Let’s make a deal.
May 8th 2013
Medical tests can be extremely expensive. While the Health Care Reform Act has ensured that expectant mothers can receive many of the standard tests for free, the optional ones can break the bank. My health insurance doesn’t cover any of the optional tests (surprise, surprise). I had a long discussion with Esther, one of the midwives, concerning pre-natal screening tests. I opted to have the cystic fibrosis carrier test on my first visit and was fucking shocked when a bill for $995.00 arrived. As it turns out, I’m not a carrier. We also discussed how my partner(s) and I would handle having a child with Down’s syndrome or some other type of chromosomal defect. I explained that if I knew I was carrying a child with any of these medical issues, I would terminate the pregnancy (while this is my choice, I honor the decisions made by all parents). She suggested that I have a chromosomal defect screening test done that requires blood drawn around the 10th and 15th weeks of pregnancy. Certain levels of substances in the blood can then be used to estimate the probability of the child having one of these conditions. To clarify, this test will not tell the mother whether or not her child is affected, but will give her the odds at which point she can choose to have a more definitive test, such as an amniocentesis performed. I called to get the price of the test and they casually told me $850.00. The reason Esther suggested that I have the test instead of waiting for my 20 week ultrasound (which is generally where the doctor can notice any physical abnormalities that would indicate a disorder) is because in Louisiana you can only legally have an abortion up to 22 weeks. There is one doctor who performs abortions in New Orleans and he/she visits the city once a month. So time would be of the essence if I waited, and frankly the not knowing is something that I don’t deal well with. I went ahead and had the first blood draw done this week.
While my morning sickness has been continuing to slowly regress, my fatigue is still in high gear. In some ways I feel that this symptom of pregnancy is helping me to prepare for the rest of my life with a child. I admit I am a tad obsessive/compulsive about the upkeep of my home. Because I have often found myself so exhausted the floors have actually gone without vacuuming for over 5 days at a time, and don’t even ask about when I last scoured the bathroom sink. It’s moments such as these when I’m glad I live alone. My friend Jackie has asserted that motherhood will significantly change me, in the regard that I will have to ask other people for help and then accept it. I have always struggled with imploring others for help, as I have often thought of it as a sign of personal weakness. Now I am overjoyed when my dear friends are kind enough to take me out to lunch (thank you Daphne), straighten my house (thank you Amanda), help me with physical aches and pains (thank you Misty) or even offer to loan me large sums of money (thank you Jackie). I will admit that I was very fearful that becoming pregnant would isolate me from the majority of my friends who do not have kids, but it has done the exact opposite. I am humbled by the support I have received from my female and male friends alike. I have also come to understand that by developing this amazing network of awesome “family”, I have found the strength and resolve to achieve things I couldn’t possibly have done in the past. Seriously, so much love to them all.
While I had been diligently continuing my search for the perfect home, Andy and I took the time this past week to thoroughly discuss the one house that we have agreed is very near perfect for our situation. We went for a second walk-through a few days ago, and felt an even stronger desire for the place. It is located in the upper ninth ward, very near the Musician’s Village. I mapped it, and it is less than 1.5 miles from my house now, which was very important to me. I don’t want to feel like I’m completely disconnected from my current area when we move. Andy loves the place because it has a separate apartment for him and a huge back yard that I assured him we would put a giant shed/garage in. His only real request has been to have a place with a nice sized yard and to have a shed. Knowing him, he will probably live in the damn thing. After a night of thinking it over I decided to go with my intuition and ask Adrienne to submit an offer on my behalf. While having a mortgage is not something that excites me, I honestly am not too stressed about it. Shit, I still owe over $60,000 in student loans and that never keeps me up at night. What I do worry about is how rapidly everything is changing. I never imagined that 2013 would be the year my father would die, and that I would then get pregnant and potentially buy a house. I told Jackie that I put in an offer and she was amazed at how quickly it had happened. I told her, “Once I make up my mind, I do my best to make things happen. It took less than a month to get pregnant, so maybe making an offer on a house in less than a month from beginning our search is a good sign, too.” What can I say, I like to get shit done.