Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Spring break, embryology, and miscellany Well, we're packing and ready to move off- heading north to visit both heather's and my parents. It will be nice to see everyone again, though the drive will be a long one (17 hours to SK). Whew. I just finished my Public health and Case study IV exams today, Pharmacology is tomorrow... fascinating, overwhelming, intoxicating, this pharmacology- feels like a dream, this is the stuff I always envisioned learning in vet school. It's a good feeling. I found out today that I have gained a place in the bovine pregnancy palpation lab for the second half of the semester; I had very nearly forgotten that I had asked to be added to the alternates list (that would be consulted were there any drops) for the course, so it was a nice surprise. I've already had comparatively extensive experience with palpation and ultrasonography, but the emphasis in my previous course work was placed on speed and accuracy, rather than diagnostic workup. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, out on a farm, clients rarely care how the ovaries feel and whether or not there is evidence of fremitus- they just want to know how long till the cow calves. But on the other side of things, with my interest in assisted reproductive techniques, I do want to hone my skills in the more complicated areas of bovine palpation- it seems like this class will be good towards that end. Plus, it will be nice to actually be around some cows again... academia is good to an extent, but this cow doctor wannabe does get a bit lonesome at times for that fresh country air and the sweet sounds of bovine eructation. We were discussing the development of the embryo in embryo transfer today. I found it amazing to see the rigid control of cell division that exists, with the maternal genome overseeing every single step of the process until the fetal genome is ready to assume the task. I was thinking to my self, if the old saying were true, that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", why would there ever be a need for maternal control? Clearly there are no "random processes" involved in the formation of the blastocyst, and clearly there were no random processes involved in the formation of life. In fact, to get back to the ontogeny end of things, if the carefully regulated transfer of developmental control from maternal to fetal supervision does not occur, the entire process stops, dead in the water, never to progress another step beyond the useless intermediate stage. Amazing. Enough random musings... enjoy your break (if you have one- there are some advantages to being a student I guess, lol). Till next week...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

S/he moved! I think I may have lost about five years of my life. The other night heather and I were getting ready for bed- she was already under the covers, I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth. The house felt like it was about 25 degrees above zero (turn down the heat at night to save money), so heather had the electric blow dryer under the covers with her, a practice I was not terribly concerned about since the implement turns it's self off when it gets too hot. I was busily sudsing away in my oral cavity when I heard the dryer turn off, accompianied by a consternated sounding heather's "oh drat". I thought nothing of it until I heard one of the most peircing screams in my life... followed by all too dead silence. I dropped my toothbrush and ran to the bedroom with my heart in my throat, sure heather had electrocuted herself or something horrible. What scene should meet my eyes but her sweetness bent over double on the bed... laughing. With the epinephrine surge I had experienced shivering it's way through my body, I sat down on the bed and asked what on earth was going on... "I am sooo sorry for scaring you" (interrupted by uncontrollable paroxysms of mirth) "I thought someone had sneaked up beside the bed and poked me in the side"... yes indeed, our little one had made himself known (not that I know the baby's sex or anything, just tired of typing in gender neutrality). I just stared, willing my heart to slow down and my peripheral vasculature to dilate, allowing resumption of blood flow... I could just stare... then of course I had to feel ;^). What an amazing experience... It's one thing to know your wife is pregnant, quite another to feel tangible evidence of your child's presence. Amazing.
This is so exciting.