Wednesday, March 26, 2014


…a tale too many can count as their own.  *a really long tale, but please read all the way through*

We had spectacular insurance. For a while. 

And thank goodness---we racked up over $350,000 in medical bills with our little miracles! Had we not had insurance we would have had two options:

1) Declare medical bankruptcy. Really? at age 25? How could we have that over our heads just starting out?? (studies estimate that more than 2 million people in the US declare bankruptcy every year due to medical bills, making it the No. 1 reason for bankruptcy)

2) Spend the rest of our lives paying off medical bills. There goes the American dream. No house in the future for a family of five.

So when I say I understand the need for a healthcare reform, I really, really, really understand. 

BUT I'm really, really, really glad that we decided to have another baby before the healthcare reform kicked in. 

Because one baby turned into two. Two babies with a serious life threatening condition. 

And everyone told me "Oh how lucky you are, two babies for the price of one!"


Every doctors appointment I was charged double. Every ultrasound was charged double. And for delivery we had double the staff on hand, which meant double the bills. Then there was also double the NICU stay. 

So why should I be happy that I had them before the healthcare reform??

Because the healthcare reform has failed us miserably time and time again.

  1. In October we were informed that we would lose our coverage as of January.
  2. In a panic to provide coverage for my then 13 month old son and my two premie daughters I started looking up insurance agencies and trying to get quotes.
  3. EVERY insurance agency we contacted gathered basic information---our income and family size ---then EVERY insurance agency we contacted refused to quote us because our income for our family size was below the poverty line. They proceeded to direct us to our local Medicaid office.
  4. November 2013 we apply for medicaid, knowing that the process for getting insurance can be long and lined with red tape. We, under absolutely no circumstance, wanted a lapse in coverage for our babies. I was going to do everything possible to stop that from happening.
  5. December 2013 we are denied Medicaid with no explanation. I immediately started a new application, while at the same time applying for a "fair hearing" to have the denial overturned.
  6. January 2014 we receive our 2nd notice of denial *note that our family of 5 with medically needy children was bringing in no more than $845 a month (my husband attends school full time)
  7. January 2014 I clock over 6 hours on the phone with the local medicaid office, yielding no change and no explanation as to why my family has been denied coverage. 
  8. January 2014 both girls have rattling coughs and fevers. With no insurance we were told by several doctors offices that they would not see us unless we paid up front. What choice did we have? We paid over $100 per child to be seen for not more than 10 minutes by a doctor who told us to come in if things get worse in 2 days or if we are still worried.
  9. January 2014 we are told by Medicaid offices that they will backpay unpaid medical bills amassed in the application period. I explain that doctors want all fees up front if I don't have insurance and proceed to ask for advice or information on clinics that do not have that policy. I am told by Medicaid officers that I am out of luck.
  10. Late January 2014 February 2014 I receive a call from the fair hearing committee of medicaid. The committee member had obviously not read my file prior to calling. He was dumbfounded as I explained the process that I had gone through, had no explanation as to why we were denied, (not once, but twice!) and promised to get back to me.  Thankfully he did get back to me and had instantly fixed whatever issue there was and sent us Medicaid cards for our children. We were told that we did not qualify for coverage as a family and that Medicaid would contact the "Marketplace" and tell them that we were allowed to shop for insurance. 
  11. February 2014 The "Marketplace" is still referring us to Medicaid.
  12. Mid-February 2014 I get a job as a night manager at Culver's. I turn in every verification/notice of payment and insurance offered (Culver's doesn't offer employee healthcare).
  13. March 2014 I am given notice that my children will no longer receive coverage. *Note that we are still well below the income guidelines for a family of five
  14. March 2014 The "Marketplace" is still referring us to Medicaid
  15. March 2014 Medicaid employees can offer me no explanation as to why my children no longer have coverage nor as to why we have not been given the green light at the Marketplace
  16. March 2014 I have a bout of kidney stones that necessitates a visit to the ER. I am informed that although Medicaid would backpay while I am in the application process, Obamacare/Marketplace does not. 
It has now been almost half a year since we began our journey with the Obamacare and we now not only DO NOT HAVE INSURANCE but we have ER medical bills to pay. 

I did not write this in order to garner sympathy, nor did I write it to incite a political debate. I wrote it because I feel that our story should be heard. There are many more stories of real American families that are very similar to ours and the flaws in the system need to be fixed. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Gap...

No, I'm not talking about the clothing store.

I'm talking about the gap between my children.

12 months 2 weeks between number 1 and number 2.

1 minute between number 2 and number 3.

You would not believe the criticism I get when I go to the market (or maybe you can, because you are thinking the same things?) I have complete strangers walk across the length of the store when they see me, only to exclaim "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?" or "WOW, I GUESS YOUR DONE HAVING KIDS" or in the most condescending way possible "LOOKS LIKE YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL". Sometimes people just walk right into our bedroom (metaphorically speaking) "SO, YOU GUYS DON'T HAVE CABLE EH?" or "I GUESS WE KNOW WHAT YOUR HOBBY IS *raunchy giggle* " or "THERE'S THIS THING CALLED A CONDOM…"

I honestly want to answer these people in the kindest way possible, and help them to see how amazing it is, but some of them are just hell bent on ruining not only my day---but my entire future happiness with these babies.

"Well, you can manage now, but what will you do when they can all crawl or walk?"

"Better be prepared to buy three of everything, because they are going to drive you crazy fighting over toys!"

"If you are still sane in 17 years it will be a miracle"

Honestly, it's none of their business what we were thinking when we chose (yes, I said chose!) to get pregnant again so soon after Gideon. And I won't go into the reasoning with you either. But I do want you to get a glimpse into what my life is really like…

My house is literally hardly ever clean, and if it is, it's because we have company. Sometimes I spend multiple days in the same spit-up riddled pajamas. Two days ago I ate an entire sleeve of oreos for lunch. Today I forgot to even eat lunch. This is pretty typical for me, and if you looked at that information alone, yes, life is pretty miserable.

But there is one thing that makes up for all of it.

From the moment the girls were born, they, along with their brother, have shared a bond that extends beyond words...

The first time I held Annelise and Olivia together they reached out to each other to hold hands

This is the first time Gideon met his little sisters. He was very concerned that they weren't snuggled up enough.
He LOVES to hold his babies.

He would give them kisses even when his paci was in

One thing they all have in common? They LOVE their Daddy!

 This is when Gideon discovered that his babies had ears just like him!

Sometimes this is the only way to get things done

Here Annelise, let me hold that bottle for you!

It was bound to happen at some point!

First thing he does every morning when he sees them
There's enough room for everyone!

Gideon will get down on their level to play. 

Annelise just told Olivia a funny joke

Look at how he's holding those toesies!

Is it hard work? YES. Am I exhausted? YES. Would I ever ask for a bigger gap or a longer break? NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. These kids are right where they are supposed to be.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Baldrick's Event

This last weekend was amazing! I honestly can say that I have never had an experience quite like the St. Baldrick's Event.

For those of you who don't know, St. Balrick's is a volunteer based foundation that funds research for a non-invasive, non-toxic cure for childhood cancers. (check out their website

In one week's time Rob and I were able to fundraise $529 for the foundation! We had set what we thought was a lofty goal of $500 but with the help of family and friends as our sponsors we were able to exceed our goal! (As a whole, the foundation earned $5,399.75 which exceeded their initial goal of $5,000)

The spirit at the event was one of love and excitement and even anticipation. There were Disney Princesses roaming around, loving on all the littles and bringing courage to Rebekah, Max, and the other children present who are currently fighting cancer. There were booths for face and nail painting, silent auctions, and food. There was a 12 year old boy selling stickers to help fund treatment for his little sister Macie. The whole room was filled with hope.

There were two moments that were so heart wrenchingly beautiful I couldn't help but tear up:

Rebekah's mother was participating as a "shavee" and she got up on stage, put her hair in two ponytails and proceeded to have them chopped off---after which she gave those ponytails to her 5 year old cancer ridden daughter as a gift. She then allowed Rebekah to shave the rest of her head completely bald.  It was so touching and lovely that there are hardly words to describe it. Rebekah spent the rest of the event wandering around, clutching her mother's ponytails in her tiny hands.

The second moment that really got me was an act so sweet and so simple it's hard to imagine that it actually happened.

The event was held at the Provo Beach Resort, which is an arcade/swimming/surfing/ropes course place and it was also opened to the public that day. The announcer for the St. Baldrick's event got on the intercom and said "I know that some of you don't feel comfortable shaving your heads, but if you would like to participate, we have hairstylists here that will cut off your ponytail and give it to Pantene in order to make free wigs for cancer children".

I honestly didn't think anyone would do it. In fact, it was about 15 minutes before anyone took the bait. And who was it that was so brave that they would chop all of their hair off on a whim for a charity they had never heard of? A little 6 year old girl. She walked up on the stage and declared in front of everyone "I want to cut my hair off so that kids who don't have hair can have mine."  I just about fell to pieces.

And now for the onslaught of pictures! (photo credit goes to Jim, thanks for supporting us and playing photographer!)

Check out how awesome this brave girl looks with long AND short hair! She can rock it either way!

This whole family shaved their heads in support of their son Andy (in the middle), a cancer survivor who decided to shave his head in support of his friends still undergoing treatment!

The look of determination (resignation?) on Rob's face is priceless "Alright, this is happening."  

Gideon was not excited about what that lady was doing to his mommy, he had to come and hold me to make sure everything was ok.

I think the resemblance shows more now that I'm bald