Just to wrap up loose ends, Col. Canestrini did end up finally calling me on Thursday, and the conversation went pretty much as expected. I reiterated my talking points--unreasonable driving time, 6th baby, quick labors, etc.--and he reiterated their talking points--they could manage it, others drive farther, etc. He did say that he wanted to reassure me that this wasn't "blown off' at any level. In fact, he sent it back up to the floor 2 times because he wanted to make sure he felt very comfortable since he's the one ultimately responsible. I told him that was nice, but I hope he realized that if there were any problems whatsoever, that I would be writing letters to everyone in his chain of command about his poor decision. He sighed and said, "I'm sure you will" in a resigned voice. So that is that. And I was ready to move on, since I was feeling pretty good about the Tricare Standard option at that point.
Today I called the doctor who delivered Anna, and guess what? They don't accept Tricare Standard anymore. Sigh. So now I am back at square one and feeling quite discouraged. I know my friend Lisa's doctor accepts it, but the doctor is on maternity leave herself until the middle of December, and some doctor in Leesburg is seeing her patients until then. That doesn't sound like a great situation to walk into, and she might not even be accepting new patients until she gets back. So--find a new doctor, a total stranger, or drive the 45 minutes to Bethesda. No good choices there.