Spontaneous conception.

Last week Husband and I had to go in to the American Hospital for something called the One Day Test. Since I’ve never been preggo in America, I have no idea if the equivalent exists there. But here it’s a big deal. You go get blood work done, then get an echographie with a specialist that lasts for a good half an hour. If you’re lucky he doesn’t speak a lick of English and you spend the entire time wavering between absolute awe for the alien up on the big screen and absolute panic when you think the doctor says “See here? He’s got seven arms!”

Then you wait for 2-3 hours for your blood work results to come in. Why they make you wait rather than just come back the next day is totally beyond me, but hey, it’s France. Even when you’re sitting in the American Hospital.

So we waited. And waited. Long enough for me to have several code red hunger attacks and only a bag of peanut M&Ms to save the day. But finally the results came in and we were ushered into an office to go over them with a genetic specialist.

She was a lovely older blonde woman who mercifully spoke English, although with a very, very thick accent. That, on top of code red hunger, made it nearly impossible for me to understand anything she said. Which isn’t ideal when you’re there to figure out if your unborn bébé has wackadoo genetics or not.

The specialist first let us know that all the preliminary results pointed to an absolutely healthy child. Bon. But she still wanted to know a little about each of our family histories and such, just to rule out any risks. She proceeded to sketch out a family tree, and asked where my parents where from.

“Uh, America?” I replied.

Husband slapped his forehead. The specialist smiled politely.

“Oui, bien sur madame. But where do they come from before that? Where are your grandparents and great grandparents from?”

“Um, America. Maryland. They’ve been there a really long time.”

The specialist looked annoyed. I didn’t know what she wanted to hear. Husband was shooting me death stares.

“I mean, I think about 300 years ago some of them came over from England…or Scotland. And I think Poland. Oh! and my mom’s family is French! And German. And probably a few other things.”

That seemed to appease her. Husband, ever one to outdo me, simply said “Irish and Italian.” Showoff.

Moving on, the specialist peppered us with questions about illness, family members with rare diseases, our general health. I answered those well enough. But then she popped the big one.

“So, was it a spontaneous conception?”

I looked at Husband. Husband looked at me. His eyes said I’m not touching that one with a ten foot pole. So I asked for clarification.

“Spontaneous…like the Virgin Mary?”

The specialist blinked. Husband probably slapped his forehead again. I started to giggle.

“No madame. Was it spontaneous? Or did you have problems getting pregnant?”

About a thousand other inappropriate responses popped into my head, but I got her drift. So I kindly told her it was shockingly easy and left it at that. Le bébé got a clean bill of health. And I surely got the most hilarious genetic counseling session known to man.


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