Not willing to even face the circumstances of our move to Turkey, we took relief in making up different stories to different people. “We’re here for an adventure.” “Actually, we wanted to go to Japan but, well, you know…THAT’s not gonna happen for a while.” “I don’t like the American school system and I doubt Monster will leave me alive if I tried home schooling her, so here we are. Turkish schools, get ready for a hurricane.”
Slowly, we’d started adjusting. Every day we learned more about the system in Istanbul. Sometimes it was confusing, other times eye opening. At times we wondered, “Shit, we should have come here ages ago!” Getting the kids health insurance was a piece of cake…in a Betty Crocker box! It was most definitely worlds apart from US health insurance system games.
In US, because of how scared I was of hospital births after Monster’s event, we’d decided to hire a home birth midwife. Seven months into my pregnant we’d moved from NYC where my health insurance case was being filed, to Albany which despite being in the same state asked to get the pending insurance application transferred before they could even APPLY for me anew. How long would that take? We were told 2-3 months. I left the insurance company office and out in the street I had my first anxiety attack of the year. This was still January.
We waited in the car parked by the side of the road for me to come back to my senses. There he promised me “You will have your home birth, insured or not. I will never ask you to go to a hospital.”
So, long story short, I birthed Falafal at home, laboring in a pool and gazing out at the sunny village scene outside of my window. His birth was magical, as his midwife correctly noted in his birth announcement, he was born “…with shining sun and flurries of snow all within just two hours of his birth.” The paper work following his birth, not so magical.
“What town was he born in?” the birth certificate issuing department in the town hall kept asking us.
“Two streets over!” Wizard would yell at them. “Can’t you tell what town we are in right now?” No, they couldn’t because they’d never handled a home birth before and couldn’t come to a unanimous opinion on who got to issue the birth certificate…the Town Hall, the Village Committee or the County Center?
At one point, Wizard called all three on his cell phone, connected them all through conference call and that’s how we finally convinced one of them to issue the birth certificate and then the social security (after another half a dozen calls and conference calls with the headquarters). Falafal was already one and half months old and hadn’t even had his first well check done yet. Finally, after getting his birth certificate, the health insurance issued a card and the doctor deigned to see him for the first time.
So when it took us a total of four minutes to get our blood tests done for a health report, we laughed and recalled that in NY it would have taken at least 5-7 business days to get a blood test report: the NY Standard processing time.
We were slowly settling down in Istanbul and Istanbul made it very easy to do that at times. As for the reasons we used to explain our move to Turkey...started making a lot more sense. There was truth in them after all.
In honor of January 1st, 2012 and the beginning of a brand new time of our lives, I’m leaving the best and most amazing end of our tumultuous year for the New Year. Tomorrow I want to come out about why I took a three month long Facebook/Social networking hiatus and all the amazing things that happened while I forced myself to live in our present and how it made all the difference.
For reading so far, thank you.