One of my very favorite parts of living in Egypt was Rere. Not only did she clean my house, iron Brandon's shirts, shop for food, and wash the food, but she also watched the children when I needed to get things done. My visiting teaching appointments were always on Sundays or Wednesdays. I shopped alone, occasionally taking the girls for a treat. When Edwin was a little baby, the girls' swim lessons were always on the days when Rere came.
That has all ended. At least for the next four months. So when I had my first OB appointment Tuesday, everyone got to tag along. The girls at least were excited.
My OB has her office in the local hospital complex, and so I made sure to look up online to see what part of the complex the office was located in. It didn't tell. And instead of calling them as I should have, I piled everyone in the car and set off for our grand adventure.
The website for the office helpfully provided a parking map of the hospital, but neglected to mention which parking deck (green, gold or blue) I should pay four dollars for the privledge of parking in. After circling around aimlessly and getting caught in traffic-light lines, I randomly chose the green deck. With 5 minutes to go for my appointment, I hustled the children into the green building and scanned the list of offices. Nothing that looked like OBs (I had forgotten the name and still don't have a cell phone because the charger got lost somewhere in the Virginia-Cairo-US travels-Virginia loop), and no suite 474 was on the list.
Down the stairs we went, out the parking deck, and across the street, past the oncology clinic, up some stairs, down a few sidewalks with Sophia trailing behind crying because we were walking too fast, and we were in the next building. Still no luck.
At this point, I had no idea where to look next, no phone, no phone number, and no name. Just suite 474. And so I asked the nice man at information. Oh, he told me, that office is actually inside the hospital, so I had to keep going, turn a few corners, go in the elevator and up to the fourth floor, trailing my three ducklings behind me. Who knew that doctors had their offices inside hospitals?
When I checked in, we were only 10 minutes late for my 2:30 appointment. The receptionist asked my name and looked up my appointment. Oh, that was for 9:30 this morning, not 2:30 this afternoon, she told me. By this point looking desperate, I asked her when I could reschedule. She took pity on me, and had me sit down while asking my doctor what would work best.
Thankfully and mercifully, she came back and told me to sit down; they would work me into the schedule then. All four of us sat and I pulled out a car for Edwin and books for the girls. Kathleen read her book, Sophia looked through hers, and Edwin drove his car on the table. Sophia looked through her second book, Kathleen read Sophia's first book, and Edwin drove his car on the floor. Kathleen read her second book, Sophia looked at Kathleen's first book, and Edwin drove his car on the seat.
My name was called and I packed up all four books, the car, and Edwin's blanket. The nurse weighed me (and I'm not telling), took my blood pressure, and sent us back to the waiting room. Kathleen read Sophia's second book, Sophia looked through a magazine, and Edwin attempted to drive his car on the wall. Kathleen put the books away, Sophia was done with the magazine, and Edwin started throwing his car. Kathleen loudly asked when they would call my name, Sophia showed everyone in the waiting room her underwear while lolling on the chair, and Edwin lolled on the floor.
Finally, they called my name and we were left in an exam room. Thankful that at least the noise and incessant motion was contained in a room away from other people who might have been thinking of having another child before they got to watch my children, I let them do whatever they wanted. Kathleen and Sophia pushed each other around on the stool, asked what the stirrups were for, rattled the stirrups in and out, and tried to understand the diagrams on the wall. Edwin drove his car on the loudest surface he could find.
While Kathleen was asking why I had my head hid in my arms, the doctor walked in. We talked for five minutes, measured my stomach, and listened to the baby's heartbeat. We scheduled a date for the induction, and said goodbye. Edwin drove his car.
And then everyone hiked back to the car and piled in to go home. Where we had pancakes for dinner.