giovedì, novembre 01, 2012


My blood pressure, the midwife tells me, has responded splendidly to the increased medication. Mostly I'm glad. I think I'm approaching 49% hoping I'll be induced early, but my common sense still tells me it's best to avoid any medical interventions that are evitable - Mum was quite the salutary tale in those terms back in March. I'll just keep walking lots, eating spicy foods, banging my old man, drinking pineapple juice, and doing all the other things that are all said and aren't proven in the least to bring on labour, but which are all more pleasant than someone clawing at your membranes or giving you the sort of drugs that aren't fun.

You know I recall, over my more questionable years, the hesitancy with which I introduced new recreational drugs into my diet; just a little try, just a little more, okay, that seems fine - probably as a result of having a fucking plethora of food allergies. I don't think that was a bad thing to do. What shocks me is the degree to which there's pressure to just pile on the non-recreational drugs willy-nilly. Makes me think there should be more of these. As a matter of common sense. But common sense and normal medical practice are often poles apart; money's such a spoiler. Witness antibiotic sales and resistance in India.

BTW I've realized and am accepting India annoys the fuck out of me. I met lots of lovely people from there but it's a total fucking mess and the parts of my job that pertain to India are the most purgatorial because of dreadful communication infrastructure and practices. Maybe I need to go to more developing countries to put it in perspective, since comparing it with China, the only other putatively developing country I've ever spent any significant amount of time in, is unfair. It's really not at the same stage of development (or non-development) at all. And in respect to those countries as far as possible I'm comparing apples to apples, since my references are Delhi and Shanghai, not, I don't know, Hyderabad and Hong Kong. Thanks to the kiddo, I'm missing a conference in Hyderabad this year, which is 100% alright with me. Hyderabad looks like a dump to end all dumps. Well done, kiddo.

Anyways, in delivery terms, will also try getting a bit of a kickstart from the Chinese medicine doctor. He has quite a reputation in town for helping women through pregnancy, including helping them get pregnant. Hmmm . . . over the coming years I'll be looking out for lots of moxibustion-scented little junior Svengalis . . .

mercoledì, ottobre 31, 2012

More international baby making

So it seems I no longer have just straight-out hypertension, but now have labile hypertension, which means my blood pressure fluctuates wildly from really fine to totally not fine. I'm not sure what that means in practice and I don't think my medical team does either, besides putting me on alert that I might get induced soon. But the baby and all of my internal organs seem to be in very good shape after multiple tests, and now that we're past week 38 I'm close to not giving a fuck. I don't want to be induced - cascade of interventions, etc. - and I don't want a Cesarean (BTW did I mention that they call them "caesars" here? Like the salad? It's distracting) because that will put a further two-week delay on me getting up and having a nice run and kayak. But I'm getting to the sweet spot of pregnancy where I'm quite, quite close to not giving a fuck. Let's wrap this shit up. Surgically, drugged-up-edly, in 24 hours of mind-bending pain, I don't give a fuck. Move on to being a mother, whatever that's going to be like, instead of being a massive cumbersome swamp donkey who can't stop eating Hobnobs. 

You know, I'm a champion whiner, but I've been so happy for the last eight years or so. I do question whether or not I have any idea what the fuck I'm doing throwing a new, dependent, pukey, poopy, soul-consuming ingredient into the mix. My midwife is childless, which I can't help but partly ascribe to her witnessing thousands of women tearing their own assholes open to deliver, but her explanation for it is that she has a terrific lifestyle and understands that a child will change that completely (and I doubt the almost wholly unpredictable shiftwork would be a benefit either - Luke Duke's wife is a midwife and their family is running a total juggling act where all the balls would go disastrously flying without the intervention of grandmothers). I have a really nice lifestyle too. I mean, one of the best I've ever even heard of. Why am I messing with it like this? And will my brain be able to make enough sense of it all to steer me away from post natal depression? Time will tell.

Elsewhere, in stuff-your-noise-Jessica-other-people-have-it-so-much-worse news, Lexie's old mum, who has moved to France and largely resolved her brain problems, is about to give birth at 32 weeks because of having a cervix only too willing to dilate. Worse things have happened. The outlook is pretty good for most babies born that early. But of course not 100% good, and it's certainly early enough to be concerned, and the baby will have to be incubated, and they will have to be full of worry for months. And on top of all that, she doesn't have coverage there - she's a resident, but hasn't got her carte vitale yet. Don't ask me how the fuck that happens, the situation is rather too serious to get judgey about. Her current hospitalization, which has been going on for some time, is running more than a thousand euros a day, and when the baby comes out and gets incubated, it will be much, much more. Fuck.

Reminds me of that story of the Australian couple who had their baby at 26 weeks in BC while they were on vacation and are now in hock to the province to the tune of a million bucks. Funny how Australia and Canada have a robust enough reciprocal fiscal regime that the debt is enforceable, but not a robust enough reciprocal medical regime that the mother and baby's expenses were covered by Australia's Medicare (which I suspect is actually a bit of bullshit on Canada's part - lots of countries have lots of reciprocal medical regimes, and Canada has none, which dollars to doughnuts is down to medical care being run by a series of provincial gas factories instead of by the federal government). Personally I made the decision not to travel abroad beyond the age of viability because of really not wanting to get into shit like that, and yes, I do seriously question the wisdom of couples who decide to travel abroad past the age of viability. But being incredibly dumb does not mean you should be in hock to the tune of a million dollars. Or else we'd all be in hock to the tune of a million dollars over something.

domenica, ottobre 28, 2012

The body socio-economic

The crib is side-carred and equipped with a nice new mattress, the car seat is installed, the hospital bag is packed, the maternity leave replacement is fully briefed; in fact outside of thumb-twiddling and worrying I'm not sure there's a great deal else to do. The lady who will cleaning our house for a couple of hours each week is coming in tomorrow, my will needs witnessing and sending off to my executor. And on Friday I think I had contractions. They really sucked. I realized for the first time that this is really likely to hurt an awful lot. So the upshot is that I can't wait to have this baby, whilst dreading the actual process.

Well, moving on. I feel like this week we're taking two very significant steps toward joining the middle classes. First is that as mentioned we're hiring someone to come in for a couple of hours a week to clean. That is going to be awesome. We've fallen into some gender stereotypes here that are ill-suited to us and I think hiring a professional and splitting the costs is the only way out without me wanting to skewer the F-word's balls and have a nice BBQ with them before his frightened eyes. Second is that we're installing a hand spray bidet, like what south Asians and Scandinavians have. Like one of these. The baby and the cloth diapers were the excuse but the truth is we've wanted one for ages. Why wipe when you can rinse?

Another thing that the baby is excusing is me buying a deydrator, which arrived today. One of my aunts, who has since lost her marbles, had one, and made the loveliest sun-dried tomatoes without having to fart around with leaving them in a half-open oven like my parents did (here, of course, actual sun drying is as impractical as it was in northern Ontario; it's jungly and humid and they'd just go off or be stolen by lizards) so I've wanted one for ages. The excuse for that one is needing to dry, pulverise and encapsulate my placenta. Too many people who I take seriously have reccommended it for me not to, and on top of that this is probably my one and only chance to eat human flesh without having to face any disturbing moral dilemnas. Coz it's mine. And it does seem like a lot of bother to spend nine months growing a perfectly healthy organ and then just incinerating it with all the other medical waste.

Anyways, I'm going to go practice on some bananas now.