it was around this time 5 years ago when i turned 26. i had continued working for a start up that offered me benefits for my multiple hat wearing & full time efforts.
me being me, i declined to save the company’s profits & opted to stay on my parents’ insurance until i no longer could. well, that time had come. me being me again, i waited on applying for immediate coverage.
fast forward to one month after turning 26: i was pregnant – it was time to get insured. i remember filling out the online forms wondering to myself: what difference does it make when my last period was? & verbalizing to my unborn child’s father, “did they ask YOU this same question??” only to be taken to a page indicating my ineligibility.
the difference & what this meant to me was that if my daughter’s father wasn’t covered, he could be covered at this time. but being the mother, i could not. & without being married to the man i didn’t want to marry anyways, his coverage meant nothing to me or his future child. putting the entire burden on me & making me reliant on a system built from the backwards past. all while i was under the silly impression: it takes two to tango.
i applied for government assistance, but always made what seemed like a dollar more than the qualifications for aid. finally/thankfully, i received a call indicating my coverage. through my disbelief & questioning, “are you sure?” & this woman’s confused, repeated assurance, “yes ma’am” – i was brought to tears. i remember exactly where i was when i got the news too. sitting outside of an “underserved” school where i managed an affordable tutorial after school program for 2nd-5th grade.
i didn’t see a doctor until i was 4 months pregnant. begging clinics for an ultrasound with student technicians.
this is one example of female endurance. this is undeniably sexism. this is my healthy, white, middle class story.
& the photo above is me meeting my beautiful PRE-EXISTING CONDITION for the first time.