Third Times the Charm
When we first moved here, 5 years ago, we invited a few young people over to our house. Being Americans, that is one way we build relationships, having people to our house. In the Czech culture, to the Czech people, that is something that is considered to be very intimate and can some times take a while for it to happen. The young people, were excited to come and experience some of that American culture in our house. Of course, being American, we offered tons of food. Towards the middle of the gathering, I asked the young lady if she would like a cookie. She politely said no, and we continued on. The cookie plate was just sitting there in the middle of the table, not having one taken from it…so, a few minutes later, I asked again. To which, she again replied no. Since we were new in the country, we were working on learning the culture, learning the differences and how it works in comparison to what we are used to. We are, however, Americans, and we wanted to show that as well. So, I offered a third time. This time, she said yes! As she took a cookie, she told us that it takes about three times of asking or being with someone for them to do what you asked or feel comfortable with you. She said, she wanted a cookie the first time I asked, but needed to wait until a few more insistence by me to eat one. We laughed…and learned. From that point on, I would just offer something three times in a row instantly, and smile as they accept it.
We have found this to be true in our return as well. In fact, just recently, we went to get our hair cut. This time, our third visit, the beautician told me what she was going to do to my hair. Each time before, she would cut as I had asked. She did this time as well, but was more comfortable to say yes or no to certain things I had asked for! …She let me know what style I was to have.
I saw this again yesterday at our Fertility Clinic. Each time we have seen our doctor, she has always been polite, kind and tried her best to communicate to the level we need. However, yesterday, she smiled and joked and was genuinely happy about the next steps we will be taking soon. I realized later, this was our third “official" visit with her…and smiled!
As we were walking into the clinic, we are starting to get smiles and greetings from people we have seen several times now. Coordinators, who have helped us in our previous visits, poking their head out of the elevator to say hi and smile. Other coordinators and nurses, who are happy with the progression of our steps on this journey. And, yes, even our doctor! This helps to make this emotional journey and time, a bit more enjoyable (?). At least for this American, who likes to plan and feel welcomed and comfortable, it was a HUGE sigh of relief.
Aaron and I had parked our car, and were walking to the clinic. We were about 30 minutes early, which for an American, is appropriate…however, we have realized there is no reason to get there early because you will wait in an un-airconditioned building until the time of your appointment…either in a waiting area, or most times the lobby of the clinic. So, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather and breeze…and some pizza. 😃
When we arrived in our doctor’s office, she greeted us, and pulled the curtain. Yep, that was my cue to go back there and get on the table. And, yes, I had a dress on this time! As she started to do the ultrasound, she asked if I was hungry. I laughed and said no, we actually just ate before we came. She turned the monitor, and showed me my intestine and how the fluid was moving inside…she said this is usually a sign of hunger. We laughed, and she proceeded. Because of that big’ ol “hungry" intestine, she had to search for my right ovary. After several minutes, she found it. She spotted my left one, quite quickly…along with the cyst (yep, still there) too. As the curtain was pulled back, we went to join Aaron and our Coordinator to discuss our future steps. It is always interesting to me, the emotions that come out of no where. The ultrasound went fine, we learned more than we expected to learn; and yet, as I sat down next to Aaron, to await our discussion with the doctor, all I wanted to do was bawl! Our doctor speaks English, is learning English, can understand English…all of those, but gets mixed up with the grammar. That become quite uncomfortable for me at times. I know she’s a doctor, we want to assume she knows her way around the clinic, BUT…I want know what she is doing to MY body! AH!
After a discussion, a few questions, and a few of the same questions asked a different way, We have a plan in place for next week; we shook hands, thanked her and left.
This was the first time, I have left the clinic happy. I know, I know…You say, "just a few minutes ago, I wanted to bawl…now, my heart was happy?" It makes sense if you have ever been to a fertility clinic in a foreign country before. I left the appointment however; knowing the next steps, understanding the plan and realizing that things are going to be ok. Third time is the charm here in the Czech Republic!
A shot from our city; Prague, Czech Republic