Obstetrical care overseas with State is an odd hodge-podge, especially when the post doctor leaves in June, four months before her replacement comes in October. So far I've given my medical history to Yuri, on TDY from another post to fill in, Susan, another embassy TDY doctor, a nice doctor from the Hague who was working for three months at an Azeri clinic, the doctor in London who did my first trimester screening, the new doctor at post, and an English doctor working at another Azeri clinic.
I've never actually been back to the same doctor my entire pregnancy - and I'm halfway through. I'm glad that all of my pregnancies have been routinely boring so I don't have to tell some tale of complicated pregnancies repeatedly to every new doctor I meet. It's so much easier to say, when they ask how the other pregnancies were, "fine, yes, just fine. Everything was normal. This one too."
Thankfully the embassy sends a car and the med unit FSN with me every time I have to go to an Azeri clinic because they don't do things here like they do in the US. I'm used to going to an OB/GYN office, filling out my medical history (did you know that all of my babies have weighed between 7 lbs 3 oz and 7 lbs 9 oz? Sometimes I mix up the weights), filling out an insurance sheet that I can never feel that I've done quite correctly, waiting for my turn to step on the scale, pee in a cup, have my blood pressure taken, and then ushered back to see the doctor.
Here there are clinics where you can see just about every type of doctor and no doctor has an assigned office because they rotate around various clinics. Nobody speaks English and there is some mysterious desk that you go and give cash to at some point in the procedure. Last time I handed Maya a wad of cash and she came back with change and a receipt. I don't know how anything is set up and the signs are in Azeri, so I just follow Maya around the hallway and eventually she shows me to the doctor who might have a scale in his office, usually takes my blood pressure, and but thankfully never asks for a urine sample.
After talking for awhile I wander around behind him until we find a room that has an ultrasound machine in it. When I visited with the Dutch doctor, he ran the machine so I had some idea of what was going on. This time, the tech was Azeri, the doctor wasn't in the room, and didn't speak Azeri anyway so I had to crane my neck and catch a glimpse on my own to try to get some idea of what was going on.
Thankfully the doctor's assistant, who spoke some English, was in the room and Maya tagged along for fun (it was kind of like a lady-party) so the tech would talk to the assistant who would talk to Maya who would then translate to me. Evidently there wasn't much going on because all I got out of the whole encounter was "It's a girl."
So yes, we're having another girl. I've been hoping to switch back to girl mode after two boys and so I'm happy. The girls are happy to have another one on the girl team, and the boys don't quite understand enough to be disappointed. When we were talking about names at breakfast one day, Edwin announced that if the baby girl was a boy we could name her Mack. But he did tell me on another occasion that he would be very happy to share his concrete truck with his little sister and read her books about trains. Joseph, of course, is clueless, and will continue to be until there's suddenly someone else in the house permanently.
Since Brandon lost the vote last time, he's getting final say on the name and hasn't weighed in yet. We were very attached to the first several names, but by the fifth it get's a little less exciting (sorry, fifth children). But we'll name her something before she comes in April. She. I'm not sure if I can remember what girl mode is like, but I'll probably figure it out again pretty fast when the time comes. Just like riding a bicycle, right?