Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The P word

It's almost been a year since I've been pregnant. I look at Sadie now, with her chunky thighs, determined personality and that sizable noggin, and I wonder how on earth she was ever a physically internal part of my body. 

I've been reading a lot of pregnancy-related blog posts recently, mostly by chance, and it's got me thinking about the "next time". We're not quite ready yet, but I am looking forward to another baby sometime in the not so distant future. Gabrielle, of DesignMom, is expecting her sixth child! And though I jumped on the Pacing the Panic Room bandwagon kind of late, I love this dad's weekly account of his wife's pregnancy. Andrea, aka Mama in the City writes a great blog about her life as mom to one-year-old Ben in Vancouver.

I was also reminded of my pregnancy with Sadie when last week I had to answer questions regarding my medical history over the phone to a mortgage insurance company. It was a long series of questions that I had to answer truthfully in order to be eligible for coverage and included typical questions like "do you drink alcohol, and if so, how many drinks per week?" and "have you ever had treatment for......" blah blah blah. So I'm sitting there, as a completely healthy (well, Swine flu aside) and mobile 28-year-old, answering no to most every question when she asks "has your weight fluctuated substantially in the past 12 months?" Well, yes. Because I grew another human inside my body last year and that has this funny way of causing a person to pack on the pounds. 

And then she asks: "Have you ever been told you have high blood pressure?" Well, yes. When I was eight months pregnant I was put on bed rest as doctors monitored me for symptoms of pre-eclampsia. But it was an entirely pregnancy-related condition that has since been fully cured.

And then she asks: "In the past 12 months, have you suffered from back pain?" Woman. Did you hear what I just told you? I just told you I was pregnant last year.

"Did you receive treatment for said back pain?" Do a couple pre-natal massages count?

"Well, you have not been automatically approved for insurance coverage. I'll have the medical team assess your answers and we should get back to you in a few days."

So today I received a letter in the mail stating that I am "not approved for disability insurance as assessed by medical team". Exsqueeze me? Wha?

I called to inquire as to why this was the case.

PEOPLE. Because I had a sore back when I was NINE MONTHS PREGNANT I am not approved for disability insurance. Which means, if I were to injure my spine, back, or neck in some kind of accident, or have some type of neurological disorder involving the spinal cord, I would be outta luck, again, because I had a sore back when I was NINE MONTHS PREGNANT. 

Clearly, CLEARLY, their policies were written by a person who has never carried a child or lived with anyone who has carried a child. 

I outright laughed when the woman on the phone told me that this was the reason. She suggested I reapply for insurance when the condition has corrected itself. To which I said: "The condition corrected itself 11 months ago when I became un-pregnant. We applied for this insurance 2 weeks ago."

The moral of this story - either accept that pregnancy makes you a waddling liability, or be selective with what information you choose to disclose to insurance companies about your medical history!


KatBouska said...

Unbelievable! Yeah I'd choose to be selective...unless the back pain was something I was hospitalized for, I would just leave it out. :)

So what now? Are you reapplying?

Stephanie said...

That's ridiculous and a reason right there (though not the only one) to hate the insurance companies! I would reapply and lie to them. I mean if they are going to be ridiculous and see your pregnancy as a liability, which really in my eyes seems to be something against women, then you can go ahead and answer the questions as if the pregnancy wasn't there. I mean .... seriously!?

Koo and Poppet said...

Mama Kat,

totally. I don't know why i even mentioned it.

it's all actually a little more dramatic than it needed to be....turns out we're already covered through my husbands benefits at work, so we don't even need these loons!

Koo and Poppet said...


I know! Discrimination! haha

Audre said...

wow! that is very annoying. what were they thinking?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the shout out on your blog! Can't believe the terrible time you had with the insurance company. This can't be the first time a post partum women has applied. Crazy! I'm just back to work at the hospital and was wondering what your 2 friends names are that work there? You mentioned them before but I can't remember.