4 cm and dialating...Dr. recommends non-synthetic Prostaglandin and walking to induce labor. Gives dad a wink, gives mom a check and out the door we go. Followed Dr.s orders, sent the kids to the grandparents, contractions spaced 4 minutes apart for over an hour so its off to the hospital. At 9:30 we arrived and by 9:50 we were in our room. by 10 we had our nurse and were hooked up to the monitors.
by 11:00 contractions had stopped. when this happened with our other child, we were given Pitossin to get the contractions started. Oh, did I forget to mention it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and the end of the on call Dr.'s shift? Apparently the world does not revolve around us! Our patient and pleasant young nurse, who had for the last hour walked us through the standard stack of paperwork (we agree to try really hard not to screw up and you promise not to sue us) was concerened with our progress as the labor had stopped. we too were concerned. but like last time we assumed that we would "get the drugs, man". bring on the pitossin an let us get this party cranked back up!
but the word from the on call dr. was that we could stay until morning and maybe they would start pitossin. Our nurse, bless her heart, was not aware that this was a cash based transaction and that we had not budgeted for a "paid for trial run" at childbirth. Nor was she blessed with the "cujones" required to tell the dr. that we were here, it was our 3rd kid, and we needed to start Pitossin.
so here is where we deviate from those with and without insurance. if we had insurance, then its a nite on the provider. free ice chips and crappy fruit cocktails, yahoo! but this is not how we are rolling, we are cash baby! so for us, its "how much is this going to cost us and how quickly can we get the timer to turn off. "
lets equate this to ordering a hamburger.
If a standard hamburger costs $5 and on average it takes 1 minute to make the burger, we are running at at $5 per minute to make the burger. sounds fair. now what happens when they run out of meat and have to wait on the truck. If you already paid for the burger, then you would just wait and when the truck came, you would get your burger. No problem here.
but what if you were paying for your burger by the minute. and that truck takes 1 hour to get to the store. So that would be 60 times $5 and (stay with me here) our by the minute burger now costs $300. same burger, two different costs.
Now what if when you orderd the burger the chef looked at you and said, "you don't look like you are quite ready for a burger, wait until I feel like it." You would certainly tell the chef to stick the patty where the sun don't shine. after all, the other people in line are getting their burgers.
so now that you are hungry (or disgusted/asleep), what does this have to do with being in labor and then not.
WHEN THE DOC SAYS YOU "CAN STAY OVERNIGHT IN LABOR AND DELIVERY ROOM" AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS, YOU ARE PAYING CASH BY THE HOUR! And at this point, you don't even KNOW THE RATE!
so when you look at your beloved, and then your wallet, and then your beloved says what the hell, look at me, i am wearing sheet with snaps. lets get the *** out of here because if we don't pop out a kid by the morning we will have paid for someone at this hosptial's new car for a marginal night in a bed you can crap in. You find the nearest nurse and get your discharge papers.
Those with maternity coverage would handle this differently, but thats not us. Our screaming neighnbors for the 2 hours we were at the hospital were getting they rightfully deserved. we nevery saw our nurse again.
In hindsight, we should have spoken to the doctor and nurse and explained the situation and maybe it would have gone differently. If there is anyone to blame it is ourselves and not "the system".
At this time, we don't know what the cost is because, unlike the burger, there is no posted menu with prices. we will have the pleasure of getting a bill in a few weeks and will find out what the damage is.
So in closing, here are the key items you should be prepared for if this happens to you.
1. forget about burgers
2. speak with your doctor and nurse upon arrival and explain the situation so they have all the facts and can be your advocate
Part 2: The cost of a swing and a miss...