Get Cracking!

Oh Crap! How embarrassing.  My gorgeous, successful, overachieving big sister has shared the honour of winning Best Personal Blog in this year's Netguide Web Awards.

Embarrassing? Yah. I’m so proud of her, but she went and included a link to here, and damned if I haven't updated this site for nigh on six months.  Any self respecting geek should be totally ashamed.  And I am.

Why is it that when there is a whole heap going on in one's life, and hence truckloads to write about, it also happens that aforementioned 'stuff' means there is less time to share it.  I mean, I'm a card-carrying member of the gadget-freak, uber-geek, pseudo-engineering society, and am about to get my hands on the biggest, coolest gadget ever.  Yet I've blogged nary a word about it.

No, I'm not talking about the pending arrival of my XBox modchip.  I'm talking about Ollie, the 8.1 month old, estimated 7 pound alien inside my wife's tummy.

Ollie?  7 pounds?  Yeah man, it's freaky what medicine can do these days.  We spent the day (yes, a whole day – 7 odd hours) in at National Women's the other day.  Ollie is wreaking his own form of havoc on his mum's body.  Blood pressure, fluid retention, the odd upper-cut to the spleen… 

So yah, off to the hospital we go.  We got to play with the ultrasound again.  If you haven't had an ultrasound scan recently, you'd be amazed.  They can measure all sorts of crap: head size, amount of amniotic fluid, approximate weight… although they did baulk when I asked them to measure the size of his winkle.

So we're something like 36 and a bit weeks into the pregnancy, and apparently wee Ollie has the legs of a 36 week-old, a 39 week head, and a 40 week tummy.  Cool!  Our own little Napoleon!  To top it all off, the little bugger is 'oblique'.  I thought that sounded kinda windswept and interesting, but apparently it means that his head is up under mum's ribs and bum down.  Apparently he is reaching crunch time and needs to flip over.  I reckon the little guy is just procrastinating.  God knows where he got that trait from…

Because we have to deal with the possibility of a caesarean birth, I did a bit of research and found some interesting stats.  Apparently the WHO’s recommended rate of c-section births in developed countries is 10%-15%, but in many places (including NZ), we’re topping 25%.  On the one hand you’ve gotta wonder if it’s a lifestyle thing, but on the other is it just precautionary?  In our case, I asked the Doc whether we’d just have a crack at a breach birth (mum’s turning kinda pale and giving me the evils at this point).  His comment was that there’s a good chance everything would be OK, but a small chance that the umbilical cord could prolapse (come out before the baby), and cut off baby’s oxygen supply.  Presented with that argument, who wouldn’t elect for a caesarean!?

I guess in the Good Old Days (a) they would not have necessarily known that baby was ‘oblique’, and (b) even so, they would probably have attempted a vaginal delivery.  What puzzles me is that I doubt the childbirth mortality rate has changed dramatically since those days.  I guess it’s one of those numbers games: does saving one or two babies (christ that sounds callous, but hopefully you get my drift) justify the huge increase in caesareans, and correlated issues with breastfeeding and depression?  In our case, if Ollie doesn’t get his arse into gear (or out of gear as the case may be), I can see us taking the caesarean route, and I guess we’ll just take it as it comes after that.

On a lighter note, as a gadget-freak, I’ve gotta say that I’m pretty excited about this baby thing.  It’ll be like having my own little neural-network AI construct to play with.  I guess I’ve got to be a wee bit careful, because I cant just reformat and start again, or tweak a bit of Lisp code to weed out the undesired traits.  And besides, I need a buddy to help fly my Eraser!

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