Friday, May 29, 2009

Quick Update of Praise

I finally got a call back yesterday afternoon from the billing supervisor at the Dr.'s office. She told me that she'd looked into it and they were going to void the bill and resubmit with the correct delivery code and a letter of explanation.

Hooray! God is so good!
Thankyou so much to all of you who were praying!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Things You Just Have to Stand Up For

This is a BABY!

And the induction of labor for a baby is called a delivery - not an abortion!

Last Friday, we received the statement from our insurance about the bill from the Dr. for Savannah's birth. Under "description of service" it said: Abortion. Talk about a kick in the gut!

So I called the Dr's office and asked why. They tried to explain that it was just the "medical term" and I shouldn't be offended. They said that they had no choice but to use the procedure code that they did. It was determined by the American Medical Association, not by them. And that there were additional diagnosis codes that were not shown on that statement that made it clear that it was a stillbirth.

So, I did some research. (Sorry, I'm not a good patient and I don't take everything medical personel say as gospel truth.) We had been looking into switching our health insurance a few months ago. We were going to go with Dean care because they are affiliated with St. Marys - a Catholic pro-life hospital. Mike even called them at the time and verified that they do not do any abortions, have no clinics that provide them, and do not cover them with their insurance. So, I wanted to know if I'd done something wrong to want to hold and see my baby right away. Was that induction truly an abortion?

The Dean people said that there were other codes that a Dr. could choose from. I then looked up Dean OB providers and called up one at random. I asked hypothetically if a woman were in the same position I had been, would that Dr. have done an induction, and if so, how would she have billed it. They assured me that she would have done the same thing, but would have billed it as a "fetal demise" not an "abortion".

So, I did more research, looking up procedure codes and fetal demise. I found out that according to the guidelines written by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an induction of labor for a fetal demise after 20.0 weeks, is supposed to be billed using delivery codes.

I kept looking for good solid information - from the acog, from the American Academy of Professional Coders, from the Wisconsin Medical Association. I found out the specific code that should have been used and the diagnosis codes to go with it. Then I called the Dr's office back.

They tried again to tell me they had no choice, it was just the way it was. I explained the guidelines. They asked me how far along I was when Savannah died. (Don't they know?! from the records?) I told them she was born at 39.6 weeks and the Dr. estimated she had died 2 -3 days before that.

See, I understand that the medical term for the loss of a pregnancy regardless of whether it's intentional or by natural causes is an abortion. I get that! I may not like it, but I understand it. So if you want to call the death of my daughter within my womb a "spontaneous abortion" - fine. I can handle that.

If you want to call the induction of labor a "treatment for a missed abortion" - even though it doesn't *quite* fit the definition because of the trimester - I can handle that too.

But the PROCEDURE that was performed by that Dr. WAS NOT an Abortion!! Not even in the sense of "terminating the pregnancy". If it was, then inducing labor for a living child should also be termed an abortion, and it's not!

So - the people at the Dr's office said they'd look into it and call me back today. She said she hoped she'd be able to "explain it to me better" then.

Praying I don't lose it with them. I am so tired of dealing with a system that is foundationally anti-life and anti-God.

A Beautiful Memorial Day Weekend Concert

I got to go to an incredible orchestra concert on Sunday. My friend's daughter plays the cello in the group. :) This orchestra is like nothing you've ever seen before. Most of the time with an orchestra, you have everyone sitting in their chairs with their music stands in front of them - all facing toward the front and center where the conductor stands. Everyone's attention is on the music in front of them and the conductor. There is little movement from the musicians except the bows all in perfect synchonization.

Now imagine you take away the chairs (except for the cellists).
You take away the conductor.
You take away most of the music stands.

You wonder how in the world this is going to work.

Then you see the musicians looking at each other, communicating with their eyes, their bodies, their instruments. You see them breathe together, move expressively together. You see them making eye contact with the people in front of them, around them, even turning around to those behind them sometimes!

It is no longer a group of people playing the music. It is a living, breathing, dancing organism that has *become* the music! Incredible!

How I would love to play in a group like that! I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to see it. :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Some Enchanted Evening

Friday was a date night for me and my love. It turned out beautifully and so much fun. The boys helped immensely in getting everything pulled together on short notice - having only come up with the idea that afternoon. I guess I like being spontaneous. ;)
Terran and Jeremi set up the screen tent in the Secret Garden for me and set up the little solar lamps by the entrance - and Terran hung up the moroccan candle lantern for me. It's nice to have tall guys now! :) And we set up a table for two with a vase of lilacs. Mmmm!
I made croissants with garlic butter, picked lettuce from the garden for a tossed salad, made huge calzones and fresh picked asparagus for our meal. Terran made a rhubarb crisp for dessert. Yum!
I made macaroni and cheese for the younger ones' supper and Micha and Jeremi took charge of getting them fed and settled in front of The Princess Bride. When Mike got home, Terran, Jeremi, and I met him at the car. Jeremi grabbed Mike's things to bring into the house for him. Terran was all dressed up and played the part of the waiter. (Terran says, "The things I do for my mother!")
Terran led us to our table in the Secret Garden and brought out the croissants and some sparkling grape juice for our first course. Mike was wonderfully surprised. The weather was perfect. Cool enough to have few bugs, but not too cool. The food was delicious. It was neat to have the lettuce, violets for garnish on the salad, basil in the calzones, asparagus, rhubarb, and spearmint leaves as garnish on the crisp and ice cream - all be from our very own garden. :)
We sat out there for a long time, lingering over each course, and still after the meal, talking about dreams and hopes and plans, looking forward to what God might have planned for us.
So thankful for such beautiful times. God is good!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hoping to Reap What I Sow

(credit goes to my husband, Mike for coming up with the title of today's post ;) )

Oh, how I love spring! Everything is turning such an incredible shade of green, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and there is so much work to be done outdoors in the wonderful fresh air! Every year, I've tried planting a garden and some have gone better than others. In general, I seem to learn a little more and do a little better each year. This year, I'm trying a few new things, and have received some huge blessings, and at least so far, I've never seen such beautiful gardens in my yard, ever! God is so good!

First, a friend told me recently about "lasagna gardening". She said she did it last year and was so pleased at what a lovely garden she got out of it. You start by putting down a thick layer of newspaper or cardboard on the ground. (We had plenty of cardboard so that's what I used.) You soak it really really well. Then layer your dirt, manure, compost over the top in raised beds. The cardboard decomposes, letting the roots of the plants through, but not before it's killed off all the weeds and grass that were underneath! Pretty cool! The boys helped me make three beds for vegetables. Tomatoes and sweet peppers are in the first, lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, hot peppers, and zucchini are in the second, and the third has pumpkins and beans and peas (by the stick teepees). The tomato cages are here and there to give a place to clothespin a tarp to when needed for occassional cold nights here in Wisconsin. All those beautiful plants were my mother's day presents!!

Then, Mike bought a rototiller for me a few weekends ago. He taught me how to use it and let me do most of it myself! (yes, in a dress! LOL) The boys helped me stake the lines and rake it into furrows. The girls and I planted onions, potatoes, two kinds of sweet corn, and wheat. (The wheat is mostly an experiment. I want to try going through the whole process of growing, harvesting, threshing, grinding, all the way to bread.)

We have many areas on our little farm that we've named. This area, (basically a circle made by four large trees bordered by the woods at the back) we call "the secret garden". ;) As the trees fill out, it'll be more and more enclosed.

Inside the secret garden, is a hook with a HUGE fuschia plant - also a mother's day present! I have neve seen such fascinatingly beautiful flowers! They look like the little fairies in the movie "The Spiderwick Chronicles". On the lower hook (it's very hard to see in the picture) is one of my son Micha's beautiful beaded hummingbirds.

Also in the secret garden, is the little shade flower garden around Savannah's grave. Bleeding hearts and lily of the valley - my absolute favorites. And a new favorite, called a Jack Frost with tiny light blue flowers. The stepping stone was a birthday present from my dear friend, Penny. It says, "Be still and know that I am God". I added some violas and alyssum for now, hoping that the bleeding hearts and lily of the valley will fill it in more and more over the years.

And then, finally, there's the flower garden. :) It was left by the former owners, waist high dried weeds from last year, huge and unruly. A friend suggested I start by breaking it up into smaller sections with paths. We got a huge load of sawdust from the Amish sawmill up the road to use for garden paths (both here and between the raised vegetable beds). Then the kids and I took a section at the time and pulled out everything that looked like just plain grass and quack grass. My friend walked around the garden and identified many of the perennials for me that were starting to come up. Chives and tulips, day lilies and asiatic lilies, sedum and a rose bush, and lots of peonies and columbine! What a wonderful blessing perennials are! I filled it in with some liatris bulbs - then more mother's day presents: spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, lavender, celosia, basil, rhubarb - and another friend gave me daffodil bulbs and irises. I went back to our old house and dug up the rhubarb and strawberries I'd left there - and a rose bush that our old neighbor had given me after my third miscarriage (Stephen). Yes, we have more weeding to do ;) but I am so pleased with how it's come together!

When Mike took me to the greenhouse on mother's day, I was fascinated by the miniature gardens they had for sale there. I've collected dollhouse miniatures since I was a little girl so I guess it was natural that I'd love these too. They planted small things like alyssum and little hens and chicks, etc - made paths with tiny rocks like the gravel you can get for fish tanks and added miniature gazebos or arches. So cute! So I decided to use one section of my flower garden for a miniature garden of my own. The little toad house that looks like a stump with a face and the solar light that looks like a rock with snails on top were presents from Mike (the same day he bought the rototiller). There are also two little pretty ceramic mushrooms that poke into the ground. I planted the peppermint and chocolate mint in this area along with a tiny variegated sedum and some hens and chicks - and then surrounded the area with a little "hedge" of alyssum. I'm hoping to get some fish tank gravel and have Terran help me make a little fairy house. (don't mind the rhubarb that was pushed down a bit by the heavy rain we got the night before I took these pictures. ;) They are perking back up now.

That reminds me of my oldest son's comment the other day. :) Just an example of his quirky intelligent sense of humor.
We were standing outside in the garden. One of my new little alyssum plants was a bit squashed. We'd had a big thunderstorm with lots of rain the night before.
Micha asked, "What happened to that one?"
I said, "I think it was just all the heavy waters we got last night."
Micha nods sagely, "Yes, that makes sense. It's probably the deuterium that is so detrimental." I said, "Ok, refresh my memory. What's deuterium?!"
Micha says, "The second isotope of hydrogen."
I said, "And what does the second isotope of hydrogen have to do with the rain we got last night?"
Micha says, "If you make water with the second isotope of hydrogen, you get what's called heavy water." AHHHHHGH!! Gotta love it!
Hope you have a wonderful, super-blessed-by-God day!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Contest - not mine :)

I'm hoping to get a regular blog post up soon with pictures of my gardens. We've been working hard and they are beautiful. :) But in the meantime, I learned of this opportunity this morning and wanted to pass it on. We have the Spanish Rosetta Stone and it is awesome! Here's a chance to win a free copy of the Latin program!!

Rosetta Stone is the fastest way to learn a language and has been the #1 foreign language curriculum among homeschoolers for a while — and you can WIN the *all new* version 3 Rosetta Stone Homeschool LATIN program… FOR FREE! This is the first year you can get Latin in the brand new Version III update.
This is a $259 program (and believe me it’s worth every penny!)This is a computer based curriculum and Rosetta Stone will also include a headset with microphone, and a supplementary “Audio Companion” CD so you can practice lessons in the car, on the go, or where-ever! Students participate in life-like conversations and actually produce language to advance through the program. Rosetta Stone incorporates listening, reading, grammar, vocabulary and writing along with speaking and pronunciation lessons. For parents, the new Parent Administrative Tools are integrated into the program to allow parents to easily enroll up to ten students in any of 12 predetermined lesson plans, monitor student progress, grade completed work (the program grades the work automatically as the students progress- I love that!), and you can view and print reports for transcripts. Homeschooling a lot of kids at your house? This program is designed to enroll and track up to ten students (five users on two computers) and will work for nearly all ages — from beginning readers up to college students.
To win this most excellent Latin program copy these paragraphs and post them in (or as) your next blog post, and/OR link to the contest from your facebook page and/OR email the information to your homeschool support group – Then go to the original page and leave a comment saying that you’ve posted about, or have linked to, the contest. Please make sure the link works to get back to the original contest page when you post. And good luck!