Computers, Microwave Ovens, and Babies

News reports periodically surface regarding a potential link between brain cancer and the use of cell phones. No concrete evidence has surfaced, so we can continue to chat on our phones. A report on the news this week—again stating no link—made me think about fears I had regarding the use of my computer at work, our new microwave oven, and my pregnancy with Kelly.

By the time of that pregnancy, I had already experience three miscarriages, all after years of unsuccessfully trying to become pregnant. I had even gone to a fertility specialist. So this fourth time, I did not want to take any chances. I began analyzing everything I did, attempting to find a cause  of the miscarriages. Naturally, I did a lot of research and came up with, I believed, two possible actions to avoid: my computer at work and our new microwave oven.

The microwave was the easiest object to refrain from using, since I could just relinquish the job to Dad or stand away from it while it was operating. Additionally, we purchased a little gadget, approximately the size of a small cell phone, which could gauge the escaping radiation from the microwave. I was truly worried, and these ovens were relatively new, so there was little information available. But this I could control, and whether it was a real or imagined worry, it made me feel better.

My computer at work was more complicated, since I was employed as a programmer for computer giant IBM. I had a very understanding boss, or perhaps he was just worried about a potential lawsuit. I approached him with my research regarding the use of my computer and miscarriages, expressing my concerns about using it. So from that point on, I would handwrite all my code, and someone else would type it into the computer.

I stayed away from the computer during my entire pregnancy. Was this request ridiculous? Probably, but not definitely at that time. The point is that I saw a potential problem, provided research, and I stated my case very calmly and intelligently. I had nothing to lose, and my request was honored. I figured, “it doesn’t hurt to ask.” And after Kelly was born, I was given the opportunity to return to work. I guess I didn’t scare them off!



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