Our New Family July 2010

Our New Family July 2010
Our New Family

About our family...

Our family started on June 2, 2000. We have been married 10 years. We have three boys (Drake 5, Warner 4, & Henry). Michael is the Executive Director of Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) and a state lobbyist. I am a registered nurse, and a third-year law student at BYU. Drake is starting Kindergarten in the fall, and Warner is getting ready to start pre-school in the fall. Henry arrived July 7, 2010. Henry was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) and passed away, after 32 hours, on July 9, 2010. This blog provided updates on what was going on with Henry, and gives a little insight into our thoughts through the challenges we faced during his birth and death.

Be sure to read "The day we found out our baby has HLHS," under must read blogs, and if you want more info about HLHS there is a link in the right column that is a brochure from Mayo Clinic about HLHS.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The "Mad Phase"

For the last few weeks, I have been struggling through the “mad phase” of grief for the loss of our baby boy. There are so many things to be mad at, myself, Michael, The Church, etc. Be sure to read through to the end of this post because the end of this post has a lot more positive things.

We have figured out that BYU’s Student Insurance is a joke. If you find out that you have anything beyond bumps or bruises then it is not covered. In addition, the maximum out of pocket per individual is $7500 ($7500 for me, and another $7500 for the baby). This means that the student consistently pays their 20% until they have expenses totally over $37,500. Then it pays 100% up to $130,000 total (only $130,000 for both me and the baby). Before the insurance pays 100% we must pay $15,000. Oh, and that is if our providers are approved providers. If they are not approved providers - which some of the surgeons, cardiologists, and perinatologists helping us are not – then we have to pay 100%.

First, I feel like writing to the General Presidency of the Church. Are they aware that the school is requiring such a pathetic insurance? Are they aware that a student could get a plan with much better coverage (like $1,000,000 cap per person, and $1500 annual maximum out of pocket per person) for only $20 - $50 a month more? The BYU students are being taken advantage of. Basically the insurance plan covers routine office visits for coughs, sniffles, and flu like symptoms. If you are a 28-year-old father of 4 finishing a MBA and you find out you have leukemia (I had a patient with this exact circumstance) then you can just plan on dying because the health plan provided by BYU is pathetic. I don’t think most BYU Students are aware of this because (1) they don’t think their own religion would put them at such great risk, (2) the premium amount suggests a much better plan coverage comparable to other plans in the same price ranges, and (3) a student would never guess that there is even a plan that is so limited, so pathetic, and covers so little for that price. I pay over $109 a month for my BYU plan; I could have purchased a plan through Select Health for $125 - $150 a month with $1,000,000 cap, and max out of pocket of $1500. Who would think your own church or a religious school like BYU would rip off their own members/students in such a disgusting, unethical, and down-right evil way?

Second, I feel ripped off again because I have to work through an entire pregnancy, watch my belly grow, feel the baby move, and then I only get to spend a few hours with him before he passes away. I don’t think I have every paid a higher price for anything in my life; 9 months of my body working 24/7 for a few hours of time with my baby. And on top of that I get to pay over $15,000 for medical expenses and another $7000-$10,000 for funeral expenses. I would not be complaining at all if I got to take the baby home. Really, $25,000 for a child does not even seem like that much – obviously couples pay much more to conceive a child. But, I don’t get any of that.

Third, I am mad at myself. What did I do to deserve this? I have always told myself that nothing like this would happen to me because I could not handle it. Well, this is what life has dealt me, and yes, sometimes I am a baby and sometimes I don’t deal with it well. In addition, I think of things that maybe I have done to put the pregnancy and the development of the baby at risk. I wasn’t taking prenatal vitamins when I got pregnant… I was taking a sleeping pill prescribed by my doctor during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy… I don’t always eat that great… I probably used Ibuprofen a few times during the first 8 weeks… I drink Coke…

Last, I think it is easy to be mad at everything and everyone. I am going to try harder to look at the positives. I am trying to look past the heartache at the many blessings this struggle has revealed to me; blessings that are for my family, my marriage, and strengthen my testimony of the gospel. Specifically my testimony of the sealing powers that have been restored to this earth that guarantee I will be with my family for all time. I must remember to ponder, pray, and ask my heavenly father to remind me of all of the wonderful blessings that I have received. I have gained a greater appreciation - and cherish even more - my relationship with Drake & Warner as well as the opportunity I have to be a mother of two beautiful and perfect children. My Heavenly Father has given me this opportunity and I am going to strive to be a better mom.

It is easy to see how a person could become bitter while going through a challenge like losing a child I pray that Michael and I do not become bitter…

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