Talk about Unusual Births!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by susiestar, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A woman in Utah is pregnant with two children - due a week apart!!!!!!

    Can you IMAGINE????

    She has a rare condition that results in essentially two uteruses, with a wall that divides them. Any pregnancy would be considered high risk for her, but this is incredibly rare.

    I have an old friend who has this condition, but for her the division runs from the uterus on out. She has always had problems because there are two openings, which creates some logistical problems with periods. Because of the wall, my friend was unable to deliver her children normally. She had to have a c-section. With the second child the doctor didn't realize it was in the opposite chamber from her first one. He actually opened the wrong side and had to make a second incision to get the baby out!

    One of the biggest problems my friend experienced during her first pregnancy was that for some reason she had a few "periods" from the non-pregnant side. The docs could not figure out why but each time she ended up in the hospital overnight so they could figure out what was going on. She said it was really unfair! One of the perks of being pregnant was supposed to be not having to worry about a monthly period, but she still had to, even though she also had the morning sickness and other signs of pregnancy.

    I hope this woman has a safe and uneventful pregnancy and delivery, and has two healthy, happy babies.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I read that story!

    I also just finished reading about a black couple in the UK. They had 2 kids, both black. Had a 3rd child, she was white, blonde hair, blue eyes. They ruled out that the baby was albino. Just a genetic strangeness.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I watched a news story about the "white" black baby in Britain. From what I can see, the baby is a blue-eyed albino or something similar. The baby definitely appears to have African features (what in decades past would have been called negroid) but the pale skin and blue eyes. The hair is tightly curly like African hair and the father clearly is content she is his baby ("That is my kid but I don't know why she is blonde"). I think it's lucky for the baby she is living in the UK and not Africa - that sort of pale skin in a high sun country would be dangerous for her. She is certainly going to have very interesting looks as she gets older!

    A young friend of ours is part-Aboriginal (although in Australia you claim Aboriginality, without fractions, if you can find an ancestor who is Aboriginal). His father is Danish with the classic white-blonde stiff hair, while his mother is a classic Aboriginal woman in appearance, with black, straight hair. But this young man has his mother's heavy facial features, her dark skin but his father's stiff white-blonde hair! His sister looks like their mother - classically Aboriginal, although a little paler in skin colour. The mum has told us of the interesting reactions her son gets when the family goes "back home" to visit her Aboriginal family in traditional lands.

    We haven't seen anything about the multiple uterus woman, but I have heard of this condition before. I was tested for it at one time. We also wonder if our mother had this - her first set of twins were fairly OK, born the same night although one as smaller. However, they were conceived during one of Dad's leaves in WWII, so Mum didn't get many opportunities to get separately pregnant. Dad was not home on leave often enough for a big difference in conception times, in the case of the first set of twins. But the second set were conceived after WWII and Dad had been home for a few years; and one twin was 2 months premature while the other was full-term. That's what the doctors told Mum. Both sets fraternal. All born vaginally.

    The problem with a bifid uterus, is that the hormones of delivery will affect the whole body. The baby's adrenal land (I think - I'm going from memory here) triggers the release of oxytocin which starts labour. I can't remember all the hormonal pathways, but a natural labour begins with the mother's body being flooded with oxytocin, which triggers the uterus to contract. The hormone is released form the pituitary (located just under the brain) which then acts remotely on the uterus (and other pats of the body including the breasts for lactation). With a bifid uterus, all the uterus would be stimulated by oxytocin, and so both sides would get emptied. Under some carefully managed medical conditions, you can manage to deliver one twin but not another (bifid uterus or normal uterus) but generally, this is less common. For example, a woman pregnant with twins can have one die in utero and sometimes miscarry one; the risk to the other also miscarrying (or being born prematurely) is greatly increased. Caesarean carried out carefully can increase the chances of saving the remaining baby.

    So if with a bifid uterus carrying different birthdate babies, unless both babies can be born on he same day (by taking a calculated risk that the premature one can be cared for sufficiently) then some means of preventing the first baby's labour triggering oxytocin flooding of the mother's body must be undertaken. Caesarean is a common method.

    Actually, when I was being tested for a bifid uterus, I was told it could mean I would have trouble getting pregnant or carrying a child to term. Certainly with my mother, her main problem with pregnancy was - "how do I prevent it?" She kept having kids and no form of contraception seemed to work. She had a Dalkon Shield in place (I believe that was what she told me) when she had the second twins. She carried the IUD to term with the twins.

    That was back in the late 40s, if doctors had known that my mother had a bifid uterus, they still might not have bothered to tell her, not if it wasn't causing her problems in childbirth.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Wow, Marg! It must have been hard for your mom to have two babies that far apart in development when they were born.

    The white baby born to black parents is incredibly strange. The reports I read last night said that the baby is not albino but they don't know why she is white with blond hair and blue eyes. Hopefully there will be no other genetic surprises that would result in problems of any kind for the child.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They're looking for a genetic reason, they think there is a one-off genetic change in this case.

    Someone I was talking to said that maybe the mum had an affair; well, there are several problems with this theory.

    First, there ARE going to be genetic tests, so a mother who had been playing around would at this stage have done whatever she could to avoid the media and the testing. her behaviour is that of a totally innocent woman.

    Second, the parents say they have no white relatives in their family that they know of. But for this mother to produce this child as the result from genes from a white person, the mother would have to have half her own genes from a blonde-haired, blue-eyed white person. For that to exist in hr genes and not have shown up somewhere already and also not be known about, is highly unlikely.

    No, what I am certain we are dealing with here, is a black African baby who just happens to have fair hair and pale eyes. But she is not white, not in the usual sense. But then - what do we understand about colour anyway?

    If this were an Australian Aboriginal baby, then regardless of her colour, she would be considered Aboriginal, fully entitled to all the rights of her race and culture. She is the child of her two very loving parents, the full sibling of their other children. Her colouring is a curiosity, a quirk. I just hope it doesn't get in the way for her - it shouldn't ever be a problem for anybody.

  6. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    One comment on the black/white baby, it's possible that both the mother and father are mixed-race, but far enough back in their family lines that neither one is aware of it.

    Here's an example:
    My father's father was half-black, half-white. My father's mother was also half-black, half white. So my father is half and half as well, but really a quarter and a quarter from each parents.
    My mother is half black, half East Indian.

    So, I look mostly black, but I have straight-ish hair and green eyes. My brother looks like our African ancestors.

    My cousin B looks exactly like my brother, except that he looks like he's of East Indian descent rather than African descent. But their features and build are the same.
    My other cousin B looks very much like me, except that she's got blond hair, very fair skin and blue eyes. B and B are brother and sister. Their father, like my mother, was half black half East Indian. Their mother is part English, Portuguese, East Indian and black.

    It might not be an albino mutation at all, just little surprises left in the gene pool over generations.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You all have seen Keyana in pictures. She is 3/4's Lumbee Indian. Blond hair and blue eyes. Curly hair. Jamie's wife swears she looks like she is half black! Well if she is, then so are her kids!
  8. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Don't you just love genetics? It's a game of chance.
  9. Mamaof5

    Mamaof5 Guest

    It's called bi-corneated uterus (Hi, how are ya, bi-corneated uterus owner here). Yes, all her pregnancies are and always will be considered high risk. All 5 of mine were. All singletons though. It's actually not as rare as the medication profession makes it out to be I know of at least another three ladies (acquaintances from online) that have the same condition.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Gosh, the things I learn here!
    I read the headline on that story but didn't read the entire thing. My first thought was, "C-section." ;)
    Interesting family history, Mamaof5 and Marg.
  11. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    What I find interesting is that primates are nearly the only mammals that DON'T have bicornate uteri. The others have uteri that seperate into two "horns" right above a single cervix.

    In animals, the contents of one horn are delivered, the mother often takes a short rest, and then the contents of the other horn are delivered. There's some mighty interesting variations on placental structure and implantation as well.
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Many years ago I worked with a gal who had two uteruses. I changed jobs before she had kids but I always wondered if she would have multiples like this Mom.

    I love throwback genes, mixed genes, and surprises. My older brother was born during WWII while Dad was fighting overseas. (Yes, he'd been home 9 months earlier for a visit - :bag: ). Bro was born with carrot red hair. NO ONE on either side of the family had red hair and I guess it created quite a stir. Years later I had a fake hairpiece made and was shocked to watch them put it together........and the shades to match my hair were blonde...and red!

  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Trinity, on the baby i the UK, you said,
    I had thought about that and yes, it can happen. But both parents are adamant that there have been no babies in the family as far as they can range back or range out, who are not all black. And given they have two kids (I think - or is it 3?) already, plus have family who have kids, and nothing REMOTELY like this has been seen - if you calculate the odds of both parents being heterozygous for white characteristics but having NOTHING show up in the number of births we're talking about (extended family too), then it brings it in direct comparison to the also very long odds on tis being a new gene, or a rare one appearing at random.

    I am fascinated by genetics. When we were at uni we were shown a film on the complexity of genetics. Starting off simply, they showed a family with a German father and a Japanese mother (could have been easy child's classmate from elementary school). The father's family tree was full of blonde blue-eyed people exclusively. The mother's family tree was dark Japanese all the way back. Which colour scheme would prevail?
    Of course, all the children were dark haired and dark eyed, as dark as their mother. And nobody was going to force the 'experiment' to an F1 X F1.

    The other point - skin colour. From my observation, eye colour and hair colour are recessive and can, in an F1 X F1 generation, produce an average of one in 4 with the pure recessive and the other three (on average) with the dominant expressed. But how to hair and eye colour separate? Are they on the same allele? Or different ones? If on the same, how far apart? What are the chances of crossing over interfering?

    And what about skin colour? In my observation, dark skin seems to be incompletely dominant. It can vary in degree from race to race (hate using the "r" word) because in Australian Aborigines, among the darkest people in the world, the dark skin "washes out" faster in successive generations than I believe African skin colour does.

    This baby has appeared in a family whose eye colour, skin colour and hair colour has been consistent for generations and for extended family. And this baby's skin colour too, is fair. But her facial features are consistent, as far as I could see, with her brothers and sisters. And that tight curl! She is going to be a very unusual looking kid, the parents will be beating advertising firms off with a stick.

    Trinity, your family sounds like a marvellous multicultural melting pot, a symbol of a world grown beyond borders and quarrels. What amazing variety!

    In my own family, my mother was dark-haired, dark-eyed and short. She looked Middle-Eastern (but with a very nice nose). Maybe Italian or Greek. My father was tall, blonde and blue-eyed. He was also Universal Donor when in the army. That means blood group O negative.
    Us kids - I think one brother has hair like Dad's, eyes like Dad's and a build like Mum. Another sister was like Dad but with straight hair, and eyes not quite blue, but grey. Another two sisters have hair a little darker, a sort of mid-brown.
    The rest of us are almost black in hair colour. Two are as dark as Mum. They also have her dark brown eyes. The rest of us have pale eyes, but not blue. Grey, generally. Mine are the greenest. Two of us are almost as dark as Mum in hair, which has looked interesting with pale eyes.
    Skin - one brother, one sister and I have the darkest skin. The rest tend to sunburn moderately easily, one as bad as Dad used to burn.

    We have tried to trace the actual racial origins and can't ever really be sure, because we know there are skeletons in closets where the key has been thrown away; we will never know the truth. My mother was VERY dark-skinned, at a time when any hint of mixed race would have been a problem and a huge scandal. But looking at my siblings, we can work out a lot.
    First, we can be sure we are all full siblings and offspring of both parents. Blood grouping has been interesting and there were a few lab mistakes (misinterpretations by family; corrected when they dug out the paperwork to check, or a later cross-match proved an earlier assumption wrong). Once we sat down and analysed it all, everything fitted together neatly. Second, our mother had to have a recessive blue eye gene as well as a recessive fair hair gene. Her blood group was A positive. But one of my sisters was Rh negative which caused her a lot of trouble. So our mother was carrying a recessive Rh negative gene. Heterozygous.

    So come to me. I'm O positive. But I realised I MUST be heterozygous, as must every Rh positive sibling of mine. That means we need to check the Rh group of our daughters, because even these days an Rh negative mother can have problems with pregnancy if her blood group is not known.
    My mother was strict about this - she watched her mother have miscarriage after miscarriage due to a condition called "haemolytic diseases of the newborn" which afterwards was discovered to be due to an Rh negative mother carrying an Rh positive baby, where the mother developed antibodies in her blood...wait a minute, that's where my mother got her Rh negative recessive gene from!

    husband is Rh positive. But he COULD be heterozygous, we don't know. As you said, Trinity, a recessive gene can hide indefinitely. But it can't completely hide, not forever, not without cheating the laws of probability. We can predict with specific probability, the diminishing chance that husband is heterozygous. Because over the years each of our kids has been tested and found to be Rh positive. Sis-in-law's kids are both Rh positive (although if her husband is homozygous Rh positive then of course they would be).
    This has reduced the chances a little that husband is heterozygous, carrying that hidden Rh negative gene. But not eliminated that chance.
    If I went on to have another ten kids and all were Rh positive, that would greatly reduce the chance of husband carrying that recessive gene.

    But we know, however, that regardless of husband's genetic status, I MUST be heterozygous (because Dad was a known Universal Donor, therefore Rh negative; plus a sister is negative. A brother too, I think). So our kids have a 50:50 chance at least, of carrying the recessive Rh gene.

    And so it goes. But in the case of this baby, the genes involved are not necessarily connected closely, and not always fully recessive. Incomplete dominance is actually more common, even if it is only partial. So you get some degree of partial expression in, say, eye colour or skin colour. Even in hair colour. The more generations the genes get mixed up through, the more chance of a mixture or partial, often unique, expression of a combination, is what you get. I think this is why each of us is so unique - genetics is wonderfully complex, although it follows simple rules.

    As I said - a fascinating topic. But the outcome is - we are all wonderfully unique and it is such a good thing that this is so.

    I love my green eyes (in case you hadn't guessed). I don't like my skin colour much until I get a tan.

    A funny story - when I was a little kid attending Sunday School, we sang the song, "Jesus Loves the Little Children" which includes the words, "red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight," and the teacher explained that the black children were the Aborigines (OK, I saw them at school - teach says they're black so OK, they're black, even if it looks brown to me). The red were the American Indians, and I had a doll my sister had sent me, a lovely Indian maiden dressed in beads and suede and she was a beautiful reddish brown, I knew I would never get to be THAT colour!) and the yellow were the Asian kids, of whom I knew little, we had only one family living in our district and OK, yes, in summer their skin seemed a bit yellowish perhaps. I experimented with my eyes and knew I would never look Asian. And white - that was my Dad. My fair-haired sisters, perhaps. None of the were children any more. But not me, I was not white, more a dirty ochre. So Jesus didn't love me, because I wasn't any of the colours listed in the song. It made me sad. I was glad for all the other children of the world that Jesus loved, and of course they needed him to look after them when in some lands they were getting such a raw deal (including in Australia, it turned out) and I knew I had my parents to look after me, but they were very busy. I wanted that extra edge.

    But at bath time, my sister used to allow me a little talcum powder on my tummy. Only a little. I noticed it made my skin look pearly white and beautiful. Surely that was what was meant?

    I asked for more talcum powder but was not permitted; too expensive. So one night after bathtime, I stole the tin of powder and hid in the wardrobe, trying to powder myself a proper white so Jesus could love me. Yes, I got caught. yes, I got into trouble, No, I never explained because I felt sure they would not have understood.

    Honestly - the things we put our kids through, without ever knowing...

  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Red hair in humans is recessive, so it can sneak out of the depths of the gene pool and surprise everyone. We have a LOT of redheads in my family. My mother has redhair as does my neice. One of my mother's brothers is a redhead, BUT, neither grandparent on that side were "gingers"...they were blonde or very dark.

    On my dad's side they were all swarthy with dark hair and pale eyes. On my mother's side the redheads have hazel eyes, not green or blue. My sister has dark blonde hair. She was a towhead as a child. I was a dark strawberry blonde, but have darkened to brown with a lot of red (If I color my hair any lightening will come out red instead of blonde). We also grey extremely late. My mother is 75 and is "salt and pepper" (red pepper in her case, LoL). I only have a few grey strands so far and I'm fifty.

    Lord knows I've lived the sort of life that should've had me grey years ago, but my hair doesn't show it.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I don't think red hair is fully recessive, I think it dominates blonde.

    husband has black red hair (I know it sounds weird). He has hazel brown eyes. With our kids (and my weird genetics roughly worked out above) easy child is dark brown curly with gorgeous hair like her dad, it flames red in the sun. She has grey/green eyes. difficult child 1 was a towhead who went dark, but not as dark as me. easy child 2/difficult child 2 is a strawberry blonde who has darkened a little but uses a smidge of red dye to really enhance it. She passes for a natural redhead and has the pale skin to match, and my green eyes. difficult child 3 is like his Dad in colouring - gorgeous hair (wavy, not curly, a thick mop) with eyes like chunks of tiger-eye gemstone. Or coffee sugar. He looks like Harry Potter, at every age. I'm not kidding - total strangers stop and stare, then comment. He hates it.

    easy child has married a pale-eyed, fair-haired man and is planning a family. We're expecting "rangas" (pronounced "rang-a"). That's Aussie slang for redheads, from "orangutan" - no, it's not terribly polite, but it's OK between family. NOT between politicians - we have a redhead Prime Minister, an opposition politician twittered about her being a ranga, he had to apologise profusely.


  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

  17. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hey, how come in that family tree painting, the couple near the top look like Shirley Jones from Partridge family beside some forgettable Hollywood male having apparently produced Alfred E Neumann ("What, me worry?") at the top?

    I also noticed Marilyn Monroe (or was it Marlene Dietrich) with Jack Sparrow right at the bottom.

  18. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Red hair is sometimes dominant over blonde/blue-eyed, there are several sorts of redhair and it depends on which you inherit. In my family it runs as a recessive.

    husband was a towhead as a child and had true-black hair as an adult. He was 1/4 Turkish and we assume that is where the black hair came from. Very odd to see a blonde haired child in the baby pictures. husband had golden hazel eyes, almost amber, and he had the epicanthic fold from the Turkish blood.
  19. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Marg, thanks for the clarification. I didn't read the article and wasn't aware that the couple provided details of their lineage. With that additional information, you are likely right about the mutation.
    As for my family's layers of blending, it's quite common within families of caribbean origin. With all the waves of colonization over the years, migrant workers, and other immigration patterns, so many different populations lived together and intermingled. I think it would be surprising if the lines stayed "pure" under the circumstances.