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Worried About Finances, But Thankful For Medicaid

Lucy Peck on her third wedding anniversary at 6 1/2 months pregnant. She and her husband, Aaron, were grateful to be approved for Medicaid. (Courtesy of Lucy Peck)

With only about five more weeks to go, I'm finding this situation all the more real. From the beginning it was easy to say, oh, sure we'll have a baby in six months. We have lots of time to prepare! But now, with doctors' appointments every week, we're really getting to it. A third person is about to become part of our lives FOREVER. And I have no idea how we're going to do it.

My biggest worry at this point is our finances. I'm working, but not for much longer. My husband is a freelance writer and movie critic, which, while totally as awesome as it sounds, doesn't pay much. We won't be able to make it on his income alone. The only reason we can even afford to have this baby right now is Medicaid. I'm not ashamed to partake of this government program, I'm grateful it is available to people like us who want to start a family.

Our Medicaid application went through relatively smoothly; every time I needed a warm body on the other side of the phone, I got one. When the first few months' cards showed up in the mail, I cried. Blame it on the hormones, whatever. I still get choked up when I think about it. We really needed this program. A lot of people do. I'm grateful for it.

But after the baby comes, I'm still going to have to pay rent and buy groceries. Jobs are super scarce in my small town. I wouldn't mind moving, but even that costs money. I fully intend to breastfeed this little one, so diapers will be our biggest expense for a while. We've already cut back on a lot just trying to prepare. Man, I thought being married and independent was scary. This is way worse.

I'm a planner — I like to have things planned a month or more in advance. I like to know what's coming. But when I try to plan for this fall, I hit a wall. I have absolutely no idea what we'll be doing or where we'll be — it's as if my life stops after the baby is born. I can plan up to the point of a few weeks after taking him home, and that's it. Brick wall. And that scares me.

I try to tell myself that we'll be fine, life won't end in August. If anything we'll still be doing the same things we've done for the past three years in the fall — going to football games, the farmers market, corn mazes. But when I try to visualize it, I smack right into that wall. Maybe it's there because I've never experienced life with a baby before, and I have no way of visualizing it. If that's true, then I have nothing to be afraid of. Right?

I try not to concentrate on my fears about the future. I try to keep a positive attitude and do my best to prepare what I can. My husband has been lucky enough to have a few job interviews lately. Who knows, our situation could change drastically before baby with a job. It's hard not to daydream about a future like that. But we've been down that road before, and it's not an easy one to walk back on.

So, we keep on doing what we've been doing — finding happy moments every day. The best are when the baby is active. It looks like he's trying to escape, Aliens style. That's my boy, inspiring movie references before he's even arrived. He truly is his father's son, and I can't wait to meet him. No matter what comes after those first few weeks, I will treasure them forever and raise our son with all the love I have.

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