Friday, July 18, 2008

Forms, damn forms

I've been having difficulty with form-filling again. I say "again" because I recall having great difficulty with some of the government forms I had to complete when applying for my Australian Permanent Residency Visa two and a half years ago.

This time it's a hospital pre-admission form that's causing me aggravation. I was handed it at my last obstetrician appointment a month ago, along with a great wad of reading material, and told to send it off within the next few weeks. I'm not going to hospital for another 6 months but obviously it pays to plan ahead.

I left it lying around for about a week and then it took me about three weeks to fill it in and I finally posted it yesterday. Well, some of it. I still haven't sent off the form acknowledging that I understand what an epidural is and that I agree to have one if it's necessary because I wasn't entirely sure what an EDC is, which is pretty much the only thing I have to put on the form other than my signature. I'm guessing it's Estimated Date of Conception but that seems strange as no one ever asks that. They always ask for the date of your last menstrual period (LMP), or your estimated due date (EDD).

Other things that stumped me on the form were which health fund to put down, given that our current fund ceases to provide cover for obstetrics on 1st January (inconvenient bastards). I ended up putting them down in the end anyway, despite the fact that I've arranged new cover as of 15th August. I figure I'll just send a letter or fill in another form. Putting down the details of the health fund was also confusing as the terminology didn't seem to match that of the insurance company.

I was also unsure what my date of admission was and the form seemed to assume that you already knew this. I phoned a nurse and was advised to put down my due date. I wonder what happens if they don't have enough beds because your baby is early or late. My sister-in-law's second baby was overdue and she ended up with a regular hospital room rather than a maternity room.

I didn't even know which sort of room to request as I didn't know what rooms the hospital had or whether there's a price difference. However, I think we just pay a certain amount and the health fund covers everything over that so it shouldn't make a difference to us. In the end I requested a private room with private en-suite because I thought that sounded quite nice. I'm sure lots of unpleasant things will be going on with my nether regions in the days following the birth so having a private bathroom will be much appreciated.

I didn't manage to complete the booking form for antenatal classes because it appears that you have to phone up and book into a specific course first. And this is the crux of my difficulties: I have not felt able to phone up as I don't want to call from work because people here don't know I'm pregnant yet, and often by the time I get home it's too late.

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