Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kansas City!!!

So lest you think we hated our experience here, here's a (relatively) drama free recap of our time in Kansas City -- which I think we might refer to as our brief working vacation...

The blinds when I was half done cleaning them.
Our apartment: When we first moved into our apartment, I thought I was going to cry -- it stank of cigarette smoke and was just plain filthy. I'm eternally grateful to my mother for teaching me how to keep a home, but it might have been nice to have slightly lower standards for this experience. I spent the next couple days cleaning -- wiping down baseboards and windows, vacuuming carpets 3-4 times (still hearing the vacuum picking up dirt), and spraying every chemical I could into the bathtub and then scrubbing for a minute and retreating from the fumes so I wouldn't kill my unborn child. Oh, and the blinds. Barf.

Goobie's "bedroom" -- don't you love my ghetto fabulous design?

Aside from the cleanliness, the design of the apartment is quirky to say the least. There are three different kinds of tile used in both the bathroom and kitchen. Big Papa describes the one on the floors and counter tops as "locker room tile", which is such a joy to try and wipe crumbs off of. The rest of the tile is basic bathroom stuff, but is used as a kitchen back splash -- I guess you could call the look 'eclectic'. Since this place is old, there are some fun spots throughout where you can feel the floorboards shift. It makes life exciting, especially in my many night-time bathroom runs.

Big Papa likes his BBQ from Oklahoma Joes
Mmm... brisket!
Our neighborhood: As bad as our apartment is, it is safe and in an INCREDIBLE neighborhood (there is a reason we had a sub-letter in less than an hour and received 12 e-mails from interested individuals). We live right between an area known as Westport and the Plaza. Westport has lots of hip bars and restaurants and is really close to an art school. Big Papa and I both feel very square when we walk around here with our Polo shirts and stroller. The Plaza is a 15 minute walk from our apartment and has tons of expensive and amazing stores and restaurants. There are gorgeous fountains everywhere and a large park with a running track. We've loved being so close and Goobie has woken up every morning wanting to go on walks. It's been fun pretending to be city dwellers and enjoying all sorts of things within walking distance.

Kansas City in general: We really like the area. There are some beautiful houses and neighborhoods and so many green trees and parks. The BBQ is incredible. It's been fun to explore and get to know a new place. Goober and I even went to the zoo today!

So, all in all, Kansas City was a fun working vacation for all of us (but maybe next time we'll stay somewhere a little nicer :)
Goober enjoying one of the may parks in the area.

Our Summer in Kansas City, or the 3 weeks we spent here...

Our plans for this summer have drastically changed this last week. Our original plan was to spend it all in Kansas City with Big Papa working at an internship with the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office. We got here just fine and got started with things: Big Papa with his internship and me with the task of making sure my insurance was in tact so we could be covered and have this baby. I'd spent some time before we left clarifying what I'd need to do to switch from Iowa Medicaid to Missouri, and was given a lot of confidence that it should all work out. I worked with a wonderful woman, Ms. Gilmore, at the Missouri office to make sure that all of the papers/forms that needed to be turned it were done correctly and in order. We spent almost two weeks doing this -- trading phone calls back and forth with me heading to Office Depot to fax all the necessary papers, all the while getting positive feedback that my case would definitely be approved. Then, on Tuesday of this week I got another call.

Ms. Gilmore had found out that there was an option for me to stay on Iowa medicaid since I'd only be in Missouri temporarily. I had called Iowa months before to see if there was something like that, but was told that I should cancel my Iowa coverage and get on Missouri's, so I figured nothing existed. But Ms. Gilmore told me to call anyway and I did, giving them the dates that I'd be in MO. I needed to be in MO less than 90 days to qualify, and we'd only be here 85. At this point, I started to get a sinking feeling, like something was going to go wrong, but I kept on going to see what providers would be available to me in Kansas City. 

A quick search on their website revealed that there was only one OBGYN in the whole city who had Iowa reciprocity for title 9 patients (or something like that). I quickly called his office to see if he would take me, but was told that his office works as a medical team and the chances of me being able to see just him were slim to none. At this point I decided that I needed to continue with my original plan of going on MO medicaid and called Ms. Gilmore to tell her. Normally, my calls with her go well, she's very reassuring and honest, but this one did not. Since I was only going to be in MO for 85 days I would no longer qualify for medicaid here. They needed 90 days. My heart dropped. I told her that we could stay 90 days -- it wouldn't be a problem to stay in the state for an extra week, but she told me that since I had "declared" my original intent, her supervisor would not go for it. She was extremely apologetic and kind, so I just thanked her for her help and hung up, immediately redialing the number for the woman in Iowa I had talked to earlier that day. We worked together to see if there were any other providers in MO who could help me out -- no OBs, no CNMs, no birthing centers. All that was available were a couple of Nurse Practitioners in Kirksville -- 3 hours away. 

Throughout all these phone calls, I'm desperately trying to keep from crying, but I couldn't hold it in any longer. Everyone I had talked to was so sympathetic and kind to me, but none of them knew what I should do. So, I just asked the woman from Iowa to please reopen my Medicaid case there as soon as possible and I would figure out what to do. Big Papa had come home from work at that very moment and recognized that something was seriously wrong. I crumpled. All of that planning and confidence was for nothing. We had moved our family here with the belief that this would work and now, here I was 34 weeks pregnant with no insurance. 

Big Papa (thank goodness) remained calm and focused and we thought out some options:
1. Goobie and I go back to IA while he stays here to do the internship. He'd come home on weekends and then as soon as I got wind of being in labor, he would come.
2. We all go back to IA, leaving the internship.
3. We try and find a birthing center that will give us a discount for paying cash (cash we don't really have)

I didn't want Big Papa to give up his internship for me, but I couldn't bare the thought of not having him with me when the baby was coming so soon. We've been planning on a natural birth, and I needed him there as my coach. Not only that, but the idea of him coming home every night to an empty apartment just sounded awful. So, Big Papa made some calls and told his internship that we'd have to leave.

That night I battled so much guilt and frustration -- how could I not have seen this coming? what was Big Papa going to do this summer now? how would this affect his future jobs? I should have done this, I should have done that... But Big Papa reassured me that we needed to go back, that none of this was my fault, just a really unfortunate thing we couldn't control. 

The next day, we witnessed so many miracles. Our good friends were going to be leaving their apartment June 1st until mid August, without any plans of finding sub-letters. We called them, just hoping that they might be in to having us pay their rent and utilities for that time so we could stay there -- and they were. We also were able to find a sub-letter for our Kansas City apartment in about an hour (thank you craigslist). Now I would be able to deliver my baby with the CNM's that I'd come to like to so much, in an amazing hospital. Goobie would have so many people who could watch her while we had the baby too, people who I trusted and had known for more than a month.

Even though we felt (and feel) super crazy for moving here and leaving so fast, we know that we are being watched over. It is truly amazing to me that we are being so blessed, even when I know we didn't do everything we could to make sure moving here in the first place was the best decision. Our church congregation back in IA has reached out to us, offering food, places to stay, and moving help for when we get home. 

So, overwhelmed with gratitude, we are coming home. We have learned so much from this experience and are just so grateful for all the blessings that have come from it. Sure, it would have been nice to learn this lesson without going through the stress and expense of moving, but at least we are all healthy, happy, and together.