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.