Dear Grieving Mom: “You are not alone.”

I’m Samantha, and I work full time as a store manager. I’m also a full-time student at California State University in their Bachelors of Social Work program, but decided to take a semester off during my pregnancy in order to focus on financial stability.

When I first found out that I was pregnant my private insurance company dropped me, and I was waiting for my new benefits through Covered California to kick in. I was scared during that one month period, without insurance coverage. The lack of ability to pay for services started to affect my overall belief that I wouldn’t be able to support a child. I experienced a lot of anxiety due to the fact that I had also suffered a miscarriage in 2018. That first pregnancy experience, in all honesty, traumatized me in relation to my second experience. I was waiting for any and everything to go wrong so I wanted to see a doctor as soon as possible.

I first contacted Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy consultation, but they informed me that they don’t provide ultrasound services. Other doctor’s offices provided me with quotes for an initial prenatal visit, but they ranged between $500-600. This was obviously outside of my budget. When I finally found Claris, I told them my current situation and within 3 days, I scheduled an appointment — for free!

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At Claris, I received testing to confirm my pregnancy, got an ultrasound, and a case manager assisted me in filling out the Medi-Cal Presumptive Eligibility application. Everyone was not only professional, but also extremely knowledgeable with the information they provided. My ultrasound went great. Everyone was kind throughout the process and the technician explained (in detail) everything that we were looking at/for. Before Claris, I didn’t even know that the Presumptive Eligibility program was available for pregnant women. Claris also followed up with me after my appointment.

To anyone who is struggling with negative thoughts about their pregnancy or panicking in a new situation, try to stay calm and don’t ever be afraid to ask your questions or to ask for help. You are not alone in your experiences and there are people out there who will be willing to help you. Just because you are experiencing something totally unexpected, it doesn’t necessarily mean the unexpected will be a bad thing. Whatever it is you may be going through, I can tell you from experience that you may not be 100% prepared for the outcome but it will ultimately make you stronger in the end.

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