Mar 15, 2012

designer babies, anyone?

I just couldn't take my eyes off the graphic above. And nope, it's not because the focus on the encircling stars.

I must applause on the recent newspiece summarizing the making of designer's babies.

Here's a few snippets from it.

The strategy.
With the last triple date of the century just nine months away, couples planning for a 12.12.12 baby have about a week left to conceive and increase their chances.

It may be close to impossible to plan for a natural birth on that date, but women who conceive between March 5 and 19 will have a higher chance of giving birth during the week.

However, this calculation assumes that a woman has a regular menstrual cycle of 28 days, and that the first day of her last menstrual period is March 5.

It also assumes that the expectant mother will go into labour on her due date of Dec 12.

“The duration of pregnancy is about 40 weeks but more than 90% of pregnant women will deliver between 37 and 40 weeks, with an average being 38 weeks,” said Prof Jamiyah, adding that the calculation could only give an estimation of an expectant mother's due date.

Even when couples opt for an elective Caesarean section, doctors have to ensure that the pregnancy has at least reached 38 weeks by Dec 12, which means that the woman will have to be pregnant by mid-March.

The risk involved.

“Delivering a baby earlier than that will increase the risk of prematurity, and that is not desirable even for designer' babies,” said Prof Jamiyah, adding that there were surgical risks and long term implications in Caesarean sections, including scar ruptures in subsequent labour.

The sharing.

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, who delivered a full-term baby through Caesarean section last Nov 11 (11.11.11), said that the idea of an auspicious date was mostly based on cultural and religious beliefs.

However, she believes that every day is a good day to deliver a baby as it depends on what the parents make of it.

“If the parents think that their baby is cursed' just because he or she is born on a certain date, then the baby is doomed.

“But if they look upon it as a blessing, then the baby is in for a good start,” said Dr Nor Ashikin.

Primum non cere vs maternal wish (or stupidity)

Both doctors have not received requests from women to give birth on Dec 12 yet, but they are sure that they would not risk a pregnant mother or a baby's life just to achieve that elusive “auspicious” date.

Believe or not, obstetricians can play God. Well, maybe not God god, but perhaps demi-God.

At least, there was one C-section that opened up my horizon of thoughts. The patient requested to be delivered on that day at 12 noon sharp as the auspicious time. With the well-planned surgical flow, the scalpel struck the uterus by 11.59am and the legs of the baby left its previous home at the appointed 12 noon sharp. Sharp that is by the clock in the OT.

I was thinking, how accurate is the clock in OT. Wouldn't it had been inaccurate for 1 or 2 minutes? Anyone of us would have believed the difference of few minutes is completely negligible.

I should have noted down the name of that baby and followed up or stalked him/her in 2 decades later, just to see how he/she turns out to be. Then, I can tell everyone about how a planned birth time can make the baby an awesome one. Or perhaps I can't really make that conclusion, because it may also happen by chance. Oops. Juvenile statistics error.

There is this Chinese belief about Chi. Chi is an 'energy' that flows from one to another. Thus, the baby as another individual is expected to prosper and grow with great chi, possibly the chi of another will be weakened. And that other person most probably would be the mother, undergoing the risks of C-Section.

Strangely, with no conclusion to be made, I had known of an overly obsessive mother who wanted her child to be delivered at the 'auspicious' date. She recovered smoothly post op, but re-admitted to another hospital a week later due acute abdomen. A re-laparotomy confirmed a minute small bowel laceration.

Perhaps the unfortunate sequelae could have been a coincidence as well.

But the truth remains - none of the great people on Earth are delivered at the auspicious time or date, planned by humans.

Even if the time of birth is truly at an auspicious hour, it would have been God's will.


doc said...

auspicious dates are fine, it's the auspicious time that is a real hassle. i've had patients with requests for deliveries from 1am to 5am, & i don't hesitate to charge the full MMA rate & then more.

being lay people, the patients don't realise they put themselves & their babies at risk when the doctors & OT personnel can never perform optimally at those unearthly hours.

pilocarpine said...

since when unGodly hours are auspicious time... i think they might be following the devil's way..