Thank you all so much for your suggestions and commiserating. Dr. Risky is DEFINITELY the type of doctor that would just DO an ultrasound if she was worried. I think she felt OK with skipping one this week since I’d just had one with Dr. No-Vowels five days before. She IS going to work with my insurance on this, and I am definitely willing to compromise on things. If Dr. Risky thinks I can go every other week without an ultrasound then I will, since I trust her and feel very safe in her hands. For the odd weeks I will use the handy Doppler that my friend Nanette is lending me (thank you to EVERYONE that offered to lend me theirs!). I’ll spend the rest of this week on the phone with Dr. Risky’s billing department and my insurance company making this work. My insurance company is VERY familiar with me. And possibly a little scared of me as well.

Also, I have to say that I am FLOORED by the idea of some of you donating money to a sort of “ultrasound” fund but that is ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT necessary! You all have already done enough for my family and I just cannot accept another thing. Not to mention that I am determined to make this work with the insurance that I have already. If you DO want to donate to something though, might I suggest a very worth charity? You would be helping families in dire need.

Really, though – all of you are the best.

A few of you commented on something that has bothered me a lot, and something that proves that health care reform needs to happen on all sides – the cost of ultrasounds. It is ridiculous what hospitals and health care providers charge insurance companies. I get in-depth statements of my monthly activity and it blows my mind. Some of Madeline’s medicines cost three times as much when she was in-patient as opposed to out-patient. I haven’t inquired how much my ultrasounds would cost if I paid for them on my own, but I am CERTAIN it wouldn’t be $1500. I doubt it would even be a fifth as much.The whole thing makes me shake my head.

I went to a funeral yesterday for my best friend Tara’s grandmother. Our grandmas were buddies who would occasionally go to church together, and I loved her very much. I have many wonderful memories of going up to Tara’s house on Christmas evening. Tara’s entire family would be jammed into the house (seven siblings with their spouses and sixteen grandchildren can make even the biggest home seem small), and by the point in the evening I’d get there they’d all be listening to Tara’s grandpa as he played the piano and sang Christmas carols. Tara’s Grandpa was a fun and boisterous man who was always at the center of things, but I remember her grandma on Christmas always sitting back, looking around with pride and love at her beautiful family.

My mom and I sat at the back of the church for the lovely service. I learned that Nana Mary had two older siblings that passed away before she was born. As I did my best to stay composed (and I failed), I looked around at the beautiful Catholic church. The stained glass windows were gorgeous, and I wished I’d brought my camera to capture the way the light was shining through them during the service. My eyes settled on the scene directly above me. It was Jesus surrounded by children, and below it was this panel:

Stained Glass
luckily I had my camera phone

I stared at that glass for a long time. I thought about Elisabeth. I wondered about her parents. I heard the priest say blessed are those who grieve, even if they don’t feel blessed. I was glad when the service was over, and I could hug Tara and her family.