Tag Archives: Mom’s the Word

Lucy Tuesday, take eight: The Botanist

6 Nov

Not yet three, Lucy has raised some incredibly thoughtful and amazing questions as of late.   Most recently, on our walks, “Mommy – who made the flowers?”

I’ve always been fairly open regarding my ambivalence about religion and spirituality.  When Justin and I first began dating, we had lengthy talks about what it means to have faith. When we got engaged, we spent summer evenings in the home of George Brown, the priest who would later marry us, discussing religion.  When I became pregnant with Lucy, we talked about what it meant to believe in God.  With time, I’ve come to a comfortable place with God and I couldn’t sum it up any better than this:

“I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.”

~Frank Lloyd Wright

So when Lucy asks questions like “who made the flowers,” Justin shares his beliefs and I share mine.   And we don’t share differing ideas to confuse or compete.   We share differing ideas because we feel it is important for Lucy to know that it’s okay to have differing ideas – that everyone doesn’t have to believe in the same thing and that we can still love each other fiercely.  And because ultimately, she will believe in what is most comfortable for her, just as I did.

“Mother Nature made the flowers,” I tell her.   And then I decided to show her.

Last Tuesday, I took Lucy to one of two viveros (nurseries) in town.   Located at the entrance to Zen Yoga, a small, but lush nursery grows.  Most of the plants are driven in from Catarina, a town north of San Juan del Sur, known for its abundant gardens.  Because they didn’t have seeds for sale, we opted to purchase a few small plants to pot back at home.

Not surprising, amidst the green, Lucy set her sights on a  pinkish/purple flower and I chose a basil plant (great for cooking AND keeping the flies away).  Once home, we laid out all the necessary tools for potting our plants (including a homemade shell-decorated pot from a previous Lucy Tuesday).

As we scooped earth and patted soil, Lucy talked – sometimes to me and sometimes to the plants.

“Okay, little plant, I’ll put you next to your mama plant.”

“Mommy – how do I say basil in Spanish?”

“Albahaca,” I told her.

“Oh right, alahabaga.”

“Okay, alahabaga – are you thirsty?  Here’s some water for you.”

“Mommy, why do they need water?”

“Well, they need water and sun to grow, just like we do.”

“Sun makes us grow?” she asked thoughtfully.

“It does,” I said.  “It gives us energy we need to grow and it makes us happy.”

“Okay, Mommy.  Let’s be sure they gets lots of sun.  Then they can have lots of energy and be happy…like me.”

And so began our very first conversation about photosynthesis, the beauty and power of nature, survival, and Mother Earth.

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Cost of Giving Birth at a Private Hospital in Nicaragua

21 Jun

I’ve received enough inquiries about the cost of giving birth at a private hospital in Nicaragua that I thought it was time to share the knowledge.

Lucinda was born at Hospital Metropolitano Vivian Pellas, in Managua.  To the best of my knowledge, it is the highest quality hospital in the country.  In addition to a wonderful OB department, the hospital also has a fantastic pediatrics department.

All told, we spent $2,200 for an all natural labor and delivery and approximately $1,000 on prenatal care.  I had a very healthy and relatively “easy” pregnancy, without complications.  I am 99% certain that I am missing some receipts from a few check-ups, ultrasounds, etc, so it’s probably safe to round the prenatal care up to $1,200.  This amount also includes some thyroid testing that not everyone will need.  In addition, at Lucy’s first check-up, we also ordered the genetic screening test (the heel prick) which tests for up to 60 possible genetic disorders.  I think that ran us about $250.

As we approached my due date, we were given the option to pre-purchase a Labor and Delivery Plan, which you can pay with a credit card.  Pellas offered 3 options.  Prices are from August 2010 and have likely gone up:

Plan de Parto ($610 for a private room; $500 for a semi-private room)

-1 day in a standard room

-The right to an epidural (note that this does not include the actual anesthesiologist)

-Use of the labor and delivery room

-Neonatal Day (nursing services and a pediatric “crib”)

-Determination of blood type and the Rh of the baby

-Basic medication for the mother and the baby for one day following childbirth

-Hearing test for the baby

Plan de Cesarea A ($725 for a private room; $670 for a semi private room)

-1 day in a standard room

-The right to an epidural (note that this does not include the actual anesthesiologist)

-Use of an operating room

-Use of a recuperation room

-Neonatal Day (nursing services and a pediatric “crib”)

-Determination of blood type and the Rh of the baby

-Basic medication for the mother and the baby for two days following childbirth

-Hearing test for the baby

Plan de Cesarea B ($950 for a private room; $800 for a semi private room)

-2 days in a standard room

-The right to an epidural (note that this does not include the actual anesthesiologist)

-Use of an operating room

-Use of a recuperation room

-2 days of Neonatal care(nursing services and a pediatric “crib”)

-Determination of blood type and the Rh of the baby

-Basic medication for the mother and the baby for two days following childbirth

-Hearing test for the baby

Not wanting to borrow trouble and having a natural birth plan in mind, we opted for the Plan de Parto and were reassured by the admin that if I did end up with a cesarean, they would only charge us the difference between the two packages.

It is important to note that this payment does not cover the cost of your doctors during your labor and delivery.  That price is negotiated between you and your doctor prior to your delivery.  At Pellas, in addition to your OB, a pediatrician is present during your delivery.  We paid $1,550 to our OB who then distributed proper amounts between himself, another OB, and the pediatrician.  I think we paid toward the high end because we actually had two OB’s present – one was my primary care OB and the other was the OB who performed all of the ultrasounds throughout my pregnancy.  Doctors usually do not accept credit card payments, so be prepared to pay in cash.  I do not recommend keeping $1,500, in cash, in your hospital room.  Instead, consider talking to your doctor, in advance, about paying him at your first postnatal visit, which will be a few days after your delivery.  We actually ended up paying in two installments, because it’s not easy to have that much cash around.

Below is a spreadsheet that outlines each individual medical expense, beginning with prenatal testing.

Wordless Wednesday

2 May

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