Ok…so I think this shouldn’t be hugely surprising to those of you who actually read this blog.
We are having a baby! This is at six weeks. During the sonogram the doctor,in his wonderful English, pointed out a “twinkling” area clearly visible where the heart – what will be the heart – is already beating. It’s so tiny. These pictures look so flat when you see them on a screen, but it’s a moving living thing in there. Making a spine. Making 100 new brain cells PER MINUTE. No wonder I’m exhausted all the time.
For those of you doing the math and who are interested in these things, we should be delivering around the first week in May. THe winter just got a lot more interesting! We found a great doctor who speaks English from his time in Kenya, and who seems pretty wonderful. He said everything looks good so far and I will see him in a month.
For the rest of you (from the U.S) also wondering…yes, I get health care now from France. We are looking into getting supplemental private health insurance to cover both of us that will cost around €80 a month, and that just fills in the gaps in the public insurance. But the public insurance is great; for the sonogram, since we are still filling out the paperwork, we had to pay out of pocket and we will get the full amount comped back. But the appointment, the sonogram, all of it, was under €60. I read a story of a lady in the U.S who got charged $750 dollars for her sonogram. Crap.
I get asked (by French people) pretty regularly about the health care system in the U.S; people don’t have an entirely clear view on how it works and are horrified that there are people both entirely uncovered, unable to afford even basic health insurance (but who aren’t poor enough to quqlify for Medicaid) or, in the case of many people, are turned down altogether for preexisting conditions. People are divided on this issue, and a lot has already been written about it by people way smarter than me, with a lot more knowledge of public policy.
But speaking as an adult who has been without any kind of coverage since graduating from school, with the exception of temporary health coverage which was required for me to work on the cruise ships and which did not cover me back on land (or was really able to handle preventive checkups, OBGYN stuff, dental stuff…) I am feeling really really lucky right now. Ask me sometime about my finding a lump in my breast a few years ago and being unable to see anyone…it’s really scary. And there is so much already that has me terrified with having a baby…I’m just so happy that my ability to get health care is not on the list.
It’s also my birthday today! So lots to celebrate.
M was looking for things to do for today and found an open house for a new language school in Montpellier so we went to have a look. They are much much more cost effective and if I signed up today, I had a bunch of other costs written off too, so we decided to go for it! So starting next week, I will be going to school five days a weeks. I’ll have to leave the house around 7:30 and classes go for about three hours. The next bus back home isn’t until after two, so hopefully that will be a chance to be in the city, practice French, get lunch, walk around, visit the French American center…in other words, engage with life and the language in a more direct way than I have been able to up until now.
Montpellier is a beautiful city with huge parks and a free zoo and a big pedestrian only city center near the Opera. It’s a very young city, since it’s a college town…so it has all the things that go with universities, bookstores and cafes and sushi restaurants…a big Moroccan neighborhood (stopped off today for tahini!) with fresh outdoor markets…I’m so, so excited. Especially with the fall coming in…school feels like what I should be doing. I’m going to try one week, but I think ultimately we are going to go for five weeks, to take me into mid October. Hooray!
My school is about a block from here.
So anyway…Like I said, probably not news to most of you who read this blog. But I guess this is a sort of formal announcement. More to come this week…!