Friday, September 12, 2008


Earlier this summer I saw a young woman in my office who wanted to have an elective surgery. She is married with a young toddler. I noticed that she wasn't on birth control pills, so I asked if she was planning a pregnancy in the near future. Her answer was no.

So I asked how she was preventing that from occurring and teased "you only have to have sex once to get pregnant". She laughed and said she and her husband were being very careful and using condoms.

I gave her my usual spiel that it would not be a good idea to get pregnant within a year of the surgery we were discussing. She said she would see her family doctor and get back on BCP. All this discussion was done in terms of trying to think ahead and plan when the best time for her desired surgery would be. Did she want another child within the next year or two, then perhaps she should wait and have the surgery afterwards. Did she want the surgery now and the second child in two to three years?

She wanted the surgery now, so we went ahead and scheduled her. The day of surgery, her urine pregnancy test (everyone with a uterus gets one) came back positive. It was rechecked and came back positive again.

She didn't get to have her surgery as planned, but will be having her second child. She would have preferred having the surgery now and the baby later, but is very happy to be having her second child.

I impulsively offered to make her a baby quilt (consolation prize). An easy thing for me to do as I had six of these blocks already done and not promised to anyone. No, I don't make a habit of making quilts for patients, but occasionally will.

This is another of my "crazy" quilts. It is a great way to use of scraps. This quilts is 37.5 in X 50 in.

It is machine pieced and quilted. Here are a few of detail shots to show the fabrics. Adults and children can use it to interact and "seek and find" things. For example --peacocks, bears, football player, butterfly, and feather.

Or in this one --soccer ball, cowboy, feather, fairy, checks, and colors (orange, purple, blue, green, etc).
In all the fabric my neighbor had given me, there was this which I used for the backing.


Anonymous said...

Ok I have a question. I want to have a breast reduction and a tummy tuck. I'm 29 2 kids 2 and 3. I'm not having anymore. My husband was snipped. I'm 5'8 and 190. I am slowly losing the weight I was down to 170 and I know my chest is not going anywhere. My goal is 160-170. Would you want your patient to lose the weight first?


Silverthimble said...

You are the nicest surgeon to be making her a quilt for the baby!

rlbates said...

Michelle, it is always better to lose weight first, but not always realistic. Be honest with yourself about getting to your "goal" weight and then maintaining it. It never hurts to talk to a plastic surgeon while you are losing the weight and do some planning.

Silver Thimble, thanks, but she just got lucky. Don't do it for many of them.

mark's tails said...

Another beautiful quilt and I wholeheartedly agree with silverthimble.

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Whenever patients are using less than effective contraception, I always ask - what would you do if you got pregnant? If the anser is "have an abortion" I go all out trying to convince them to use more effective contraception. if the answer is "I wouldn't mind", then I back off and expect a pregnancy within the year.

Nice quilt.

Anonymous said...

I know children weren't in your cards, but you would have been one stupendously awesome mom. That's all I could think when I read your ideas for playing games with the quilt patterns.

Bongi said...


Dreaming again said...

Funny, I had the same thoughts Enrico had! He beat me to the comment!