Monthly Archives: May 2012

I don’t get pregnant, I take hostages.

The other night I joked with Mac, “I don’t get pregnant, I take hostages.”  He cracked up.

It’s true.  I’m 41 weeks and 4 days.  Nothin’ doin’ on the labor front.

I wrote last week about whether or not we should pick our baby’s birthday- here.

We opted to schedule a C-section for Friday, 42 weeks even- to give my body and this baby every (safe and reasonable) opportunity to do things the old fashioned way.

The image in that post– from the March of Dimes is part of their 39 Weeks of Pregnancy campaign.  It seems as though the campaign is geared towards pregnant women.  Educating them that the standard duration of a pregnancy is from 38 to 42 weeks, and thus women shouldn’t rush things.

Here’s another spot that’s part of the campaign:

While I think it’s great to educate women, I wonder why this campaign isn’t targeting doctors.  It’s not like pregnant women can perform their own scheduled C-section or induce their own labor.  It’s doctors that are pushing or at least agreeing to these early births.

It really seems like this is a self-defense campaign to encourage women to protect themselves from their care providers and resist efforts to deliver their babies early.  It’s odd.  I’m glad I have a level-headed doctor who is well aware that pregnancy can last up to 42 weeks (not that I’m not wishing mine wouldn’t!).

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Mabel loves the real old mountain dew

This is one of Mabel’s favorite songs to dance to.  I don’t know the words, but thankfully, the “diddly doodle diedle dum” part is easy to fake.

While it’s kind of funny, I think it’s really sweet.  My mom, Mabel’s Nana sings this for her.  My Nana, my mom’s mom, used to do the same for me.

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Should I choose my baby’s birthday?

Saw this on Facebook this morning.  Given my current predicament, it was timely.

Just like it was when I was pregnant with Mabel, I am 41 weeks (tomorrow), with a healthy fetus, no signs of impending labor, no complications that warrant intervention.  I’m grateful.  However, I’m also wondering when to draw the line.

I searched high and low for a doctor who would support my trying for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).  I wrote a little about it here.  It took me 2 months of researching and in-office visits to see five practices and talk to several others on the phone.  Finally at 33 weeks I  had my first visit with my OB.  A doctor that comes highly recommended by strangers on the internet, acquaintances in my local ICAN chapter, and personal friends- moms who delivered with him, as well as nurses who work with him.

I really like him and I really trust him.  He’s very level headed.  He didn’t tell me my chances for a successful VBAC were nil.  He made a point to meet with me in his office before he examined me in an exam room.  He seems like an all around great doctor.

So far, all has gone smoothly in this pregnancy.  He’s been totally fine with me going past my due date (his policy is not to consider induction/surgery in advance of 41 weeks without a medical reason).  While he answered my questions about it, he didn’t even bring up scheduling me for a C-section (in case this baby is like his big sister and refuses to be born) until I was overdue.  Even then, he said let’s talk about it when you hit 41 weeks.

That’s tomorrow.

The only hard and fast recommendation he has made is, that he does not feel comfortable with me going past 42 weeks.  His reasons for this are valid.  According to my doctor, prior to 42 weeks fetal non-stress tests and biophysical profiles are predictive of the health of the fetus- meaning a good result predicts that the fetus will continue to do well for several days.  After 42 weeks these tests are no longer predictive, meaning something could be about to go wrong and you would have no forewarning.  I trust my doctor, I trust this science.  I have no intention of going past my due date.

I see him again tomorrow and Mac and I just cannot decide how to proceed.  There are basically two options (note:  induction is not an option given my previous C-section):

1.  Wait the full 42 weeks (as long as the monitoring continues to show the baby is healthy) to give me every/any chance of having  a VBAC.  This isn’t cut and dry.  The longer I wait, the less likely it is that I will be able to successfully deliver vaginally.  Nemo, this baby’s blog pseudonym, is already predicted to be around 9lbs (although the estimate has an error of 1lb in either direction), the longer I wait, the bigger he will get.  Also, the older he gets, the more ossified his skull becomes, the less malleable it is, the harder it is to fit through the birth canal.  It’s kind of like the law of diminishing returns- the longer I wait, the longer the odds of success.  Considering I was induced at 41 weeks and 6 days with Mabel and as of 40 weeks and 5 days with Nemo I show no signs of progress, I feel that the chances of my spontaneously going into labor on my own are slim to none

2.  Pick my baby’s birthday.  The 42 week mark is out of my hands, it’s a definitive cutoff in terms of medical necessity.  However, Mac and I could pick any day (assuming my doc is available to do surgery that day) between now and May 25th for our son to be born.  It just feels so wrong, so odd, to pick.  Also, it’s not at all trivial to willingly submit to a surgery that may not be necessary.  With most any other surgery, people would do their utmost to avoid an unnecessary surgery.  With C-sections, people seem very nonchalant, forgetting or ignoring that it is major abdominal surgery, with all the associated risks.  Not to mention 6 to 8 weeks of recovery- during which time my toddler will be hard to avoid.

This is where I am today.  This is why that Facebook image was so timely.  Mac and I need to decide tonight what to tell the OB.  Option 1- do nothing and just wait it out.  Option 2- do something and pick a date prior to the 42 week mark.

While I’m eager/impatient to meet my little boy, that’s a really stupid way to make a medical decision.  I’m sick of coming to work EVERY SINGLE DAY to the same barrage of STUPID questions from my coworkers (i.e. “Wow!  You’re still here?).  Not to mention how bad it is for one’s productivity to leave EVERY SINGLE DAY ready to not come in the next morning.  Again, stupid reasons for making a medical decision.

What to do, what to do?

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Motherhood Defined: It is in the heart of the beholder

I participated in Double X Science’s Motherhood Defined* by answering the question, “What does motherhood mean to you?”

Reading the other answers from other men and women was interesting- although I wonder if mine should have been more mushy?

Click the link above- my response is the second from the top…

_______________________________

*ETA: Double X Science did some revamping and that link no longer works, so here is my response to the query:

Motherhood means accepting responsibility. If you read the news or listen to the hype, you know what I mean.  Every choice you make, from before a child is conceived, until long after you’re dead, there is someone out there that will tell you how it impacted your kid. As my nana always said, “It’s always the mother’s fault.”  I just hope that as the time passes I get more credit than blame for how my kids turn out.- Momma, PhD.

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It’s time!

Today is my due date.  I am at full term.

It’s time.  Not for what you might think (seeing as how I’m 40 weeks today).

Nope.  It’s not time to pack a bag and rush off to the hospital.  It’s not time to call the grandparents to watch Mabel.  It’s not time to begin maternity leave.  It’s not time for any of that.

It’s time to unsubscribe from those “Your Pregnancy This Week” type e-mails.

When I was pregnant with Mabel, I was STILL pregnant when the “Your Baby:  2 Weeks Old” e-mail arrived in my inbox.

I don’t want to be in that position again, so I’m unsubscribing now.

Now if only I could block all those, “You’re still pregnant!” and “I can’t believe you’re still here!” type comments as easily as I do e-mails.

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Wordish Wednesday: Science and Buddhism


I saw this shared on Facebook (if you know who to credit with creating the image, let me know) but didn’t want to post it here without researching the provenance of the quote and ensuring His Holiness actually said it.

With a little digging, I found the New York Times Op-Ed piece, “Our Faith in Science,” written by His Holiness that contains the quote.  It’s a great piece- as with all that the Dalai Lama has to say, I am struck by his level-headedness and insightfulness.

Another quote from that piece that struck me was:

You see, many people still consider science and religion to be in opposition. While I agree that certain religious concepts conflict with scientific facts and principles, I also feel that people from both worlds can have an intelligent discussion, one that has the power ultimately to generate a deeper understanding of challenges we face together in our interconnected world.– TENZIN GYATSO His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Source

I am spiritual.  I am religious.  I am a scientist.  Unlike many, I am at peace with the apparent conflicts between my faith in God and my scientific training.  I am comfortable in “our interconnected world.”

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Weekend Getaway: Rehoboth Beach, DE

Over President’s Day Weekend, Mac, Mabel, and I headed down to Delaware for a weekend with Mac’s parents.  They live in North Carolina, so Delaware is a good halfway point.

While it was chilly, it was remarkably warm for February.  We were able to visit the Indian River Lifesaving Station, fly a kite on the beach, eat lots of seafood, do some outlet shopping, and generally enjoy spending time with my in laws.  Another perk- a friend of mine from high school and her husband drove up to their family’s beach house in Lewes for the weekend and both couples were able to leave kids with grandparents and go out to dinner!  A lovely restaurant, adult conversation, and an evening of board games.  What more could I ask for?!

Well, I could have asked that Mabel not get sick.  She started running a fever on Sunday morning.  So, we spent Sunday mostly in the hotel.  Thankfully Saturday had been a really full and fun outside day.  Sunday Mabel and I took a dip in the pool (a great fever reducer), then Mac and I wrestled some children’s Tylenol down Mabel’s throat, and while she was down for a nap, left her in the capable hands of Gramma and Grampa to hit the outlets for a little while.  We returned before she woke from the nap- so she was none the wiser and I was none the guiltier for leaving my sick toddler.  It wasn’t too bad, and as long as we kept her on the Tylenol, she was none the worse for wear, really.

In all honesty, a part of me was grateful that if she was going to get sick, it was on a day that I was around.  I miss so much- even comforting my sick kid- because of work.  Having Mac as the stay at home parent, as capable, kind, and loving as myself (and infinitely more patient than I am), means that there really isn’t a NEED for me to stay home when Mabel is sick.  Mac handles it all, takes it all in stride.  I’m left to go to work and save my PTO (paid time off) for better days.  A part of me feels guilty about never being the one taking her to the doctor.  Just last night, as she watched the goldfish screen saver on my computer she said, to the ‘baby’ goldfish, “Mommy’s at work.  It’s just you and daddy.”  (Cue knife to my heart).  So, on that chilly Sunday in February, in that hotel in Delaware, I was happy to stay in with my sick little girl.

While this wasn’t our first trip to Delaware, we went down back in August to stay with the aforementioned friends for the weekend (I wrote about it here), it was the first time we met my in laws there.  It worked out really well (even with Mabel’s fever), and we plan to do it again in the future- saving either party from having to make the 12 hour drive.

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