course they can both be removed if I suddenly get clucky. The pill, however, is from month to month, so we're only ever four weeks away from the chance of another baby...
The NP recommended the IUD over the arm implant. I asked her a little about the insertion procedure, to which she blithely responded,
"It's a little uncomfortable - but you've had a baby....." Implying it should be a walk in the park for Momma after all that's been in and out of my vagina already!
I'm not scared to share with you guys that in spite of my booming baby production line, I am still a wuss, and the idea of opening my cervix to lodge something inside my uterus make me feel a little wobbly...
As did the life insurance medic who couldn't find my vein the other week....
Anyway, five years seems like a HUGE commitment to not having a baby - that's like half a decade!
The nurse sympathized that it must be hard to stop having babies... "Especially when they're as pretty as that!" She nodded to my little lady... Flattery will get you everywhere, nurse!
I'd be 37 by the time the IUD reached its sell-by date. Not quite over the hill - but inching ever so close to the top. My Mum had me and my twin brother at 38 and we were hard work (so I'm told). Fraternal twins are genetic, right? Down to Momma's ovary pumping out two eggs instead of just the one..... just sayin'.
The biggest plus as far as I could see was that once the IUD was inserted, it was a mindless form of protection - pretty handy for a mindless Momma with a manic lifestyle like mine!
Apparently, Claritin and Zyrtec and Benadryl are also fine - my allergies are starting to kick-in (listen to me - a true allergy suffering American convert) - but in spite of the NP's assurances, I still have my reservations about them also.....
I'm probably just being a big worry wart, but I'd hate to jeopardize baby's booby-milk supply - and I'm not too comfortable with even the tiniest trace amount of drugs polluting the jugs.
Armed with a pill prescription, I came out to an almost empty waiting room save for a Daddy and two rambunctious boys tunneling through the chair legs. Nothing beats three grinning faces squealing Momma! Yes, Daddy was on his knees too, and yes, he too squealed Momma!
Our battle at the front desk recommenced when Daddy kiboshed settling up the balance - not forever - just until we'd filed our financial aid application. Talk about shit-hitting the fan! The accounts lady suddenly came out of the woodwork and tried to muscle the moolah out of us.
I saw the NP through the glass doors, out front of the clinic getting into her car. She didn't mess around! And neither did we. We left the angry accounts lady spitting feathers. We'd be back in a few days anyway, to collect that Government form - assuming the administration staff ever figure out how to complete it - so she could strong-arm us to pay up then!
On the drive home I relayed our longerterm options and my breastfeeding-on-the-pill concerns to the hubs. Whatever I decided to do he would support it - he assured me. Just (for God's sake) don't mention the word vasectomy...
He was even generous enough to suggest we just 'leave our wet sock on' - is how he put it - for the immediate future.... mmmhmm, just how immediate was he thinking?