Archive for November, 2010

As mentioned here, Leigh Ann and I didn’t circumcise Nathan. (And neither did the hospital by mistake.) But here’s something I didn’t know: because there’s a huge market for baby foreskins, hospitals don’t throw them away. They sell them for about $1000 a piece.

Check out The Stir today for a post about who’s buying:

Cosmetics: Foreskins are used to make high-end skin creams. The skin products contain fibroblasts grown on the foreskin and harvested from it. One foreskin can be used for decades to produce fancy face cream like the SkinMedica products hawked on Oprah.

Skin grafts: In addition to making products for skin, a baby’s foreskin can be turned into a skin graft for a burn victim. Because the cells are extremely flexible, they’re less likely to be rejected. Currently, this technology can be lifesaving in providing a real skin “band aid” to cover an open wound while a burn victim heals. Researchers at Harvard and Tufts are working on advanced skin replacements that use human foreskins.

Cosmetic testing: All those cruelty-free cosmetics you buy? Some of them are tested on foreskins. This yields better results, since they’re human skin. And it saves the lives of the rodents your shampoo would otherwise be tested on.

I have no idea what to make of all this. But here’s hoping that by the time Nathan turns 18, his foreskin will pay for college.

So *that's* why she feels a little naughty.

Read Full Post »

After 3 consecutive weeks of visitors, we’re finally free. Don’t get me wrong. We love family. But this apartment is a little over 1000 square feet, and at one point there were 12 people in it.

To put that into perspective, that’s a population density of approximately 334,540 people per square mile (trust me, I’m an English major), which would make this place about 20x more densely populated than China.

Scene from my apartment last week.

I shouldn’t complain. I don’t have it nearly as bad as some people (check out Conflicted Mean Girl’s run in with her mother-in-law). And somewhere down the line, we’re gonna wish we had Grandma and Grandpa here to babysit again. And Auntie Em to do the dishes. And Uncle Fred to take out the garbage.

But, as of this moment, Leigh Ann and Nathan and I are itching to set this boat a sail just the three of us.

Read Full Post »

So who fed my kid mustard and sesame seeds?

Read Full Post »

A week ago today I was wearing scrubs. I was in Operating Room #3, leaning over Leigh Ann, holding both of her hands, telling her that everything was going to be all right.

On the outside, I probably seemed cool and collected. A dozen surgeons about to slice open my laboring wife? No sweat. But on the inside, what I was thinking was this: “Am I going to pass out?” Something was going wrong in my chest. My heart was skipping beats. Palpitating. Fluttering. And I was starting to get light-headed. The two thoughts that kept me on my feet were (1) your wife really needs you right now, and (2) if you *do* have a heart attack, at least you’re already in a hospital.

Considering a Caesarian section was about 110% against our birth plan, it’s worth talking about how we ended up in that operating room. Actually, it’s worth talking about “birth plans” in general, a term I now rank up there with other notable oxymorons like jumbo shrimp, airline food, and compassionate conservative.

In no particular order, three things we wanted to avoid were:

an epidural
fetal scalp monitors
a Caesarian section

And, in no particular order, here are the things we ended up doing:

an epidural
fetal scalp monitors
a Caesarian section

So were we spineless labor sissies? Not exactly. We were up against a host of medical issues and held out as long as we could.

For starters, Nathan was sunny-side up and wouldn’t budge. This meant that the back of his skull was pressing against Leigh Ann’s spinal cord, and every time she had a contraction, it felt as if someone were “sticking a god-damned knife in [her] back!” Or so a reliable source informed me. Add that to the extra large size of Nathan’s noggin — sunnyside up babies come out face first and often require episiotomies — and we knew were in for a long delivery.

But there was Leigh Ann’s cervix to worry about as well. It stalled out at 8 cm. We have no idea why, although a reader (thanks, Connie!) left an interesting comment here about how prior cervical procedures can leave scar tissue and prevent full dilation. As it so happens, once upon a time Leigh Ann did have a polyp removed. So that might have been a factor. But massaging her cervix didn’t show much improvement, and there was also this . . .

. . . Nathan began showing signs of fetal distress. I don’t blame him; he had been in labor for almost 21 hours, was a week past due, and was still in the wrong position. If there’s a more terrifying feeling that watching your son’s heart rate “decelerate rapidly” on a fetal monitor, I don’t know what that feeling is. Honestly, I would have rather watched my own castration. It would at least have had a few laughs.

So to recap, Thursday afternoon, we knew the following: Nate was sunny-side up, Leigh Ann’s cervix was stuck at 8 cm, and there were some ominous clouds appearing on Nate’s heart rate horizon.

We asked the doctors if we could wait a couple hours to see if anything turned around.

Unfortunately, it did not.

So a compromise was in the cards. I don’t care how principled a dude you think you are. Do Caesarians suck? Yes, they do. They’re unnatural and just a wee bit invasive. But at the end of the day, the only principle you end up caring about is that the doctors deliver your kid alive.

And as long as they do that . . . then that epidural you promised yourself you wouldn’t have . . . and those fetal scalp monitors you swore you wouldn’t use . . . and that Caesarian section you vowed to avoid?

Small change.

Little Man Nate

Read Full Post »

I never thought our oft-flooded, 1 bedroom apartment would seem so comforting. But after 4 nights in the hospital, it seems like the Beverly Hilton.

Later this week, I’ll get into everything that happened (rhymes with: Caesarian section). You want the details, of course, and I need to construct some sort of narrative to make sense of what the hell just happened.

In the meantime, here’s me doing what a proud papa does – posting more photos.

Nate the Great.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30 other followers