That's right, readers! My husband and I are expecting our first additions to our family. Did you read that correctly? Additions: as in plural. We're expecting twins this summer - a little boy and a little girl - likely in mid-July. Although we're due August 14, twins usually have a habit of coming up to one month early. It has been quite an experience to be pregnant in the first place, even moreso to be pregnant with twins, and even more unique of an experience to be pregnant here in Israel. If you're interested in reading along about the pregnancy process, I've started a pregnancy blog for friends and family back home so they don't feel left out with me being so far away.
The differences between the Israeli and the US child birthing process is very poignant. In the US, by now I would be seeing the doctor whom would be delivering my babies at the end of the process, becoming very comfortable with him or her and our birthing plan. Conversely, here in Israel you continue to go to your local clinic up until it's time to give birth where you continue to see your usual gynecologist. When it's time for the babies to arrive, you only then go to the hospital where you are connected to whichever doctors is on duty. Additionally, here in Israel several women can be giving birth to their babies in one room at one time. I am not sure how I feel about that as opposed to in the US where you have a very personal, private experience. I must say, a private experiece is how I would imagine it's supposed to be. Also, only in Israel is the cost of child birth completely covered by the Israeli health care system (much different than the high costs in the US) and only in Israel do you receive a hefty stipend from the Israeli government upon having children. They sure make it enticing to reproduce. Lastly, the maternity leave packages are better here than in most countries in the world.
If anyone has any advice or suggestions to send my way as to where to buy local baby necessities or classes (in English) to attend or even which hospitals they prefer to give birth at, any suggestions would be welcome. Helpful books to read are also high up on my list of musts. For the moment, about all I can provide input on is where to purchase maternity clothes (it's getting pretty close to that time for me, although I've been comfortably fitting into leggings and looser tops). For a comprehensive review of where to shop, check out the Big Felafael's blog post in the previous link. Personally, I'd stick with either Ramilee, Avishag Arbel or the maternity departments at popular stores like H & M.
We haven't decide yet as to where we're having these little guys, but with that said, my time in Israel could be cut short as we contemplate this big change in our upcoming lives.