Lacking any semblance of grace, I stumbled through the first few minutes of my first German prenatal appointment.
The nurse didn't speak any English, aside from being able to tell me that I needed to "pee in that cup and put it on that shelf" and that she would "take blood later". And she wasn't impressed that I didn't speak German. That's okay. I'm not impressed that I don't speak German either.
I need to get on that.
She recorded my weight. I looked away. She asked for my height. We both gave up when we realized we would have to convert inches to centimeters. She asked for my Mutterpass. I obviously didn't have one as I have never given birth in Germany, but I handed her copies of my medical records from home.
She took a lot of deep breaths. The "I'm really annoyed by you" kind.
We had a breakthrough when she drew six viles of blood. I curled into the fetal position, closed my eyes, and gave her my arm. She stroked my face and said, "Sweet baby."
admit that my standards were fairly low when it came to finding a new doctor. I was simply hoping for
someone who a) spoke a little English b) wasn't going to talk about my vagina with anyone other than me and c) wouldn't so much as utter the word 'hockey' while my legs are in stirrups.
It's not too much to ask. You would think that just about any doctor would suffice. But in this town, as I learned the hard way, you would be wrong.
This doctor's English was quite limited. I wouldn't call her an English-speaking doctor by any means. In hindsight, I probably should have given the language barrier issue a little more consideration, a little earlier on.
She told me I was 27 weeks based on my LMP. I'm 25 weeks and ultrasounds have confirmed it. It's complicated and has everything to do with Mirena and lots of other boring girly things. Things that are impossible to discuss when you're speaking two different languages.
I asked how far in advance my c-section would be scheduled. Her response was, "Oh, you're having another c-section?" Um. Have you seen my husband? No, she hasn't. She doesn't know who he is, and that's a good thing. But seriously? I tried to explain the hellish ordeal that was Linden's birth and why the odds are against me again this time around. I think most of it was lost on her, so I moved on.
I asked if there would be someone available to perform a circumcision after the baby is born. She had no idea what I was talking about. Of course this ended up being the conversation in which I had to resort to hand gestures. You can only imagine.
I didn't bother asking if English-speaking Hebammes are available. Based on this experience, I'm going to go ahead and say the chances are slim on that one.
I'm going to have to bring a German friend to my next appointment, because in reality,
I need answers to those questions and I need more than a thumbs up to
feel comfortable. No, it wasn't the most successful Q&A session, but when it comes to this new doctor, I feel like it's a much better fit.
Because I was the focus of this appointment.
My baby was the focus of this appointment.
Not my husband or his hockey.
And hey, I don't have to worry about my vagina making the fan forums.