Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dear Canada... THANK YOU.

Cool mom thing... or not so cool mom thing.. having a baby has made me thankful for so many things that used to be so easily overlooked:

Waking up and leaving the house within five minutes from start to exit.
Pressing the snooze button 
Alone time with Dada.. formerly known as my husband.

It's officially over. My maternity leave that is. Well, it's technically been over for a while now, but I extended it past the government allotted and funded time, until I found the right reason to move on with life. (More on that in another post)

I got a bill in the mail from the hospital shortly after I had Pavel. I had expected this, as I knew it having a private room was an upgrade. 


It cost me $7 to have a baby.. with a private room.

To us Canadians, that's normal, even pricey! Health care is free! To my American friends though.. I feel for you. 

Could you imagine having to save enough money to have a baby? Could you imagine getting let go from your job right before you're about to give birth, losing your insurance and being stuck with a hospital bill in the thousands? Like, 20-30 thousand dollars? Not me. I can barely save enough for the next pair of shoes I want to splurge on. 

Thank you Canada. Thank you.

When Pavel was in my tummy, at our 20 week ultrasound, we discovered he had some kidney abnormalities. It was scary to say the least, but we had the most unbelievable health care from a number of different hospitals and clinics in the city.

At the Stollery Hospital

I must have had at least ten ultrasounds during my pregnancy and Pavel had a few after he was born. I had visits with perinatal urologists. I can't name the pieces of equipment that treated Pavel when he was just a month old, but they were big.. and fancy.. and free.

Out of all the things I needed to worry about bringing a new little person into this world, how I was going to pay for his health and give him the best start possible, was not one. 

I am so grateful. 

In Alberta, it is the law that your employer must hold your position for you (or one similar with the same pay) for one year after you have a baby. 

At first I was annoyed when I read this on the Service Canada website:

'The basic benefit rate is 55% of your average insured earnings up to a yearly maximum insurable amount of $43,200. This means you can receive a maximum payment of $457 per week.'

$457/week! Before taxes! What a joke!

About half way into the year, my mindset changed a little. I couldn't help but feel overwhelmingly thankful to receive approximately $1600/month for doing 'nothing'.

For free. For having a baby.. I am being paid to enjoy my time, with my baby. 


I am legally being given a year of free time to spend with my baby, while my job is on hold waiting for me, and I'm getting PAID all at the same time. And when I have this baby, it doesn't matter if I forget my wallet at home. 

Do you know how lucky we are? 

I found myself wanting to write Canada a thank-you letter. I'm not sure how to do this exactly, is it the same as writing Santa your Christmas wish list?

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thanks Canada, times 1,000,000, for allowing me to enjoy the Best. Year. of my Life.


 Pavel this week:

He won't stop talking.. ever! I think he got this from his mom. He says:
- Dada
- Hi
- Ball (this was his first word)
- Nummy nummy nummy - when he's hungry or is eating
- Buba - his bottle


Gerry and Lesley said...

Jenny! What a great post! I completely agree and remember having the same thoughts of "How am I going to live on this reduction in 'pay' while on maternity leave?" But you're absolutely right... we live in an amazing country that supports the birth of children and provides new moms with time at home... one year! Quite different from our southern friends!! Great idea, great post, as always! :)

JY said...

Want to write a thank you to Canada? Just send it to the Prime Minister by mail. He will write back to you.

Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

by fax:

or by e-mail:

Rock on!

Jenny Adams said...

Thanks and Thanks!

Erin said...

Jenny, loved this post! We moved back to Canada after having to pay $600 a month for insurance after Lou wasn't with an affiliated team. CRAZY! I also got the bills after having Dane and they came to roughly 20K. Turns out they had spelled his name wrong so the insurance company was rejecting the claims and sending us the bills. After 18 months of going back and forth we finally got the issue solved. It was insane!

Seeing an itemized bill for your baby is crazy as well. $1200 for a fetal monitor? What do they do...bring in a new one for every new patient? It's madness.

Until you've elsewhere in the world....Japan, Taiwan,'s so hard to appreciate what we have here! Good luck in this next chapter girl! Can't wait to hear about it.