Monday, January 28, 2013

37 Weeks with Baby #3

I guess I really do have to pack my hospital bag.  I've been putting it off, to be honest, I've kinda forgotten what's suppose to go in it.  Besides as long as it isn't packed, I won't need it right?  Speaking of the hospital, I had an interesting conversation with one of the nurses who was working when we went in for the tour to check out the birthing suites.  She asked questions about what we preferred during labor, and how my previous two labors had been.  After a little bit she said, you really are a red head aren't you?  We talked a few more minutes and I learned a few things I didn't realize.

I've always heard that science has shown that we are more sensitive to drugs - that we are more likely to hallucinate when they knock us out, and yet most red heads need about 20% more anesthesia.  (Which explains why the novocaine at the dentist and the lidocaine after birth, never has really helped me at all.)  Additionally anesthesiologists have scientifically proven that red heads have lower pain tolerance levels than the general population. I knew that the red gene is a mutation of the blond gene, and something about that particular gene makes you more likely to develop various skin cancers and other inflammatory diseases (even if you aren't as pale as most of us are).  I also knew that we are more likely to have low iron and bleed heavily when cut, during periods, and hemorrhage during surgeries (hence the doctor wanting to up my iron before birth).  This also accounts for why we bruise excessively and never know why.  Gary has occasionally lamented that people probably wonders if he beats me, with my supply of weird bruises.

However, I learned a few interesting things from the nurse.  Apparently we also have quicker labors, and that might be related to the hemorrhaging during labor in that the uterus is more elastic meaning it contracts alot, but doesn't contract down as quickly.  Also, we are more likely to have endometriosis and experience complications from several different drugs used in labor.  She also told me that we produce more vitamin D from the sun than the general population, and are more susceptible to both heat stroke and the cold.  I had never heard this before, so I came home and did some research, and discovered that the mutation in the blond gene I have heard about is mostly true.  Officially it is a mutation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene, or MC1R, and because it's rare and isolated lots of study has been done.  Science has proven several of these interesting facts, and several other studies have shown correlations that with more study might connect the remaining "facts."  It's really amazing, as I assumed alot of these things were just old wives tales about red heads.  In fact, my mother has warned me if we have a red headed child to expect unwanted people coming up to rub their heads, that some tale considered it "lucky" and people did it to Matthew as a child all the time.

Additionally the nurse mentioned that red heads are on the decline.  Only 2% of the world's population has red hair.  (Scotland ranks highest with 13% of their population.)  But because red hair isn't a gene, but a mutation of a gene it's not passed on at the same rate that other hair colors are, and by marrying non-red heads the mutation is slowly leaving the gene pool.  Some scientist estimate that there will be no more red heads by 2060.  That seems a little far fetched, but it's amazing what all you can learn from labor nurses that is basically not related to giving birth at all.  However, one thing science has not proven... that our tempers are actually any more fiery than anyone else's.

Now that you've had your fun science facts for today, I suppose I should get around to actually sharing the information I got at my doctor's appointments.  First off I had an ultrasound on Friday, because they thought I might have excess amniotic fluid.  We've never had an ultrasound so late in pregnancy before.  It was different, because no mater how they zoom out and position the thing, you can't fit all of baby in one shot.  They couldn't even fit all of the stomach in one shot.  We are in the 95% for fluid, but nothing excessive.  The heart rate was 144, and everything looked pretty routine.  Today I actually went back and saw the doctor.  Nothing new to report, though we were very surprised to find a heart rate of 124, she thought surely that was wrong, and got a new doppler, since it's alot lower than it's been, but the second doppler reported the same.  We both agreed that we hope that we don't go into labor with Gary gone, but it could be any day now.  Ruth was 20 days early - that would be like having this one tomorrow.  If we were to go over, we've talked about a possible induction on the 22nd, just so I can make some plans toward that end.

1 comment:

lydia said...

Very interesting information about red heads! I think it's especially interesting to know that they are on the decline. Maybe this one will help the numbers. :)