106 Days to Go…But Who’s Counting?

Based upon MY due date (the one I’m going by based on the last ultrasound) there are 106 days to go until Minnie’s arrival.

106 days.

Sounds like a lot, maybe, but…the list of things to accomplish before her arrival is long…and growing. Herewith, a few things I need to get going on before she arrives, in no particular order beyond stream-of-consciousness:

1. Clean her room.
2. Clean floors with vinegar and water in her room.
3. Insullation in the attic.
4. Remove hardware from the walls in her room.
5. Fill the holes left by the hardware removal.
6. Prime the walls (necessary?)
7. Paint the walls.
8. Purchase the paint for the walls.
9. Order the wall decal for her room.
10. Order the prints.
11. Purchase the frames for the prints.
12. Frame the prints.
13. Hang the frames.
14. Put the crib together.
15. Buy a crib mattress.
16. Put the dresser together.
17. Move the glider/rocker/ottoman into her room.
18. Finish the rug for her room.
19. Buy more supplies to finish the rug for her room.
20. Cut up the rectangles for the rug for her room.
21. Find additional fabric for the bumpers.
22. Take the fabric to Sandy’s.
23. Determine a solution for blinds.
24. Determine a solution for curtains.
25. Sew the curtain tie-backs.
26. Purchase the closet organizer for my closet.
27. Install the closet organizer for my closet.
28. Remove all of my stuff from her room into my organized closet.
29. Hang up clothes in her room.
30. Clean the closet in her room.
31. Paint the closet in her room.
32. Paint the closets in our room.
33. Get the dresser/changing table stocked for arrival.
34. Determine how to get Jon on my approved emergency person at the hospital.
35. Glucose tolerance testing (at some point).
36. 2nd Ultrasound at Hurley, 7/7
37. Appointment with Nurse at Neubeck’s office, 7/18 (aka 28 week appointment)
38. Molly’s shower – purchase a gift.
39. Molly’s shower – attend (one or two?)
40. Aunt Jody’s 25th wedding anniversary party.
41. Minnie’s baby shower on 9/17.
42. Turn 31.
43. Assemble my new bird table.
44. Read a good book or two.
45. See the new Harry Potter movie.
46. Take newborn pictures of Drew.
47. Fix the bathroom walls (Dad).
48. Re-paint the bathroom.
49. Determine a solution for the floors in the bathrooms.
50. Organize the downstairs bedroom.
51. Consolidate my jewelry into one location.
52. Bring order to the pantry.
53. Pain the dining room table.
54. Paint the railing on the main stairway.
55. Wash the white plastic furniture on the upstairs deck.
56. Clean tracks on the sliding doors.
57. Evict the birds from their nests around my house.
58. Clean the garage.
59. Powerwash the garage floor.
60. Determine shelving solution for the garage.
61. Return the moving blankets to Aunt Jill & Uncle Mike.
62. Get the paint splatters off the floors in both dining rooms.
63. Vacuum.
64. Organize the downstairs kitchen pantry.
65. Find a pediatrician off the list.
66. Find a comfortable child care solution locally.
67. Determine my maternity leave calendar.
68. Determine what work looks like when I return from maternity leave.
69. Get paint estimates for the upper level of the house.
70. Finish the green blanket.
71. Finish the yellow blanket.
72. Finish the pink blanket.
73. Finish the black blanket.
74. New sales bid at the museum.
75. Enjoy a 10-day vacation.
76. Enjoy four day work weeks throughout July!
77. Play golf a few more times.
78. Spend time on the water, in a boat, in the sun.
79. Take my kayak out.
80. Take my kayak out again.
81. Sit on the patio with Jon and enjoy the evening.
82. Develop content for my new website.
83. Order the mobile for her room.
84. Complete the baby registry.
85. Return the carpet cleaner to Grandma Carpenter.
86. Birthday present for Molly.
87. Go computer shopping.
88. Figure out a solution for a TV in the bedroom.
89. Complete marketing calendars for all 13 accounts.  
90. Complete site visits at all 13 accounts before opening.
91. Complete site visits at all 13 accounts after opening.
92. Spray for bugs in the downstairs living room.
93. Purchase a book case for the downstairs living room.
94. Purchase at least one barstool for downstairs bar.
95. Fix the leaky faucet in the upstairs kitchen.
96. Replace the shower head in the big bathroom.
97. Replace the shower spout in the big bathroom.
98. Replace the broken handle in the master bathroom.
99. Fix the slow drain in the master bathroom.
100. Figure out how to show pictures on my blog(s).
101. Take out the recycling.
102. Return the bottles/cans.
103. Order new hardware for the closet in her room.
104. Go upnorth to the lake on a non-holiday weekend.
105. Have pizza at the CLB.
106. Relax. (ha!).

So, there, 106 days and 106 things I need/want to accomplish before she arrives. There are lots of other things, but at least this gives you an idea of where my head’s at…any thoughts on where it should be?


24 Weeks: Status Update

Turns out we’re still the size of a papaya…in Week 24. I’m adding a section to this post entitled: Boobs & Belly Button because I’m fascinated with the growth and disappearance of each simultaneously. Without delay, Week 24:

Due Date: October 14, 2011/October 27, 2011 (mine/doctor’s).

Baby Developments: Baby’s growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts her at just over a pound. Since she’s almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), she cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but her body is filling out proportionally and she’ll soon start to plump up. Her brain is also growing quickly now, and taste buds are continuing to develop. Lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help her air sacs inflate once she hits the outside world. Her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

Weight Gain: Added four pounds to the total weight gain after the last appointment, so does that bring me to about eight pounds gained? I’m sure it’s more now…I’m anticipating a one-pound per week weight gain. And I have NOT been good about being active. Oops.

Cravings: Nothing specific. At all. I haven’t really had a craving symptom at all through the pregnancy. Could that just be something that women use as an excuse while pregnant? I want to be very careful here — because if I’m pregnant ever again and have crazy cravings, I don’t want to have handicapped myself 🙂

Symptoms: Not much, really. Tired, but only at night. I’m sleeping a solid 8-10 hours per night, which is LOVELY, my friends. I know that’s coming to an abrupt end in 16 or so weeks…

I am loving: Drew’s arrival, photographing my friends’ kids and the progress on projects around the house. And, the fact that I finally cleaned the toilets and bathrooms yesterday. It’s the little things, what can I say. Oh, and that I’ve got a looonnng vacation starting Friday!

Sleep: Like I said, 8-10 hours per night. Not even having to get up most nights to potty.

I miss: summer cocktails. Thinking about spending the weekend on the water with my standby preggo drink (Diet Squirt and Fuze Peach Mango) doesn’t sound as exciting as Bacardi and Diet, Bud Light, or any other boat drink.

I am looking forward to: getting the insulation done in the attic so we can progress on Minnie’s room; vacation!

I am spazzing about: Not much. Feel like time is of the essence these days and I really need to get the nursery in some semblance of order. But, not at spaz level yet.

Best moment of the week: Loving on Stella and Millie (Jay’s babies) last week. Millie is just about the best baby and Stella is a handful but TOO cute! As for my Minnie – lots of jabs and pokes coming from inside my baby belly. Finding out Galon and Hol-Leigh are expecting and Clapper gets to be a Grandma.

Milestones: I’ve watched my belly move only a handful of times when she’s kicked, but it’s a milestone nonetheless. Four more months of this stuff.

Movement: All the time…at least once an hour (which they say is what I should feel).

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Not enough. Must. Do. Better.

Boobs & Belly Button: My boobs seem to keep getting bigger. Sports bras are my favorite friend as a result. My initial start-point with the belly button was a very, very deep one. I’m interested to see how far out it’s going to actually make it. It seems like one of the deepest I’ve come across, so…here’s to the watch!

Diet: Turns out Minnie loves ice cream. She loves Mackinaw Island Fudge, but will settle for Moose Tracks (odd, those are my favorites, too ;). I don’t indulge the ice cream fetish on her behalf every day — but more days than I wish I would. Eating’s been pretty decent though….yesterday I feel like I stuffed myself. I had been looking forward to breakfast out all week long, and we enjoyed at the local breakfast spot we hit up most weekends.

Goals for the upcoming week: Work on the latch-hook rug that I”m making for Minnie’s room. Be uber-productive for work so that I can enjoy thoroughly my time away next week. Go for a walk a few days each week. Photograph Drew in all his fresh, baby new-ness.

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

Drew arrived 12 hours premature 😉 at Hurley Medical Center. Last night, at about quarter to seven, he arrived. Andrea had been scheduled for a C-section this morning at 7:30 a.m., but contractions began on Saturday and Drew was here yesterday. I like him already — bucking the system!

Other big news yesterday: My Mom’s best friend, Terri, found out she, too, after a LONG, LONG wait, is going to be a Grandma, too!!!! I grew up with her son, Galon, who is a few years older than me. Her son Logan is about the same age as my brother, Trevor. My Mom and Terri, having been best friends since they were 2, were pregnant together and are now going to be grandma’s together. Annnddddd…my Mom was with Terri yesterday when Galon and his wife Hol-leigh (I think I spelled that right) broke the exciting news to Terri. Too freaking cool.

Someone on my facebook this morning mentioned that it’s the year of the baby — so many people having babies or announcing they’re pregnant. I’m glad it’s not just me that feels that way. It seriously seems like it IS. I think it was because it was a long winter…or something…:)


Anyway, here’s an update from MY life:

Yesterday, Jon and his Dad worked on finishing up the overhead lighting throughout the upper level of the house. When we moved in almost every single switch went to an outlet, so we had no overhead lighting (other than the off-center to the room fan in our bedroom). Sooo, Jon and his Dad have been working periodically over the last few weeks to run the electrical, fix the switches and get everything ready. My job was to purchase the light fixtures (which, of course, I hated…shopping is SO what I hate :). So, my Mom and I went out Saturday and purchased all the fixtures we needed: a ceiling fan for Minnie’s room, a ceiling fan for our bedroom, a fixture for the office and two exhaust fans with lights (one for each bathroom).

The key to all of this is that we NEED DESPERATELY to add insulation to the attic. We’ve known this since the inspection of the house prior to purchase. It’s been on the list, but has gotten pushed down time and again. We wanted to run the wiring in the attic before we dump 12 inches of insulation up there, so that’s been the hold up. And, the only thing standing between me and nursery completion is insulation in the attic (the only access to the attic is through Minnie’s room). I don’t want to have to get the nursery set up, get it all dusty/insulation/icky, and then clean it again. So, I’m waiting. Rather patiently, I may add. (Jon may debate this point). So, after the insulation is in the attic, we’re going to be done with projects for awhile, I think. Other than Minnie’s room, of course. Saving money’s got to be on the top of the list. For sure.

The lighting in the house looks SO good. Changes the way I feel about a lot of the rooms. When I walked into Minnie’s room yesterday, I was like ‘ahhhh, I can see it coming together FINALLY’. Even though it was a simple ceiling fan, it really lifted my spirits on the whole working-to-complete-the-nursery plan.

Well, I’m working to catch up before vacation this week, so am in the office all week long. Already completed a big project that was looming over my head all weekend, so glad that’s done. And now, it’s on to two more HUGE projects and then I’m done and on vacation for 10 days!!!

I’ll post a weekly update soon — I swear!


Dear Drew,

Note: Drew is my friend Andrea and Frank’s pending arrival and I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately…thus today’s post.

Dear Drew,

You’ll be here in just 2 1/2 days! I can’t believe it – we’ve been anxiously awaiting your arrival for over nine months now. Your Mom and Dad are great friends of mine and I’ve known both of them for a REALLY long time. I was in their wedding last year, too. They’ve been waiting for you to come for even longer than you’ve been in your Mom’s belly!!

Seriously, they are both SO excited for you to get here. Your Dad is ready to be your DAD and to do all sorts of boy things with you. He’s already an awesome Dad to your big brother, Devyn. (Don’t tell him this, but it’s honestly one of the things I am most proud of in him — how great of a Dad he is already to Devyn!)

Your Mom and I have known each other since we were REALLY little. Our Dad’s went to school together in Clio and your Mom’s grandma and grandpa and mine both had cottages on the same lake (Clear Lake — that’s a story for another time, buddy). I remember your Mom coming over to our cottage with your Uncle Jeremy to jump on the trampoline in the summer and I remember going to their cottage to slide down the slide they had in the lake. I was always jealous of that super-cool slide.That, and your Papa’s super fast blue boat with the big motor (you’ll be driving that in no time!).

Your Mom and I ended up going to the same high school, too. We were even friends then. We had a lot of the same friends upnorth at Clear Lake. Really, we grew up together.

Your Dad was a year older than me in school and he graduated from Clio, too. He was quite the athlete back then (football, hockey, baseball — you name it). He and I have a lot of the same friends, too.And now, we’re all grown ups and we’re still friends. It’s hard to do that in your life, stay friends with people for a lifetime — but I’ll tell you this little secret: it’s worth it.

Isn’t it exciting that you and I will be friends for your WHOLE life? I think so.

And the most exciting part is that you’ll be just four months older than my “Minnie” girl! How cool will that be?? You guys will get to be friends from the days you were born — you will have both been in your Mommy’s tummies at the exact same time. You’ll grow up knowing each other and playing with her and fighting over toy sharing. I’m really glad about that — know why? I grew up with a bunch of MY Mom’s friends’ sons (Chad, Colt, Galon) and even though we don’t see each other often at all anymore, we grew up together and are friends from waaay back. It’s good to have people that have known you for a long time like that. And I’m so thrilled that my Minnie will have you as a forever friend like that!

My hope is that you’ll be an awesome sleeper in the next couple of months, that you’ll let me hold and cuddle you without crying (I need practice buddy, Minnie’s coming in just FOUR MONTHS) and let me take some fun pictures of you over the next four months so I can get some good photography practice in before Minnie arrives. Hopefully that’s a deal.

Honestly, you couldn’t be getting two better parents. They have been working so hard to get ready for you — your room is all ready and waiting for you. Your Dad and Uncle Bob and Grandpa Jim just finished the basement so you’ll have lots of extra room to play in and Devyn — well — he’s a busy guy but he’s going to be such a good big brother, I just know it. Your Dad is a good big brother, so I know he’ll show Devyn how it’s done!

You’re a lucky guy and I can’t wait to meet you SO, SO soon!!

Be careful on your way here!


The Kicking Patrol

Somehow, lately, time has gotten away from me. I wish I were a bit better about writing here more regularly. But, at least I have some way to capture this unique time of waiting-for-baby…right?!

I’m currently on the road for work and have been quite productive already today and am looking to be even more productive in the next few hours. But, a brief timeout to get these thoughts out of my head and out there into the world.

The kicking/movement/punching/flipping is a regular, every day occurence. Actually, it’s more like hourly. Which is weird in many ways but it can become disconcerting, too. Like, if I wake up after having slept on my back at all, I get worried that I did something to her and if I don’t feel her move right away, then I find myself worrying about whether she’s going to move at all, ever again. (dramatic, yes…overkill…no. ;). This is in direct relation to all of the websites that tell you to NOT sleep on your back because you could have your uterus/placenta/some important part put pressure on the vena cava, which is the blood supply to the baby, which is also the oxygen supply…so, in short, by sleeping on your back you could royally mess up your baby. In some ways, I feel like this could end up like the ‘don’t raise your arms above your head’ old wives’ tale. But, it’s got me spooked.

I’m trying to push myself up between a pillow in front and in back of me…so I can’t get onto my back unwittingly in the middle of the night…inevitably I end up on my back. I really don’t want to introduce one of those huge side sleeper pillows into my bed. Partially because I am on the road often and would have to take it with me and partially because there would be no room for Jon if I did this. Aren’t I nice to think of him?

So, I am in a constant state of panic/worry until I feel her move around at some point in the morning. Sometimes, it’s right after I wake up or even while I’m laying in bed. Other times, like today, when I woke up at 6:30 and it’s now 10:30, it took four hours to feel legitimate kicking/movement/punching/flipping. Totally freaks me out. This begs the question: is it easier to keep your child safe INSIDE the womb or once they’re OUTSIDE? Or, I guess I should just prepare myself for this level of anxiety for the rest of my life…well, probably higher levels of anxiety. High anxiety is a family condition that seems to be handed down from generation to generation.

I try to push on my belly to see if she’ll get annoyed and push back. Just to make sure she’s there. Then of course, I worry if I’m pushing her too much/hard/often/whatever.

At least the movements don’t keep me up at night. I’m a pretty heavy sleeper so maybe I’m just sleeping through it. I’d like to imagine that she sleeps all night too…ha! Yeah, right.

In short, I’m on kicking patrol all day every day to make sure that all’s right in there. They (whoever they are) say that you should feel movement once per hour. Which begged the question: once every hour or, if I feel movement, does the clock start again then? See – these are the things that keep my mind racing. I have this sneaking suspicion that that’s not going to get any better.

Until next time!


Still Got It…


I played golf in high school. I wasn’t GREAT but I was good. I played on a great team (of which three of the seven girls I played with over the years are still among my best friends). I was all-conference and got honorable mention all-state one time. I played Division III college golf and was all-conference there, too. So, I’m a golfer…or, as I like to relate, a FORMER golfer.

I’ve been burned out on golf for awhile now. I’ve liked playing in scrambles, I’ve liked being able to impress people with how long I can hit a driver (for a girl) and that’s the extent of my golf interest as of late.

However, we just bought the house on the golf course I grew up on and we have a phenomenal view and it’s just perfect. And, I want to now have a membership to the club.

Spent the day today with my Dad, Mom and brother Trevor playing 18 holes. I didn’t play superb (let’s imagine a 7 on the par-3 ninth hole to close out with a 49). However, I came back with a 42 to shoot 49-42=91 for the day. I really wanted to break 90 out of the gate. My short game would not allow that to happen (hell, just double-bogey the ninth and everything’s different). But, more importantly, I ENJOYED golf again today. I truly did. And I’m looking forward to being better the next time…whenever that may be.

I grew up playing golf with my Dad. He was my first and best instructor…and still is. He’s a great player himself. He would play every day, all day if he could, I swear. He LOVES the game.

I’m looking forward to him having another little girl around to teach how to golf…and I hope that our baby girl (nameless as we have not yet agreed on anything) somehow gets the same phenomenal experience that I did by having golf as a way to have my best friends find me in this lifetime. At the time, golf didn’t seem to be that important. High school – friends – boys – drama – booze – freedom — all seemed much more important. Well, they were. But, in reality, as an adult now looking back, I see the importance that this game has played in my life. It gave me my friends, an outlet of escape within my family, a point of pride in myself. It taught me how to hang with the ‘good ol’ boys’ club and how to deal with the days when a two-some wanted to play through and the 50-something 10 o’clock’ers at the course would just hit into you. In essence, it taught me – and provided me – with all the things I’ve needed to make it this far.

I guess I better hurry up and get that membership going…I may need it to help launch me the rest of the way 😉

What a great day on the course…


Father’s Day


Jon’s a Dad…well, almost. Although, he says he isn’t.

Despite this fact, I got him a Father’s Day present (and in spite of the fact that he did not get me a Mother’s Day present, which I still take as a personal affront, truly).

I got him this SWEET Oakley backpack — it’s called the Kitchen Sink. The thing has so many nooks and crannies to store baby-related gear (and room for your own stuff, too). I did a bunch of digging to find out the best backpack for dads that’s NOT a diaper bag. And, this kept coming up. Lucky for me, Jen (Jon’s brother’s girlfriend) works for Oakley and was able to nab one for me in time.

I loaded it up with:

Rattles & Toys
Diaper Cream
Baby Powder
Baby Lotion
Sippy Cup & Spoons (for older, but just for effect)
Three extra onesies
Burp clothes

The thing is seriously awesome.

Here’s the manufacturers pic:

So, Jon liked it (I think) and I feel like I really like it either way…so we’re good to go on the man-bag for dad front.

Happy Father’s Day, Jon!

23 Weeks: Status Update

Ok, Baby Girl aka Minnie Mason is 23 weeks tomorrow. So – another status update is in order. (I feel like I’ve been writing about things other than HER and the PREGGO experience…so I’m back on track with this update).

Without further ado, a Week 23 status update.

Due Date: October 14, 2011. The sonographer told me that the due date is October 14, and I’m going with her. October 27 was off by my count anyway. I said October 19 all along and the 14 is probably even more accurate (this due date is based on Minnie’s size). She was 10.4 inches long and 365 grams at the ultrasound two weeks ago.

Baby Developments: Watch what you say — baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out when — just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

Weight Gain: Will have a much better gauge on this one after today’s appointment. Keep in mind, I don’t weigh myself. I’m still saying that I’ve only gained 2.7 pounds or whatever that number was through 23 weeks…I can say that for about another hour.

Cravings: Food. In general. Well, not even really. I guess I just have a bit more of an appetite. I wish I were eating just a wee bit healthier. But, pizza is back to sounding REALLY good. Fresh fruit still sounds good, but I am not eating enough of it. In general, though, I haven’t had a craving per se. I am certainly loving my sweet treats these days though.

Symptoms: Tiredness. I have started taking just one kids vitamin a day to see if that helps and it seems to have made a slight difference. I think I really wore myself out getting ready for the big party two weeks ago and spent last weekend recovering.
Oh, last night was the first real leg cramping I’ve experienced. It woke me up (not cool). I went for a walk this morning and that seemed to help. But, I hope that these don’t continue all the time. I’m ok with from time to time. I guess the leg cramping happens because you have so much more blood and fluid in your body as a result of cooking a baby. Whatever – I could do without the shooting pain of the leg cramps.

I am loving: having my best girlfriend in town, Jay. She’s here with her kids until later this month and she came over this a.m. for coffee with her 18-month old, Stella. It’s just so nice to have her around. I miss her when she’s not here. I’m also loving that my local bestie, Andrea, asked me to take infant pictures of her baby Drew after he’s born (he’ll be here June 27). I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the how-to’s of newborn photography. I can’t wait to get started. I’m also really, really loving the time I seem to have these days. Not having to work on my Master’s frees up a lot of space in my head and in my life to do other things with.

Sleep: Great. Lots of it. Spent a lot of time napping last weekend, but I think that was more because of wearing myself out the week prior.

I miss: looking like my regular self. Seriously, someone should have told me I looked this pregnant.

I am looking forward to: Drew’s arrival, spending time with Jay and her kids while they’re in town and shopping with my Grandma for Minnie tomorrow.

I am spazzing about: Now that the crib and glider were delivered yesterday, the really other big thing is to figure out a childcare (yikes!) situation after Minnie’s arrival. I don’t really like thinking about it – buuttt I have to. So, that search will start in earnest very soon. I swear.

Best moment of the week: Lots — it makes me smile when she kicks. And she kicks a lot. I realized yesterday that she has taken real issue with her neighbor, aka my bladder. Have had to pee a lot. But, I LOVE feeling her move around and get a bit weirded out when I don’t feel her like I think I should. I’m really trying to pay attention to how often she moves and when she moves. Current status: sleeping.

Milestones: Lots of kicking. Jon even felt it! Yup, on his 36th (holy crap he’s old) birthday, I had him lay his hand on my belly and he was like ‘I don’t feel it’ and I said you can’t feel THAT and he was like, I feel things moving, but… So, I was like ‘that’s HER’. I think maybe he thought it was going to be like karate kicks and chops or something…but it’s just little (getting bigger) all the time. But it’s cool that he felt her…and he’s getting more likely to touch my belly to see if he can feel her. Not a lot, but he’s done it a few times and I really like that.

Movement: Lots. I try to figure out which part of her is where…but can’t really tell or am not paying close enough attention.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Brisk walk this morning. Nothing when I’ve been on the road. But, we’ll see how the weight gain is going when I head to the doctor here shortly.

Diet: The sweet treats have been my undoing. Being on the road makes it hard to eat very well and I find myself over-indulging and over-filling myself which is uncomfortable. But, can’t say it’s too too bad.

Goals for the upcoming week: Not specifically baby-related, but get the electrical done in the attic so that we can get the insulation done so we can concentrate on getting Minnie’s room ready. The crib is here, the glider’s here, the dresser/changing table is here. I have the paint picked out. Just need to pick up the frames for the artwork, purchase the wall decal from tradingphrases.com and get moving.

The Money Part Starts…


Everyone says it’s expensive to have a child.


But, as some (most) of my friends have had babies in the last couple of years, they’ve given me even more of a heads up to expect.

I’m pretty diligent about understanding my insurance, what’s available to me, what I’m responsible for paying.

I knew some time ago that I COULD be on the hook for up to $5,000 in maternity care-related expenses. I knew this.

And then, tonight – just now, in fact – in my Inbox. The “Explanation of Benefits” email from United HealthCare. No big deal. Sign in. Look at how much it cost, how much my insurance paid and, like always, go to the ‘how much patient owes’ line.

The following figure: $1,872.00


Ok, keep calm. Knew this was coming. Keep reading.

Alright. The doctor’s office evidently discounts the service (this wasn’t the ultrasound folks, this was my allegedly 17 week checkup (those of us in the know, know it was really 19 weeks, but…whatev’s). By the way, the doctor admitted to Jon and I at an earlier checkup that the appointment before 20 and at 24 weeks are the biggest wastes of time as you’ve just had a comprehensive ultrasound in between and they don’t do anything other than charge you to pee in a cup and lay down and have our belly measured.

I DID have bloodwork done…but I don’t even know if this is what that’s for.

Download a PDF…nope, not sure what UG stands for other than “We’re Not Paying”. Oh, I know. It stands for ‘Ugh’.

Yup, got it United HealthCare.

The ultimate billed amount on this particular bill is…: $607.04.

I have $243.76 until I reach my “In Network Deductible” and $3,743.76 until I reach my “Quality/Efficiency Out of Pocket”…again, I’m not sure if I’m gunning for the extra $243.76 or the $3K as MY maximum to pay out.

This leads me to wonder to myself: If we had national healthcare, what would this cost me?

Higher taxes?

Ok. Higher taxes.

I’ll play along. I’ve done my homework into tax rates over the last 100 years. We are at the lowest since HOOVER was in office…and HOOVER is credited with the Great Depression. And then, the tax rate spiked. And, as a result we got the following:

A military industrial complex rivaled by NO OTHER COUNTRY.

An interstate highway system.

A higher education system that began to make education accessible (though not affordable) to the masses.(We could tack on civil rights and Title IX, but that’s really for a different post).

Social Security


Infrastructure in the mode of: airports, train stations and railways, electricity grids.

I did a little homework awhile back. Here’s what I know about the taxes in our country:

Making $50,000 in 2010, you expect to pay 25% in federal taxes.

Adjusted for inflation, this means that you would have paid the following rates (these years were selected because there were major changes to the tax code that went into effect that year):

2000: 31%
1982: 35%
1965: 28%
1945: 29%
1929: 3%
**For the record, 1982 the economic messiah called Ronald Reagan was in office. HIGHEST TAXES EVER, in the history of the U.S.

So, now I wondered again…and haven’t answered my own question (just call me Fox News)…how would this change for me with Obama’s Healthcare Plan (I have a hard time calling it ObamaCare…seems like mostly that’s used in a derogatory fashion).

Here’s an article that spells some of it out, though not expansively, in the NY Times.

For me, as a single woman who gets insurance through my employer, nothing changes unless my employer and providers offer a change. Nice.

One of my girlfriends just had Carter Nathan in the UK earlier this month. This is what I found about UK maternity leave:

What time off work am I entitled to in relation to maternity?

Pregnant employees are entitled to reasonable paid time off for antenatal care. The law also provides for 52 weeks’ maternity leave which for all employees is available from day one of employment.

This may be paid leave for the first 39 weeks, provided you have worked continuously for the same employer for 26 weeks by the 15th week before the child is due. If not then you may be entitled to receive Maternity Allowance: this is also the case if you are self employed or earn below the Lower Earnings Limit.


And…they ACTUALLY CALL IT MATERNITY LEAVE. Here in the U.S., we MUST call it what it is…short term disability! Ha! Our HR department wouldn’t refer to it as maternity leave and would only reference short term disability, whose acronym: STD, is just lovely when you’re talking about going out on MATERNITY LEAVE.

So, back to the earlier tax rate thing…

If we take $50,000 in income in the U.S., that’s like 30,082 pounds in the U.K. With that, the income tax rate (federal/national) is listed at 20%. Keep in mind that the VAT in the U.K. (value added tax) is 20% – which is on alleged ‘luxury goods’ (not essentials like children’s clothing and food).

I’m sure this MUST be over-simplifying it…but the U.K. offers national healthcare, 52 weeks MATERNITY LEAVE (at least 39 weeks paid, starting from day one…the U.S. only protects after 12 months of continuous employment).

Again, I am faced with a big WTF????!!!!!

And, of course, the bill for $607.04.

Welcome to motherhood!

23 Week Photo Update


Ok, someone should tell me that I look PREGNANT and NOT skinny. However, I’ve realized this in looking at the photo this evening. So, now I know. You people should have told me this. 23 Weeks…17 to go…and I already look like this?? What the hell?!

23 Weeks. Ok, I'm pregnant it turns out.


Oh, and it seems that there is a small girl in my belly who has taken extreme issue with my one and only bladder. That made today’s six hour car ride AWESOME.