You ever have one of those things that hangs over your head and infuses you with shame? Sometimes for years? A shame that runs so deep yet subtle that you do not act, you do not make amends, you do not repair or approach the situation whatsoever? You live with this guilt so long that even on the day circumstances change it remains, almost untouched, a faint yet disgraceful smudge on your heart and so deep you’re not sure if it will ever dissipate?
Today I mailed off the last payment to our midwives. Oooh, did I have a baby recently? Um yeah – just over two years ago. I am not going to go into the details of last-minute medical care changeover, insurance shenanigans, billing errors, and Hoga-drama that enabled these wonderful services to go so long unpaid. I won’t go into the details because no matter what there is no excuse for it to have taken two years to pay this off. Besides, despite the paperwork and trouble revolving around the financial aspect of my son’s birth, there were months, and I mean months, that I was either passive or pushing the issue aside as I struggled with all the other shit we struggle with.
Now, there are some bills I don’t give a damn about if I’m late or on top of. But this is not one of them – because the truly humbling thing is I’m so pro-homebirth and rabidly ready to deliver the litany of praises for these women and what they do – but I didn’t pay them, so how much, really, is my lip service worth? Well today, I finally have finally earned the right to feel one hundred percent OK about my transaction with the care providers who did more for me than any others I’ve had.
It occurs to me now, and perhaps could have alleviated a tiny bit of my internalized disgrace for these past months (year +) – that our insurance paid 80% of the birth cost. So I guess the lovely, lovely ladies who helped me did, in fact, get paid most of what they should when they should’ve. It helps to know this – only a little.
P.S. I am still an asshole.