Friday, June 22, 2007

Knitting my way to Lake George

We leave in two days for a week on Lake George in New York. I am taking 3 projects with me. Two are the previously shown BRF knits, Clapotis and Clementine Shawlette. The third is this cutie from Spring/Summer 2007 Vogue Knitting.

I have the front and back done. "Just" the sleeves and collar (you pick up something like a million and seven stitches) to go.

In the meantime, here is a news stories to ponder:

A computer program that provides women with accurate risk/benefit information appears to reduce women's inclinations to have elective surgical births.

Back in a week.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Does Size Matter?

I was really surprised to see all that was harder later in life for low birth weight babies according to recently released study results. Even when variables like family income and genetics were controlled for, individuals born with low birth weight had lower incomes, poorer health and other diminished markers for quality of life as adults.

Even among siblings, low birth weight sibs had a tougher life than normal birth weight brothers and sisters.

Somehow birth weight seems too random a factor, except in cases of mental or physical disability, to correlate to health and income later in life. Don't we all know someone who was a five pound baby and is now a CEO, kickboxer or university president? I guess that's the difference between anecdotal and statistically significant data...


Monday, June 18, 2007

A New Baby!

Last week my June client called to say her water had broken. About 30 hours later she delivered a healthy baby girl. It was a slow-to-start labor, but rapid once it got going. For a first-time mom to dilate 7 centimeters in 3 hours impressed me!

What also impressed me was that the hospital seemed to be moving away from its policy of mandating delivery within 24 (or was it 12?) hours of the mother's water breaking. I was shocked to hear that they wouldn't even consider intervening with pitocin or another labor stimulator until at least 12 hours after the water broke.

What a great step in the right direction.

In this particular case, the baby appeared to be posterior until late in labor. If pitocin had rammed labor along, the malpresentation could have resulted in a Cesarean section rather than the vaginal birth the mother had.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bitten, Smitten

The whole inter-generational thing is just so cool, sometimes.

[you can either read the next 2 paragraphs or read this summary and then move to paragraph 3: I have become interested in manga because of my son's interest in it.]

My older son, nine-years, has spent the last year getting more and more interested in Manga. His initial interest was fueled by a presentation at our local library by author/illustrator Mark Crilley. Actually, he'd read the Akiko series last year, went to the presentation this year, and followed it up by checking out book after book of "How to Draw Manga," as well as Manga series.

I am the person who took him to the Mark Crilley presentation. Mark does a great reading. He draws while he gives his life story, then reads from one or more of his books, describing as he goes how he came up with various characters' voices. The kids were totally entertained. I was intrigued. Especially when Mark talked about his new series, Miki Falls.

My son bought the first Miki book a few weeks ago. He read it and recommended it to me. I admit at that point it was a low priority for me. Kid stuff.

But one day last week I picked it up out of curiosity. I got hooked. What is more accessible than comic-style storytelling? It was perfect for 15 minutes of reading before bed.

In that serindipitous way life has, our family found itself at Vault of Midnight for the first time on Sunday (again, elder son was instrumental in this). Manga times ten! And there I stumbled across my next reading project:

That's right. An 8-volume Manga of the life of Buddha. The first volume is on hold for me at the library as I write. I'm so excited.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For Pete's Sake

"Michael had to explain how a woman behaves in labour. It was funny that a bunch of men explained what to do."

Folks, I like Angelina Jolie. I know she catches a lot of flack for so many things: the adoptions, the marriage-wrecking, the tatoos, Billy Bob Thornton, etc. But I admire her independent streak and her willingness to create a non-traditional family.

And yet, Angelina, what a mis-step to let men tell you how to behave in labor.

I am probably not the only person who loathes the way labor and birth are usually portrayed on TV or in the movies. Even women directors and actors perpetuate the myth that laboring women scream, curse at their husbands, and have nary a hair out of place at the end of the day.

Of all the births I've attended, only a few involved raised voices. Those were the unmedicated mothers at the moment of crowning. Certainly not the terrified yelps and endless hoopla that the media portrays.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Commitment part II

A few weeks back I wrote about some commitments I'd undertaken. Here's a little update.

1. I have begun the Clapotis for Briar Rose Fibers. (nice colors, eh?)

2. I am halfway done with the Clementine Shawlette.

3. I finished the Dexter-Ann Arbor 10K race with just-under-nine-minute-mile averages. It didn't feel like a great race. I'd felt much better running my 6.3 mile test the weekend before. But I finished and in a respectable time. I was in the top 20% for my age group, top third overall. From a field of nearly 1500 people, I have to say, that ain't bad.

4. I didn't mention this in the last post but I have a doula client due this month. Just waiting for her to give me The Call.

Also, I just celebrated my birthday. It's not a commitment of any kind, except, I suppose, that I took myself for a pedicure as part of a commitment to be kinder to myself.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Another example of moderation being best

A study in Iran has indicated women on iron supplements are more likely to have smaller babies and high blood pressure. Apparently some practices routinely prescribe iron supplements as part of pregnancy. I have only heard of them being used for anemic women in the U.S.