When I went to the doctor here at post to announce my pregnancy (when your life is paid for by the federal government nothing, especially childbearing, is private), she started in on the usual info-dump about babies. I've now had two babies with the Foreign Service and know how the program goes.
She mentioned something about medevac, and I nodded my head. Yes, medevac, but that won't be necessary since we'll be at FSI in April. Planning is crucial in this lifestyle and I'm nothing if not a planner.
"So we'll send you to London for two days," she continued, and my head snapped up. London?!? For two days? When did this happen? I hmmed and asked for clarification. "Well, you can get first trimester screening here, but it's not considered dependable, so we can send you to London to have that done and we'll know the results are accurate. Would you be interested in that?"
I tried to wipe the enormous grin off my face and be very serious and professional. "Why yes, of course I'd be interested. With this lifestyle, it's always good to know about problems as far in advance as possible. You know, so we can rearrange our next tour if it looks like there are going to be problems." She nodded her head.
I tried to hide the happy-party complete with fog machines, disco lights, and strobes while we talked about appropriate dates, but I don't think she was fooled. She has children too and knew exactly what was going through my head. Maybe even the song.
And that is how I ended up on a plane to London last Monday night while the entire rest of my family was at home, either being wrangled into bed or wrangling into bed.
I have not traveled alone since before I married Brandon. I have never ever checked into a hotel all by myself. And I have certainly not done these things in London. My only regret now is that I don't get to do them more often.
I was only in London for less than thirty-six hours - I flew in at 10:30 Monday night and left at 10:00 Wednesday morning, but those were some of the most relaxing (and expensive) thirty-six hours I've had in quite awhile. I didn't wipe anyone's bum but my own. I didn't feed anyone but myself. I read my book whenever I liked without having to worry about neglect. I went shopping. I took a nap. I ate pastries and had fresh orange juice for breakfast. I rode in taxis. I took myself out for a very, very nice dinner and read my book (some more) the entire time. I walked through Hyde Park at sunset. I managed, in a two-hour time span, to take a shower, get dressed, pack my suitcase, eat breakfast, check out of my hotel and get to the airport. In a word, it was wonderful.
Now lest you start thinking that my normal life is awful, it isn't. It's great. I have a family I love and a husband that treats me amazingly and I have a job that is both fulfilling and lets me take a nap. I just got back from a great trip to Georgia, after all. So it's not like I was in desperate need of forty-eight hours alone, about to go crazy from stress.
But boy was it great.
And the baby? It's just fine, as healthy as one can tell from a twelve-week ultrasound. Which is, after all, the best part of all.