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Sherah's Pregnancy Journal

Week 15
~ Doctor's Appointment & Medical Care

This week I finally got back to the doctor (only my second visit), did my blood tests and started a new file at the Ministry of Family offices. For those of you who aren't familiar with health services in Israel (I am sure that most of you aren't ), Israeli healthcare is socialized. I am actually pleased with the healthcare here, although at times the bureaucracy can be difficult. I feel bad for my family in the States because health insurance is getting to be so expensive and the system isn't working so effectively. For all those who are interested in learning about socialized health care, they should take a look at the Israeli healthcare system. Here we pay hardly anything for health insurance ($20 a month (for all three of us) for an expanded care plan, which gets you visits with private doctors for $20-50 and reduced costs of tests not covered under normal insurance) and our births are free (National Insurance covers the cost of births here).

I am really satisfied with my medical experience here and they are improving the system all the time. The only time that you really have to wait (I have never had this experience) is when you need to see a specialist and if you have an extended plan, you can always visit a private doctor. Many people have told me that medical technology here is much more advanced than other countries, so that is also a plus. We also have the Ministry of Family offices who are the ones who give immunizations to kids, make sure they are healthy and growing and they follow your pregnancy to make sure everything is going according to expected. You meet with them once a month and they check your urine, weigh you and check your blood pressure. Your doctor usually makes sure you are going to these appointments and checks that the baby is growing and doing okay by ultrasound. They are crazy about ultrasounds here. You usually have one a month until the end. With Yaheli I got out of it as much as I could because there is no solid evidence that it is safe for the baby, so with this one I will try to do the same.

YaheliOn another note, It has been too cold to sit down at the computer lately. Our house is freezing!!! We have a top floor apartment in a student housing block, it is made of cement with no insulation and in the winter it is torture. Houses in Israel weren't built for cold in general, but this is the coldest place I have ever lived in. Because we are on the top floor the heat goes right out the roof. I would love to throw some hay bales or something up on the roof, but I am sure they would have a problem with it. It's impossible to keep it warm, so we just wear warm clothes all the time and put the heat on when it is necessary, but we really pay for it in electricity bills.

It may sound funny, but I planned the birth of our next baby around this very problem. Yaheli was born in late September, so by the time she was a month old I had to run the heat 24-7 for her. We had horrible electricity bills in the end. Because of that situation I decided that I am not going to do that for my next child, so he or she is will have to be born in spring/summer. That way, by the time winter comes and you have to heat they will be moving around some and I won't have to heat 24-7. It's just a waste to heat all the time because it all goes out the roof and I would be contributing more that I want to to global warming. We are supposed to move in March to a bigger apartment, so I am hoping that we will be moved to a 2nd or 3rd floor apartment where we won't have such a big problem.

I haven't made any belly pictures yet, but I will leave you with a picture of Yaheli. Hope everyone has a great New Year!!!

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