First I thought I should (re)introduce myself. I have been a mothering.com member for years but after a long time away after my last baby--and a lot of changes in my life too--I thought it was time for a brand-new start. To catch you up a little, I've been a birthing and pp doula since 2006. I have three kids-- 11yr old (c/s), 7yr old (hospital VBAC), and a 2 yr old (UC). I LOVED my UC and I am so happy I had it! It was both a redeeming and healing experience.
Just last night I found out I am expecting number four. I wish I were ecstatic, I really do! But the truth is this is an absolutely horrible time for a child to come into our lives. I have severe HG during pregnancies that has lasted from 5-9 months in my past pregnancies. I just got past two colcy babies in a row, moved four times in 4 years, and started working as a doula again. My seven yr old has severe SPD (and something else yet to be diagnosed). And to top it all off? Due to the economy, husband hasn't been able to find steady work for several months now! We have been holding on to odd jobs here and there but they seem to have come to a complete halt over the last couple months. We just decided I need to get a job to help support us as he hasn't been able to find steady work. We used up every last cent in our bank account, and had to borrow money for the rent the last two months. Every single bill we have is far overdue and I haven't a single clue what to do about it. I don't know who else to ask for help and my husband suddenly seems to have bad luck with work b/c he's getting turned down left and right from employers.
I am so sickeningly overwhelmed because I would NEVER purposefully bring a child into this situation, and now not only am I, but I also have the likelihood of another HG pregnancy. How we will survive if I can't work, I have no idea. Our financial wells have run dry and I've sobbed more than I care to admit about this. I am very literally struggling to come up with enough food each day for the kids I have, how will I feed another? How will I feed the ones I have if I am too sick to work? Who will take care of my kids if I can't? My bank account has less than 200$ in it and I don't even know the next money that will come in or when. Rent for the apt. is due in less than two weeks.
I cannot believe that I am in this position. I LOVE my kids. And yet all I can think about the pregnancy is that I am terrified. Completely and totally scared. I can't think about it without shaking. I don't know what to do. and I keep hoping I'll wake up from a bad dream. The thought of a baby in our lives should be a wonderful surprise and yet it isn't. I am so scared.
Termination isn't for me. It just isn't an option for me. Call me too weak, call me too strong--whatever. I just couldn't do it. It's not the baby I don't want, it's the troubles surrounding it. I didn't exactly want another kid, but now that it's coming to me, I don't want to turn it away. I love my family.
I had an unassisted pregnancy and birth last time for a variety of reasons--mostly b/c we were away from the state at the time and I just didn't feel that any of the care providers there were knowledgable enough about HG nor the liver problems I have and since I am, it ended up being the best choice. But this time around, though I might want to have an UC (can't say yet!) I know I want prenatal care because of the HG--it was SO hard to manage alone last time. After 3 HG pregnancies I'm not as strong as I used to be and I know I need the extra care. I'm trying to find someone quickly who will take medical assistance or maybe magic beans or something in exchange for helping me monitor this pregnancy. I have zero interest in OB care, BTDT, it's not for me. In fact having an OB manage my pregnancy is what caused my so much problem in the first two b/c they have NO idea what to do about my HG. The baby and I both ended up very ill... long story story.
Mostly I guess what I came here for is to get some ideas, or thoughts, or suggestions, or some uplifting encouragement from someone who has been in my shoes. I just need someone to tell me it's going to be all right. Because it doesn't feel all right at all.
Thanks for letting me vent mamas.
Oh Tzipporah, I'm sorry you find yourself in such a tough spot. I'm sure it doesn't *feel* right, like you said, but it really *will* be okay. It's so good to read that you love your little one, though definitely didn't plan on having him (generic 'he') just now--and you're right, killing him wouldn't solve anything in the long run!
Try to take one step at a time, I'd say. First, you say it's a struggle to feed your three out-of-the-womb children--you may have already thought of some of these options, but here's a list of 'where to start':
- If you belong to a church, talk with your pastor or an elder or deacon. They often have 'benevolent funds' which can help members in need. They will also support you emotionally as you go through this tough time. If you aren't a member anywhere (likely since you've moved so much!), check out a nearby congregation which lines up with your beliefs--maybe they even have a food pantry, too.
- http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/40dollarmenu.htm Is a great resource for how to feed 4-6 people nutritious and tasty meals & snacks for a week on $45, assuming you start with completely empty cupboards.
- If that can get you started eating well today and tomorrow, move on to what you'll need next week: more resources, right? You can apply for WIC for yourself and your 2-year old. You might need an appointment, and you'll have to take proof of your pregnancy and some other documents for yourself. Simply having your 2-year old with you (required) and some easy-to-gather documentation may likely help that child qualify right away, but I'm no expert. Here's the website which tells you how: http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/howtoapply/default.htm If you have all that they require, they can give you the 'checks' immediately and you can pick up a bunch of free food on the way home! Be prepared, though, it can take a couple of hours to get through the process (take fun things for your little one to do and plenty of hand sanitizer!) If you are working, your husband can take your child through the whole thing, and begin the process for you, too, I imagine. It's meant to be a supplemental program, but if it "supplements" this week by feeding all of you and the next weeks less significantly, that's okay! One more word of warning, though, if you don't have just what they need to see, you'll have to go back, so don't count on getting food that day.
- You should qualify for Medicaid for pregnant women (http://www.ehow.com/how_5156636_apply-medicaid-pregnant-women.html) if you have low/no income; in some states it even covers homebirths. There seem to be no copays, so don't stress out about the money--you'll be okay. And they don't take savings into account (I know you said you don't have any, but even if you had a retirement plan somewhere, it doesn't matter.)
- If you need documentation of your pregnancy to get started with WIC and Medicaid, often a pregnancy resource center can give that to you for free. Again, it may mean an appointment next week, but that way you're not stuck paying at the health dept. or a doctor's office. Many of them also have programs where you can 'earn while you learn' and get free diapers, maternity and baby clothes, and baby items (carseat, swing, diaper bag, etc.) by watching videos they have, reading books and writing a little book report, or even simply attending a church of your choosing. Here's a link to a site to help you find one near you--just enter your ZIP: http://www.optionline.org/
Of course, there are plenty of other government assistance programs out there, but I don't want to overwhelm you, either! Hopefully I haven't already done that....
Many hugs to you!
Food stamps too. Applying can be a pain in the butt, but it helps a TON.
Also, at your WIC office they should have information on what other help is available.
If you can get enough assistance to just get you through the pregnancy and babymoon, you can pick back up again as soon as you're able. It's a temporary setback, you just need to survive for these months. You'll pull through. It will be hard, but there is help out there. Try not to panic. It's survival mode for now.
And years from now you'll look back and say you wouldn't change a thing. Even though that's impossible to imagine right now.
First--thank you for the replies! I have been a doula for a good while now and I would probably tell my clients all of this same great info, but I don't seem to be doulaing myself very well at the moment! :)
Secondly I realized I incidentally left out a lot of info that would have been useful to the topic!
We have been on food stamps for four months now. We just moved here--in major part to try to find work for my husband. When we got here things got increasingly worse as we haven't found steady work.
I do have medical assistance--which is awesome for emergencies!! But since around here SO many people are on MA (seriously, it's insane) that all the good doctors are full. I ended up taking my 11 yr old to the ER when he was sick b/c I could find a decent doctor that would see us.
We have gone to the Rabbi in our community for help but because so many people are in tough times there isn't enough money to go around. They kindly gave us a one-time gift to help us out but it doesn't even put a dent into our problem. I appreciated it of course!!! It wasn't enough to sustain us. Also in the mix of things is that we have a variety of severe allergies. 2 kids are lactose intolerant and one is anaphylacticly allergic to dairy. Everyone except my husband has celiac. My son and I have fructose intolerance. My son is also severely hypoglycemic. Which in short means that our second biggest bill is our food bill--and that's with me shopping deals and ALWAYS cooking from scratch. I don't remember the last time we ate out-- months ago. Many months.
Ack! This is so much easier said than done--especially if you've got HG and can't work.
Okay so enough whining!
Today I caught myself smiling when I thought about snuggling a little newborn in my arms. That's a good sign right? I want to encourage myself with as many good thoughts as I can.
Hi- Don't know if you're still checking the thread, but I had to reply because you talked about the HG. I've been there, and I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's hard to understand the terror of facing another HG pregnancy unless you've been there. If you haven't already, please do contact the HER foundation and tell them your story, they have some resources and support systems in place.