Wednesday, April 27, 2011

33w3d: Grateful

David and I are very fortunate that each of our jobs provide us with excellent health insurance. David has an HMO; I chose a (more expensive) PPO plan just because I'm stubborn and paranoid and I didn't like the idea of having to wait for authorization to see specialists and all the other hoops that an HMO can involve. David is very happy with his HMO, and I can agree that they're very good for people who are healthy and/or don't have complicated health issues. But having happen what happened to me makes me even more grateful that I have my PPO and my doctors can send me off for as many tests as they see fit without an HMO in the background watching over their shoulder.

I have an out-of-pocket maximum for my insurance that I'm about $25 away from meeting. After that, all I'll pay going forward is co-pays--the delivery and my hospital stay will be fully covered. And the babies will go on my plan as "family," and they'll have the same out-of-pocket maximum (which they'll easily meet in about 45 minutes) and then any care they need will be fully covered.

I realize that the Canadian system covers all pregnancy and delivery-related care completely, but Canadians also pay a lot more in taxes than Americans do so I don't think they're getting quite the deal that they might think that they are. In any event, I feel very, very lucky to have the insurance and access to the medical care that I have.

I think it's easy for women today to forget that not too long ago--and still in many places in the world--pregnancy posed a very real risk of death. Dying in childbirth was a common occurrence, and I'm sure it was even more frequent for women carrying multiples. Infant and child death was also common; I believe in some cultures babies aren't even given real names until their second birthdays because of the risk that the child won't live to see that milestone.

It's humbling to think about how much modern life and modern medicine have improved my life and the eventual outcome for my babies. I have a lot of gratitude to these scientific and medical professionals, and a lot of respect and awe for all the women who endured--and endure--without the benefits that I try not to take for granted.

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