The Engineer’s Baby – Costs

I just got the third bill from the hospital, this one says I owe another $636 dollars. I paid $1000 at the door. The woman who ran my insurance had it calculated to the dime before Monica left the building. I was still shell-shocked from the birth, the day before, so I just handed her my debit card and we rang up a THOUSAND DOLLARS on a charge. Apparently she was wrong on the dime…by a lot of dimes.

Oddly enough, I paid $1700 for my daughter in 1990, and I didn’t have a good insurance. It was “college student crap” that I’m sure the administrators made me get when I was an undergrad physics student in Knoxville. I would never have gotten insurance for myself (being an immortal college student). I think it was required, but it allowed you to see the school nurse/medical practitioner. The same one who prescribed me beer for my ulcer – which did in fact cure me. I guess that $100/month insurance was probably the best deal I ever made.

This insurance is closer to $300/month, and buys considerably less.

I recommend that if your wife is pregnant, you check out the local hospitals. Drive out to them and take a look around. They look pretty much the same, but if (for some reason) it looks like a roach motel or Frankenstein’s Castle you might want to drive a little further. Maybe I could talk about the good and bad in those delivery and post-care rooms, but not right now.

You can get a price for no-insurance child birth and it runs about $8000 these days.  When you are considering natural childbirth and the standard anesthesia, etc. That only applies if you pay “day of service.” You make them wait a week, and you’ll see the $34,000 bill delivered to your post box.

Why is it so high? I have no clue. But my insurance paid  $6,679. WIth the $1600 I’m paying, we ended up spending about $8,279. It looks like insurance is worth having, but only just barely. These aren’t necessarily the biggest costs in having a baby, so watch the old budget.

What else is there? 
    Car seat & Stroller. Yes, there are cheap ones for $100. So you can get out cheap. But the good stuff costs good money, I spent $120 on the car seat and $600 on the stroller. I haven’t regretted it yet.
    Breast feeding gear $250
    Pillows (yes, buy the stupid expensive pillows) $120. I could go on about these things forever, but pregnant women can’t lay with their legs together, need support for their bellys, and the breastfeeding pillow has been called “genius.”
    Bottles $100
    Diapers are nearly too cheap to notice, but you’ll go through 10 a day, get the box of 100! Get two…
    Furniture is the real killer, a thousand buck in crib and dresser aren’t uncommon, but a normal person can avoid these costs by shopping cheap or just dealing with it.
    Basinet, Cradle, pre-crib – $100
    Play Area – $120
    Bath Tub – $50 
    You say: “Hah, my house came with a bathtub, I don’t need that cute plastic thing that looks like a mini water slide with a thermometer and baby sprayer.”
    I say: “Enjoy denial, it is a lot of fun while you can get away with it, see you next week when you pick it up along with the matching ducky towels and the little plastic cart for her shampoo.”
    Clothes – look, if you can’t restrain the “ain’t that cute” impulse, you might as well just set your money on fire, you can blow $100 every time you go to the store.
    Beer – $10/week – Cures stress, helps you calm down, helps you sleep.
    Food – Folks, this is probably very important in the budget world. Yeah, Monica’s breastfeeding so we haven’t cleared out a single can of dry baby-food. BUT, the Enfantomil is $25/can at Krogers and $17 at Walmart. If you’re blowing through a can every other day… shop around for the good deals.

This list could go on forever, which just tells you to watch what you spend. I know I don’t and regret it weekly. (or perhaps too Weakly to fix my behavior. Oh well.)

4 thoughts on “The Engineer’s Baby – Costs”

  1. I forgot about a baby monitor. OMG! These things run from a $50 pair of radios to a $300 webcam-smart phone combo.

    One additional note, every baby website will tell you that the “movement pad” is a giant waste of money. Babys don’t die by “suddenly becoming still.” the movement pad sounds an alarm if the baby is still- really still – for more than a minute.

    I will tell you right now, that you will spend hours of your life staring at the almost imperceptible motion of your child’s chest thinking: “Is she moving? Is she dead?”

    Sure, it is a giant waste of time… I double dog dare you not to do it. *heh* 3 o clock this morning, I’m staring at her chest. “She was making a ruckus just five minutes ago when I was putting her down. Is she suddenly dead? do I need to start recusitation? Is she sleeping and I can finally go to bed?” Note, I went to bed, no dead baby. I was up feeding her again at 5 am.

    Damn I want one of those stupid, worthless, giant waste of money, motion detection pads.

  2. Hawk,
    Yeah, The expenses just keep piling up, don’t they? Jonathan was born C-section, and the insurance I had with Vanderbucks U did cover most of it, however , when all was said and done, I was going to Baptist and dropping off 300 dollans a month for about a year! (I believe in making my payments in person to a carbon-based life form and recieving a physical reciept, it makes officious individuals shut up when you can whip out proof-of-payment! MOST gratifying and well worth the extra effort!)

    As for the rest of the stuff that you had described, yes we did have to buy a lot of stuff, however, we did get a lot of help from relatives and church group members who had a lot of gently-worn items to pass on! Gifts are GOOD! My brother helped stock my refrigerator with generous amounts of his excellent homebrews!

    Finally, it is less than a week until I make it to the hallowed halls of D*C! Lucas and I have managed to put together a scale-model siege engine that should be quite delightful. The experience has been most educational! I could easily scale it up to something that could fling a flaming 15oo pound circular bale of hay through the walls of the Administration building! Quite a useful thing to know if faculty’s negotiations with University Management breaks down in the the near future…

    Sincerely,
    Yours in infant care science,
    Dr. DNA

  3. wow… I have a little box siege engine that I got for christmas. Supposedly a project you work on with your kid. Never did it, but STILL meaning to.

    Yeah, I read “hurling a ball of Hate” the first time… maybe still reading that in the subtext…maybe I need more sleep. Maybe I need a trebuchet to take out my place of business. ahh, the very thought is as relaxing as a sip of your Imperial Dark Stout (some variation on those words).

  4. Hmmm,
    Ball of hate… Man you ARE sleep deprived! …though having a siege engine that could gather up emotions and toss them at your enemies would be kinda awesome! You could chuck a wedge of woe, a firkin of fear, a dollop of disgust and so on! Unfortunately my device is only scaled to throw small plush toys and hard candies at my audience of cheering fans! I guess I will have to work on something mor gruesome for those who have mocked and opposed me!

    Anyways, you can get out your own siege engine and work on it with your daughter! Quality time IS important for evil genius daddies to bond with young and aspiring supervillanesses!

    Finally I will have to speak with my brother about getting a bunch of fresh Imperial Death Star Stout started! Maybe by December I could have something for you to sample!
    Yours in beer-drinking and child-raising science,
    Dr. DNA

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