Tuesday, October 23, 2007

in today's news: my cancer surgeon

Today's New York Times (and many other media outlets in the country) ran this article (or some version of it):
"More women with breast cancer are choosing to have their healthy breast surgically removed along with their affected breast, a new study has found. Almost 5 percent of patients decided to have the radical procedure in 2003, up from just under 2 percent in 1998."
The study's lead author? Dr. Todd Tuttle, the chief of surgical oncology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, also known on this blog as Dr. T, who spent six hours removing my sarcoma six and a half weeks ago ... one of the few people who's ever seen the inside of my body!

Also in today's NYT, this article about co-sleeping — and it's not all negative, either! Here's part of it:
In most of the world, sleeping next to your child is a necessity: families of limited means live in cramped quarters. But in the affluent West, the practice is widely frowned on, not just by grandparents and friends, but by the medical community at large.

Still, it is far more common than many people think. Nearly 13 percent of parents in the United States slept with their infants in 2000, up from 5.5 percent in 1993, according to a report last month in the journal Infant and Child Development. Countless children start the night in their own beds, only to wake up a few hours later and pad into their parents’ bedrooms, crawling into the bed or curling up nearby on the floor.

Ask parents if they sleep with their kids, and most will say no. But there is evidence that the prevalence of bed sharing is far greater than reported. Many parents are “closet co-sleepers,” fearful of disapproval if anyone finds out, notes James J. McKenna, professor of anthropology and director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame.

“They’re tired of being censured or criticized,” Dr. McKenna said. “It’s not just that their babies are being judged negatively for not being a good baby compared to the baby who sleeps by himself, but they’re being judged badly for having these babies and being needy.”
I've never really felt judged negatively for sleeping with Daniel (though perhaps I choose to be deliberately oblivious to judgmental attitudes), nor do I see him (or us) as being needy. I see him as a normal, sensitive baby who prefers the security of snuggling with his parents to being alone at night, and whose parents don't believe in crying it out. I was glad to see an article that didn't simply present fear-mongering opinions about co-sleeping dangers or make co-sleeping parents out to be wierdo hippies!


Anonymous said...

Em, I've heard nothing negative about co-sleeping.

My only concern is danger - not in Daniel becoming emotionally dependent, but rather the "rolling over onto baby" issue. But I imagine you have that under control, especially with proper pillow stategy. What have various magazines, etc. said about avoiding "rollover"?

- Susanne

Emilie said...

Sue, good question. I think parents instinctively have a sense of where their baby is in the bed, even when they're sleeping. We don't roll our bodies off the side of our beds, after all, do we? Because even in our sleep, we have an awareness of where the edge of the bed is. (It IS important not to cosleep when you've been drinking heavily or taking narcotic medications, though -- for that very reason.)

Personally speaking, I've never rolled over onto Daniel, and neither has Steve. I think we're both pretty hyper-aware of his presence in our bed.

liz said...

It's interesting that you posted this, because I felt bad after I said to you the other day, "Oh, he's still sleeping with you??" I only meant it as a question to which I didn't know the answer, but I realized later it might have come off as extremely judgmental! I'm very sorry for that. :|

Anyway - fascinating stuff!

Anonymous said...

Em, sounds like you have the "rollover" thing under good control.

Cool that Dr. Tuttle made the NY Times! (I doubt it's the first time.) I enjoyed meeting him - in fact, I enjoyed seeing the U of M campus - reminds me of PSU (but bigger), as it's an urban campus.

- Susanne

Emilie said...

Liz, I didn't get that at all from you ... don't worry!

kristine said...

Kind of crazy that your dr is in the news!! Cool, though.
I am very happy to (finally) read a positive thing about cosleeping. It was something that I struggled with and felt ashamed to admit for awhile. People really look down on people for it. I think it was a wonderful experience and if baby #2 needs it, we certainly will follow suit! Thanks for posting it.

Barbara said...

I think it's cool that Daniel sleeps with you guys! Actually, I've read that co-sleeping seems to help prevent SIDS, in addition to the emotional security it provides.

So that was Dr. T.! I read the article but it never occurred to me that he was your doc. You know, I was thinking, now that your sarcoma is a guest of Harvard University, that you (or pieces of you) have now attended two Ivy League schools. :) Impressive.