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And then there was her…

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Harriet Quinn S.

Born 12 May at 8.18am.

8 pounds 2 ounces of squishy goodness with a full head of black hair.

We’ve been through a few days of chaos with the little one sick in the neonatal special care unit whilst I was unwell myself after accidentally being administered a drug I was allergic to.

We are still in hospital and I’ll update fully in the near future.

But for now she’s here.

She’s mine.

I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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Just great…

I’m pretty sure I’m in the early stages of labour at the moment. I’m actually pretty stressed out about it.

My contractions aren’t regular yet but coming more frequently (at the moment 2 or 3 an hour) and it doesn’t look like I will make it to my scheduled c-section day.

As you know I’ve been miserable for weeks about the fact I need a c-section and have only just fully come to terms with it in the last couple of days.

Well…my aunt has just phoned my mother and gone off like a crazy person because apparently I’m an idiot for scheduling a c-section. I was sitting next to my mother and heard the whole thing.

Apparently I’ve done the wrong thing and made the wrong decision.

She reckons babies turn when they’re ready. And if they don’t turn then midwives just manually turn them.

My aunt is a scientist. She does not work in the field of obstetrics or midwifery but she seems to think being a scientist makes her an expert in everything.

According to her doctors “trick” weak minded women into c-sections because it’s just easy and convenient for them. Plus they earn more money from c-sections. I’m basically being conned.

Even when Mum explained my baby is too big to manually turn and the doctor said she is stuck where she is, my aunt rubbished her.

Mum explained the doctor estimated the chance of the ECV working was less than the chance of sending the baby into distress but my aunt insisted the baby is turnable.

Even when Mum explained my baby is footling breech and if I go into labour and birth naturally the baby can’t be born safely because her legs are totally split, my aunt said the doctor was lying to me about the position of my baby to get his own way.

Every single time Mum tried to explain that I was having a c-section for the safety of the baby, my aunt refuted that and said the c-section was just my choice but I was making the wrong choice.

MY CHOICE?!

I didn’t want this. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want my baby to be breech.

I wanted a natural damn water birth!

She has made me feel like a terrible mother now. Like I’m doing all this for nothing.

I know she is wrong. At least I think she is? I have seen ultrasound evidence that my baby is footling breech. I have watched my doctor unsuccessfully try to manipulate my baby’s head away from my lungs. I know he isn’t lying to me.

But I am physically in pain and I’m so tired and stressed and hormonal and now I’m questioning every decision I have made.

I DON’T NEED TO DEAL WITH THIS RIGHT NOW.

I never asked them to try to manually turn my baby because the doctor said it wasn’t going to work. Should I have just insisted upon it??

I am now going to have this c-section knowing there are people in my family who think I’ve made the wrong decision and I’m just having a c-section for convenience.

I feel friggen awful. I just want to cry.

Why why why why why can’t my life ever just go smoothly??

My mum reckons that my aunt’s anger actually stems from an incident on the weekend involving my cousin (my aunt’s daughter).

My cousin contacted me and said she wanted to know the date of my c-section so she could take some time off work to come stay with me. Never mind that I’d never invited her to do this…

I kindly explained that I was keeping the date a secret so I could have some time (meaning…24 hours, not a few weeks) to get to know the baby before I was bombarded with well wishers and visitors.

Further, I explained James would be with me for the first few days and so perhaps it would be best if she held off on visiting for a short period of time until James had gone home (because the two of them don’t get along and frankly I don’t need that stress when I’ve got a newborn).

Well she was furious. She basically said she had more rights to see the baby than James did and even if he was there he could just “sit in the corner and change dirty nappies” whilst she and I were with the baby.

I told her no. I explained that no matter what anyone’s opinion of James is, he does have a right to spend a few days bonding with his daughter. So I wouldn’t be pushing him into a corner.

This was exasperated by a previous disagreement I had with my cousin a few weeks ago because she wanted to be in the delivery room instead of James. Once again she believed she had more of a right to be there than he did.

I understand she doesn’t like him. Hell, nobody in my family likes him. Most of the time I don’t like him! So I get it, I do.

But this is my baby and my birth. It should be up to me who is there with me, and I shouldn’t be dictated to by my 23 year old cousin. I shouldn’t be dictated to by anybody right now.

So now she is angry as hell and she’s not talking to me. And apparently now her mother thinks I’m an idiot for having a c-section.

Honestly when did my family become so dysfunctional?? My family has always been so middle class and normal and well…boring.

But isn’t this delightful!!

Anyone else wanna jump in and have a go at me??

Early labour is the perfect time for everyone to air their dirty laundry right?

Meanwhile, James came up to Paradise on the weekend to take me out to lunch for mothers day. He was very lovely and supportive and took me to a nice restaurant.

Then he let me go to a jewelry store and pick out a new necklace for my birthday which is coming up next week.

It was in no way extravagant, it was a heart shaped pendant that set him back about $200.

But it’s the first real gift he’s ever bought me and it made me happy to think he’s turning a new leaf and finally being supportive right when I need him.

Well about four hours ago he texted me to say he’d quit his job in the city.

He said he was quitting so he could focus on his mental health and getting better so he could treat himself, me and his kids better. He said he wants some time to find himself.

Well that’s a lovely sentiment but it also means that as he is now unemployed he no longer has to pay me any child support once the baby is born.

So financially I’m doing this on my own now. What great timing to find this out!

And those contractions just keep on coming. I may have to go up to the hospital soon.

Hooray! I’m having so much fun…

The last pregnancy update

Were you able to glean from my super creative blog post title that this will be my last pregnancy update before my baby is born? You did? Naww you guys are so clever.

I still want to update once more (hopefully on the weekend) about James, because I really need to have a huge vent session about him.

But as far as the pregnancy goes…this is it. And I can’t believe I’m saying that.

I can’t believe that within the next week I will be logging onto wordpress and saying “hey you guys…this is my daughter.”

That doesn’t feel real to me.

You know, I was 24 years old when I started trying to conceive with my husband. I’m now less than two weeks away from my 30th birthday. That’s six years. And six years is a long time, right?

But going through eight cycles of IVF and several fertility surgeries and multiple miscarriages and divorce and heartbreak and losing everything financially and debilitating depression and completely rebuilding my life and all the rest of it…six years actually seems like such a short timeframe to fit all that trauma in.

The entire past six years of my life are just a blur. The good, the bad, the ugly. My husband being with me, my husband being gone. Living in the city, living in Paradise. The highs and lows with James. They all just merge into one gigantic haze of emotion.

When my husband left me, I remember feeling so crushed that I believed I would never function as a normal human being again. Not only had he taken away the love and support of the only person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, he’d also stolen from me any chance I ever had to start a family. I couldn’t fathom how he could do that to me.

Two different doctors told me I would need a hysterectomy the year I turn 30. That was only two short years away, on the night my husband walked out of my life.

There was no way I was going to meet someone and fall pregnant within two years. Just no way. It was impossible. Completely out of the question.

And here I am…two weeks away from my 30th birthday and just one week away from giving birth.

I mean let’s not pretend the situation is ideal here. I’ve not met a new love and settled down into happy relationship bliss. Quite the opposite, really.

But nevertheless, the baby is real. And mine. I get to keep her. I get to take her home with me and she will be mine for the rest of forever. I will have to share her with her dad, but nobody will ever be her mother except for me.

When will this sink in for me? When she is born? When I take her home? When she is one year old? Five years old? When she graduates high school? When will this feel real?

I went for my last obstetrician appointment yesterday.

Baby is still breech. Not a huge surprise.

I mean I can actually see her head. I have a clear visual of it most of the day. It sits raised up above my bump, right underneath my ribcage.

It freaks my mother out. Sometimes I grab her hand and make her touch it, and she shrieks and runs away like someone has just thrown a spider at her. She said it gives her the creeps because you can so clearly feel that it’s a baby’s head under my skin but I think it’s hilarious.

As booboo is breech I’m not going to get the opportunity to do a maternal assisted c-section or have too much involvement at all. But I have been able to negotiate delayed cord clamping for her which makes me happy. They don’t routinely do that for c-section babies but my doctor was happy to comply.

Last week at my appointment my fundal height was measuring 39 weeks. The doctor thought that would pretty much be it, and baby might plump up a little but nothing more.

This week, my fundal height was measuring 42.5 weeks.

Let me just repeat that for you.

My bump is measuring past 42 weeks already.

My baby has had a massive growth spurt in the past week.

“I don’t mean to scare you,” Dr Eminem said. “But you have a huge baby in there. Huge. You’ll be lucky if she’s only ten pounds.”

Lucky if she’s only ten pounds? Good Lord…

“If you weren’t forced to have a c-section because of her breech position I would be strongly recommending a c-section for you anyway.” he continued. “That child would destroy your pelvic floor and also be at increased risk of getting stuck.”

How has this happened?

At 5 foot 4 inches tall and 64kg (140 pounds) when I fell pregnant (sadly I’m like 180 pounds now)…I’m not exactly a huge person.

How have I managed to cook a monster baby?!? No wonder I’m covered in stretch marks…

It makes me wonder if they should actually have re-tested me for gestational diabetes. I know I passed my glucose tolerance test just fine, but how else is such a huge baby possible?! What kind of genetics am I working with here…?

Anyway I asked my doctor if perhaps we should just be taking her out like………now. Right now.

But the doctor seems to think she’s quite happy in there. She’s not currently in any distress and obviously the placenta is still feeding her quite nicely because she’s growing faster than Donald Trump’s wackadoodle support base.

Also, my doctor is going in for surgery of his own and will be out of action for a few days. He is having a skin cancer cut off his face under a general anesthetic so he needs a few days to recover.

He said he is concerned I may go into labour spontaneously in the next few days (in which case his colleague will perform my c-section instead) but he is really desperately hoping she stays put until my scheduled surgery date so he can be the one to deliver her.

He said after everything I’ve been through, he really wants to be there for this birth. So much so that he’s actually coming back from his own scheduled leave just to do my surgery. So that’s nice I guess.

I was actually due to work up until the day before the baby is born. I was determined to work as close to my due date as possible so that I get to spend the most conceivable time at home with her before I need to return to work full-time next year.

But I’m first up on the daily theatre list and working until 5pm the night before, and then having my baby at 6am the following day seems a little…silly.

Especially now I’m so big. I mean no wonder I can’t sleep at night or breathe or walk properly or, you know, function as an adult. Nobody is supposed to actually get this big haha!

To be honest I’m a bit of a physical wreck and really in no condition to drive to work or sit at my desk for nine hours a day at the moment.

So I’m signing off work three days prior to my c-section. I’m still pretty happy that I’ve been able to work all the way up to three days before she is born – especially as I was acting in a higher duties role up until last week so dealing with extra stress.

I’m pretty proud of myself for that effort. Hopefully three days is enough time to actually get some sleep before she arrives.

Speaking of her arrival, I’m very lucky that the hospital is allowing me to have two people in the surgical theatre room when she’s born.

Due to the number of medical staff required in the room, the hospital has a strict policy that only one person is allowed to accompany the mother during the procedure. But my doctor has okayed it for me to have two – so it means I will have my mother with me as well as James.

It’s very comforting to know that if James loses the plot at any point and starts to make this whole thing about him and how he feels and what he thinks and how everyone should be treating him and blah blah blah (which I believe is a good possibility), my mother can step in to support me.

The worst thing would be James in the corner ranting that his life is ruined because he never wanted a baby or that I’m selfish or anything else whilst I’m numb on the table and the doctor is cutting me open. Hopefully it won’t happen. But…it may. Actually I think it’s a lot more likely to happen directly after she is born. But I’ll cover off on all of that in my next post.

For now…I think I’ve covered everything about the pregnancy.

Can anyone who has had a c-section give me some tips? Hints? Suggestions?

What mistakes did you make right after baby was born? What’s the best thing you did to get you up and moving quickly? How did you go with painkillers? Did you take them all or turn them down? Did you get bad vomiting after the procedure?

I will be forced to stay in bed for 24 hours after delivery. It’s a hospital policy – they keep the mother catheterized to keep them immobile. Not sure why.

But after that I really want to try and be up and moving as quickly as possible.

Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

Apart from my next post about James that pretty much wraps things up.

So…see you all on the other side!

(Ahhhh just writing those words terrifies me!!)

Sadie xx

Out of time

Breech baby is still breech, and has now run out of time.

At my 37 week appointment this week Dr Eminem couldn’t even manipulate her head away from my ribs to get an accurate fundal height measurement. (Fundal height is now measuring 40 weeks but he thinks her head lessened the accuracy.)

He said booboo is well and truly stuck and her chances of turning on her own are basically nil.

He also said trying a proper manual turn (ECV) was going to have a less than 5% success rate based on her position and I would be putting her at risk by attempting it.

He did however say that he was trained in vaginal breech delivery and as he knew how badly I wanted to give birth naturally he was willing to consider this option for me. Yaayyy.

Then…he did an ultrasound.

First of all the baby’s head was already measuring 40+4 weeks. The rest of her measured 39 weeks which is spot on with our guess that I’m two weeks ahead of our original estimated due date.

The obstetrician explained that in breech deliveries the head size was super important to take into consideration because it’s the last thing to exit the body during birth.

When a baby comes out head first the plates in their skull are still flexible and able to overlap to ease the head through the birth canal. But in a breech delivery the skull is unable to flex as the baby is coming out chin first and no pressure is placed on the top of the head. This increases the risk of the baby becoming stuck.

Dr Eminem said with a head that size the risk to the baby is very significant during birth and it would be a high risk delivery. He explained if the baby gets her head stuck but her body has been delivered, they have to cut the hell out of me to try to free her and if that doesn’t work they need to push her back in to perform a c-section. Her chance of surviving is around 1%.

Second of all the baby is footling breech. She has one foot up by her face  (which she happily had in her mouth for most of the ultrasound) and the other down in my pelvis. This is why I still feel kicks top and bottom, which sometimes confuses me.

Dr Eminem said vaginal breech deliveries can’t even be attempted with footling breech babies as there’s no way to safely deliver them when their legs are split.

So basically let me sum this up for you: no vaginal breech delivery for me.

C-section is now absolutely the only way this baby is coming out of me. And let me tell you I am not yet coping.

Yes I know I know the safety of the baby is most important. I’m not a looney I totally get that. I would never do anything to jeopardize her.

But this is it. This is my only baby. The baby I was never supposed to have.

I will never get to experience labour. I’ll never get that surprise as I start to experience contractions. All the books I bought about calmbirth and hypnobirth are wasted. All my research is wasted. The playlist I spent months putting together for the delivery room is wasted.

I’d paid the deposit for a birth photographer and she isn’t allowed to come into the theatre room so I had to cancel and she kindly offered me a refund.

What I really badly wanted was to give birth in water – I mean I picked my hospital because they offer water birth as a standard option.

What I really badly wanted was to deliver the baby up onto my chest and after skin-to-skin and the first feed to get up and have a shower and move around.

Now I’ll be confined to bed for 24 hours and unable to lift my baby out of her hospital crib on my own. As James will be with me I will have no choice but to rely on him for support. That may or may not go badly.

I’ll also need to be given drugs intravenously. I am super anti drugs crossing the placental barrier through an epidural (particularly pethidine) and also through my breast milk. But now I have no choice.

As I’ve put on 20kg this pregnancy I was also super super keen to get up and get exercising straight away. I wanted to get back to the gym as soon as possible. Now the gym is right off the table and I won’t even be able to drive a car for 6 weeks!

It’s all just a cluster of fuckery I wouldn’t ever choose for myself or my daughter.

It’s the hand we’ve been dealt and I’m fully aware that c-sections aren’t a big deal. They’re super common and normal and fine and lots of women have them.

I’ve just waited six years for this event and built it up in my mind for so long. I wanted it so badly to be different and now I have to let go of that dream. Just another way my body has failed me.

What’s actually causing me to be the most upset and has brought on several panic attacks is why my baby is breech.

She has been breech since I was 30 weeks pregnant and not attempted to turn.

Google the reasons babies stay breech for extended periods of time and enjoy your trip down the rabbit hole.

Common reasons for breech

1. The placenta is low and the baby can’t engage. My placenta is high so this one isn’t relevant.

2. Too much or not enough amniotic fluid. My fluid levels are perfect so this one isn’t relevant.

3. A growth in the uterus such as fibroids. Of all the things wrong with my reproductive system this is one problem I’ve never had so this isn’t relevant either.

4. Fetal abnormalities.

BOOM.

There it is.

Sadie has gone straight to DEFCON 1 on this one. Welcome to my anxiety filled brain.

So many websites say a baby turning head down is considered their first milestone. My baby has missed that milestone. Why??

The risk of a baby that never turns head down having an abnormality is triple that of head down babies. Triple. TRIPLE.

Do you know what causes a lot of those abnormalities? A lack of folic acid.

Do you know what I have? A double gene mutation which stops my body properly absorbing folic acid.

I mean is my baby sick or disabled and have I caused it myself?

I spent hours on Thursday night hysterically crying to my mother. I was in such a panic and had totally convinced myself there was something very wrong with my baby.

It got to the point where my mother was shouting at me to calm down because I was just being irrational and not listening to logic.

The next day she did a lot of research of her own (she even went to the library!) and she found a super common reason babies don’t turn head down is maternal stress. The uterine muscles behave differently when the mother is under stress and the baby can’t turn or engage.

If there’s one thing I’ve dealt with in excess this entire pregnancy it’s stress. The James situation is a daily struggle and in many ways I’ve never experienced 9 months under greater stress. Not even IVF can match it.

Oh please oh please oh please let that be the reason.

There’s nothing I can do now and no way I can change or control anything. I have just under two weeks until the date of my scheduled c-section and all I can do is wait.

The main thing for me right now is keeping my anxiety under control and trying to remember I’ve done honestly everything within my power to keep this baby safe and healthy.

I love her. She is my everything. Nothing will change that, no matter what happens. I need to trust myself. Trust my baby. Trust my body (if that’s at all possible). Trust my mind to stay calm enough to get me through these last few days.

As always, I’ll keep you updated.

Sadie xx

My kid has a face

I’m just trying to wrap my head around that strange fact.

I mean…she looks like something. Someone. You know?

She’s in there and she already looks like whoever she is and whoever she’s going to be.

Her nose is already her nose. Her mouth is her mouth.

What colour hair does she have? What colour eyes does she have? Does she have long eyelashes? Does she have a birthmark? 

Is she pretty? Is she squishy-faced and unfortunate looking?

Does she look like me? Like her father? Like her brother? Like my brother? Like nobody except herself?

I look down at my belly and I can’t answer any of those questions.

I can see her hands and feet as they protrude from my torso while she squirms around. But I don’t know if her fingernails are long, or if her skin is pale like mine or darker like her daddy’s.

At no point during any of my ultrasounds have I been able to confirm she has ten fingers and ten toes. Are they all there? I need to know this.

In the ultrasounds it looks like she has a turned up little pixie nose like her brother. Is that real or an illusion? I need to know this too.

Does my baby have a problem that can’t be picked up on ultrasound or during prenatal medical tests? Is she deaf? Is she blind? Does she have cerebral palsy? Does she have autism? I really need to know this.

I have this huge belly and I have these awful stretch marks and I feel all this movement coming from within me. But it still doesn’t quite seem real that there’s an actual real live baby in there. My baby. In my belly.

I’m not yet associating this huge squirming alien with the concrete idea that the thing inside me is soon going to vacate her premises and then I’ll be a mum. That someone is going to let me walk out of a hospital with a proper baby and take her home with me.

And then I think about the fact that she doesn’t know what I look like either.

What if she’s born and she’s like “Oh so you’re the woman whose babbling I’ve had to listen to for literally my entire life…I thought you’d be blonde and much taller.”

In many ways I feel like I’ve been waiting longer than 8 months to meet her. I’ve been waiting six years.

I was 24 when I started trying to get pregnant and now I’m a month away from my 30th birthday. That’s a long time to build up expectations about what a child with my genetics could look like.

On the one hand I feel like I can’t wait even one more second. I’m too impatient. I need to know now. I need to see her now. I want to look at her face now.

On the other hand I’m terrified. While she’s inside me she’s 100% mine. I don’t have to share her with anyone. She is with me and only me every second of every minute of every hour of every day.

I don’t have to worry about potential future custody battles. I don’t have to hand her over to her father, or her grandparents, or let other people touch her or kiss her or even look at her.

I’m not ready to give up that control yet. I’m not ready to share my baby. I may never be ready.

But there’s nothing I can do about it because time waits for no man and certainly for no baby.

In less than a month I’ll meet my daughter.

In less than a month I’ll see her face.

I think one of the worst parts about life is waiting. But the best part is finally having someone worth waiting for.

I’m waiting for you, baby.

Come meet me, when you’re ready…

Mummy xx

Fatso status report

So I had an ultrasound this morning.

The monster baby is still very happily breech with her giant head tucked snugly up against my gallbladder and stomach. 

Pressure from her big ol’ head is causing me to vomit a lot of what I’m eating at the moment and I also continue to have gallbladder attacks.

Never mind the fact I can’t lie flat without her head pushing up onto my right lung and making it hard to breathe…

Fundal height and baby size are both still tracking perfectly 2 weeks ahead and as this has now been the case for several months the obstetrician is starting to become convinced I’m closer to 37 weeks than 35 weeks.

If Fatso hasn’t turned in the next fortnight we are apparently going to have a serious chat about c-section delivery.

Honestly I’m not yet okay with this idea. I’ve waited six years to have a baby and we know this will be my only baby.

I wanted to at least give natural childbirth a crack. I wanted to experience it. I wanted the excitement and the discomfort and the feeling that I’d achieved something.

Instead I’m facing the potential of never going into labour and just arriving at the hospital at a pre-determined time to let a doctor cut me open and remove my monster baby.

An emergency c-section I’m totally fine with. If the baby is in distress or unhealthy get her the heck outta me as fast as you can to save her. No problemo. I won’t even be sad about it.

But an elective c-section (even if the reason for electing this option is the fact the baby is breech) just seems so depressing.

Plus we all know how I feel about c-sections increasing the risk of postnatal depression and anxiety…

But c’est la vie I suppose.

Nothing and nobody can change what’s going to happen now apart from Fatty Booboo.

If she would consider turning around and engaging her head in my pelvis fairly soon I’d be pretty darn stoked. But she is her father’s daughter so I’m sure I’ll cop nothing but trouble from her hahaha.

Sadie xx

The Safety Net mystery

In Australia, our universal healthcare system is called Medicare.

To give you a basic rundown (mainly for the Americans who have a totally different system) anytime we use a public hospital it’s totally free. Our public hospitals are extremely high standard and often better equipped than private hospitals, so we tend to use them majority of the time.

No matter whether you go in for a sprained ankle and spend five hours in the emergency department, or attend three times a week for cancer treatment over the course of two years, or have a serious car accident and need five surgeries then spend three months in a ward…all totally free.

Other things outside the hospital setting are charged differently and attract different levels of “benefits”.

If you are a low income earner you get a healthcare card and then things like visits to your local doctor’s clinic, x-rays, psychiatry, pathology and dental treatments are free for you.

If you aren’t a low income earner then these benefits are partial subsidies. So for example, if Medicare decides that the scheduled fee (benefit) to visit a local doctor is $35 then that’s the subsidy amount you receive.

If Doctor A charges $65 for a visit then he is charging $30 above the scheduled fee and you will be required to pay $30 out of pocket rather than the full amount. If Doctor B charges $40 then you will only be required to pay $5 out of pocket, because it’s only slightly above the scheduled fee. And if Doctor C bulk bills then that means they only charge the scheduled fee so it costs you nothing.

(I do have a point to all of this by the way. I’m not just giving you a quick lesson in universal healthcare. I promise.)

To make life easier for people who have higher than average medical costs (for example people who often need to see doctors or get medical tests…in other words, people like me…) the Government has something called the Medicare Safety Net.

Depending on your individual circumstances, each citizen is set a threshold amount. Once you reach this threshold in out of pocket medical expenses, the Medicare Safety Net provides a higher Medicare benefit for all eligible services for the rest of the calendar year.

So for the example used above, if you haven’t met the Safety Net threshold then you get a $35 benefit if you see a local doctor. But once that threshold is reached your benefit may increase to $50 for each visit so your out of pocket expenses obviously become much less.

Now see there’s an added benefit to being married in Australia. Because the Medicare Safety Net for a single person without a healthcare card is $2030. So once a person reaches $2030 in out of pocket costs, they get the added benefits.

But if you are married or in a de facto relationship, you can combine both partners medical expenses and still only need to meet that same threshold of $2030. Twice as easy!

For all the years my ex-husband and I were going through IVF this was fantastic because I would reach the Safety Net almost immediately at the start of the year (egg collections, specialist visits, ultrasounds etc were only billed under my name) and then Doug would also get cheaper medical treatment for the rest of the year.

Well this pregnancy has unfortunately fallen across two calendar years in a very awkward way. I was 20 weeks pregnant when the clock struck midnight on New Years Eve.

So exactly half of my costs were in 2015, and half in 2016. For example the Harmony test and initial ultrasounds ($750 out of pocket) were in 2015, but my obstetrics management fee for the private hospital where I’m going to give birth ($1250 out of pocket) was in 2016.
So even though I’ve spent a lot of money, unfortunately it took me until the end of February to finally hit my threshold for the year and start accessing the higher medical benefits.

Except here is the thing (and here’s the point to this blog post that you’ve all been patiently waiting for)…

I logged into my online Medicare account last week and realised with a sickening dread that my ex-husband and I were still registered as a “family” for Medicare purposes.

He and I have been registered as a family for years, and obviously when our divorce was finalised last year some lawyer somewhere forgot to tell us to separate our Medicare files. So we were still linked.

I was outraged.

“Oh hell no!” I shouted. “There’s no way in damnation that man is accessing cheap medical care for the entire year because of my medical expenses. No way. No how. Not going to happen.”

So I phoned Medicare, explained the situation, and asked them to legally separate our Medicare files so that we were no longer sharing a Safety Net.

At that point, I was feeling pretty smug about myself.

That buffoon of a man clearly thought he could just slip in undetected and access cheap medical because of my expenses? Because of my child’s expenses? Well how rude!

But today I’ve logged back into my Medicare account online and something terrible has happened.

I’ve gone from sitting well above the threshold to dropping well below the threshold.

I’ve dropped right back down to having accumulated only $1500 in out of pocket expenses for the year. I still have another $530 to go!

I honestly don’t know how this is possible. It must mean that some of my medical expenses that I’ve paid this year aren’t listed on the schedule of benefits.

It also means Doug has spent a huge amount of money on out of pocket medical expenses in the first three months of the year.

This is just…unheard of.

In the whole time we were married I only ever remember him being seriously ill once, when we both had whooping cough. All his other expenses were fertility treatment related.

So of course my first reaction was to freak out – like, oh my god he’s sick. Is he okay? Is he dying? What’s wrong with him? He can’t die he’s the love of my life. I’ll die if he dies.

My second reaction was one of terrifying realisation – majority of his medical expenses over the past ten years have been fertility related. I know he has a new love in his life (thanks to a blabber-mouthed acquaintance filling me in on the news at the end of last year).

Does that…..is he…..could this….I mean….is that evil fucker doing…fertility treatment? With her? With the new girl?

And then I think back to the night he left me.

The night he told me he had to leave because he wanted to have children so badly, but I was incapable of giving them to him without IVF. And he couldn’t do IVF ever again because it was just too hard.

Has he changed his mind? Does he love this new girl more than he ever loved me? And so he is willing to do IVF with her?

The mere thought of it makes me want to vomit. And then kill him with my bare hands. And then vomit again.

Then I think about what my doctors told me when I fell pregnant this time around – the real reason I’d been unable to have children previously was a male fertility factor. He’d been the main cause of our infertility. Not my endometriosis, not my PCOS, not even my blocked Fallopian tubes.

So maybe he knows this now too. Maybe he knows now that IVF is actually his only option.

But not with me.

With the new girl.

The problem wasn’t actually the IVF. It was just me. I wasn’t good enough. He just didn’t love me.

And I’m 34 weeks pregnant.

And I’m super hormonal.

And I sometimes still miss my husband.

And I sometimes still dream about my husband.

And in my dreams he is the father of my unborn child.

And the idea that he’s undergoing fertility with someone else makes me want to cry and cry and cry and cry.

What if our lives were supposed to be a Nicholas Sparks novel?

Like we divorce but then re-discover each other years later, only for Doug to gasp in shock when he meets my precocious young daugher. Instead of being upset he thinks she is wonderful because she has my eyes. The eyes of his true love…

Then we each realise we’d never stopped loving each other, and even though I’m trapped in a loveless marriage, we share one amazing night of passion. I go home to tell my husband I’m leaving him, but then find out Doug has been killed trying to rescue stranded puppies in a freak tornado.

Devastated by my loss, I only find a reason to go on living when I discover a month later that our one soulful night of love-making had created miraculous new life. A son that I name Doug junior…

WELL NOW I CAN’T HAVE THAT.

Now there can be no Nicholas Sparks ending. He has RUINED it.

This is ridiculous I know! Because I am having a baby with a man who isn’t my husband! I can clearly see how hypocritical I’m being.

But you guys my baby was a total accident. There’s a difference between a whoopsie accidental pregnancy and seeking fertility treatment.

If he’s doing fertility treatment it means he’s fully in love and super happy and wanting to start a family with this stupid trog.

I’m also aware that this freak-out is totally illogical. I mean I have no idea why he’s managed to incur so many out of pocket medical expenses.

Maybe he was in a car accident and needed a lot of x-rays.

Maybe he has something wrong with his back and needed lots of physiotherapy.

Maybe he has decided to have a sex change and he is paying for hormone treatment.

Maybe someone finally decided he was a smug little jerk and beat the shit out of him, so now he needs cosmetic surgery to fix his face…

In the end it doesn’t matter.

I know it doesn’t matter.

His medical expenses are none of my business. He is no longer my business.

But damn it I want to know!

What are you up to, Doug? What exactly is going on here?

It kills me that I can’t know.

It still hurts me so badly that I’m finally having a child, but that amazing event in my life has nothing to do with my ex-husband.

The man who was my forever. Who promised to love me until the day I died. And all the other blah blah blah lies that he told and I foolishly believed.

Nothing to be done about it, and I’m very aware that it’s silly I’m upset over this.

Just needed to vent, I guess.

If you’ve taken nothing else from this ridiculous blog post, at least now you will pass a pop quiz on the Medicare system and the Safety Net threshold.

This is a very important life skill.

You’re welcome you guys. You’re welcome…

Sadie xx

p.s if you steal my romance novel idea I’m going to be super pissed at you