Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy Days!!!

(update added 8/29/09): I thought I'd quickly update this post just in case anyone reading it is thinking about enrolling in the Well Baby program... It turns out there was a misunderstanding and not everything we thought would be covered, was. Only in-network doctor costs are covered - in other words, any costs from the hospital are not covered unless directly associated with the doctor. No worries though - we're still extremely grateful to have our doctor's costs covered which ended up saving up a pretty penny. The rest will mostly be covered by my flexible spending health account - something I'd highly recommend to everyone whose employer offers it. It is a huge tax savings.

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This is my first post since being thrown into the challenging world of Mommywood. I just received some very happy news, so I'll begin by going over the background. A little over a year ago, I enrolled in MUS's Well Awards program (program offered through our university system's insurance plan). Basically, by partaking in specific, healthy choices and programs I would receive a certain amount of points as a reward. Once I accumulated something like 14 points, I would then be eligible to receive $100.00. One of the programs they offered that would give me a couple of points was called Star Baby which was a maternity program offering information and support during pregnancy. The description was pretty sparse, but basically I knew it'd get me closer to my $100.00 so I didn't care that much about the actual program. It wasn't until I started going to my prenatal visits that I realized the program actually paid all of my co-pays, so the appointments were free. I was beyond thrilled.

I assumed the benefits of the program would stop once the baby was born, but received a letter asking me to re-enroll for fiscal year 2010 starting July 1st. I figured I would because the last appointment wasn't covered and thought that might be a way to get it paid for. I called to re-enroll and the gal in charge of the program informed me that Star Baby, now Well Baby, had changed their coverage. I wasn't sure what that would mean at first. Then she explained that all of Ashlinn's well-baby checks would be covered, she'd receive a $50.00 savings bond, I'd get some super high quality, expensive prenatal vitamins for nursing, AND.... the costs associated with delivery would be covered. I couldn't believe it. I'd heard horror stories from friends about how much they had to pay for delivery and associated doctor's appointments even with premium insurance, and had no idea what kind of bill to expect.

Thus far, the pregnancy appointments and delivery have cost me a grand total of $60.00, and that amount was to cover our second, "emergency" ultrasound that wasn't covered by Star Baby. What a relief!!! Now all of the money I've put into my flexible spending account can go towards other medical costs such as dental visits, sick baby visits, etc. And to think, I only enrolled to get my $100 Well-Award bonus and it's saved us hundreds if not thousands.

It's just neat to see how, ever since Ryan and I have been together, problems always seem to work themselves out in the end whether it was the way we thought they would turn out or not. We work off one another's energy and strengths and do our best to stay positive, and somehow everything turns out wonderfully.

As for baby stuff... Having and caring for an infant is SO much more difficult than I could have ever anticipated. I can't tell you how many times I've questioned myself as a mother. You always hear how "the day ______ was born was the happiest day of my life", so to experience anything contrary to that belief can make you feel like a horrible person and mother. Looking back, I actually somewhat enjoyed the labor and delivery process, but I have to admit it wasn't love at first sight when Ashlinn was born and placed on my tummy. I was relieved that that extreme pain and pressure was over, and happy that everyone came through it healthy, but had no emotions when looking at my baby. Everything happened so incredibly fast that day that it was all a blur. I was somewhat apathetic and confused and didn't know what to think. I worried I would never bond with this little one and that I would have to fake my way through being a mother. Luckily things improved with rest and having time to take it all in and spend time with my baby. I now look at her and think she is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, and try to remember that during her bouts of extreme fussiness and when I want to scream in agony each time she nurses - yes, it is THAT painful! :o)

I know we have a long, tough road ahead of us but things always seem to work out as long as we rely on the strengths we collectively posess as a family. It should be quite the adventure. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It was a nice day yesterday, but we had a bunch of visitors. Jen is sort of working on a schedule with Ashlinn and it seems to be working out well. One trick is to make sure that after nursing, Ashlinn stays awake for about 15 minutes. That said, last night was a rough one. My last memory was Jen at 5am with Ashlinn. I'm hoping they got more sleep this morning. We'll have a few pictures up in the next day or so with Uncle Brandon as well as Grandma and Grandpa Storment. I think.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 17, 2009

Her official hospital picture

We just checked and Ashlinn's picture is up on the Bozeman Deaconess website.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If you don't produce, they may induce.

Here is a quick rundown of what 'went down' on Tuesday.

Jen originally had an appointment with her doctor at 4:20 on Tuesday afternoon. This was going to be her first day off and so she was going to sleep in. The doctor's office called and asked that we come in during the morning just in case they needed to check fluid levels, etc.

We made it in and the appointment went fairly well. Tracy wasn't quite sure why the baby hadn't come yet (she thought she'd be early). Jen was measuring 3cm (6cm – outer cervix). So the plan was to have Jen be induced on Thursday. By the time we made it home, the doctor had called and asked if we wanted to go Tuesday. This was a surprise, but we thought it would be best and it would give us more time as a family.

By 2:30 they had given Jen pitocin, at 3:30 Jen's water was broken. It was somewhat slow for awhile. At 6:30pm Jen was measuring 6cm. When the nurse was leaving for the day (7:30) she said Jen was at 8cm. I was amazed, after all that was 2 cm in one hour.

I chatted with Jean for a few minutes and then went in to check on Jen. She said that she had quite a bit of pain and thought the epidural wasn't working anymore. I asked the nurse to come in for just a moment. By the time we walked back in the room, Jen was ready to go and had started her breathing. The nurse called the doctor and she appeared someone surprised. The doctor thought it would be another two hours at least!

That wasn't in the plan. Basically there were three major contractions and Jen pushed six times. The baby was out within five minutes.

Everyone seemed very impressed with Jen's performance and they were very surprised that it was Jen's first baby.

I am very amazed with Jen at this point. No complaining and when the baby and Jen were ready, she looked like superwomen.

Needless to say, with the transition from work to hospital, scheduled inducing for Thursday to Tuesday, and such a quick birth, Jen has been a little overwhelmed. Quite frankly, she hasn't had much time to process everything.

I'm at home tonight (Weds) and Jen and Ashlinn are at the hospital. The hope is that she can recover and get some much needed rest. We'll be bringing everyone home tomorrow.

Expect more photos!

First Photos

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Ashlinn Ciara
Arrival weight: 7 lbs 13 oz
Arrival length: 21.5 inches long
Arrival date: 7/14/09
Arrival time: 7:58pm
Arrival hair: Not red, brown