Cognitive Dissonance

I have absolutely no problem holding two conflicting beliefs at the same time. Nor am I particularly bothered by other people’s hypocrisy. I see no reason why you can’t believe one thing and do another. Flip-flopping, as well, is a perfectly fine approach in my opinion. None of these behaviors cause me any “uncomfortable tension” whatsoever, or compel me to devise a new set or system of beliefs. Except of course, when they do. I know that consequences are illusionary. But I’m still furious that I can’t control what happens.

I did everything right for my pregnancies, and they both ended in tears. That of course doesn’t mean I should have just gone ahead and ignored the advice of medical professionals. And now I don’t know what to do for the future. Another pregnancy? My doctor says it would be totally fine to try again, whenever we want now. We have no idea what went wrong, really, but we’ll do a cerclage, 2nd trimester progesterone shots, and steroids at 24 weeks just in case. Bed rest? I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. Of course, while anecdotal evidence supports it, some studies have shown it can actually cause pre-term labor. As an historian, I am perfectly happy, thrilled really, that two contradictory facts are sometimes true. Taxes unequivocally caused the Americans’ war for independence; while at the same time, taxes unequivocally did not. I can easily make the case for each (and other topics, far more interesting.)

But I am absolutely not okay with two opposing opinions being true in medical science. Can we not do better than this? Again, as an historian, I love to talk about the fallibility of all sciences, especially medicine. I like to talk academically about the imprecision of obstetrics and gynecology, and the evils of the medicalization of childbirth in the 19th and 20th centuries. But I don’t like it to be about me. My doctors did the best they could. Really. In fact, I liked and trusted them all so much, I hope to go through pregnancy and childbirth with them again. But last time the best just wasn’t good enough. It really could have been.

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6 responses to “Cognitive Dissonance

  1. It’s extraordinary what doctors just don’t know. Obviously, preterm labor (and preeclampsia, for that matter) have been around forever, but there’s still no generally accepted treatment or cure (though I’ve heard very encouraging stories about cerclage).

  2. The future is so scary, isn’t it? Especially when professionals like our doctors, who are “supposed” to know what to do, don’t. Sometimes “everything right” just doesn’t work…And that goes against logic and reason.

    Of course, while anecdotal evidence supports it, some studies have shown it can actually cause pre-term labor.
    Would you be able to point me to any of these studies? I only ask because right now I’m on bedrest to help prevent pre-term labor.

  3. Damn. I feel terrible that I wrote that now. I don’t want you (Katie) to be scared what you’re doing is wrong….I’ll try to find the study I read. I’ve been looking, and I remember what it said almost word for word but of course I can’t find it since it was a link from a link. It said that activity may actually help, while bed rest hinders, because of the increased blood flow in pregnant women. I’ll find it again, but in the meantime, ask you doctor. Its particulars don’t necessarily apply to your case. It just frustrated me because so much of what I read online about preterm labor refers to high blood pressure as a problem, whereas my problem was low blood pressure combined with high heart rate.

  4. And please please please don’t let my ramblings cause you more stress!

  5. I’m not certain that I believe you. You really think, for example, that it is true that taxes did not cause the AR and it is also true that taxes did cause the AR? Do you believe both that T is your cat and also that T is not your cat? If not, why not? What makes that example different from the taxation example?

    The tax example is a bit tough because of the possibility of overcausation: that is, it could be that the AR would have occurred even if there were no taxes, but still nevertheless be true that taxes were a contributing cause. Even in cases of overcausation, though, what we say is that the taxes did cause (in part) the AR; we do not affirm the negation of that claim.

  6. yeah, it’s ridiculous what we don’t know.

    Oh, by the way, i would do more research before agreeing to ante-natal steroids at 24 weeks ‘just in case’. I don’t know the first thing about this because i haven’t done the research myself (if i do it i will let you know!) but i do know there is debate about the appropriate courses of both anti- and post-natal steriods for preemies.

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