Even while I was in labor I was very concerned about the money. Nolan and I had budgeted for a home birth. Which, after the supplements I bought to help keep us both super healthy, the birthing tub we rented, our birthing kit, the prenatal care and the actual delivery round out to about $2,000. That is with out any insurance helping.
We did not however budget for a hospital birth. Thank goodness we have insurance. I just got the insurance statement in the mail and this is what it says. Total costs from Ball Memorial Hospital: $12,799.14. After insurance: $1,719.26. Now you have to keep in mind that this is without any prenatal care, any supplements, and this is only charges to me. If Asher had lived there would be approx. another 10,000 for him - minus whatever the insurance would cover.
And on top of worrying about hospital charges, I knew we were facing funeral costs. Which we had no insurance for. This is where I get to tell about God's provision and blessing in the midst of it all. When you have a funeral, you pay for the services of the funeral home and for the services/land for the cemetery. The total funeral home services (taking care of Asher, the casket, the guest sign-in book, transportation of Asher and flowers to the chruch, set-up at the church, transportation of Asher, Nolan, Vera, and I to the cemetery and then Nolan, Vera, and I to the dinner afterward.) were around $3,500 - ALL of which (except for the casket and the sign-in book) were taken care of. The funeral home donated the services. Then my mom and dad paid for the casket and sign-in book. We would never have had the money for any of this. We'd needed to be on a payment plan; for years.
then the costs for the cemetery (the plot, the vault, and the digging) were also all free. I don't even know how much it would have cost (either because no one said or because I don't remember that part of the conversation and didn't pay attention to the paperwork). I only know that the vault was supposed to be over $600, but something happened and they gave it to us for free. Asher was buried in Gardens of Memory cemetery in a place called "Baby Land". I think it is perhaps the most heartbreaking place I've ever been to. It is a space on the grounds of Gardens of Memory where only infants are buried.
The only thing that was left to discuss after the services, and burial, was the headstone. Nolan picked out the most beautiful one. It has a picture of an angle guiding some children across a bridge. You get the sense that the angle is also protecting them on their journey. It also has a place for a vase to be set so that I can take flower out there. The cost for this was $1,932.00. Our options were to pay for it monthly ($50 per month for 3 years) and then, when it was fully paid for, they would make it and put it over Asher's grave. But we really did not want to have to wait 3 years for our child to have a real grave marker. So my wonderful grandma sent us the money to pay for it. It is important to Nolan and I to pay for this part ourselves. So we will be paying my grandma back over time. She told us not to worry about it...... but we need to do this, for us......for Asher.
I can't believe how God provided for those needs. If we would have needed to pay for all of this out of our pockets it would have been upwards of $21,000.00. God truly owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
P.S. I forgot to mention all the people who sent/gave us money. It made it so we could eat out, or order in and I didn't have to cook. It also helped with our regular bills since Nolan had to miss work. I am just amazed at God's provision for us.