26 Jul 2011

Thanks to Modern Technology We Are One Year Corrected!

Today my twins are 1 year corrected.  This means my babies were actually due a year ago today, making this their "correct" age, had they been born at term.  In actuality, they are about to hit 15 months old in just a few days. 

Today is a day I reflect on where we were just a year ago.  We were 87 days into a very trying experience.  Baby B was scheduled for his VP Shunt insertion surgery for day 89.  His second surgery.  It was a constant waiting game. 

Knowing surgery is coming and that it's inevitible can be extremely stressful on a parent and it was in my husband's and my case.  Very early on we agreed not to discuss the "what if's" and dread the unknown.  We knew that we had to remain as positive as possible; think positive and positive things should follow.  We told family very early on that we did not want to discuss "negatives" on a regular basis and we all had to focus on things one day at a time.  To imagine what could happen or where we may or may not be in a year's time would not help anything.  We also made it known that we would not be calling each and every family member every evening with updates.  "No news is good news."

I'm kind of a superstitious person and I felt that if we focused too often on the scary and terrible things that were happening, then only bad things would follow.  I also figured that if we were constantly sharing these stories with friends and family, they would begin to worry, pity the babies and be sending negative energy.  It may sound ridiculous or hocus pocus to some, but that's how I felt and still do! :)

By this time one year ago, our babies had graduated into cribs.  Actual cribs!  To walk into the NICU after months of seeing your baby in incubators and suddenly see them in their cribs is an amazing feeling!  It can bring a mother or father to tears.  Good tears. 

Recently someone I know had to write an essay on the question along the lines of, "What piece of modern day technology has impacted you most?"  As soon as this question was mentioned to me, I immediately thought, "The incubator."  Others would say, the computer, my Blackberry/iPhone, the camera, etc. 

The incubator, these days usually referred to as the isolette, is what helped to save my 3 sons' lives.  It was one of the biggest tools to help my children grow and become strong enough to come home, when my body could no longer do that for them. 

The incubator for babies was created after the incubator concept for incubating and hatching chicken eggs.  Fittingly, I've always referred to my sons as my "Spring Chicks"--all due in July, yet arriving in springtime.

As indicated on wikipedia, the incubator can assist with the following:
  • Oxygenation: through oxygen supplementation by head hood or nasal cannula, or even continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) or mechanical ventilation. Infant respiratory distress syndrome is the leading cause of death in preterm infants, and the main treatments are CPAP, in addition to administering surfactant and stabilizing the blood sugar, blood salts, and blood pressure.
  • Observation: Modern neonatal intensive care involves sophisticated measurement of temperature, respiration, cardiac function, oxygenation, and brain activity.
  • Protection from cold temperature, infection, noise, drafts and excess handling. Incubators may be described as bassinets enclosed in plastic, with climate control equipment designed to keep them warm and limit their exposure to germs.
  • Provision of nutrition, through intravenous catheter or NG tube.
  • Administration of medications.
  • Maintaining fluid balance by providing fluid and keeping a high air humidity to prevent too great a loss from skin and respiratory evaporation.
A very clear and excellent description of the incubator and its importance in a premature child's life can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incubator_(neonatal)#Incubator.

In reflection, I think of the story of my paternal grandmother, who was born weighing about 2 lbs.  At that time incubators were not widely used and she was kept alive by use of the warm coal from the kitchen stove.  She is a petite little lady, at the height of about 4'10" and she is proud to tell the story of how she was born and survived.  Her mother did not know she was pregnant.  She reminded me of this many times when I was growing up and again when our "2 pounders" arrived. 

Today our twins are 19 lbs and 6 oz (Baby A) and 18 lbs 5 oz (Baby B.) That's a long way from their original 2 lbs and with much, much thanks to the modern technology of today, particularly the incubator!

Happy 1 year corrected to my little men!

23 Jul 2011

Weekend Hopping

Starting to see some promise from blog hopping.  It's taking a little while to see how it all works, but it's getting to be pretty fun!

Leave a message if you've stopped by.  Remember how we used to get so excited when we'd get a new email in our inbox back in the day? Well getting a new comment on my blog feels just like that! LOL. :)

22 Jul 2011

"Discharge"--A spectacular word!

So the time has finally come to bring your baby or babies home.  You may have spent four days or you may have spent a hundred or more days.  Whatever the number, you are ready to go home and you've probably been dreaming of the most beautiful words, "You can take your baby home."

You have most likely been trying to wait, as patiently as possible, for this day to come.  You will probably have the urge to just get up, get that baby in the carseat and run for the doors before they change their mind (possibly having already happened in the past.)

It is hard for a preemie parent to believe the staff that a discharge is really happening, until the baby is safely clicked into the backseat and you are actually driving off hospital property!

If you've ever seen the Ikea sale commercial where the woman thinks a mistake has been made as she walks out the doors with her arms full, running for the car in the parking lot, hollering, "Start the car! Start the carrrrr!!"  A preemie mom kind of gets this overwhelming feeling and that she needs to get out of there lickity split before someone changes their mind!

It is true that often the discharge date spoken of comes and goes.  My suggestion is to try to avoid discussing a date for discharge too often, as the staff never know when a "hiccup" may come about and it can be extremely disappointing to get ready to leave, only to be told your baby is not going anywhere today.  I personally think it is best to keep a general timeframe in mind as to when you think your baby may be well enough to go home.  You, as a parent, will get to know your child and I think mothers also have a personal intuition as to when that date is nearing.

Another suggestion I can give is that if you feel your baby is ready to go home, but the doctors haven't given the okay and you're not sure why, make sure you ask why.  Get the facts.  Listen to them and don't be afraid to question some choices if you feel something doesn't make sense to you.  As a parent, you probably know your baby best than any of the professionals who have been helping along the way.  Staff changes every few days, people go on holidays and sometimes you don't see some staff members for weeks at a time, making you the one constant person by your baby's side.

I'm not saying that you should try to rush your baby out the door, but for you to be educated about why some choices are made and to ensure you feel like you understand the reasoning why your child is possibly not yet ready to go home.

My first preemie was pretty much a perfect, step-by-step, quick out the door NICU stay.  He was discharged at 35 weeks after 3 weeks and 5 days' temporary residence in a Level III and then Level II NICU.  I had barely gotten to know the staff and then out the door we went.

My second preemie (AKA: Twin A) came home almost at his EDD (Estimated Due Date)--about "5 days corrected."  For this baby, I had to talk a lot to staff about taking him home.  I had to ask why he was still there when he was doing so well, he was feeding perfectly, he was growing quickly.  I pretty much had to state my case as to why I felt he should be discharged and sent home.  I was starting to feel like I should be a lawyer for my next career. 

Given the fact that I had a previous premature baby, I know this helped the staff develop confidence in me and my ability to take care of Twin A once he was home.  For me, bringing home one baby would help me out in the long run, as I was balancing NICU life with the outside family life.  Having a two-year-old being bounced around from grandparent to grandparent, house to house, was taxing on this littly guy.  To bring his one brother home would be a start in the right direction to getting a little taste of reality.  It also would enable me to transition into life with babies at home again and get our oldest son accustomed to a baby around.  Once Twin A was discharged I would be able to look after him when I wasn't in the NICU with Twin B and my very supportive mother or mother-in-law would watch Twin A during the day, while I ran back and forth to look after and check on Twin B.  He did get discharged after lots of work and compromise.

Preemie number 3 (Twin B) continued to hang out in the NICU for three more weeks following the discharge of his "older" brother.  He was a tricky one, this little boy!  He had VP shunt surgery just a few days before Twin A went home.  He was doing so well at the time of the surgery and the doctors on at that time were confident he'd go home within a couple of days of his surgery. 

Remember how I said, don't believe it until it's actually happening?  Well Twin B was not discharged a few days after his surgery because he suddenly forgot how to suck, breathe, swallow when nursing or bottling.  This little boy had been better at breastfeeding than his "older" brother and he suddenly forgot how to.  He was doing amazingly well up until about 48 hours after surgery, when he just got pooped out.  The doctors felt perhaps he had been rushed to get back to full feeds, which was a combination of bottling and nursing.  So after 48 hours he began to gag and cough, choke and sputter his way through his feedings.  It was disheartening.  He was having such a rough time that the concern began to be that he'd aspirate and then have a major problem. 

To think we were so close to going home, when all of a sudden things just changed.  That's life in a NICU.  He ended up having to go back to feedings by a NG tube, which really sucked to see.  For a couple of days he got his feeds just through the NG, to give him some time to recuperate and rest.  We didn't want feeding time to be stressful on his body or on anyone else trying to feed him, so the NG tube served a good purpose at that time. 

The NG tube is one of those things that you don't want to rely on too long if you can avoid it.  Twin B still had his NG 2 weeks later, which was beginning to get to me.  He was not having every feed by NG any longer, but I was determined to really get to the point that the NG was a back up plan.  He was still coughing and sputtering through many of his feeds, but with some hard work the NG came out a few days later.  He was still up and down with his weight gain, which is why he was having to remain in the hospital.  He was also still in isolation, which I speak of in a previous posting.  My opinion was that with a NG tube, me trying to nurse him when hooked up to the numerous wires, all the while wearing gloves and gown, we were robbing my baby of a natural feeding process.  I spoke about this with his neonatologist at the time and low and behold...he agreed!  Off came the gloves while nursing him, out came the NG tube.  The baby was to prove himself over the next few days.  He had some great weight gains and then not so great gains.  He didn't lose weight, so that was a good thing.  Had he started to lose weight he would have had the NG tube put back in.  Finally, 3 weeks after his surgery, he was discharged and I brought him home!  He came home with a NG, "just in case." But overall that day was nothing but relief!  That was the longest 112 days of my life.

Once your baby is discharged from the hospital it can be like going into the great unknown.  You don't know if you'll be back again due to an unforseen complication or if you'll go on without any new hiccups.  As a parent you are now left to fend for yourself and learn the ups and downs of having a baby--a premature baby--outside of a hospital.  It can be a scary and draining experience.  So my final recommendation here is to ensure that you have all the support you can get from family, friends, co-workers, neighbours...where ever you can find help do your best to get it.

The best part of discharge is taking your baby (babies) home and seeing them snuggled in their own bassinets, free of leads, blinking lights and constant beeping all around. 

20 Jul 2011

Trying to Save a Buck or Two (Loonie or a Toonie)--COUPONING!

I just got my latest Nestle coupons package in the mail, which leads me to today's post.

I have always been a bargain shopper or a person who tries not to spend full retail price on the merchandise I buy, whether it's clothing, food, or anything else for that matter. Restaurant specials, buy 1 get 1 deals are always nice. The bargain shopping usually led to a bit of shopaholicism for things like clothing and especially shoes!

Then came babies! When baby # 1 arrived, I refused to spend full price on diapers or food.

I found an awesome place that sold "seconds" for diapers. Yes, they exist. They sold diapers at an amazing price for a gigantic bag of 120 diapers. They were not specially packaged in air-tight bags and had been deemed not acceptable for packaging by manufacturing quality control.

The diapers had small things wrong with them, such as the velcro tab was slightly short or long. Or the cartoon character print was slightly off colour or hard to make out. Boohoo. I really didn't care if I could see a certain red character in full, since it was just going to wind up in the garbage anyway! Even better, if you found that one of the diapers was just way too wonky and unuseable you could return it and swap for a better one. This is what I call a great deal and great customer service!

I also began to "stalk" the Thursday flyers in the newspaper. This is what I look forward to every week...the flyers...It is also the only thing I read these days, aside from the random magazine in a doctor's waiting room.

Like a pro, I quickly speed read and scan through up to 8 or so flyers every week to see who has the best deal on cereals, jarred baby foods, formulas, diapers, wipies, and on and on! I can always count on my go-to stores to usually have the best deals every couple of months. I also go online to see the flyers now and then, but I do prefer a good old fashioned paper in my hands--it's easier to circle and star the deals!

This leads me to my other new obsession. Tracking down as many diapers and baby food coupons for any brand. I have no preference as to what type of diapers my babies wear, as long as they do the job. As for food, I do have a preference for certain brands of purees and meals made for my growing boys, who are not yet toddling, but ready for such foods.

If you have twins, as many know, stores often will give a twins' discount...although many of the major stores are starting to steer away from that as the number of twins born continues to rise. Not cool. I have found some places though that do ensure that they help out families of multiples. I registered online with a couple of companies and was prompted to contact customer service if I have twins to request duplicates of sample packages and regular coupons and deals to come in the mail. This is a nice bonus.

One of my favourite shows to watch lately is called, Extreme Couponing. With the stock market crash in 2008, couponing has been on the rise for many families. Coincidentally, my first son was born in 2008. The thing that gets me and keeps me watching this show, is how much the United States' manufacturers are willing to give away!

Watching this show, you will see average families, trying to save a buck or two, rummaging through garbage bins, soliciting neighbours for their weekly flyers, registering online for e-coupons from grocers and any other way they can get ahold of this free money!

What continues to amaze me, is many of the grocers double the coupon discount and often these extreme couponing super-heros walk out of the store taking their merchandise with them, all the while being PAID to do so! Amazing!

People put in long hours to source the flyers, find the best deals and target the stores in which they make their coupon buys, usually in one huge shopping spree! Some of these people work more than 60 hours a week tracking down flyers, meticulously tagging, labelling, filing the coupons in filing systems. The stock they maintain in their own homes is unbelievable!

One of the women on the show had fraternal twins. She was a coupon clipping superwoman. She said she tries to save in any way she can and her best savings ever was having twins--2 for the price of 1 for her hospital labour and delivery stay! Cute.

Previously I wrote about being glad to live in Canada for all the benefits we receive...but when it comes to couponing, I think I live on the wrong side of the border!

Either way, I continue to look for the deals and use the coupons when such deals show up. If a box of diapers is advertised as $11.00 off, then why wouldn't I want to throw in my $3.00 off coupon for the added discount? Coupons are not hard to clip and save and really not hard to file. I often keep some coupons in my car's glove box, some in my wallet and some in my diaper bag, just in case I come across a great deal.

I can't see Canadian couponing ever really getting to the extreme of our American counterparts, as many of our coupons already read statements such as, "Not to be used in combination with any other offer." Others might stipulate that they cannot be used on items already on sale, for example. The rules here seem to be tighter. We cannot "stack" deals as easily--meaning we can't use several coupons on one item being purchased to make it free or nearly free.

On Sunday I went into one of our superstores and neatly organized my items at check-out, all which were on sale, along with their corresponding coupon. The cashier was so stressed out trying to manage my 9 coupons. I can only imagine how she'd react if she had been presented with hundreds of coupons as such Extreme Couponers do to cashiers.

As a mom of twins, my top coupon clipping is done for:
Baby food
Baby "snacks," puffs, pinwheels, etc.

The last time I bought my twins' baby foods, purees and toddler recipes, I encountered another mother in the aisle, whose eyes practically bugged right out of her head when she saw my stack of 75+ jars of food, big and small. They were all on sale AND I had coupons! So if I can use them, I'm gonna use them!

When I come into coupons that are for brands I don't use, I sometimes put a free ad up on the local classifieds website and send them off to someone in need.

You can also often see formula coupons/cheques offers to swap on the web classifieds, which is a very resourceful method for moms out there who really want to stretch their hard earned money.

There are many ways to get your hands on decent coupon offers and it doesn't take too much work, unless you go to the Extremes.

I've always heard other people talk like using a coupon is "cheap" or beneath them, however, like the saying goes, "A penny saved is a penny earned." I'd rather keep that $3.00 I saved by using the coupon and put it towards something else, like a coffee or a couple of dinky cars for my sons to get some use out of, rather than spend it on a box of diapers that really will end up in a garbage can in the very near future!

14 Jul 2011

Hop, Hop, Hopping Along

Still blog hopping, after a break to take my horrid mini-van to the shop and then putting my 3 kids to bed...here I am! Still trying to figure all of this out. Probably making some rookie mistakes...no, I know I am! Trial and error!

If you are visiting from one of the blog hops I have stumbled on tonight, please say hi and follow if you would like!

Still trying to figure out Blog Hops! :)

Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

I'm sure I will figure out Blog Hopping. Any help or suggestions from visitors would be great! I'm hoping similar families or families that have experienced issues like ours will follow, as well as parents that are interested in reading and sharing about the trials and tribulations of parenting one or more kids.

Thanks for visiting!

6 Jul 2011


While reading through some postings on Facebook today I came across the term, "Lockdown," used in reference to a preemie baby no longer being in the NICU...or "Lockdown."  It actually made me laugh because I often referred to our twins' discharge days as the days our babies were no longer in "Lockdown."

What the heck am I babbling about, you ask? 

Well, as a mother of three preemie boys, who all did time in a NICU, I am referring to the feeling some mothers (if not all) get when they think of the time spent in a NICU.  As we all know, none of us actually want to spend time in a NICU.  We'd do anything not to be there.  We wonder, how did I end up here?  What did I do to deserve this??  There are times of irrationality and just feeling tired and somewhat sorry for ourselves.  We are human afterall!

Although the NICU is a place for babies to heal and grow, it can be a long, painful process on the hearts, bodies, minds and souls of the parents looking into the plastic, which is encasing their babies.  It can feel like you're an innocent person thrown into hard time prison.  That sounds terrible, I know, but that is how some of us parents can feel when in the moment.

The following is a description of my daily ritual while in the NICU:
  • 8:30 AM Arrive on the NICU floor and check in at reception.  
  • Wait for the receptionist to call in to make sure it is okay for "mom" to enter the babies' room or pod. 
  • If there is something going on in the same pod or my babies' nurses are busy with them, I may be asked to go and come back in half an hour...sometimes more...
  • If I can go in, I go in through the locked doors, pass another desk with another business administrator, walk through various hallways, and then wash my hands/arms before going into their "bedrooms," which are open to the rest of the "pod" and is made private by pulling a curtain across if I want or need.
  • Spend several hours, watching babies in their isolettes, changing diapers every three hours, and assisting with feeds or nursing a baby depending on the situation.
  • Go for a break outside the unit.
  • Wait for very slow elevators.
  • Finish break and go back to the receptionist, ask to be buzzed in past the locked doors again.
  • If something has changed siginificantly during the fifteen or twenty minutes I was gone, I may not be able to go back in right away.  I may have to wait some more.
  • Once I get back in, I may go pump in a quiet room in solitude with a curtain drawn, staring at a wall.  Sometimes I might talk to a faceless person on the other side of the curtain.  LOL. 
  • Once finished pumping, I will go back into the pod and visit my babies.  Watching them sleep.  Maybe holding one or both of them at separate times, depending if they are healthy and strong enough.
  • My day would end anywhere between 9:00 and 11:00 PM, depending if it was bath night.  Baths are done at the very end of the night usually, when it is quieter on the floor.  This is usually the first diaper change/feed time after the new nurse comes on at 7:30 PM.  Baths are done every other day.  Sometimes the bath is just "top and tail," not a full dunk in a bath tub. 
  • I would walk back to where I was staying in the dark night and then pass out in bed as soon as possible in order to start all over again the next morning.
  • I would often call in during the middle of the night to "check in."  Sometimes I would be told it was not a good time and to call back later (?) or I would hold and hold, both situations leading me to begin to worry that the reason no one was coming to the phone was because one of my babies was causing a ruckus, having an episode or worse!  Those were terrifying times.  It happens to all preemie parents at least one time or another.

I did this for 112 days.  It began to feel like a punishment and it was resembling a prison sentence or being an outsider trying to gain access to a prison.  I know now and I did know then, that of course it was not a punishment...but it felt like it.  My mind knew that our predicament could not be controlled and that it was not a punishment, but my spirit had taken a beating. 

I wanted to walk out those doors with both babies and go home to the comfort and happiness I was missing and needing.  I started to jokingly imagine picking a hole big enough to climb through and disguising it behind that "Mom's milk is best" or "RSV" poster on the wall...Shawshank Redemptionesque (I watch too many movies.)  Anyone will tell you I look at things and get through things with humour.  Our assigned social worker and regular nurses that cared for the babies knew this.  Thank goodness for my humour because I needed as much humour as possible to get through this experience. 

The Sunday before Twin B was discharged, while Twin A was already waiting for his brother on "the outside," I told the nurse caring for Twin B that day, that my experience was feeling like a prison sentence.  She did not like that statement one little bit!  It is hard enough to go through the experience, but to have a staff member looking after my baby, who didn't seem to put it together that we had been through a long and terrifying haul over 3 months, that was even more frustrating.  When I was talking to this nurse and breaking down the similarities I saw between my daily ritual and that of a prison, I did tell her that of course I appreciated and respected all the work the staff had done up until that point and that I didn't see the staff as prison guards per se, but I did feel like all my actions and my babies' actions were dictated and decided in advance for the most part.

I had to gain access to the NICU by checking in outside the locked doors...change baby, feed baby, put baby to sleep every 3 hours, day in and out...

Some nights I would be told it was not a good night to bathe a baby, or my timing didn't work for the nurse on with the baby that night.  Pardon?

All of these things add up to make a parent feel like there really is little control.  It's frustrating.  Nevermind the fact that we were in contact isolation, wearing our gloves and gowns for each visit.  This lifestyle is just not normal and I verbalized it...to the wrong person. 

I can only imagine what some of the nurses must have thought of the crazy mama of beds A1 & A2, after I said that!  The nurse of that Sunday afternoon did pass this information on to the nurse that evening at shift change, which was to be expected I suppose.  I speak my mind sometimes, I can't help it!  It made me feel better to get my frustrations off my chest that Sunday afternoon and I felt the nurse, who had been working in the field for 20 years and had two sets of twins siblings would comprehend...but I don't think she did in the moment!

In anyone's line of work...especially social services, customer service and I bet even nursing, we drill into our heads, "It's not personal" or "Don't take it personally," when we hear the opinions and thoughts of others', which we may not like or want to hear.  I'm sure this particular nurse did let it roll off her back and move on, but I bet she will never forget my comparison and maybe she'll take that and work with the idea and ensure her future families don't get to the point of feeling like I did.

Some NICU grad parents may read this and think, "I never felt like that," while others will think, "So I am not the only one who felt like she did!"  In speaking to fellow NICU moms I know there was consensus on how I was feeling and the few nurses we had during the last few days in the home stretch could at least empathize and understand how I was feeling.

I choose to write about these thoughts so that other NICU parents can either relate or at least understand not everyone's experience will be the same.  As well, I hope that others that have not and hopefully will not experience the NICU, will be able to identify with at least this NICU Grad Mom's feelings of a very scary and emotionally draining time. 

3 Jul 2011

World Twins Day - July 3, 2011

Happy World Twins Day to all my readers...if there are any! :) 

It seems there is always something to celebrate each morning I wake up.  I always thought the idea of twins was cool and unusual before I had my own.  It seems these days, however, when I am out and about most people I encounter know twins somehow.  They are often moms of twins that I come across and they have all kinds of advice for me.  Some of the "advice" some of these people give, I wonder why they even opened their mouths to tell me because it is not always so inspirational and sometimes kind of depressing!  For example,  "Having twins never gets any easier."  Gee...thanks!

To start, my experience was a rude introduction to having twins, seeing as they were only 27 weeks along.  Most people I have met in person have twins that were "termies" or 2-4 weeks early, but never 27 weeks or less. 

I do have to say, however, that as the days pass, it really does get easier.  I am in a routine.  I know how to deal with my two babies and how to get through the days with their older brother without wanting to hide (most days I can do it anyway!)

Before my babies were even a thought, I never realized how hard it is to pick out two boys' first and middle names at the same time (we actually had 4 first and 4 middle chosen.)  I never realized how much it cost to have two babies at one time...especially the diapers...up to 20 diapers a day in the early days?!?!  Ouch.  I think our bank account is still recuperating from the shock.

Never did I think how often a baby pees or poops would matter.  For about 12 months we talked in weight gain of grams, not pounds or ounces.  The smallest weight gain was a celebration, especially for the one twin with a heart problem called patent ductus arteriosus, which was making his body burn more calories than needed.

There are so many things to think of when you have twins, but most of the time it is nothing but fun. 
The best part about having twins is seeing two sweet little smiling faces and seeing the smiles they bring to others' faces on a daily basis. :)

So Happy World Twins Day and I hope the twins that you may know have brought a smile to your face today. :)

1 Jul 2011

O' Canada

Today is a day I consider myself to be a very lucky person.  I am Canadian, born and bred.  Today we have our Veterans to thank for the privilege we have living in our democratic and beautiful country. 
Many years ago legislature passed a universal health care law, which entitles Canadians to excellent health care, without having to fork over thousands of dollars out of pocket for it.  We receive coverage for preventive, maternity, infertility and illness related medical visits.  We are extremely lucky to live in a country, which feels health care is something each citizen deserves.
There have been many times when people have asked me if I was thankful that I did not live in a country in which our twins’ and first son’s medical expenses would not have been paid for automatically.  I was very thankful for that.  We don’t call them “million dollar babies” for nothing!  When we come to think of the expenses that over 3 months of being in a NICU would have racked up X2, we are extremely thankful to live in a country that supports all its citizens, regardless of age, socioeconomic background and ability to pay for it.  Had we not lived in Canada and possibly not had the “right” benefits or insurance company’s willingness to approve all the medical bills, I can’t imagine how we would feel and how a family would survive it.
Over the last few months I’ve been reading more about the needs of premature babies and viewing others’ blogs.  I came across one particular U.S. blogger talking about her fight with the insurance company to ensure her premature baby received the medication for a common fall/winter/spring illness—Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV.)  She had to fight with the insurance company to receive something her child needed?  Something doctor’s support and administer without question if you have had a low-birth weight or premature child for fear of such children acquiring it and not being able to fight it?  That was a scary thought to me.  Such shots cost hundreds of dollars just for one to be administered, let alone up to 5 shots through the winter months.
So, needless to say, one of the many reasons I am very thankful to be Canadian is because of our world-class health care and universal health coverage.
Thank you to the Veterans who helped keep our country free, the citizens and politicians of the past that worked hard to bring universal health care to reality and to those who continue to fight to maintain this amazing service to all Canadians.