Sunday, August 08, 2004

Where do I Get Myself One of Those?

Sometimes it seems that it doesn't matter what you do, that the whole world is plotting against you.

On Friday night at 6:48 p.m., my friend C. had a beautiful little baby girl with more hair than most 30-year old men, huge blue eyes and tiny versions of my friend's long and graceful hands.

Now those of you who know me well know that I've been planning for a while to have a baby. I've bought ovulation and pregnancy tests on eBay (yes, you actually CAN find anything on eBay. If you didn't believe it before, I hope you do now.) I've selected the crib sheets and quilt online at Pottery Barn Kids. I've also selected online the stroller, the car seat, the bottles, the baby towel warmer, the baby tub and all of the other 1,002 things that babies need. I have a perfect little list that I keep in my purse at all time. Hours upon hours went into their selection, from reading online reviews at babiesrus.com and target.com, to subscribing for one month to consumerreport.org to ensure that my favorite baby seat was in fact safe, I did it all so that when I do find out I'm pregnant, I won't have to worry about only having a few months to select the correct baby items. I've already bought "What to Expect When You're Expecting," which conveniently came bundled with "What to Expect During the First Year" as well as bought Sweetie Pie a book about surviving your wife's pregnancy (of course, it was the one with the most positive reviews on amazon.com). Basically, from talking to my friend D., it seems the only thing I haven't done is find a pediatrician for my unconceived child.

(Note: those of you who know me well know that the thought of starting that research crossed my mind, but I've shown great restraint and decided to avoid freaking out my future children's future doctor by waiting.)

So everything is great and dandy. I'm off birth control (I know, TMI) and in one to two months, Sweetie Pie and I are supposed to start having sex, not because it's fun, but because it has a purpose. Impossible to think that the fun could even be taken out of sex, but I'm starting to learn that, indeed, it is possible.

Anyway, not much else to say about that right? Everything is set, the plot is developed and all we need is for the invisible director in my life to yell "action."

And yet not so fast. Work has gotten to be the kind of hell that is sometimes portrayed on TV. Unbearable. Lonely. Causing anxiety attacks. And just generally causing absolute and utter misery. I simply cannot stay there. I used to say bravely to anyone who would listen to me that I had decided to stick it out, get pregnant as soon as I could (a.k.a. six months after my start date) and then find a new job when I was on maternity leave. But now, the idea of another nine months when I've barely survived the first six make my mind shrivel into itself and weep.

But just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, this week, we had the great announcement that our health plan was being changed to something "so much better." In all fairness, the company never said that it would be "so much better" for us, its employees. And really, just like a selfish bitch that says "I'm feeling great" as in "I don't give a rat's ass that the rest of you are burning up because I turned the thermostat to 85 degrees because my heart of ice means I'm always freezing," the company is all about looking out for themselves first.

Only four of us are full-time employees and not part of the executive team, so only four of us had to sit in that insurance meeting where some brash insurance guy told us about the wonderfulness of the new insurance, how for the first time in our stupid meaningless lives we would have "control." I'm not sure if any of our eyes lit up at the idea of control, I know mine didn't because I've learned to appreciate my lack of control over anything, but he positioned it as something that we all craved and that if we didn't, then we were just too stupid to know better.

As most of us know, there's a price for everything. And the price tag on having this "control" (a.k.a the ability to pick any doctor we wanted and the ability to have a broken neck with a head facing the wrong way permanently and thinking "nah, I don't need to go to the doctor for this, it's just a bruise.") was a mere $2,000 a year for the other employees and for me, for having the balls to not only have a husband, but to have put him on my insurance, a mere $4,000 a year.

Anybody spit their morning coffee yet? The ensuing reaction from the girls and I was enough to put The Exorcist to shame. A massive attack on the insurance company representative ensued and all I know is I ended up with his right eyeball in my pocket while one of my coworkers quietly munched on his removed tongue in the corner with a look of glee on her face.

Basically, here's the deal. The insurance company is now offering us something where basically, the first $2,000 of doctor visits, drugs, mental institution visits caused from having to pay for everything are out of our pocket, bank account, children's college funds, retirement plans, etc. For me, since we're a "family," I get to pay the first $4,000 of our healthcare each year.

Now I have to say I haven't done the baby thing before, but I'm assuming that with monthly doctor visits, sonograms, weekly visits during the final month, a two-day hospital stay, epidurals and all of that good stuff, that I'm looking at more than $4,000.

Which leads me to my problem. Sweetie Pie and I have been feverishly working to finish paying off our credit cards (expected to be done in two months) so that we can start saving money to buy baby stuff and have money aside while I'm on maternity leave. So now, we need to come up with an extra $4,000 within the next year for my medical care.

In other words, my company has now ensured that I can no longer afford to get pregnant, but if I did become pregnant anyway, I couldn't afford to give birth to the baby. What kind of horrible healthcare system ensures that people with decent jobs can't afford to get pregnant?

In case none of you are finding this funny, I apologize. I'm simply too angry to find the humor in this. So, now the job hunt begins again. I've sent my resume to three companies searching for kooky PR people already. Hopefully, I can have a new job within two months and then only have to put off the baby plans for a total of six months. If anyone hears of anything, let me know.

But before you tell me about it, please look at the healthcare plan, because I'm one breakdown shy of returning to Canada.

Love,

Catwoman

PS: C & L, congratulations on your BEAUTIFUL baby girl!

PPS: In my quest to make my blog better, I have decided to sign up for a class at our local community college called "Writing for Humor." I'm sure you're all breathing a sigh of relief that you will no longer have to read ten paragraphs to enjoy one chuckle. I'm not guaranteeing that these posts will become more amusing, but like a dumb lab committed to catching the beam from a laser pointer, I will try my best.

PPS: And for those of you thinking I've fallen off the deep end for actually signing up for a $90 class because of my blog, relax. The blog is only one of the reasons. Really, my blog and the overly-nice compliments I get from those of you who read this useless site regularly have reminded me of how much I enjoy writing and how maybe, just maybe I should give it a shot. I have grandiose dreams of getting my own column in our tiny suburban paper here (circulation 11,000) and have decided that I need to give it the old college try. Wish me luck!

No comments: