I tend to rant. And today isn't much different.
I'm pregnant again (surprise!) with baby number five, and I'm furious.
Trust me, as a mom of four and a half, there are plenty of things to be frustrated with: Wes spilled a full bottle of water on the carpet- again. Or the girls decided to color " off of the paper" because it makes the table look "pretty". Or everyone is rioting nap time an I have a pounding headache type frustrated.
But as a mother of daughters who will one day have babies of their own, and as a mother myself who is of child-bearing age and season, and currently as a pregnant person on this world we live in, I am begin frustrated and just flat out pissed off.
Having a baby shouldn't be so hard.
There are things that go along with being pregnant that are inevitably difficult: finding pants that are flattering for example. But finding medical care that suits both your needs and desires shouldn't be one of them.
I can say anything on the topic of birth choice because I've gotten to choose just about everything with all of my kids' deliveries. But prenatal care is another beast entirely.
I've had kids in a hospital and a home birth, and this time around I'm limited not because of my own ignorance like so many mothers out there- but because of the lack of options available.
Paco is an aspiring CFA owner and operator. But until that day comes, he's working for a measly $11 an hour (and that's rounding up). He has zero benefits for himself or us. (Unless of course you count the free fries at the end of his shifts or whatever). The point is, we are under the medicaid bracket of health insurance this time around. In fact- his whopping paycheck for six an a half people isn't even low enough of a value to get us insurance regularly- only because I am pregnant.
I know beggars can't be choosers- but as a women I want to make known the exponentially ridiculous flaws to this system.
I won't even get onto the rant about how it would be more "economical" for me to "divorce" my husband- and just "share the house" with him (on paper of course) and take in the extra benefits both medically and monetarily that the government would dish out freely.
But here I write- someone who isn't trying to abuse the system, and I'm left up a creek without a paddle and my boat has a hole in the bottom.
Medicaid will pay for me to go to a typical doctors office. A typical hospital birth. With all the drugs, screenings, pictures, tests, scans, and bells and whistles I want.
Roughly - $17k - and I'm being generous.
But I don't want that.
I want minimal interventions, with lots of options, and my own say about what happens to me and this baby- and the state won't even look my direction.
Call it liability if you will- but honestly it's a poor management of funds.
A home birth would cost a fraction of a hospital birth- under 5k to be exact. And I don't have to dope my baby or myself silly to get through it either. (Which is also healthier and more safe for someone in my condition by the way)
I have called countless offices and countless birth centers in the area (and out of the area) to find other "options". And I'm left with voicemails and unreturned calls.
The offices where someone did answer, cut off my sentences and interrupted me before finishing my opening sentence.
The appointments I did finally prevail to schedule, couldn't be confirmed because the number given to me in the text or voicemail auto-confirm service was either non-existent or not being manned on the other end.
The receptionists I've spoken with have been rude and quite frankly, impolite when answering questions- simply because "no one else has ever asked" them that before. They laughed at my cander and boasted in their "knowledge" that was superior to my own. (Mind you I've done the same things 5 times now)
The staff who I've asked politely about " options" to care have either blank stared at me in disbelief or smirked at my boldness to dare want a choice in my care.
Doctors who think it's my priveledge to be poked and prodded like cattle- when really it's their priveledge to help being my baby into this world.
It's a medical atrocity that pregnant moms all over the US shouldn't be dealing with.
As a pregnant mom, my biggest concerns should be my diet and monitoring my babies movements in utero.
Not fighting off unnecessary exams, scans, and rubber gloves.
It's my wish that both the insured and government cases in health care- that my generation and those to come- every race, ethnicity, age, and type of woman - be given a say in her health care when pregnant.
We want mothers to assume responsibility for these tiny lives the moment their born. But we strip them of those responsibilities Long before the baby ever arrives. Maybe have the teen moms do some research and educate themselves instead of sticking a camera in their living rooms and calling it "reality tv" would help with the lack-of- responsibility pandemic sweeping the country.
Maybe giving moms a say so in all that happens long before delivery- would help bond a mom and her baby and help decrease the number of post-partum depression cases - simply because new moms have been given the responsibilities sooner that when their emotions and hormones and bodies must adjust so quickly after birth.
I'm not suggesting that we give up on necessary screenings and lab work (even though I hate it!) that has given the medical field such leaps and bounds of information, beneficial to the well being of both a child and mother. I'm saying routine shouldn't be so, and rather individualized care the norm.
If you're in a marriage, with one partner, and aren't at risk for an STD, why do you need a routine papsmear? To make you more uncomfortable?
If you're not showing signs of preterm labor, why do you need a vaginal exam? To introduce harmful bacteria into your cervix and jeopardize the safety of your baby?
If your labor hasn't progressed as quickly as the MD wants it to, why rupture your membranes? Because it will speed things up in time for Dr so and so to be home for dinner?
I'm not saying to throw the necessary away. I'm saying why aren't the unnecessary things treated as such.
It's a shame that we can send people to live on other planets. That we can clone living things. We can predict accurately the weather for nearly 14 days. We can use math to solve equations involving light. And yet we cannot make the leap into individualized care for pregnant moms.
And maybe that transcends the baby-making stage. I'm not there yet to know.
But I do know this: I will be doing everything in my power to pave the way for those who come behind me. Be it my daughters. Or yours.
Being a parent begins with pregnancy. And that includes pregnancy medical care.