When I first found out I was pregnant one of my immediate thoughts was 'how the hell am I going to afford everything?!'
And if I'm being honest, 30 weeks later, I am still feeling something similar.
The government had stopped the Health in Pregnancy Grant at the beginning of last year. And the new Healthy Start vouchers and the Sure Start Maternity grant don't apply to me because I get contribution based benefits, not income related. Although it would mean the same amount of money physically, income related benefits do act as gateway benefits. But because I have paid tax, and in Iain Duncan Smith's words I am getting 'something for something', I am entitled to **** all (*insert own word).
Bizarrely the government would have covered the cost of NHS treatment for an abortion.
Add in to this that the government also expect me to be looking for work. I'm claiming Employment & Support Allowance as not been well enough to work, which was the result of a tribunal process I don't ever want to have to go through again. Initially I was happy to be finally accepted on to the work program, but as usual I'm beginning to think its a thinly disguised excuse to waste money. I actually felt rather bullied at my last appointment. I don't feel having to constantly justify myself to them is helping anyone, especially when I am just repeating myself.
Oh yeah, and just out of interest, any employers want to employ someone who cannot commit to longer than eight weeks (at a push) and then need to be replaced as on maternity leave?