31 July 2016

31/52 - When's The Baby?

As of July 31st, we have entered week 37 of this pregnancy: officially full term. Hooray! We're still driving in to Portland every week for monitoring and ultrasounds. Baby is approximately 47% percentile overall, with an estimated weight last week around 5 lbs, 11 oz. We're in the home stretch, and everything still looks good (mostly - see August 1).

Probably the most common question that an expectant family gets is this: When is your due date? For us, that answer for us is easy: August 20, about three weeks away. But while that is the question people ask, it isn't really the question that people want answered. What they really want to know is: When will the baby arrive? That is, of course, a question that is much more difficult to answer with any certainty. But here is what we know...

Wednesday, July 27
Anders was born at 36.5 weeks, just shy of full term. If this baby had only made it that far, he would have arrived last week.

Monday, August 1
This baby is breech. The normal position for delivery is head down, and most babies naturally orient themselves that way as the delivery approaches. But ours has not. He's been hanging out hammock-style for the last two and a half months with no signs of turning on his own. On Monday, we will be trying to manually turn him, and by "we" I mean our doctor and a group of specialists, of course. There's a small risk that the attempts to turn the baby may cause us to actually deliver - but hopefully not.

Saturday, August 13th
This is when we reach 39 weeks. As a consequence of "advanced maternal age" (i.e. over 35...), our doctor recommends scheduling a delivery for some time this week.

Saturday, August 20th
40 weeks, aka due date. It is very unlikely that the pregnancy will proceed this far.

Of course, the other question that people ask is about gender. We have known the answer for some time, but here is an ultrasound photo from a recent visit just in case.

Meanwhile, we're doing the last minute planning and packing. We've made progress on choosing a name, down-selecting from the original list of ~200 down to a final 10. The newly arrived infant car seat is loaded in the car (the one we saved from when Anders was a baby had expired - doh!), and we're packing our hospital bags.

Wish us luck!

- Mike, Corinne, Anders and ??

24 July 2016

30/52 - Milk Truck Accident

We live in beautiful country surrounded by farming, with open irrigation ditches snaking through the valley along many of the roads. There are several organic dairies, so it is a common sight see Milky Way dairy tankers picking up the product multiple times per day. But sometimes things don't go according to plan, like when milk trucks and irrigation ditches meet.

This past Saturday, we got a call from our neighbor saying that there was a "milk truck accident", and that there may be milk leaking into the irrigation ditch. As I went out to turn off our pump in an effort to keep any milk from entering our sprinklers, I could already tell that it was too late; the yard smelled like milk. When I reached our settling pond, I saw the first visual confirmation.

This isn't supposed to be white.

I hopped on my bike to see if I could find the source of the spill. About a half mile up the road, the flashing lights lead me to the scene of the accident. It would have been hard to miss.

Somewhere around 1:30pm that afternoon, the wheel of a milk truck filled with somewhere around 7,000 gallons of milk slipped off the edge of the roadway. I imagine that the sloshing of the milk - around 25 tons - made it impossible to recover, and the entire rig rolled over, putting both tankers into the ditch. Before I arrived, the driver had already been taken away by Life Flight with a broken scapula and a punctured lung. I hear that he is expected to recover. But man, the driver compartment in that tractor looks scary.

The state police, county sheriff, county road department, and Milky Way reps were already on scene; the first wave of the emergency cleanup team arrived about an hour later.

The first tanker continued to leak its approximately 5,000 gallons of milk into the ditch for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. In high enough concentrations, milk can actually be toxic to fish, so we closed the headgate of the ditch and tried to pump as much of what remained out onto the fields rather than have it flow back into the White Salmon River at the end of the ditch.

The second tanker did not rupture in the accident, but both tanks had to be pumped of any remaining liquids so that they could be lifted out of the ditch. The cleanup crew worked through the night and had all of the vehicles and most of the detritus from the accident gone by morning.

A number of the ditch board members helped to coordinate getting the ditch cleaned up and ready to irrigate by the next day. It wasn't exactly how I planned to spend my weekend, but I guess that's a small price to pay for getting to live where we do.

- Mike, Corinne, Anders, and ??