Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh humanity, how are you still successfully propagating?

So my husband and I are thinking about when would be a not-totally-suicidal time to have children during medical school and residency.

Well, at least we were. Until I started taking Genetics.

Oh dear god, what is that? A child, you say? I don't believe you. Holy cow, soooooooo much can go wrong. Can't unsee; can't unsee!

Last week, we spent almost every day looking at dead, dying, or several deformed pictures of fetuses or small children. Awesome.

Our genetics professor:

"Trisomy 18 is characterized by mottled skin, small stature, rocker bottom feet, congential heart disease and small mouth. 95% of these children die within the first year. But hey, it's better than Trisomy 13 which is characterized by facial clefts, abnormal spinal and head defects, extra fingers/toes and cardiac anomalies. Most of these babies don't even make it out of the womb! 95% of Trisomy 13 babies die within 6 months instead of a year."

Wow, genetics prof, that IS a relief to be diagnosed with Trisomy 18 over 13. I'll be sure and let the parents of a Trisomy 18 child know that.

If I see one more picture of a cleft lip or a progeria patient, I'm going to make my husband get a vasectomy.

I purposely did not put links to Trisomy 18, 13 or cleft lips and left this post devoid of inline pictures. You can Google those yourself if you are determined to feel depressed or you need the willpower to avoid a one night stand. Just Google "birth defects" and you'll lose your appetite. Best way to diet ever.

On a bit of a serious note, I can't imagine forcing a woman to deliver a child who was certain to die within 6 months. Gives me a new perspective into the choice versus life debate. I don't know what I would do myself, but I do know that watching my child slowly die would be one of the worst things imaginable.

But you know what?

It's all okay, because swans don't have these problems. Look at those cute swans.

She had like 5 babies at the same time and none of them are horrifically deformed. Sweet.
Focus, dag nab it! Must forget Genetics....

Oh wait. I have an exam on this material in a week. *sigh* Maybe I'll have forgotten about it by the time I'm trying to get pregnant.

The only thing stopping me from being too fearful to get pregnant is that nothing is worse than ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE! WARNING, WARNING, ADVANCED MATERNAL AGE HAS BEEN DETECTED. DO NOT PASS GO, DO NOT COLLECT $200.

Be back later, I need to go find my husband.


  1. I feel your pain. I remember looking at the pictures of the Trisomy 18, 21, etc kids and thinking, OH. OH MY GOD.
    Remember that the most women that have babies with down's syndrome are like, 25 years old. Because that is also when MOST PEOPLE HAVE BABIES. So the sample size is really big at that point.
    There is nothing scary that happens to your ovaries just because you're older.

  2. Top 10 signs you might be on OBGYN ...
    #7: I looked at that swan picture and thought it was a cystic ovary cut open to reveal the cysts ... yeesh ...

  3. @Just an Intern - If I remember correctly from my lectures, there were a number of risk factors for women over 35. Like mitochondrial mutations. I can't think of any more. Perhaps I can breathe slightly more easily.

    @heavydrinker - Glad I could freak you out for a second.

  4. This is something I think about all the time, especially because I have doctors in my family and they all say, "Not in medical school. Definitely not in residency. And not in your fellowship either." So according to their oh-so-helpful advice, I'll be roughly 33-34 if I do a 4-year residency. Wonderful. Sometimes I have nightmares of my genetically mutated babies.