20 August, 2007

The Price is Right

The last couple months have been great months in which to receive mail. Having a baby dramatically ups the quality of our mailbox treasures. For a while there it was at least one card or present at least every other day. Who could ask for more? Alas, those days of surprisingly blissful trips to the mailbox have ended. We have now finally gotten both of the hospital bills for the Little Goat's birth - her bill and mine.

Having spent the greater part of my life living in Canada where at least the basics of health care are covered, it is still always a shock for me to see a hospital bill and find out exactly what it is we've paid for. The category that has me most befuddled is "Supplies." Three hundred and twenty-five dollars for supplies. Little plastic squirt bottles for cleaning, those abominable sanitary pads akin to the same BRAND NAME diapers my child wore in the hospital, only sans Winnie the Pooh or Tigger or Elmo or whichever cartoon-character-of-the-day is on them. Then there were those horrible mesh undertheres; $20 a pop, I'm sure. (I was really hoping to restock my personal supply of those, but it turns out Victoria's Secret is all out. Bah!) The most useless expense I witnessed? A bottle of sterile water opened during our in-nursery demonstration of bathing the Little Goat. One whole bottle of water, opened for what? Cleaning her eyes. Four drops of water on one cotton ball for one eye, four drops of water on another cotton ball for the other eye; and that's it! Don't save the bottle for anything else, it's contaminated now. Trust me when I say that we took almost everything from that hospital room that wasn't tied down. Extra chucks pads that I have no idea when we'll use, even the leftover pads and undertheres (I'm sure I'll find a use for them some day)!

So, just for "fun," I've decided to break down the cost of this birth into units that make it seem even more ludicrous. (Just for starters, for the cost of this birth, we could've purchased, used and before taxes of course, 2.4 units of the same car we already own, or 'splurged' on 15 'extra' mortgage payments.)

I have chosen the following units of measurement:

Carrots - a one pound bag costs us 68 cents

Soothers (also known as 'binkys' [<-seriously, WHO thought of that?!] or pacifiers to my American friends) - $3.96 for a package of two

Cans of pop
- we're talking Walmart brand from their pop machines, available for 25 cents per can

Okay. Are you ready? Here's the breakdown:

Nursery/Semi-private hospital room (two nights): 6018 lbs of carrots, 1033 pkgs of soothers, or 16, 368 cans of pop.

(I was sure this category should've been less. I figured a discount might be forthcoming since I requested Extra Strength Tylenol and they were "all out." Yes, ALL OUT. An entire hospital, evidently, OUT of Extra Strength Tylenol!) 201 lbs of carrots, 35 pkgs of soothers, or 548 cans of pop.

478 lbs of carrots, 82 pkgs of soothers, or 1300 cans of pop.

331 lbs of carrots, 57 pkgs of soothers, or 900 cans of pop.

Delivery Room:
2775 lbs of carrots, 477 pkgs of soothers, or 7548 cans of pop.

5451 lbs of carrots, 936 pkgs of soothers, or 14,828 cans of pop.

So the grand total of all that is: 15,254 lbs of carrots, 2619 pkgs of soothers, or 41,492 cans of pop.

Thankfully, we are only responsible for the following: 1765 lbs of carrots, 303 pkgs of soothers, 4800 cans of pop, OR 1.75 mortgage payments.

What may be worse than all of this is the nearly insatiable and highly irritating craving for Cheez Whiz they sent me home with...all part of their plot to have me back for more business sometime in the next ten years, I'm sure.


brenda said...

wow. you put a lot of thought into that. it's annoying the charges the hospital makes. but it was worth every penny!

bren j. said...

Hm. Some days yes, some days not so much.

Beck said...

Head... hurting... from... math. Want... carrots.

Brenda said...

i know how you feel. it will get better. in just a little while she will have such an amazing personality that most times you will love and adore. Get past the 3 month mark and you will see a huge difference!

Beth said...

Yeah, that is what Brenda told me back in the day, and it's REALLY TRUE!!

erin k said...

Guess you'll have to have your next baby in Canada. I know a good hospital...

Karen said...

now visions of passies dance in my head...

bubandpie said...

Ah, soothers. So nice that some people know the correct terminology.