Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I've noticed two subtle effects of the pregnancy, especially at work. First, I feel like I'm underwater. Not in a scary, drowning sort of way, but in a lovely, dreamy, relaxing kind of way. Everything calm and tranquil, even when there is stress all around. Second, I move slower. Not just because it is physically harder to move (it definitely is), but because, again, I'm in this underwater world with persistent resistance against any sudden movement. I know this has to do with the insane amount of progesterone that is coursing through my veins.

In general, this has served me well at work. Case in point: the other day I had this patient who was laboring unmedicated. I also had a midwife student with me who had only caught a handful of babies yet in her education. As the woman went through transition, standing, swaying and leaning on the bed, my student began to realize that this woman was not going to move into the bed to push her baby out. As she had never caught a baby with a woman standing straight up before, my student began to get a little flustered. So I just swam my way, underwater, over to the delivery table, nonchalantly grabbed a blue sheet, spread it out under this swaying lady, and plopped myself down on the floor. My student took the cue, took a deep breath and placed her hands exactly right to catch a beautiful, slippery head.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

chiropractors and body pillows

I had never been to a chiropractor before last week. I guess I just haven't had a lot of back problems in my life, and the few problems I've had, I've gone the physical therapy route. As per suggestion from a colleague, I decided to try it, not because I have any problems but more to optimize my pelvic bones before I have to push a large thing out of them. I've seen too many women with tight ligaments, stuck babies, and subsequent long labors. I was surprised by a few things relating to chiropractors:

1. The claims by some chiropractors about curing major diseases with correction of "subluxations." Like, do you really expect to cure kidney failure or ADHD with an adjustment? Call me cynical, but that sounds like a stretch scientifically and at best overly simplistic. I'll count that as a CON.

2. How medieval the process feels: lying face down on a table; being pushed, popped and dropped into alignment. Maybe I'll ask for the leaches next. I think I'll count this as a weak PRO--the process is interesting.

3. How it seems to have worked in relaxing my round ligaments (those persnickity ones in the lower abdomen that get so tweaked in pregnancy). In general my pelvic bones and ligaments feel looser, and the baby has started to make her way into a good position, so I'll count that as a definite PRO.

4. How it seems not to have relieved my heartburn---I'm not surprised by this actually because no matter how well my stomach is being "innervated" I think the effects of progesterone in pregnancy are just too powerful for this esophageal sphinctor. I'll call this a weak CON as I never expected it anyway.

All in all I guess chiropractic care gets an overall NEUTRAL rating from me. I like the benefits in pregnancy; I doubt that I will extend my dalliance with it longer than the pregnancy itself.

In further proof that I am entering my third trimester, I went out and bought a body pillow. Now Matt has to huddle in the corner of our bed as the amount of space I take up is enough for two. A note to teenagers wanting to sneak out while tricking parents into thinking you are sound asleep (think Ferris Bueller): when the body pillow is in the bed under the blankets it looks exactly like . . . a body . . . decapitated of course.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

my enlarging carbon footprint

I just got back from a week spent in Boston at a conference, and now Matt and I will be leaving once again for NY. I think my carbon footprint may be the size of bigfoot this summer. Does it help that I ride public transportation every other day of the year? I feel the carbon-guilt growing in my gut, oh, actually that's the baby moving. I have some pictures from the conference that I will post ASAP.