Update on my ongoing drama to get Blue Shield of California to pay for my epidural: As I had mentioned before, it cost $1,500 to get an epidural to deliver Eli. Our provider, Blue Shield tried to get me to pay for it saying the anesthesiologist was “out of network.“ (As if I were in a position to ask him!)
After some haggling, I received a shmarmy letter from the company that for this time only it would graciously pay for it. (As if our premiums have not doubled in the last few years.)
I thought this was settled as BCBS agreed to call the hospital and settle this. Except I received a phone call from a bill collector yesterday, telling me to pay up or deal with the credit bureau instead. UGH.
So I wasted another 45 minutes of my life, waiting on the line to speak to either the bill collector or BCBS. The bill collector especially was rude. I told her that the insurance company was supposed to call her — she had no such record and treated me as if I were lying about the whole thing. Infuriating — and then I confided in her, “Excuse my language, but last time I spoke to them (BCBS), they told me that they were sending small checks here and there so that your doctor would drop his fee as a ‘courtesy’ to them. They are dicking you over.“
Bill collector: “Maam, we are not the hospital. We just want to collect the bill. You need to call the insurance company.“
Once I finally got through to someone at BCBS, I demanded a three-way conversation with the bill collector to settle this. Turns out, BCBS had a record of the conversation with the bill collector, but the bill collector did not. The bill collector lashed out at me, “Elisa, I sent you a bill with some notes on what BCBS would pay. You should have responded!“
Me: “Well, you told me that you were going to take care of this! It’s been almost six months and this still has not been settled!“
The BCBS rep told me she would send payment to the bill collector but asked her to put a “30-day hold“ on my account. The bill collector grudgingly agreed. Sigh.
I have a feeling this won’t be the last time I will hear from either of them. This is so aggravating.
I love reading those personal “My Turn“ essays in Newsweek, which probably explains why I love blogs, too. The other day I was perusing the magazine’s “online only“ My Turns — there are more of them online than in the magazine! — when I came across this intelligent essay by formula feeding mom Laura Cook-Crotty: Formula is Fine.
While she pointed out that “breast is best,“ and she tried her hardest to breastfeed her daughter for four weeks, she said the breastfeeding campaign has had an unintended consequence.
There is now a very desperate sense of guilt and failure attached to bottle-feeding, which for many women is the only option…
Notwithstanding the fact that it was physically impossible for me to breast-feed, there were moments when I felt like an utter failure as a mother. For weeks I was guilt-stricken, anxious about my baby’s health, and worst of all, jealous. Everywhere I went I saw women who had absolutely no trouble breast-feeding. And yes, some of them seemed to have no trouble glaring at me with what I perceived to be utter disapproval when I bottle-fed my baby. The worst feeling of all was the silent resentment I had for my own friends’ successes with breast-feeding.
At my most bitter stage of bottle-feeding grief I fantasized about the witty comeback I’d give the next well-intentioned stranger who told me with a smug tone: “Don’t you know how much your baby would benefit from breast milk?” Perhaps I’d even give her the shock of a lifetime by flashing my breast-feeding battle scars right there in the church social hall. I even debated starting my own campaign: FORMULA IS FINE.
Good for her. I could totally relate to the pain she suffered from cracked bleeding nipples and multiple bouts of mastitis. It hurts. Thankfully, this was not my experience with Ari, which is why I stubbornly stuck with it for Eli. I hope Cook understands that every baby is different so she shouldn’t fear trying again with a second child — if that is what she wants.
Yes, Eli still loves the boob above all. I have noticed though that when she reluctantly accepts formula — the organic dairy-based Horizon — she gets gassy and grunts like she is constipated. Could something there not agree with her? I’ve been debating trying a soy-based formula or sticking with the Horizon since she rarely receives it.
She does love pears though. The other day I was eating a pear and she tried to grab it. I let her gum it and she kept whining for more! I bought her those Earth’s Best First Pears and she is eating it up. Whew! I thought I would be exclusively nursing her for a year. She is finally showing interest in food.
What are you up to this weekend, MotherTalkers?