Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Doctor Update

Our doctor's appointment was switched from yesterday to today, which I was fine with. It just was a little confusing on the phone. In Arabic, "tomorrow" is bukra and "the day after tomorrow" is b'ad bukra. The receptionist phoned us on Monday evening and asked if she could change my appointment from tomorrow at 12:15 to 12:45 "after tomorrow." I said that was fine and then hung up the phone and realized that I wasn't quite sure what she meant by "after tomorrow."

For a native English speaker, "after tomorrow" is a rather vague statement meaning anytime from the day following tomorrow until forever. We have to use the whole phrase of "the day after tomorrow" to really know that we aren't referring to tomorrow but the day after that.

Andrew and I talked about it and were pretty sure that she was saying "after tomorrow" because that's basically what "b'ad bukra" means, only it is commonly understood that "b'ad bukra" means tomorrow's tomorrow. There was a chance though that her "after" didn't mean "b'ad," though, so I ended up phoning the clinic back and using the names of the days of the week just to verify. She meant "b'ad bukra."

Another funny thing she did was say, "Dr. Tarek won't be in tomorrow, but I can get you in after tomorrow. I will phone Dr. Ultrasound to see if she is available."

Andrew said that we should still use professions as last names. Then we could be the Mr. Eternal-student family going to see Dr. Ultrasound and Dr. Gynecologist, at least until we become the Dr. Teacher-of-history family, or something like that.

So this morning we got up and got ready to go to our appointment. Dr. Ultrasound was surprised to see us.

"There were no abnormalities in your 20 week scan. Do you have any complaints?" she asked.

"Well,'s just that last time you said it was too early to tell the gender of the baby and that if we wanted to know for sure to schedule another appointment..."

She found the baby's gender right away because, unlike last time, Miriam was sleeping so she was staying still instead of running away from the probe. It's definitely a girl. There are no boy parts, still, and we all saw the triple white lines that the labia make. So, Miriam it is.

After finding out the gender, Dr. Ultrasound proceeded to do a very thorough scan, which woke Miriam up. Miriam was sleeping in an anterior position, which Dr. Ultrasound said was very good since we're nearing the third trimester. But when she woke up and started "playing" she was all over the place. Like Rachel, she was pushing back against the probe and doing all sorts of crazy things.

"She's very active," Dr. Ultrasound commented, "Can you feel her moving?"

Ummmm...yes. See how my stomach is lurching aorund? How could I not feel it?

It was nice to see such clear signs of girlhood since we had pretty much convinced ourselves of that after our 20 week ultrasound (which was actually at 19 weeks). Still, I thought it funny that the very doctor who suggested we book another appointment was shocked when we showed up.

When we got in to see Dr. Tarek, he said,

"And I see you had another ultrasound! That's fine, that's fine. It's no problem to have one."

He was shocked that we had had an ultrasound as well. He is the one who wrote out the request for us to have the ultrasound so why he's shocked I will never know. I was further confused at his next question:

"When did you have lunch?"

We hadn't had lunch yet, even though it was almost 2:00 PM because we had been sitting in the waiting room or lab since 12:30...he didn't say anything about anything being wrong, though, and my maternity card says that my urine sample was normal so they didn't find glucose in it or anything. Weird.

We have another appointment scheduled in 3 weeks. When we were getting ready to leave Dr. Tarek's office he said, "I'll see you in a couple of weeks."

"So, in two weeks, then?" I asked.

He stared at me. I know that "couple" technically means "two" but sometimes people don't mean exactly two when they say couple.

"Do I make an appointment for 2 weeks or 4 weeks?" I clarified.

"Well, you are almost 28 weeks--you are 27 weeks and 5 days--which brings you to the third trimester. I should be seeing you every 2 weeks after 28 weeks, so make the appointment for 2 or 3 weeks."

So we made the appointment for 3 weeks since, by my calculations, I'm only 27 weeks and 1 day. But who's counting?


  1. Hey Nancy, I finally got the courage to look at your blog again. I delay it because I'm insanely jealous that you are living there. Sounds like your arabic is really good. I like the name Miriam. How much longer do you guys have til you come back to the states?

  2. I just read your post about the fruity salad. You were talking about feeling like you're going to pass out all the time...the same thing happened to me during my pregnancy with Sunshine, and although they tested me for anemia multiple times, with my numbers always coming back normal, as soon as I started taking an iron supplement I felt back to normal. No more having to lay down all the time (while working at the bank, I swer I spent more time on the floor in the break room than at my station), no more needing a nap EVERY afternoon, no more catching myself while pumping gas into the car, nada.

    If you're not already on one, maybe you should give it a shot, and if you are, maybe you should take a higher dose.

    Just a thought.

  3. Maybe someday you can meet Dr. Set-a-clear-appointment. That would be nice. :)

  4. Hi Nancy, I came across your blog after doing some research on giving birth in Cairo. I'm from the States and currently 5 months pregnant with my first child and living in Nasr City. I'm currently looking for another doctor who's experienced with natural births. How did you choose your doctor and are you happy with him?
    Are you planning on doing a C section or natural birth.

    Keep posting.


  5. Hi Amina,

    I've been happy with my doctor so far. He was recommended to me by a friend who had a natural birth (I am also planning on having a natural birth). She told him that she didn't want any intervention (didn't want to be induced and only wanted a C-section in case of emergency). She ended up going a few weeks past her due date, but had a healthy baby boy. He's pretty supportive of whatever his patients decide, as long as those decisions don't jeopardize the health of the baby or mother.

    He is also listed on the US Embassy's list of doctors. He was educated in the States and speaks English, which is helpful.

    Dr. Tarek El Desouky (*)
    4 Road 203, Maadi
    Clinic: 5213156/5213157
    Home: 3374384
    Mobile: 012 3225232

    Let me know if you have any other questions...

    nancy (dot) heiss (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. i do.....near the end 5 days verses 1 day can be a BIG difference!