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She walked into the building from the back, walking through to find Rachel at her desk and a few patients already checking in for their appointments. “We’re a little early, but let’s get started,” Shelby told her sister. “I think it would be good to get ahead for a change. I hate waiting for doctors.”

“I’m sure they do too,” Rachel said.

Shelby had patients all day, some there with minor complaints, and some there with serious concerns. It was a good mix, and she was glad once again that she’d chosen to go into family practice. She had a chance to treat patients with all different complaints this way.

Her last patient of the day was a woman who was about to burst with twins. “Are you sure you want to change doctors this far into your pregnancy?” Shelby asked.

“Positive,” the woman said. “The doctor I was seeing told me that I was bigger than a house, and it was time to stop indulging myself with this pregnancy. I’ve lost ten pounds since I got pregnant!”

“That’s weird,” Shelby said, shaking her head. “I don’t know why they’d say that. As far as I can see, you’re just the size you should be.” Shelby knew the other woman had started out heavy, but she didn’t think doctors should be complaining about weight gain when there’d been loss. It made no sense. Pregnant women needed to be handled carefully anyway.

“You shouldn’t have more than another few weeks to go. You have my after hours number in case you go into labor in the middle of the night, right?”

The patient nodded. “All my other babies came in the middle of the night. I see no reason these two will do things any differently.”

“How many children do you have now?” Shelby asked.

“Four, so these two are five and six. And then I’m getting my tubal.”

“Done, are you?”

“Exhausted,” the patient replied. “Six children under the age of ten should be enough for everyone.”

Shelby nodded. “I agree. I don’t know how you do it.”

“At the moment?” the patient said, “I’m held together by stress and static cling.”

Shelby laughed. “Well, hopefully once these two are born, you’ll feel like yourself again. Is there anything I can do to make your life easier?”

“Induce tomorrow?”

“They need another two weeks if they can get it. You’ll thank yourself when you’re holding your healthy babies.”

“I know. I just wish it could be all over. I’m not looking forward to giving birth again.”

Shelby helped her patient off the exam table. “I’ll see you next week.”

“I’ll be here.”

As the woman waddled out to the front and left, Shelby went to Rachel. “What does my schedule look like tomorrow.”

Rachel shook her head. “I just had someone call sick, and you can’t see them til next week.”

“What were the symptoms?” Shelby asked.

“Coughing, sneezing, cold symptoms.”

“Have they taken a Covid test?” Shelby asked.

“I don’t know.”

“If you would, call them and find out. There are certain things I’d want to prescribe depending on their medical history. If they’ve taken the test and it’s negative, book them during my lunch tomorrow.”

Rachel nodded, flipping to another page in the book in front of her and making the call. When she finished, she looked at Shelby. “She took a home test, and it was negative. She’ll be here at noon.”

“Sounds good. Just grab me extra of whatever you get for lunch, and take it out of petty cash,” Shelby said. She knew she and her sister had very similar tastes when it came to food. “I think tacos are in order…”

Rachel laughed. “Tacos are always in order!”