Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Found: The Man, The Hospital, The Ninety-Seventh Percentile

I met my third and final OBGYN this week (one for every trimester... literally). Finally! The man who will actually deliver the baby! Meet Dr. T. C. Chang:

He could not have been more kind, professional, helpful, respectful, or patient. I'm so relieved and grateful. Perhaps the best thing about him is that I can understand everything he says (which is a really big deal for Singapore)!

The hospital? A sort of women's hospital specializing in Labor and Delivery, chosen by virtue of Dr. Chang being based there. I did have serious doubts when the cab driver who picked us up from our house to go to the hospital kept saying, "Thompson? That far. That very far. Too far." Delivering a baby somewhere "very far" from our house may not be the best idea? But we were there in 15 minutes. Singaporeans have a skewed sense of "far."

I expressed to Dr. Chang my very real concern that I'm 5'2" with narrow hips, and I am having a 6'7" man's son. He measured the baby to make sure he's on schedule size-wise. He smiled and said everything was "in the normal range" and that I shouldn't be worried. Sigh of relief.

Then he made the mistake of showing me the baby's measurements on a control chart... I majored in Statistics for my undergraduate degree. Having no way of knowing my educational background, he politely explained that the white line in the center represented the average measurements of a baby at 30 weeks, and that the two red lines above and below the white line represented the normal range of fetuses at that age. At which point he pulled up the femur chart, the stomach chart, and so on, all of which were at the 60th or 70th percentile... perfect for a healthy boy, and nothing I can't handle. After all, I'm tough. The last chart was the head, exactly on the upper red line. Dr. Chang said it was larger, but still within normal range so there was definitely nothing to worry about. My nerdy-statisticy self squinted to see what the upper bound was exactly... the 97th percentile.

That's correct. Our baby's head is bigger than 97 percent of all 30-week-old fetus heads. Normal? Maybe technically... but this mother's fears about delivering her giant, bobble-headed, Fabio-sized baby have not been assuaged as the Dr. hoped they would be. Good thing it's a cute head...

 (he's looking up so you can see his profile)

Bottom line: the epidural decision just became a lot more straight-forward.


  1. Ha ha!! I had delusions about going natural before I got there. Fact is, modern medicine and epidurals can be a girl's best friend. Now I just ask for it as soon as I can have it!! It has made childbirth a PLEASANT experience for me, on what should be a day of bliss :). Good luck, honey. The body's made to basically click apart for the action. You'll be fine :).

  2. You are too cute for words! Now I can't wait to see pictures of this bobble-headed baby...I'm sure he'll be adorable! 3/4 of the way there...YAY!

  3. Katie. You are so incredibly witty. I can't stand it and the fact that you JUST started blogging this year makes me wish you'd been doing it since you and Fabio got married!!

    I am SO excited for your baby to get here. If it makes you feel any better, my student employee was 11lbs 6 oz when he was born. His wife just had their baby--nowhere near that big. :)

  4. Aaaagggghhh! Katie you are too funny. By the way, I really appreciated your comment on my blog the other day--it made me feel so much better, so thank you.

    I would be slightly nervous if I were you too--I would say really make it clear that you don't want to go past your due date. Ask to be induced if you haven't already gone into labor by the big day. My sister delivered her 6'7 husband's 10.5 lb baby a week late. If she had delivered a week earlier on time it would have been easier. But that said, she did just fine with a vaginal delivery and so will you!

  5. I'm so excited for you two I'm just beaming!! :-)