Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Baby bureaucracy

Today we had our regular doctor's visit and were introduced to the bureaucracy of having a baby. Because you knew there had to be some.

We got a 4-page consent form, describing all the things that could possibly go wrong during labor. Fun times reading that. I'm glad they gave it to me now, instead of making me sign it as I'm in labor. We also got a health care proxy form, although we already have those so I'll just give them a copy of the one that we did with our attorney.

And then we got the form to fill out for the birth certificate. Of course, we can't fill out the most interesting parts yet, like the baby's name, gender, date and time of birth, etc. But we could fill out our names, dates of birth, places of birth, and my marital status (that seemed old fashioned). Additionally, Massachusetts needs to know our race and ancestry. We're only allowed to check one box for ancestry. I was trying to figure out if I should check the "Lebanese" box (1/4 of my ancestry) or the "European, specify" box (the rest of my ancestry, although spread out across the entire continent of Europe). I ended up checking both boxes. The best part was the "optional survey" at the end, in which they asked me and Jim if we found it difficult to fill in boxes about race and ancestry and asking to tell them how we felt about that. No joke. :) Ha.

Other things I learned: They don't send you the birth certificate in the mail. You have to wait 30 days and then request one (with check or money order, please). It seems like we should get at least one freebie. We pay enough in taxes, after all. And on the contrary, you can request automatic issuance of a Social Security card, which will be sent to you in the mail free of charge.

Additionally, they want the name of the pediatrician we've chosen. Good thing we started thinking about that last week. :) Actually, we lined up an appointment to meet with one next week. But I guess they notify the pediatrician when the baby's born, which of course makes a lot of sense. I wonder if the pediatrician will come to the hospital to check on the baby, or if that's done by the pediatricians on staff at the hospital?

Anyway, all very interesting and important information. The baby's not even here yet, but there's already paperwork to be done! :) On the other hand, it means that she'll soon be here, and that's pretty cool.

1 comment:

A Fuss said...

Actually it's pretty cool that your doctor gives you all that. While I'm sure we'll get the consent form, I don't think the rest of the info is generally supplied. Your pediatrician by the way does come to the hospital to see the baby before release. In fact, I think I heard that they come twice -- but I may be wrong about that.