Friday, April 27, 2012

Brain Freeze... literally

No query responses this week either. I love when they tell you "don't call or email if you haven't heard from us" and yet they don't send even an automated response that they have even received your email query in the first place! Ugh! It can be so frustrating! OK that was my rant for the day... I'm over it and calm again. Ahhhh.

38 weeks and ready to pop! Everything just feels like a chore now... washing clothes, going up and down the stairs, even bending over to pick something up off of the floor (or put socks on) requires some forethought. I can't stand too long because it gets painful and I can't sit too long for the same reason. Is this my body?! I know. I know. I'm ranting again! OK that's over.

I went in for my weekly appointment and all is well. The baby has moved out of position (head down) but that's normal my daughter did the same thing and then she moved back into position before I delivered.

With my daughter I delivered drug free. No epidural. No induction. It was just me, the baby, my husband, sister, mom, nurses and doc. We did pretty well even though I know my mom and doctor didn't think I could do it. I have to tell you it is one of the most empowering feelings I have ever felt. One of my nurses told me that she had been in obstetrics for 20 years and she could count on one hand the mothers she cared for who went drug free. It was funny because towards the end when it got really painful all the nurses were like a cheering section saying things like "You can do it!" and "You're almost there!"  I know they probably say those things all of the time but I think they really wanted me to stick to my plan. My doctor (who is wonderful by the way) was skeptical (but supportive) probably because he had heard so many women say they didn't want drugs and then they caved at the last minute. But I know when it was all over he was really happy with how things went. With this pregnancy he has been a lot more supportive since he knows I mean business! LOL!

My husband always knew I could do it. He was there through the last 3 years of my graduate work and he attended my Ph.D. dissertation defense. And although all of that seems irrelevant to having a baby... he saw me go through the wringer at that time and accomplish one of the most difficult things I had ever set out to do. So he knew I had it in me. It just took the good old "pressure cooker" to bring it out!

All and all I'm happy with my decision (since I lived through it) and I plan to have a drug free birth with this baby too. It helps having already been through it but it doesn't make the whole idea any less scary.

My daughter had her 1 year check-up with the doctor this week and all is well with her! Her doctor was very happy with her growth and progress. She walked from me to my husband for the doctor which shocked both my husband and I. Usually she won't leave me for anyone but it was like she knew she had to perform and she did what she had to do. It was very sweet and I know my husband felt good knowing that she left me for him... finally!

And here's a bit of science we all can relate to... Brain Freeze (and yes, it seems that is the technical term for it).

Brain freeze as we all know occurs when we are eating or drinking something very cold or frozen like a Slurpee or ice cream. Suddenly you stop drinking or eating and you rub your head feeling the pulsating pain and cursing yourself for allowing it to happen.

Researchers were able to map the what happens using brain imaging instruments. It turns out that the pain is caused by the anterior cerebral artery one of the two main arteries that supply blood to the brain. Because the brain must always be working it is highly regulated by the body including its temperature. Eating or drinking something very cold can cause the temperature to drop. This triggers a rush of warm blood into the brain to bring the temperature back to normal. Hence the sudden and painful "Brain Freeze". It goes away after a minute or so but you have to appreciate the quick response of the body and the protection of one of your most vital organs.

I know what your thinking... why exactly would anyone spend grant money on this type of research?

To answer your question... The reason this is such an important discovery is that it allows scientists to examine what occurs in the brain during these short and easily induced episodes. This research can then be applied to more important and painful problems like migraine headaches. Migraines usually occur without warning and can be crippling.

Well that's all for this week! I hope we all learned something! :)

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  1. Fascinating! The Brain Freeze, and your impending delivery. Good luck!

  2. Congratulations, Claudine! Glad to hear your baby is doing well. You know, the delivery of your second baby will be much easier than the first. I was in labor for only 30 minutes with no time for epidural. So exciting that your baby will be coming soon...much sooner than a query response for sure!

    Anyway, thanks for the interesting brain freeze info. Now I can explain it to my boys. They just had a brain freeze yesterday! (#MNINB)

    1. Thanks Romelle! My doc also said that things should move a lot quicker with this one. That kind of scares me a bit but I guess it's good too.

      The brain freeze is pretty cool when you think about how quickly the body responds to what it considers a danger.

  3. Really interesting post! I'll think of this the next time I, or anyone, gets a brain freeze.

  4. Interesting post, as a teacher and mother I find it fascinating. My writing is little bit different, I write about my students (one student now in particular and her life story), if you have some time to spare, visit my blog and let me know what do you think:)

    1. Thanks Beata! I will check out your blog too! :)

  5. Hi Claudine. I'm one of your fellow Platform Challengers, and just wanted to let you know that I love your blog and have nominated you for a Liebster Blogging Award. You can see the details in my post,