Monday, June 24, 2019

For fun

This morning I went to the dentist for my checkup and cleaning. I'm usually pretty on top of those appointments but for various reasons it kept getting pushed aside and I'm nearly a year overdue. I had terrible teeth as a kid but have lucked out with minimal issues as an adult. With no cavities and me usually being on top of my appointments and flossing, the most she could recommend was invisiline to straighten out a minor overlap on my bottom teeth. If anything, I'd fix the top teeth that shifted after I got my braces off because I didn't wear my retainer. Both are so minor and don't bother me enough to think about it all. The dentist said it's about $5,000 but she could have the front office look into my coverage because it could be something fun to fix.

I know she didn't mean anything by it, and I took no offense at all, but I could think of a lot of other things I'd want to do with $5,000 just for fun! In no particular order, I could pay off a car; throw it at the mortgage; renovate something in the house; give it to charity; put it in savings; save it for the fall when our expenses are scheduled to skyrocket; take a fun trip; hire a weekly cleaning crew.... I could probably come up with more examples if I wanted to. It was a fun thought exercise to think about all the things and none came close to feeling as superfluous as this.

I'm actually currently looking into refinancing in order to replace our roof. We built some equity on our house over the past few years and if it makes sense with the current rates and whatever fees are involved, we could have enough to not only take out a bit of cash for the roof but also get rid of the mortgage insurance. Definitely something I would prioritize over optional cosmetics.

If straighter teeth was ever something I was interested in pursuing, I'd likely go to a trained orthodontist rather than have my general dentist deal with it. Plus I'd probably look into possible coverage during open enrollment season. The more I think about it the more funny it is to me that she would just throw this out casually as something to consider. Doesn't everyone have an extra $5,000 burning a hole in their pocket?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Attitude of gratitude

I started our registry on Amazon. It was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. While they didn't have the option to add a default list and then edit it, they did have everything set up by categories and presented about 5-7 options for each with the option to expand to more. That way it's easy to navigate and before I knew it I was up to nearly 120 items on the registry.

Even though I added everything from toys to furniture, I tried to be strategic in what I thought we would practically use. There are also a lot of "would be nice to haves" that I wouldn't mind if they weren't bought, plus I tried to think a little ahead and added things for 9-18 months that may be needed. Once the list was complete, I went back and compared items based on safety info, reviews, and prices on the big items like the car seat, stroller, and crib. I'm comfortable buying and installing the car seat. Everything else will have to wait until after and I'll keep the registry set to private until then.

At one point during the registry set up I got choked up at the socks. Tiny little socks for adorable tiny feet. It made me think about how much longer we still have before we meet the baby and hoping that everything goes well that we'll get to use those tiny socks. I'm scared about the birth. Not the pain, not the scars, not the recovery. It's the horror stories of women who don't make it through that terrifies me. Or babies who have complications or chalila born still. It's not a given to be blessed with a miracle and I don't take it for granted. There are some people who get bogged down by gender-reveal parties, or baby-shower drama, or birth plans that don't go as planned. I get that those are their issues and don't judge anyone for what they prioritize. For me, I pray to get through everything with everyone safe and healthy.

While I want a guarantee that everything will be ok, I don't want to wish the time away. I want to appreciate the experience along the way. This is such a gift and I don't want my anxieties to overshadow my gratitude for being in this position. I took some time to recompose and get on with it. I've learned time and again that there's no point in living in the what-ifs. All we can do is try our best, take things as they come, and continue to be grateful for every day.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Adjusting

Besides for dealing with some minor imposter feelings, like what am I doing in the world of OB appointments and sonograms, I'm also struggling with the uneasiness of preparing ahead of time.

Ideally it would be incredible to have everything completely done to ease the transition after we all get home: room furnished and set up; clothes washed and folded in the dresser; diapers and other butt accessories ready and waiting. In reality it's been hard enough to think about daycare and pediatricians which seem to be the biggies for me, let alone getting a room painted and starting a registry. In my circles people rarely prepare much, if anything, before baby is born because of superstitions. Usually the dad runs out to buy a carseat the day after birth and setup pretty much begins there. Some of my friends have filled up an amazon shopping cart and waited until the birth to click buy. Obviously one doesn't need everything the minute baby is born, but who wants to deal with a mountain of amazon packages a week post birth? I totally understand it, but both options of preparing or not preparing give me anxiety.

I started looking through other people's registries to see if I could copy. There is just so much STUFF. I need to get into the mindset of thinking about the essentials of every day life with a newborn when I'm still working on trying to believe that it's actually happening. I know people buy a bunch of crap they don't need and I would love to avoid that. I looked on amazon to see if they have a default registry I could just add and then edit. Anyone know if that's a thing?

Some have told me not to worry about the money for the big ticket items because "people will buy that for you." That seems awfully entitled to me. It's humbling enough to accept a gift, but it's another thing to expect it. It also feels like my responsibility to buy the things that are required for the care of the child I chose to bring.

I'm realizing now how much lack of maternity leave blows. No matter how long anyone waited for their baby, they should not have to choose between paying the mortgage or getting those weeks to recover and bond. For anyone who hasn't accrued enough paid time off, it's really a hardship. At a time when a family needs more money to help welcome the new addition, people are supposed to go without pay? What's up with that, America? You can do better.

Friday, June 7, 2019

It's all about the money

I'm trying to be financially responsible with finances. Hamilton is touring and I thought it might be cool to go for our anniversary. Ticket availability was slim pickins as it was nearly sold out, but I found a pair together on a date and time we could go. It was $714 for the two tickets in the nosebleed section. We thought it would be fun but we're not that into it and for that amount of money we don't need something just for the 'gram. We'll have to find something a little more budget friendly to mark the occasion.

Speaking of finances, I got a bill from May 2017 from the genetics lab that did the testing on the material from the d&c. I called them and tried not to take out my frustration on the rep who answered the phone. There's no way we'd leave an outstanding bill that long and since they dropped the ball I feel like they need to eat the cost. The rep tried to tell me that sometimes things get held back with insurance and I responded with saying that it may take a few months, maybe even a year, but if it's been two years and they still haven't settled that's on them. I seem to remember that I was told at the time that this doesn't even go through insurance and that I was charged directly from the clinic. I told them that I didn't ask for any kind of testing, that I didn't receive any kind of results from them, and since it all went through the clinic they should go after the clinic for the payment. It worked to get him to open an investigative case about it but I'm not sure it's the last we've heard of it.

In other news on the topic, I followed up with my account in the current clinic. Back in March I got some troubling news that there were $9k worth of outstanding claims on our account that we may be responsible for. After a lot of back and forth with the billing office they said they'll look into it and get back to me. It's been a few months and I didn't hear back so I emailed to follow up. If there was still a balance we'll need to figure out how to pay it off before we have more expenses, and if there's a credit there's no reason it should sit over there when we could use the money. Waiting to hear back from them.

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Shavuot Sameach <3

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