we’ve hit kind of a boring point in the pregnancy. a lot of the pain issues i was dealing with last week have resolved (temporarily, at least) & nothing too exciting or horrible has cropped up to replace them. i did have a few days of blind panic over the whole baby health insurance situation, but then i called kansas healthwave again & spoke to a different customer service representative who was very helpful & informative. we still may not qualify for insurance for me, which would mean waiting until after the baby is born & then applying for baby-only insurance. but i discovered that the baby will be automatically covered by jared’s insurance policy at no extra charge for its first 31 days of life, which buys us a little time. his insurance covers catastrophic care in the event that the baby ends up in the NICU for some reason (which hopefully will NOT HAPPEN). so i feel better about that.
i’m also thinking about applying for WIC. i considered it when i first got pregnant & dismissed it for some reason. now i remember why. i don’t know if WIC is managed the same way in every state, but in kansas, WIC recipients are issued a check with a list of approved grocery stores & items that they can buy (ie, gallon of whole milk, 16 ounces of rice cereal, one dozen large eggs, you get the picture). the rule is that they have to buy the cheapest version of whatever is on the shelf. & then they have to ring up their WIC foods separately from the rest of their groceries & give the clerk the check. the clerk then processes it using some special methodology.
obviously i’ve never been on WIC, but i have been on food stamps in massachusetts & that was just a debit card kind of deal. the food stamps card worked kind of like a store loyalty card in that you ring up all your grocery store items in one transaction & then swipe your food stamps card. it is applied to any eligible items & you pay the difference with cash or debit card or whatever. this seems like a WAY better system. faster & easier for everyone. the local grocery stores already have little signs on all the items that are eligible for WIC payments; why can’t they just code everything so it can be paid using a WIC swipe card?
this is also my chance to tell one of my favorite stories about misplaced outrage: a few years ago, this woman i’m acquainted with was getting all hot under the collar over the oppressive way that various state assistance benefits are managed. she used WIC as one example. she shared the sad & truly outrageous tale of a low-income woman who became pregnant & applied for WIC. she was approved but then, a month or two later, cut off with absolutely no notice! all for the crime of having had an abortion! isn’t it such a miscarriage of justice that this woman would be PUNISHED for exercising her perfectly legal right to have an abortion?! she really needed that food assistance for pregnant women, infants, & children! never mind that once she had the abortion, she was no longer a pregnant woman, nor did she have any infants or children, rendering her completely ineligible for the program. what is the world coming to when ladies can’t get pregnant lady benefits anymore just because they have abortions? that would be like my doctor refusing to provide prenatal care to me anymore just because i’m not pregnant anymore! truly despicable!
LOL LOL LOL
anyway, yeah. WIC benefits would really help us out on our grocery bill, but it seems like applicants have to jump through an awful lot of hoops, & we may make just a hair too much money to qualify anyway. like literally $10 a month too much. i am still waiting for jared to rustle up his proof of income paperwork, & i’m not sure how they’ll count that anyway, because he is only paid twice a year & it’s a variable amount depending on how his fellowship is being managed that school year. we shall see. plus, if we did get approved, i’d have to be careful not to go having any rogue abortions & getting kicked off the rolls. that would really put a crimp in my style.
jared is preparing to jet off to the east coast in a week or two to knuckle down on his dissertation research. he has a list of literally like eight archives he wants to hit. so i’ll be flying solo for pretty much two months straight. i’ve done it before & it always sucks, but i’m worried it’s going to suck worse than usual because a) i’ll be in my third trimester, & b) it seems like a lot of people we know have kind of bailed on maintaining tight friendships with us since the whole baby thing started happening. i know i haven’t been the best friend either. it sometimes takes me a while to return phone calls because i am so busy eating & sleeping all the time. but i get the impression that a lot of people have kind of given up on the possibility of us ever being fun again since we are soon to be parents. i’m okay with that–i don’t want to bend over backwards to try NOT to talk about the pregnancy or the baby just so i can keep hanging out with a bunch of people who really don’t share my interests anymore. but i won’t pretend it doesn’t get lonely sometimes. i know we will probably make parent friends eventually, but in the meantime…i guess i’ll be going to bingo alone a lot this fall. look at the tragic, heavily-tattooed, heavily-pregnant lady playing bingo all alone & getting nacho cheese all over her cards. quite the cautionary tale.