Sunday, April 29, 2007

My Crackpot Theories

One of them is that the modern western woman -- modern western society? -- doesn't get it about pregnancy. You really have to take care of yourself in a different way. In the 60s/70s, in a well-meaning effort to free women from domestic limitations, the naturalness and healthiness of pregnancy were emphasized. It's not a disease, it's part of life, etc. That's true. But working for a boss or a buck, you know, is not natural. It's not naturally compatible with the natural process of child-bearing. It can be compatible. But you have to make compensations for it. Do less in other areas, maybe less gym, less housework, less taking care of sick grannies... somewhere, something's gotta give. Creating a person is not effortless, even if your brain is not involved. Your body, if you let it, can do really important things very well. But you have to respect the process. Anything to back up my theory? Has there been any falling off in maternal health, infant health, infant mortality since this trend of doing-it-all began 30 or 40 years ago? Probably not. But with the advances in medical care we've come up in the same time frame, has there been that much improvement in those areas? Not as much as one would expect. The US's infant mortality rate is not what it should be. So there. That's my theory.

2. This one's also about medicine. Was the first one about medicine? Sorta. Take me for instance. If I'd been born before antibiotics, odds are high that I would not have survived to reach child-bearing age. And if we hadn't had the medical care available to us while I was pregnant, odds are high I would not have born live children. (Although, likely if I had born children younger, this wouldn't have been an issue? Although if I'd survived long enough to bear children when was younger, odds are still high that I wouldn't have survived long enough to get them to self-sufficiency....Okay, it's a lotta speculation, work with me.) So I did bear children, thanks be to all merciful and good forces in the universe to which my gratitude extends beyond knowable space, and so did many many many many others like me. As well as many less like me -- ones whose survival was less dependent on modern medicine. But each generation, the ones like me mate with the ones less like me. Let's do the math (Okay! I know it's not math, per se, would you relax?) Two high-survivability people mate, and you get highly surviving offspring (Yes. I know "highly surviving" is not a particularly technical term. Why don't you just go away?) Mate one high-survivor with one low-survivor, you get either a high, a low, or a medium. Mate two lowly surviving people, and you get even lowerly surviving offspring. Even lowerly because the parents probably don't have identical factors contributing to the lowliness of their survival likelihood -- the offspring could inherit all the factors. Sheesh. So each succesive generation there are more low survivors diluting the gene pool. Of course each generation, medical advances, again keep us alive longer and make us healthier and more functional while we're alive. That is a good thing. But it does come with the cost of making us weaker beings overall. And so many of us! Oy oy oy, as my great-aunt said yesterday from her hospital bed.

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