Guinea Pigs

About a month ago I received a phone call from someone at BYU who was looking for mothers of young babies to participate in a research study. During my time at various universities I've seen flyers looking for participants and I've always wanted to do something like this. Plus she offered compensation, so that sealed the deal for me. What she described on the phone didn't seem to bad, but it ended up being a bit more involved than I had planned on.

The baby and I ended up spending Thursday and Friday morning at BYU doing a variety of things in the lab. On Thursday morning I filled out some forms and they hooked me up to a portable blood pressure cuff that squeezed my arm several times an hour. I had to wear it for the entire day, and every time it went off I had to fill out a little form with the time and what sorts of things I was doing. Needless to say, that was a bit annoying and I was so glad to take it off at the end of the day. They also gave me a large jug and informed me that I had to collect all my urine for twenty-four hours. Surprisingly, that didn't bother me very much. After having three babies I've become a pro at peeing in a cup. That morning we also did a few tests with the baby. They did a cognitive assessment to see what she can do, and tried to do an EEG with a special electrode hat. Unfortunately by the time they got her hooked up she completely fell asleep and we couldn't wake up her. They did take a very cute picture of her, though.

Friday morning I loaded up the baby and my jug of pee in the car and drove back to campus. We then spent a few hours in the lab performing various tasks while hooked up to blood pressure and heart rate monitors (just the heart rate one for baby). I also got to donate some blood, some more pee, and some saliva samples. I did things like feed the baby, play with the baby, ignore the baby, and talk about stress in my life. It was interesting. At one point the assistants took her into the other room to do a few more tests and to try the EEG again (this time she stayed awake and cooperated). I felt bad because when they brought her back she had just had a massively explosive diaper and was covered in poop. After they told me it had happened to them before I felt less embarrassed about it. While it ended up being a little more difficult than I had anticipated, I still thought it was an interesting experience and would do it again. Except maybe not wearing the blood pressure monitor--that was even more annoying than saving up all that pee!


Lisa said…
Post Phoebe's picture!
"My jug of pee."

I'm picture a gallon of dark lemonade. Hee. Hee.

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