Any advice on how to get through this without a total meltdown?
My husband just lost his job and I'm pregnant
My husband lost his job 20 weeks into my last pregnancy. I was also very high risk and ended up on hospital bed rest a week later that lasted months. I was out of my mind stressed about healthcare costs. Luckily in Michigan where we are from, pregnant mothers and children under 5 are covered under something called "Healthy Kids" (I think it's a part of Medicare - or is it Medicaid? I always got those mixed up - Check your state, you may have something similar). It took a lot of phone calls to get it started, but it covered almost everything. We also took advantage of WIC. In our case, it was a very dark, scary time, but looking back it was really, truly for us a blessing in disguise. Because my husband was laid off, he was home to care for our oldest while I was in the hospital. He actually had (and went to!) the interview for the job he currently has that was the same afternoon that I delivered our second son! (I delivered at 11am, the interview was at 3:30)
Take a few days to just breathe, think it over and then start planning - Healthcare, budget, assistance. You WILL get through this.
I can relate ... My husband lost his job when I was 14 weeks pregnant, I will be 28 weeks on Saturday. The job market is very bad where we are living and he still hasn't been able to find work - nothing, not even part time :( its been incredibly stressful. He was laid offf work due to restructuring in the workplace. He has been able to go onto EI (Employment Insurance here in Canada) BUT it doesn't even pay all the bills. It made my bloodpressure sky high and I have finally been able to get it under control by realising that stressing about it doesn't make it better... sometimes it still makes me nervous to realise that our baby is being born in November and we can't even pay the bills right now... just don't know. Still very stressfull. But I try to not let it get me down to the point of making me sick. We have been very blessed because our crib, stroller/car seat, bedding and mattress are all paid for by our extended family - and it was all paid for before my hubby lost his job... I try to look at the possitives like this. Actually I was getting stressed out because we had no baby clothing (I had maybe 2 onesies and a sleeper) then a box arrived in the mail all the way from my parents in South Africa, filled with baby clothes to the brim in size 0-3 months, and a few newborn items. I broke down in tears of thankfulness, because I had not mentioned this to my mom at all ... what a blessing... so despite all the bad things, there is a silver lining on this dark cloud. And every time I feel our baby kick, I know that we just have to be okay :)
so sorry mama. any chance he'll be able to find work easily? what about collecting unemployment? i know it's only a fraction of what he was probably making, but it's something in the interim. tough, i know, if things are already tight.
i got laid off last october (when i was 2 months pregnant). it was super stressful. the worse part is that it became impossible to pay for the homebirth we were hoping for and had to go with a hospital instead. i looked for work for a while, but finally gave up thinking who would hire a very visibly pregnant woman.
try to focus on what's good and on the things that you DO have control over right now. take care of yourself -- you'll get through this.
I had just quit my job to join my boyfriend, who had just started a 3-year graduate program, when we found out I was pregnant. I was extremely stressed out for awhile, realizing that all our plans were upended. But as a PP suggested, look into the programs in your state and start planning. I found doing these two things helped out immensely, and relieved much of the burden I felt.
Now I count myself lucky to be in New York, which has a MOMS program that provides Medicaid for me through the pregnancy +3 months, and the baby for an entire year (after which we would have to requalify). I have taken advantage of a lot of programs here, and every one helped to lighten the stress. There's WIC, heating assistance, dental care during pregnancy, and food stamps. Free car seat through his school. And I haven't even applied for the air pollution and energy appliance programs offered, nor have I visited any of the pregnancy counseling places around here that offer free baby gear. My point is that there might be a lot more available to you than you may think, and they all help.
There'll be an adjustment, no doubt. I've started stalking FreeCycle in my city as well as Craigslist free stuff. I've given up most of my attachments to having cute, new baby gear. There will be no baby nursery, and we're staying in our 1-bedroom apartment for another year. Things won't look like how you imagine, but for me at least, I'm happier now than ever, in part because my (admittedly enforced) minimalistic lifestyle allows me to focus on the important stuff.
Also, I was able to get a part-time job at a food co-op even though I told them on the application that I was pregnant. It's not the college instruction I had been doing, but that's okay. And it doesn't bring in a lot of money, but it has flexible hours and allows me to feel less powerless. Having a little income stream is good psychologically, I think. (But don't feel bad if you can't find work. I was again lucky, in that the hiring manager at the co-op is pregnant herself. I also applied strategically only to two places that seemed mom-friendly and open-minded so it wouldn't be too discouraging.)
My mom and dad were in the same situation when they got pregnant with my older sister. It is tough, but you can get through it. After the shock wore off, we focused on doing what we could to get by. We planted what we could in the garden, dropped items we didn't need like a book rental service I used, etc. You can also apply for assistance with your phone and utility bills, which I recommend doing. WIC can also help out with food. Get his resume updated, network as much as you can, and pray if that is your thing. Things may seem like they are going to heck, but it will work out for the best in the long run.
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I can't imagine the stress. I've gone through the whole unemployment thing, but not while pregnant. My only advice is to check out whatever benefits you can get, and talk to people. I was surprised with how willing people were to work with me on my bills and debts. We cut every luxury and even some non-luxury items where we could, and somehow, we made ends meet. We always ate, and we always had a roof over our heads, so we were lucky, even though it was stressful.
I hope your husband can find a job soon and you won't have to deal with this stress for too long.
Been there! Stinks but you will be fine. First, get ahold of Medicaid ASAP. They should cover everything from the date your husband lost his job. You may also be able to get emergency food stamps since your pregnant. The states take care of pregnant women. This is a hard time but you will look back and be amazed at how well you got through it. Just be proactive! Good luck!