how am i going to pay for this kid?

on

well, i’m like five weeks pregnant right now, & so far my primary symptoms are fatigue & extreme crabbiness.

my doctor finally let me do another blood test on tuesday to confirm the pregnancy. i was 19 days post-ovulation by that point & my HGC levels came back at 1638. that’s a nice high number. the nurse called me & was like, “oh my god, are you so excited?” & i had to say, “well, i’ve already known for like two weeks, so the bloom is kind off of the rose.” not to be ungrateful–i know how lucky i am to get pregnant. i know how many ladies out there would love to be in my shoes. i’m just aggravated that my doctor made me wait so long before she allowed me to get a blood test done, & the nurse still thinks i’m going to want to gush with her about it. i don’t think so, lady.

& of course, before i could go back to the lab & get the test done, i had to run the gauntlet of registration. at my hospital, you have to register your name, emergency contact info, method of payment, insurance info, etc before getting any lab work, radiology, etc done. it’s a real pain in the neck for patients, but maybe it keeps the hospital bureaucracy running efficiently or something. unfortunately, they have one especially obnoxious registration person. that’s who i got the other day when i went in for lab work. she noticed that an obstetrician had ordered the bloodwork & was like, “oh my god, are you pregnant?” i confirmed that i was & she STOPPED REGISTERING ME so that she would have all three of her brain cells free to launch into a huge lecture about how it’s really important that i rest as much i need to, eat healthy foods, & stay hydrated. i tried to explain that i was in fact pregnant on purpose & under the care of an ACTUAL DOCTOR & already aware of her helpful hints, but nonetheless, she yammered on for a good ten minutes before she finally gave me my paperwork & set me free.

i keep telling myself that this kind of crap is small potatoes compared to how obnoxious people are going to be once i am actually showing, but i’m also hopeful that the crabbiness will taper off a bit by the time i am into my second trimester. i mean, i’m naturally kind of cranky person, but pregnancy has turned my crab-o-meter up to eleven. now instead of metaphorically ripping a person a new asshole, i am considering the literal applications of such an act. i’m like a cat: all i do is eat, sleep, & think about how best to slaughter my enemies.

i am also FREAKING OUT over how to afford to have a baby. obviously we haven’t tarted buying baby stuff yet so i don’t know how much things are really going to cost. & obviously we intend to get as much as possible used. & i remain somewhat hopeful that friends & family will shower us with helpful gifts (although i’m not holding my breath, because no one we know really has money to burn).

on the topic of money/gifts…i was asking one mama i know about the start-up costs, so to speak, of making a new person, & she told me all about how her parents bought & her & her partner a car when they announced their pregnancy. she said another mama friend’s parents bought her a house when she turned up pregnant. the moral of this story was: “don’t worry, people will give you stuff. everyone gets excited about babies.”

yeah. i sincerely doubt anyone is going to be buying us cars & houses! we literally don’t know ANYONE that could afford to do that (not that we need that stuff anyway–our car is fine & our rental house is great). if anyone gets us anything, i’m expecting relatively inexpensive stuff, like a onesie, or maybe a small toy. maybe a blanket. maybe if we’re really, really lucky, a parent friend with older kids will pass off a used bouncy chair to us. but for the most part, i think we’re one our own.

people keep telling me, “your baby doesn’t need expensive clothes or luxury baby goods.” some of them get kind of defensive & say, “my baby never had a $40 onesie & he’s fine.” that’s great. can we lose the attitude though? i never said i had any intention of buying my kid intentionally expensive shit or that a baby that is deprived of a brand-new name-brand high chair is destined for a life of drug addiction & petty crime. i’m saying that even the idea of buying a used $80 co-sleeper of craig’s list fills me with panic. or a $10 used bouncy chair from a yard sale. there’s so much stuff we will need, just in terms of onesies & diapers & blankets, that are baby-specific, that we don’t just have laying around the house already. usually when i think of something i need for myself, i find a way to make do with something i already have, or i convince myself i don’t really need it. but i can’t really let my child go naked, nor do i already have a stash of baby clothes. all this stuff has to come from somewhere.

luckily, i do have a stash of highly collectible & valuable doll stuff. i decided to sell it all & turn the proceeds into a river of financial resources for the baby. jared tried to stop me, saying that it was all stuff we could give to the baby when it gets old enough to appreciate collectible doll stuff, but i’d rather have some kind of financial peace of mind (fleeting as it may be) & extra space to store baby junk than a stash of presents for when the baby turns, like, eight or whatever.

i listed everything on a doll collector website & while i have already made over $1000 in just a couple of days, it’s really hard to keep up with all the orders & questions while balancing pregnancy fatigue, nausea, & crankiness. & also the responsibilities of daily living. i made it clear in my post that i’m selling stuff because i am pregnant & want to make money/space for the baby. i also made it clear that i won’t hold anything for anyone. whoever pays first gets the item. some of it is extremely collectible & rare. i’m not going to turn down a customer with cash in hand for someone who is mulling or needs a few days to get the money together. i want this shit gone, stat. & a few people have gotten really angry with me as a result. one person wanted a rare & valuable doll dress & we worked out a price & shipping, etc. then another buyer pounced on it & paid me immediately. i wrote to the first woman & apologized & explained that someone else had moved faster, but i still had the other items she wanted & would knock a few bucks off the price as an apology. she wrote back & said, “no, thank you. clearly your word cannot be trusted.”

FUCK YOU, LADY. you want some expensive doll shit, fucking pay for it or go fuck yourself. my word can most certainly be trusted! everything people have bought so far has been painstakingly packaged & mailed with insurance & delivery confirmation which i paid for out of my own pocket, just as a courtesy, even though i have been so tired i almost fell asleep in the shower yesterday.

i told jared, “remember how i used to go to the post office every single day when i ran a zine distro? turns out it’s not really like riding a bike.” i mean, i remember how to do it, & all the rules about how to package stuff & fill out forms & everything, but i fucking hate it. thanks god i don’t run a distro anymore! i had honestly forgotten how much i loathe providing “customer service” to people. entitled fucking assholes. i really hope i can raise my baby to be polite & courteous during financial transactions. apparently it’s a lost fucking art.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Kat says:

    So very happy for you even though I only recently started to read your blog (and also kind of relieved to see I can still be happy for other people getting pregnant), I did however read back in your archives for quiet a ways so have that uncomfortable feeling of knowing you even though I don’t. Yay for a baby in 35ish weeks!

    1. ciara says:

      thanks!

      are you the same person who posted about looking high & low for other punk/anarchist types having infertility issues? i was excited to meet you. sorry i turned around & got pregnant immediately after that! hopefully you’ll be joining me soon.

      1. Kat says:

        yes, same person. I’m hopeful that it will happen soon if only if because for the first time in my adult life I have insurance and that insurance happens to cover any and all infertility related treatments including IVF. I guess moving to the middle of nowhere New Hampshire for a year to help my partners grandmother out does have a silver lining. I’m glad you got pregnant, every month sucks when your trying and not succeeding.

  2. I have been told to sort of expect to have about $2000 on hand just for pre-natal medical care (co-pays, vitamins, hospital stay, etc). Not that I am pregnant or even trying at this point because of our financial issues. I’ve been trying to work the books every way possible to make it happen so I’ve done a lot of financial research. (And gotten a ton of shitty non-advice.)

    I also wanted to ask you since you’ve done so much research when you were still trying, if you found any resources for women who are at a point in their lives where their biological clock is freaking out but nothing else in life is lining up to make pregnancy a possibility? I am suffering from depression because of this and am desperate to even find an online group… thought maybe you’d come across one?

    I really hope everything works out well and you have a fantastic pregnancy.

    1. ciara says:

      where did you get the $2000 figure? if that’s all it costs, that would be a huge relief, because i have like three times that amount socked away. i’ve been saving for like three or four years. but of course, a big chunk of that savings is going to be spent on infant expenses (car seat, co-sleeper, etc etc). & i assume the hospital visit will cost more if something happens & i end up needing a cesarean…

      i don’t know what to tell you about the biological clock thing…i was ready to start trying long before jared was & i just had to be patient & wait for him to come around. it took a couple of years & i definitely had my bouts of mild to moderate depression because of it. & more of the same while we were trying, since it took a while & didn’t go as smoothly as i expected.

      it’s hard to address the “nothing else in life is lining up to make pregnancy a possibility” question, because one person’s ideal circumstances are another person’s no fucking way. i know you own a house & stuff, so in that respect, you’re on much more stable ground than jared & i. we don’t even know what state we’ll be living in in two years when he finishes school. there are some people that would never consider having a kid under these circumstances. but most parents i talk to say, “don’t ‘wait until you’re ready,’ because having a kid is terrifying & you will never be ‘ready’.” i think that’s pretty true. i THOUGHT i was ready, but i spent 45 minutes laying on the floor yesterday, crying my eyes out because i’m so scared that my kid is going to be a psychopath (no reason, i just read an article in the “new york times” about child psychopaths) or an internet asexual or that it will go through an extended disney princess phase or that i won’t know how to soothe it when it cries or that it will have body issues & an eating disorder in high school…it’s just a huge life change, even when you’re not freaking out about the money part of it. i don’t know how anyone could possibly be completely prepared. not that it’s not worth trying, but…

      basically, the bottom line is that i don’t know what circumstances you are referring to that are flummoxing your desire to get pregnant, but if you wait for everything to be perfect, you’re going to be waiting for a long time. i never found any really helpful resources while i was waiting for jared to get on board…i just kind of vicariously lived through other people by reading a lot of books about pregnancy/parenting & looking at photos of my friends’ kids on facebook or whatever. sorry i can’t be more helpful!

  3. I guess I could have been more speficic with the figure in that it is taking into account my insurance benefits ($25 co-pay for first office visit and $0 for ultra-sounds and 20% of the Allowable Charge for hospital stay). Of course I could be wrong. And if there were any compilcations the cost would certainly rise. And that isn’t taking into account any baby healthcare expensese once they arrive.

    My problem now is money. Owning a house has made us house-poor. Purchasing a home has been the biggest mistake of my life. The economy tanked, husband’s company went bankrupt. He kept his job, but with a drastic pay decrease. Just the two of us live paycheck to paycheck with very limited entertainment/fun expenses but we do include them.

    Living vicariously through my friends (who all seem to be pregnant or new moms) is starting to become triggering. Oh well. Thanks for the info. I figure that if such a group existed you would have come across it.

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