Posted by: thediygeochemist | February 26, 2009

unrepentant nerd

On a less serious note than yesterday’s post…

I was a nerd in high school and therefore had few friends. I was a nerd in college (where, thankfully, nerdiness was embraced). I was a nerd as a young mother (boy, did I stand out from the other young moms…). I was a nerd as my kids got older (eventually I found a few friends). I’m still nerdy now that I’m back in school. I love being a nerd, and I love being married to an unrepentant nerd.

If you were to ask me about the nerdiest thing I’ve ever done, I would have to point to the first time I gave birth. See, when I got pregnant for the first time, my natural instinct was to buy a bunch of books and read them over and over until they were memorized.

The childbirth books all said that you should call the doctor when your contractions come regularly, 3-5 minutes apart. Mine started at 3-5 minutes apart but weren’t regular, however. How could I assess whether it was time to call the obstetrician? Well, I got some paper and made a table for data collection:
Start Time * End Time * Duration of Contraction * Time Since Last Contraction

Then I filled it in. Every so often, I’d calculate the mean time between contractions, plus the standard deviation. (The latter statistic was meant to determine how ‘regular’ the contractions were…)*

They never became regular. And they stayed 3-5 minutes apart the whole time. Might I add that my labors don’t correspond to the pretty graphs in the childbirth books? My first labor was one of my shortest, at about 18 hours…

I’ve done lots of nerdy things in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever done one to top that. And I’ve certainly never heard of anyone else doing it, either.

*This became the basis for a scene in a HP fanfic I once wrote, starring everyone’s favorite nerd (Hermione) in labor.



  1. This post made me lol at work. My fiance sees this quality in me and teases me for it, she always jokes that when we have kids ill probably be looking through books on it so I can learn how to be a dad. Still, I think I would be hard pressed to top this!

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