Yes, I am neurotic

I switched my pregnancy ticker because the one I had bothered me on two levels. (1) the babies are shown breech. Visualizing the baby head down is a statistically significant way of turning breeched babies, and I don’t want to visualize my daughter head up. (2) After the due date, it says “I’m here!” That will really bug me if I am waiting past 40 weeks. So now, I have the same exact counter I did when we were waiting for Kate. It doesn’t give little developmental milestones, but it doesn’t bug me either!

7 responses to “Yes, I am neurotic

  1. Now, on the topic of statistical significance. You have to be careful here. The factual statistical data here would be, “Vizualizing babies head down is statistically correlated with turning breeched babies.” This says nothing about cause–as statisticians put it, correlation is not causation. We have to be careful to stick to the bare facts of what a statistical study says, and not infer too much.

    Let me introduce an example to demonstrate the confusion that can come from misinterpretation. It is a statistical fact that the number of churches in a particular urban area has a statistically significant correlation with the rate of crime in that area. The casual observer would take the correlation and think of it as causation: “Huh, churches seem to be causing the increased crime rate in these areas.” And based on this erroneous analysis, a person who really wants to decrease crime in urban communities will start attempting to get churches out of the area. Which is just goofy, because faith is exactly what these criminals need.

    On a similar note, I believe church attendance and likelihood to commit murder are correlated as well. Should people start skipping church as a means of avoiding bloodshed? That’s just ridiculous.

    These are just some more extreme examples to demonstrate the problems with statistical interpretation. Researchers can come up with all sorts of ridiculous correlations to sway public opinion–sure they’re true mathematically, but they’re crafted in such a way as to deceive the public rather than inform them. And often what needs to be done is exactly the opposite of what a study apparently indicates.

    Ok, so back to the pregnancy study. You might say, “Ok, so I’ll admit visualization doesn’t necessarily *cause* the babies to turn. We can’t know that. But it certainly doesn’t *hurt* to do it.” Well, mathematically, that’s falling into the same trap from the other direction. Not only do you have no information about whether the thing causes the other thing, but you also don’t have info about whether the thing causes the opposite of the other thing. Same messy interpretation problem.

    So, anyway, the sum of the matter is that we shouldn’t put too much faith in statistically-motivated methods of doing things. It’s really not going to do too much for us, one way or the other. However, I’m a big fan of doing things that make us feel comfortable, just to feel comfortable, even if it was motivated by something maybe a little iffy. In which case, I say think happy thoughts about the baby lying peacefully in the proper direction, and trust God for the best. God’s promises are always correlated with fulfillment of them, and we have His Word that He is causing this to happen. So that’s pleasant, and we can leave saviour statistics to other people.

  2. great response to a blog post entitled, “yes, i’m neurotic”

  3. Oh Reba. Be nice. Josh is a math geek like me.

    Josh, don’t challenge pregnant women with logic. If looking at babies upside-down keeps her happy, I’ll sleep longer. :o)

  4. Hi Reba. You’re right, this is out of place. Please disregard this whole mathematical discussion.

    Kristen, I hope your pregnancy goes smoothly, breech or not (hopefully not!). I don’t know a whole lot about being pregnant, and what you must be feeling through all of it. But I know Mike is a good man, and God is faithful, so I think you have good reason to rest, and know all will be well. And that really is a cute baby in your ticker. But then, babies are just wonderful in general. There’s a new baby boy in our church named Canon–and he’s as round as can be! Whenever I see him I can’t help but smile.

  5. I hadn’t thought about the whole breech thing. I did like the developmental facts, and in fact, your tickers prompted mine this time around! I almost copied, but I felt like such a copycat (if only you had had the PINK one…) Anyway, it’s funny how much thought we devote to such ephemera!

  6. I love Lilypie tickers!
    Thinking head-down (and rear-facing) baby thoughts for you!

  7. #4 was breech. My midwife said the best thing to turn breech babies were prayer and chiro care. Worked for us. *grin*

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