Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten little piggies

Stop me if I told you this one, but one of our more entertaining visits with Dr. Simckes had to be the time that we talked about extra fingers and toes. Yes.

I was about eight weeks out from delivering the child, and I was suddenly plagued with worries that something was wrong with the baby. I felt fine, but I just had this nagging feeling that since we opted out of the initial screening, it would come back to bite us. I fussed and fretted until our next appointment, and during the ultrasound exam, Dr. Simckes asked if we had any questions. I did, of course. But the big one bugging me wasn't typed out on my list of questions, so Chip had to bring it up.

Chip: Debbie thinks something is wrong with the baby.
Dr. S: Like what? You feel okay, right?
Me: Well, yes. But since we opted out of that first screening, I'm now convinced that something is wrong.
Dr. S:
I have no reason to be concerned. Everything on all of the ultrasounds has been perfectly fine. HOWEVER. If you want me to scare you, I can tell you that nine percent of all children are born with some sort of birth defect.

At this point, the twenty-plus pounds of baby weight and fluid pressing on my spine was the only thing that kept me from flying off of the table.

Me: Excuse me?
Dr. S: When I say defect, I'm talking about small things that can be fixed. Heart murmurs, extra fingers ... you know.
Me: Extra fingers? Are you serious? That happens a lot?
Dr. S: Oh, yes. In fact, everyone in my wife's family who was born with an extra digit went to an Ivy League college.
Me: Wait. Everyone? As in more than one?

After confirming that yes, in fact, a few Ivy League-attending members of his wife's family were born with extra digits, I had to ask:

Me: You have, what? Three children? Were any of them born with extra fingers or toes?
Dr. S: No.
Me: Well, at least you won't have to pay for Harvard.


  1. Good one Debbie!
    A friend of mine had a baby with 6 toes. She had it surgurically removed when she was a like a month old. It was no big deal, they numbed her foot and snipped it right off!

  2. An extra digit would be the creepiest thing ever. Good thing MC didn't have any of that.

  3. Hi, just catching up on my blog reading. I forwarded this to my friend Andrea who goes to him too. She will think it's funny.

  4. I was totally convinced my kids were going to have an extra toe! When Kara was born the first thing I yelled out was "Does she have five toes?" and the nurse goes "Uh, no-she has ten." I felt like a complete dumbass.

  5. I can't decide if I'm more entertained by the idea of a surgeon actually numbering the toes, or of someone insisting that her child has all five toes. Love it.


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