How Hillary Helped Me With My ‘Advanced Age’ Pregnancy… And Never Got A Thank You

I’ve been meaning to write this for weeks. But then… life got in the way.

They call us the ‘sandwich generation…’ still raising kids, but with elderly parents.

My mom died in February. The hole in my heart is huge, and now I have a grieving, elderly father 600 miles away. I wait for a call of doom every day.

My son is 13… if you’re a parent, you understand the ramifications of that… if you’re not, maybe you can remember? It is a terrifying time as a parent… your baby is no more, and anything you say or do can be flagged as WRONG any day, at any moment. But that’s ok… I can deal with being WRONG (even when I’m not!)

14 years ago, I became pregnant at the age of 39 after lots of ‘trying.’ I was ECSTATIC.

Due to my advanced age (39, he was actually due on my 40th birthday, but did us both a favor… he came on Easter Sunday 13 days before my bday!! Didn’t want to share his birthday, I guess…)

I had a wonderful pregnancy. An incredible pregnancy. I was happy and healthy and couldn’t wait to meet my baby (then there’s the 55 pounds I gained!! Oh welllll… got that off eventually.)

As an ‘advanced aged mother’ at the age of 39, amniocentesis was not just suggested… almost required. So, afraid as I was of that big needle (and yes… I was literally trembling when they did it..) I did it to ensure the health of my child. There are many instances wherein even prenatal intervention can be instituted by amnio, so I did it (my husband said he almost fainted watching!)

We had a beautiful, healthy boy who we adored,4 months later. (Still do, stinky socks and unwashed hair and countless electronics…13 years later.)

Fast forward: suddenly, 6 months after his birth, we begin getting bills from the medical group I’d seen for the amnio. A procedure that was not only prescribed, but almost mandated.

For months, with an infant, I spent hours (that I could have spent with my boy…) calling the doctors’ billing dept. Calling insurance. Calling the billing dept… ad nauseum. Nap time. Before he woke up. In between. It was a large bill, and there was no reason it should not have been covered with our insurance… it had been pre-approved. But we were stuck in the middle of a tug of war between our medical providers and an insurance company whose premiums we paid on time… who refused to pay.

This was 2003, and Hillary Clinton was my Senator here in New York. I’d followed her career, and knew that one of her biggest championships had always been Health Care, particularly for women and children. As a matter of fact, one of my best friends had taken advantage of Hillary’s Children’s Healthcare initiative just that year, when she was between jobs and had no insurance. So my goddaughter and her sisters had already benefitted from Senator Clinton’s initiatives.

So I wrote to Hillary, my senator, explaining my situation.

Less than 2 weeks later, I received a letter from My insurance company … APOLOGIZING FOR MY TROUBLES AND OH BY THE WAY THE BILL HAS BEEN FORGIVEN. And a pen and pencil set… (which of course broke after a week!! You know those cheap promo pens… but it WAS in a fancy case!!)

Here’s the thing: I NEVER heard from Hillary, or her office. I do not think she expected thanks. I DO know that a medical bill / insurance situation that I’d wrangled with for months, thousands of dollars, was suddenly put to rest. Let there be no debate or mistake… that insurance company was refusing to pay a bill they were required to pay. That I paid monthly for them to pay. But they finally did…Because I wrote to her.

Because of that, which happened to me… and so many other personal stories I’ve heard, I really, truly, think that Hillary cares. She’s been fighting for rectification of these types of inequities her entire adult life. I think she puts her pantsuit! On every day and says: ‘what’s on the agenda? How can I help? Let’s get this done…’ never expecting a word of thanks… the change itself is her thanks.

She’s a game changer. I’m so lucky that she used her power as a woman in government to help little old me, my son and my family.

As I said earlier, my Mom passed in February. She soooo wanted to see her first Woman President.

So I’m writing this for my mom, Connie… for my son, T, for me and the help she gave my family, and for the thousands of little girls and boys I’ve taught theatre and dance to. I’m writing this in support of a woman I’m absolutely astonished by… her intellect, grasp of issues and the strength she’s shown against unimaginable rhetoric and odds… and the incredible sense of humor she’s been able to retain through all the… ok, I’ll say it… bullshit. (I just gave a little Hillary shimmy!!)

I’m with her. You should be too. Love Trumps Hate… and Love is taking care of others when you can… and sometimes even when you think you can’t, but do anyway.

See you at the polls!!

~Anne-Marie