Friday, August 27, 2010

MAX Challenge Success!

I have successfully completed the MAX Challenge. I rode all ride-able tracks on TriMet's MAX. It was quite an experience, totaling 7.5 hours! Please check out the slideshow below, or view it larger here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Midwife Statistics

  • Percent of countries providing universal prenatal care that have lower infant mortality rates than the US: 100%
  • Percent of US births attended by midwives: 4%
  • Percent of European births attended by midwives: 75%
  • Number of European countries with higher perinatal mortality rates than the US: Zero
  • Average cost of midwife-attended birth in the US: $1,200
  • Average cost of physician-attended birth in US: $4,200
  • Health care cost savings if midwifery care were utilized for 75% of US births: $8.5 billion/year
  • Health care cost savings by bringing US cesarean section rate into compliance with WHO recommendations: $1.5 billion/year
  • Health care cost savings by extending midwifery care and demedicalizing births in the US: $13-20 billion/year

From the book Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife by Peggy Vincent

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ultrasound update

We found out our baby is a boy! We have decided to name him Nolan Zachary. We chose Nolan because it was a name that Jen and I both liked the sound of. We chose Zachary as the middle name because of its meaning: The Lord remembers. When we first discovered that Jen was pregnant, we were initially a bit nervous and surprised because I was finishing school, didn't have a job lined up (and still don't), and Jen just started her new job and was thinking about how to break the news to her new boss. We weren't sure how we would be able to provide for our new baby. But we realized that God is the one who provides and that He won't forget about us. The Lord remembers.

A week and a half ago we went to get the routine ultrasound checkup to make sure Nolan is the correct size and all that good stuff. It all went wonderfully. The thing that I keep remembering the most was how much movement we saw. We could see, on the monitor, his little heart beating. We could also see that he was kicking a lot, even though we couldn't feel it on the outside. Nolan was kicking Jen's bladder (which needed to be full in order to do the ultrasound) so much that Jen couldn't take it anymore, needed to stop halfway through and go the restroom.

It is most amazing, as a father, seeing this little being moving around inside of my wife's uterus. I have always been looking forward to this moment because I have always anticipated being a father. I always thought I would be joking around, saying stuff like, "Wow, that's my little alien!" But in this moment I am realizing that this is something miraculous. God created a life when my sperm met her egg and now he is the size of spaghetti squash. Pretty soon, he will be born, in school, learning long division, wanting to kiss a girl, and eventually making babies of his own. It's the amazing circle of life and I had better not screw it up! I am quite confident that I will be a good father, however, feeling the responsibility that lies ahead of me after watching a little kicking on an ultrasound monitor really helps me realize that being a father is a serious thing.

Since then, I have started to feel Nolan kick (which is totally awesome), I have been talking to him, kissing him, and cuddling with him and Jen. It is feeling more and more real as time passes, and once he is born it will seem extremely real. For now, though, I will be preparing by reading books (two books I have opened so far: "The Expectant Father" by Armin Brott and Jennifer Ash, and "The Birth Partner" by Penny Simkin), helping my wife, and praying for the baby.

Oh yeah... and finding a job. :-)