Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Haven's Hands

An update on Haven…some of you may have noticed that Haven was born with unusual thumbs.  Bethany noticed it first after Haven had been handed to her in the delivery room.  Her right thumb has fused digits that split at the top of the thumb (it is not officially diagnosed yet, but it is probably called thumb polydactyly), and her left thumb is curved at the top joint (referred to as ulnar deviation).  Fortunately, the thumbs do not cause her any distress, and the doctors expect that she will likely adapt well with minimal effect on her hand function.  She is too young still to be fully evaluated (they want to wait until she is 3 months old to do x-rays), so we do not know what treatment she will need or exactly what the problems are yet, but it seems likely that she will have a surgery on her right hand when she is approximately 1 years old.  She may need other hand surgeries later and will likely always have some curvature on both thumbs, but everything we have read indicates that the treatment tends to be quite successful, so we feel very fortunate.  

In other news, Haven lost her umbilical cord today, and we posted new holidays pics in the photo gallery (added to the last album).

Happy Holidays! 

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Sleeping Haven

A happy occurrence - sound sleeping 

(from [url=http://www.projectimplicit.net/haven/gallery2/main.php]Photo Gallery[/url])

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Haven has been so good that I’ve felt a bit like we were cheating & just pretending to be parents of a newborn – she has been eating well & sleeping for 4 hour stretches at night.  And with so much family help, we’ve been seriously spoiled.

Yesterday, after 3 hours of sleep for me & many fussy hours for her bc she’s having trouble nursing, a record 15 diapers, & no chance to eat lunch until 3:00, I was feeling excited… I felt like a real mom!  Still totally amazing.  She’s back to pretending to be an angel today.  Well, a pooping, spitting-up angel.

Check out new pics in the gallery. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Daily Tracker

Need a minute-by-minute account of Haven's eating, sleeping, and pooping?  See it all at:


A site that a grandparent could love.  We are trying out this software to see if it is useful.  We have heard that accurate tracking of baby eats, sleeps, and poops is worthwhile information.  I, of course, am in it for the graphing capabilities.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

It has begun

Bethany woke up at 3am this morning with very mild contractions. They have been mild and irregular enough that she let me sleep until 7. The contractions have increased in intensity slightly and are more frequent. Consulting with the delivery room, they do not expect that we will need to go in for awhile - maybe even until the afternoon or evening. 


Thursday, December 7, 2006

Hurry up and wait

The due date passed uneventfully.  Bethany went to her weekly appointment and learned that almost nothing has changed physiologically from last week.  The one substantial change is that her belly now measures 38cm instead of 36 last week.  That suggests that she is catching up with the expected size.  Even so, no baby.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Birth rates by Gestation Week

In the early months of the pregnancy, we asked a number of doctors a question that we thought was pretty straightforward: "What percent of deliveries occur before the due date, and what percent are quite early (e.g., more than 3 weeks early)?"  The answer was always vague or irrelevant: "Not many", "Oh, it is a low probability", "You should not worry about that."  We were not asking because of worry, we were asking for information.  What is the probability that we will be having an early birth?  After pressing, it became clear that the doctors just didn't know the actual distribution of deliveries by week.  Surely the answer is out there.  

A brief search turned up a database of births in Aberdeen, Scotland (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/dugaldbairdcentre/databank/index.shtml).  I retrived some of the data and calculated the percentages of deliveries by week.  The figure below plots 4021 births in the Aberdeen area by gestation week (note that 'singleton' means just one baby).  40 weeks is the normal term.

A full 73.5% of births occurred in the 39th, 40th, and 41st gestation weeks.  13.0% occurred in the 37th week or earlier. And, only 2.3% occurred in the 42nd week or later (into the 42nd week the placenta starts to break down and doctors will rarely allow a pregnancy to linger more than 10 days past due date).

These data do not account for possible differences by a variety of factors including - whether it is first child or not, regional differences in health and prenatal care, trends across decades, etc. Even so, it is illuminating and a useful chart for probability minded parents-to-be.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

What's in a name?

In American life, selecting family names has shifted from a non-negotiable expectation - a wife takes the husband's last name, to one in which families can make choices that suit them.   

Bethany and I had established professional identities before getting married, so we decided to retain our separate last names.  Now with Haven, there is a new choice point - what should her last name be?  Teachman?  Nosek?  Nosek-Teachman?  Teachman-Nosek?  Noachman?  Teachsek?  

We like the idea of having a single family name, and we are not particularly attracted to hyphenation - it seems like it is just putting off the problem for the next generation.  What name we decide for Haven will carry through for all children (whether 'all' > 1 is unknown).  

After considering arguments for variations, we decided that none of the reasons to go one way or another was compelling.  Family names are important symbols of the relationships formed between families through marriage or parenthood.  But they are imperfect descriptions because it is difficult to represent both family lineages.  To make a decision, we decided to capitalize on chance.  One of our last names will be Haven's middle name, the other will be Haven's last name.  The order of names will be determined by coin flip soon after the birth.  We are still negotiating about who will call the toss.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Latest Check-up

Bethany's Tuesday check-up was an 'all signs are good'.  It also appears that her body has started preparing - some dilation has started.  That struck me as meaning it is imminent.  But, the doctor was unwilling to provide an estimate more specific than "could be tomorrow, could be next week."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Late Ultrasound

At her appointment yesterday Bethany measured small (34cm) for 38 weeks into pregancy (due date = December 6th). The doctor had her get an ultrasound appointment to make sure that this was not a negative indicator.   

The ultrasound was this morning, and everything looked fine.  In fact, while Bethany's womb is smaller than expected, the baby is larger than expected.  Its measurements put it at 38 weeks and 4 days. The weight estimate had her at 7 lbs, 13 oz!  Almost 8 lbs and still two weeks shy of the due date.  Toward the end, most babies gain about 1/2 a pound a week. So, if she lasts until 12/6, it could be a 9 pounder.  

This scenario requires some prognosticating.  My guess:  Birthdate will be 11/24.  Weight will be 8 lbs, 1 oz.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Practice Video Updating

In preparation for the kid, I spent the afternoon learning how to move video from my camera to computer, upload to youtube, and link in the blog.  A sample:


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Haven's Second Appearance - July 17, 2006

Announcement of Haven's approach

from         Brian Nosek <ban2b@virginia.edu>

to             Friends and Family

cc Bethany Teachman <bteachman@virginia.edu>

date May 18, 2006 6:57 PM  

subject Invasion  

Friends –

Do not be alarmed.  I am assured that everything will be fine.

It appears that Bethany has some sort of parasite growing inside her.  I am a bit sketchy on the details because I was in the middle of adding some new features to my cell phone when we went to the doctor.  I will give you as much information as I was able to glean. 

Apparently, Bethany was infected about 11 weeks ago.  I asked the doctor how this could have happened.  She seemed to think it was my fault (Bethany did not disagree).  I insisted that there were dozens of people that could be responsible. Strangely, neither she nor Bethany seemed too pleased about my vehement denials.  Believe me, this is just another in a long line of events that turns out to be my fault.

Put off by Bethany casting stones, I shifted my attention back to the phone.  (Did you know that I can get email right on the cell?) The doctor said something about the parasite continuing to grow and cause a lot of changes – physical and emotional.  It is clear that this has already affected Bethany.  She seemed deliriously happy in the face of terrifying news. Also, the presence of the parasite will become very noticeable (please try not to stare when you see her, I am sure she will be feeling quite self-conscious).  I asked when it could be removed.  The appointment could not be scheduled until December!  Who said our health care system isn't broken?

When I expressed my relief that this will all be over before our big New Year's party, the doctor dropped another bomb along with an icy stare (how unprofessional).  When we finally remove it from Bethany, it will infect the house!  This caught my attention. I pressed further and learned that we may not be able to get rid of it for 18 years and some infestations persist for 20, 25, even 30, years.  Adding insult, it will be enormously expensive, create messes all over the house, and be very attention demanding.  I have enough trouble dealing with our lawn, and now this?  If all this were not enough, after final expunging, we will probably have to continue paying to keep it away from the house.

Obviously, this is a lot for me to bear.  Bethany is overcome with bizarre changes – a huge smile pasted on her face, a new obsession with touching her stomach, and tons of babbling crazy-talk.  We are going to dress and feed it?  I don't think so!

As awful as it sounds, we will pull through this.  Feel free to call anytime.  It will give me a chance to hear the new ringtones that I added during the appointment.  Thank you for all of your support. 


Brian and Bethany

News of success

From: Bethany Teachman 

Sent: August 10, 1999 11:29 PM

To: Friends

Subject: Hooray!!!!!!

HI Everyone!  I just wanted to let you all know that we have wonderful, exciting happy news...as of Friday evening, I am an engaged woman!  In an unbelievably romantic proposal with both of our families in Toronto, Brian and I decided to try out the new "F" word...fiancĂ©e!  We have just had a whirlwind visit with Brian's family meeting all my crazy folks, and the drinks flowing. Now we are back in New Haven and excited to let everyone know and send out hugs.  Brian was pretty confident I would say yes - his e-mail was sent out the day BEFORE he proposed.  I did however create some suspense because I was so over whelmed by his proposal that I forgot to answer.  I just kept hugging him until he reminded me that a "yes" or "no" was required  :)  We are really happy and wanted to let you all know that you should plan to set aside the end of June 2001 for a jam-packed wedding in California.  We'll keep you posted on the plans, but be forewarned - my 3-year-old sister has suggested that she be in charge of the catering - her current plans are "noodle soup and bubble gum ice cream"!  Hope everyone is having a great day.

Love, Bethany and Brian

A Premature Engagement Announcement

Author:   Brian Nosek 

Date:     8/5/99 11:25 PM

To: Friends

Hi --

I may have spoken to you earlier today or I may not have spoken to you all year, but I frequently think about each of you when I think of people that have had an impact on my life.  Unfortunately, there are many I have forgotten to put on this list -- you will have to help me share this news with them.

But, first, I need to know that you can keep a secret until Friday, August 5th, 8pm EST.  Though it may be unlikely that you speak to any of the concerned party within the next 20 hours or so, your solemn word of silence is all that I have between bliss and the abyss of a failed surprise.  So, indulge me.

If the particulars of the event have not already occurred to you, let me clarify. Tomorrow evening I plan to propose to Bethany.  Her mother and step-father and my parents and sister will be looking on (most likely with faces of shock and delight -- hopefully more of the latter than the former).  Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Brian, aren't you being a bit bold, a bit brazen, even perhaps a bit arrogant to announce your intentions without knowing how she might respond?";  In a word?  Absolutely.  In four words?  No doubt about it.  In twenty-five words?  I think I will have to agree with the general idea of the language which you have passed along to me through my own hands.  I have supreme confidence that she and I have each found a lover for life (and we have discussed the idea so I am not entering this affair blindly). I am less confident that I will physically survive the event.  I just got off the phone with my brother who will not be able to be there.  His advice to me?  "Don't throw up."; Bold? Yes. Wavering? Not a bit.  I adore Bethany.  She makes my life more exciting than 24-hour Star Trek marathons, Macintoshes for under $1000, free chicken wings at happy hour, cherry otter pops, Fat Cats French fries at 2am, air conditioning, reversible pajamas, fantasy basketball, Kurt Vonnegut, p < .05, matinee movies, Whole Earth Festival, and new tennis shoes all rolled into one.

I am very excited to share this news with all of you.  Please send all your "don't throw up"; vibes to me tomorrow evening around dinner time. I am so privileged to have encountered so many wonderful people to share life with.  And, I am profoundly pleased to have found one that shares my vision of life and is challenging me to live life even larger than I thought could be done. I am a very lucky person.

Shhhh. Remember the secret.

Love, Brian

Application to Date My Daughter

After dating for more than 1.5 years, Jane decided that the time was right to send Brian a dating application.  The application and response.  No complaints were filed, though given the delay in sending the application, the rejection letter may still be in transit.

From: Brian Nosek [mailto:brian.nosek@yale.edu]

Sent: Thursday, June 04, 1998 5:12 PM

To: [url=mailto:jcurran@telemedia.ca]jcurran@telemedia.ca[/url]

Cc: Bethany Teachman

Subject: Application


NOTE: This application will be considered incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history and current medical report from your doctor.

Please answer the following 20 questions.

1.    Name:  Brian Arthur Vincent (Catholic Confirmation Name) Nosek

2.    Date of Birth: 09-15-72

3.    Height: 6' 3/4" (I haven't the foggiest idea how many centimeters I am -- a failure of our silly American pride in a flawed system of measurement)

4.    Weight: 190lbs. (kg?  no idea - see above)

5.    I.Q.:  Bethany is a better person to ask about this one.

6.    G.P.A.:  We don't get grades in graduate school, but my undergraduate gpa was somewhere between 2.0 and 4.0

7.    Social Insurance Number: 1-800-silly-socialists.  In the states we call this the social SECURITY number.  Of course this derives from our prevailing paranoia of communist invasion inspired by such American heroes as the lovable McCarthy.

8.    Driver's License Number: 217028293 CT

9.    Boy Scout Rank: I only survived through Webloes as a cub scout. I quit boy scouts in the first couple of weeks because I didn't like it, or the scout leader.  A couple of years later, my scout leader was arrested for child molestation.  I now trust my intuition about everything.

10.   Troop #:  1-800-get-help

11.   Home Address:  Department of Psychology, Kirtland Hall, room B-01K -- you might also reach me where I keep my stuff -- 24 Pearl St. #1, New Haven, CT  06511

12.   Do you own a sports car or a truck with oversize tires?:  With my Honda Accord, I have been likened to sheep or cattle with no mind and no personality.  I am hoping it is because of the vehicle selection and not for other reasons.

13.   Do you have a tattoo, nose ring or belly button ring?  Not on my body.

14.   In 30 words or less, what does CURFEW mean to you?

That is the thing that my mom cried a lot about when it broke in high school.  I never did find out where it was, but it must have been in the driveway when I drove up at night. (39 words, sorry)

15.   In 30 words or less, what does DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER mean to you?

It is like a starting gun.  Whenever I hear it, I find that the best solution is to start running like mad.

16.   In 30 words or less, what does ABSTINENCE mean to you?

I can never remember.  My friends only talk about it when I am really drunk.

17.   What church do you attend?  How often?

I walk by the church across the street everyday.

18.   When would be the best time to interview...

      a)      your mother?  don't bother trying on Sundays

      b)      your father?  right after the Yankees win the World Series

      c)      your employer?  employer?  what's that?

      d)      your pastor?  us Catholics call him a priest.

      e)      your parole officer?  after I am caught

(Note: If you provided an answer for item e, discontinue application and leave the premises)

19.   Answer by filling in the blanks.  Please answer freely as all answers are confidential.

If I were shot, the last place on my body I would like to be wounded is ______________.

Actually, there isn't even a first place that I would _like_ to be shot.  Weird question.

If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is ______________________.

Again, wanting bones broken?  I think this question is a trap.  Besides, how could I ever be beaten?  Trick question.

A woman's place is in the ______________________________ 

back, two doors to the right.  The men's place is right next to it.  Just read the signs.  We call them bathrooms in the states.

The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is _____________________ 

any of the questions that Bethany typically asks, including her 'tests.'

When I first meet a woman, the first thing I notice about her is her _______________.

insatiable need to ridicule me unnecessarily.

(Note: If your answer begins with a body part, discontinue and leave the premises-keeping your head low and running in a serpentine pattern is advised)

20.   What do you want to be if you grow up?

I would love to be able to tie my shoes without using my hands, calm a riot with a plate of homemade cookies, tame wild boar, and teach sheep to talk. I would like to run a marathon without the aid of shoes, clothes, or exercise.  I would like to become the first person to, not only leap buildings in a single bound, but to wash all of the windows before I land. I would like to save the meek, help the wicked, and heal the sick.  I would like to be the first, second, and last person to build a homemade spaceship and fly to Mars.  I would like to discover a new continent and invent a phone that won't allow call-waiting.  I want to figure out why anyone would watch Jerry Springer, I want to make my white socks really white again. I'd like to grow plants that need no care.  I want to be in shape without having to move.  I'd like to read minds and grant wishes. Most of all, I would like to see all the Seinfeld episodes that I missed.

****I swear that all information supplied above is true and correct to the best of my knowledge under the penalty of death, dismemberment, crucifixion and Chinese water torture****

As long as death precedes all of the other punishments....

Signature: __Brian A. Nosek____

Thank you for your interest.  Please allow four to six years for processing.  You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. If your application is rejected you will be notified by two gentlemen wearing white ties and carrying violin cases.

Would it be rude to ask them to play?

Haven - An (almost) life

Welcome to Haven's webspace, launched on the occasion of her -22 day (or thereabouts) of existence independent of her mother's body.  This blog begins with a few items that chronicle the historical origins of Haven - primarily the meeting and merging of her parents - well, the marriage part of the merging, not the more direct merging that resulted in Haven (that entry would be too short for a blog).  Following that will be bits-and-pieces from her early life, at least the stuff that family and close friends might care to see.

Thanks to Ethan Sutin for assistance setting this up.