Monday, September 12, 2011

Pregnancy Update: Week 29

I'm tired. Can that be my whole update? Because I am seriously exhausted. I want to sleep 24/7. Ames visited last week and we did absolutely nothing. Don't get me wrong, it was great relaxing and spending a lazy week with her. Still, it would have been great if we'd actually, you know, left the house. (I exaggerate - we left the house on several occasions..most of the motivation involving food and/or books)

Despite being exhausted and wanting to sleep 24/7, I have insomnia most nights. Or I'm uncomfortable enough that I wake up every few minutes, tossing and turning. The only time I'm truly comfortable is when I snuggled into MM and use his back as a heating pad on my tummy. Princess Bowie likes that. See, she's already a daddy's girl.

So far I've gained 32lbs. I look like I've gained 32lbs. Most of it, I will admit, is tummy. I'm huge. If I'm this big at 29 weeks I shudder to think what I'll look like at 40. Especially since the baby gains the most weight the last 2 months of the pregnancy. Eep. I can still see my toes if I bend over and look for them. If I stand up straight and look down...not so much. I can still reach my feet if I sit in just the right position and contort myself in just the right way, but it's very uncomfortable. I painted my own toenails the other day and...yeah, I won't be doing that again for awhile. I'm just glad no one was around to hear me grunting and cursing. Yikes.

The baby is doing well. She's very active - until someone wants to feel her. I think she's shy. Even MM has only felt her once or twice. Whenever anyone touches my stomach she immediately stops whatever she's doing. It's kind of amusing. She's approximately 2.5lbs now and about 15.5 inches long. Or, for comparison sake, about the size of a butternut squash.

Other than feeling tired, I'm doing a lot better. I haven't thrown up in several weeks. I still feel really nauseous in the mornings, but if I take my anti-nausea pill as soon as possible after I wake up I can usually make it through the day without too much trouble. Certain smells and tastes still make me sick, but not like before. Every couple weeks I don't take a pill, just to see if I'm over being sick, and every couple weeks I regret it. I think I'll just keep taking it until the end. At least I can function now. The first few months were not fun.

My feet keep swelling up like crazy. Some days my ankles disappear completely. It sucks. It wouldn't look so bad if my legs weren't so small in comparison. My fingers swell, too, but not to the degree that my feet do. 

I'm starting to feel a little stressed out because we haven't done anything for the baby yet. Honestly? I haven't bought one single thing for her. I'm kind of hoping we'll get a few of our big ticket items as shower gifts, but I should still be working on getting things ready for her. I better kick my butt in gear.

TG and LM are starting to get excited, too. TG is especially fascinated with the baby. She'll spend hours with her hands on my tummy, trying to feel the baby. She never has, but that doesn't stop her from trying. LM is..well, he's a boy. I think he'll be a great big brother, but for now the baby isn't real to him.

I started growing out of my bras this last week. As if my boobs weren't big enough before. I really resent having to buy a ton of bras that I'll only use for a few months at most. Of course, MM thinks I should wear nursing bras for the rest of my life. He's tickled by the "easy access". But then he's also the moron who suggested I get a "fake rack" this size after the baby. Oh MM, if you only knew how close to death you came that day.

Speaking of MM, he's doing pretty well with the baby stuff so far. I think it's starting to get more real for him, too. We've been window shopping for baby stuff together online and in the store. He's in charge of the car seat, since there's one specific model that tested better than all the others and he has to have it. I told him to find it and we'll buy it. Not that we have yet..but someday.

I guess that's about it. There might be more, but I'm too sleepy to remember what. Maybe next time I'll post a picture of my ginormous belly.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Adventures in Billing

In June, The Girl got her braces off. She'd been wearing them for just under 2 years and had great success with them. Her teeth look amazing. We're pretty lucky, because TG is the type of girl who actually listens to the horror stories and heeds the warnings. IE, she always brushed and flossed, made sure to stay away from the no-no food list and, in general, was a model patient for the ortho. Little Man, who got his braces on a couple months ago, is not going to be the cakewalk TG was. But that's a post for another day.

I don't like TG's orthodontist office. I like her ortho just fine. He's personable and knows what he's doing. But the people who work in his office are rude and incompetent. He operates out of two offices. Twice a month he's in the office we visit. The rest of the time he's in his main office. Maybe part of the problem stems from the fact that this isn't his normal office crew.

I went to them myself for some dental work several years ago. I was told I needed a super deep cleaning, a crown and various other dental work to the tune of almost $2600. That's my out-of-pocket portion after insurance. Rather than sitting down with me and showing me a breakdown of just exactly what I needed and what the individual cost of each procedure would be - which is what I asked them to do - they tried to railroad me into starting treatment and assured me "we'd talk after". For those of you who don't know, once they do the work, you're responsible for it. Period. Long story short, we chose a different dentist (who, btw, told me I needed one filling and a regular cleaning..$10 out of my pocket) and never looked back.

Unfortunately we had already signed a contract with them for TG, so we were stuck. I've had nothing but problems with them. I called once to reschedule an appointment because TG was going to be with her dad. This would have meant she'd skip an entire month of treatment. I asked the girl in the front if it would be a problem for her to miss (meaning medically) and she said, "You still have to pay, whether you bring her in or not". And she wasn't nice about it. Ok, I wasn't asking to miss a payment. I was asking if it would hurt her MOUTH to miss a month. Cripes.

Anyway, my mom was taking TG to her ortho appts toward the end of the school year last year and I kept forgetting to send a check with her, which means I fell behind. I had an outstanding balance of $300 in June. When I took TG in for her appointment I told them I wanted to pay the acct in full and just get it out of the way. It was my fault I was behind and I didn't want to have to stress about it anymore. I paid $505.20, which included the $300 I was behind plus the $200 remaining on the contract. They told me I was done and paid in full.

Since TG had gotten her braces off and had retainers, we didn't have to go in for two months. When I took her back in August (I want to say it was 8/1 or 8/2) they told me I had an outstanding balance of  $200. I explained that I'd paid my acct in full in June and the office manager says "Yes, I see that you made a payment of $500, but you still owe for July and August". I argued with her and she said she'd audit the acct and let me know.

Naturally I forgot about it..until yesterday. They called to confirm TG's appt and mentioned something about reminding me that all payments are due at the beginning of the month. I called them back and talked to the office manager again. I reminded her of our previous conversation and also told her that I went through the original contract along with the printout of payments she gave me, and that according to both their records and mine the contract had been satisfied. She said could see that it looked like I'd satisfied the account, but she'd have to verify and we could talk about it at TG's appointment today.

So we go in and they call me up..and ask for payment. I explained, again, that we'd just spoken and the account had been satisfied in June. She said "Oh, that's right, I remember now". I told her I wanted a printout from her showing a zero balance for my records and she said she'd get one for me. TG and I went back to get her teeth looked at and when we stopped to make her next appointment the girl asked me for payment. I explained that I'd already talked to the office manager and that the acct had been satisfied. I said "She told me she'd have a printout showing a zero balance for me". The girl goes to the office manager and she replies "I have to audit the account. I know I told you I'd have it done today but I'm swamped. I promise to get to it next week."

Look, I understand being busy, but she she promised to "audit the account" two months ago. She gave me another printout of all the payments I'd made and said she'd be in touch. I said "Look, I need to get this resolved this week. I expect to hear from you no later than Friday". She gave me a frustrated look but said she'd be in touch.

I got home and decided to go through the printout again, just to make sure I wasn't mistaken. I added up all the payments and subtracted that from my original balance and..I owed $300???? WTF? I double checked my math and came up with the same answer. Feeling thoroughly confused, I went through the original payment schedule and contract and came up with a zero balance. Upon further inspection I realize the printout she gave me today starts at 01/01/2010. That's all fine and well, except TG started treatment and got her braces put on in AUGUST OF 2009! The printout is missing 3 payments from 2009.

I called and was told she's swamped but will look into it. I reiterated that I wanted to hear from her no later than the end of the week and she promised to get back to me. I have to tell you, I have zero faith that I'll actually hear from her. If I don't, I plan to go straight to the ortho. I realize he doesn't deal with the billing and etc, but he needs to know how incompetent his staff is. I also plan to file a formal complaint through our insurance company. They shouldn't be able to get away with crap like this.

It makes me wonder, how many others have actually paid the money?

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