I am a hugely patriotic Canadian. I love this country for its landscape and its amazing people. Clearly most of the rest of Canada loves itself as much as I do, given the very public display of affection we had for ourselves during the recent Olympics. This post however is not a tribute to Canada in general, but a couple of specific things that most Canadians, myself until very recently, take quite for granted: maternity leave and universal healthcare.
1. Mat leave - A year off! A whole year! I've never really pondered how amazing that is until going through this experience with the boys and watching a good chunk of that year pass me by, still at the hospital. Now don't get me wrong, I still think the pay sucks, but at least we are given the option to leave our jobs and come back a year later. I can't even imagine being back at work now, or soon for that matter. The boys and I need some quality time together once they get home, not only for all the loves and cuddles we've missed out on, but also for the important stuff like learning to breast feed so I can give up the damn pump! Now let's just work on the ruling that allows dads of twins to get a year off too ;)
2. Health care - I, probably like most of you, have been known to complain about our healthcare system. I mean come on, do you really want to wait months, or even years for diagnostic tests or surgeries? No, that part of it is horrible and I will maintain that it's horrible, only getting worse. But you know what, at least those tests, surgeries and related hospital stays are essentially FREE, no matter who you are and how much or how little money you make. Having seen the inner workings of the NICU for a verrrry long time now, I see how amazing our healthcare system has been for our boys. Thankfully we are lucky in Victoria to have one of the best NICUs in the country, staffed with some of the best neos and nurses I could have asked for. Any time the boys have had the slightest problem, there has never been an issue with ordering a multitude of tests and treatments to get to the bottom of it. We also have confidence that the boys will not be discharged until they are fully and completely ready to go home and make it without the help of the watchful eyes of the medical staff and the monitors. We, the Trousdells, are costing our healthcare system roughly $2,000,000 based on a minimum of 150 days @ approximately $6000/day each for the boys, plus my two surgeries and hospital stays. TWO MILLION DOLLARS. That doesn't factor in all the boys medications and tests. What if we were handed even a small part of that bill?! I cannot even imagine. Or what if our insurance only covered certain tests and procedures, so the boys didn't get the best possible care available to them? This situation is hard enough on our family but I can't begin to comprehend the stress involved if we were faced with any financial woes required to save our boys' lives. Our hard earned tax dollars well spent if you ask me.
So again, how can we not feel lucky, blessed, and like life could be much, much worse if we didn't live in the true north strong and free...