Posted by: brian | January 28, 2009

"What a blessing from Jeebus!" UPDATE

Some idiots in California had a litter of puppies kittens human babies. “The team did not give any more details about the mother’s identity or say whether she had used fertility drugs.” Gee, I wonder if she used fertility drugs? I wonder what the rate of octuplets is in non-enhanced pregnancies. One out of every 1,000? Every 10,000?

Huh. Wikipedia tells me that

A traditional approximation of the incidence of multiple pregnancies is as follows:

  • Twins 1:80
  • Triplets 1:80² = 1:6400
  • N-tuplets 1:80N
  • (Citation: Melissa Bush, MD, & Martin L. Pernoll, MD (2006). “Multiple Pregnancy”. Pregnancy Health Center -Multiple Pregnancy. McGraw Hill Professional. Retrieved on 2007-06-20.)

    As far as I can tell these figures are based on non-fertility-drug enhanced pregnancies, so the natural rate for octuplets would be 1 out of every 808 pregnancies. That’s 1 out of every 1,677,721,600,000,000 pregnancies. That’s 1.7 quadrillion, or 1.7 million billion. Estimates of the total number of humans who’ve ever lived range from 69 billion and 110 billion. Assuming that the traditional approximation is even remotely accurate, we should have, at most, one set of naturally occurring octuplets. Even if the approximation is off by several orders of magnitude, the likelihood of octuplets occurring naturally is really really tiny.

    So, any guesses about whether this couple used fertility drugs?

    UPDATE: Fertility experts basically say there’s no way this happened naturally, and that the woman and her doctors are idiots for not culling some of the fetuses.



    1. Yep, I knew it, people are getting more like dogs all the time. Visit me at I’m lobbying to replace the hand shake with the butt sniff for the universal greeting. See my latest post.

    2. (* sigh *) Incoming rant in 3…2…1…
      People who overdose on fertility drugs and wind up squeezing out a whole litter of little ‘miracles’ piss me off. It’s usually some couple who has been unsuccessful in creating their own little blob of ectoplasm to roam the Earth. Why not adopt the baby of some knocked-up teen slut, or give an orphan a good home? Naw, it’s easier to pay for a fertility specialist, and drugs, and exams and who knows what else!
      Then when mom gets preggers with her litter, it’s a miracle! Unless an invisible had reached down from the clouds and crammed the pills down momma’s throat, it’s not a miracle, it’s chemistry. This is usually the same kind of moron who ignores medical recommendations to selectively abort any of the embryos or fetuses, because their conception is “god’s will.” Granted I didn’t pay much attention to the female bits in biology, but I’m pretty sure the womb is not TARDIS-like in nature. There is a limited amount of space available and freeing up some space (selective abortion) could reduce the health risks for the remaining kids, and the mother. Or mom can risk her own health, the lives of the unborn kiddies and deal with potential short and long-term health problems associated with premature and underweight births.
      Once you get past all that and the kids are actually born, the news kicks in to publicize the story. Then the companies come crawling out of the woodwork to donate diapers, mini-vans, formula, and entitlement issues. Don’t forget all the wonderful shows like “John & Kate Plus Eight,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and probably many others that glamorize and validate these insane ideas.

    3. Excellent use of a TARDIS reference! And even if it WERE like a TARDIS, the Doctor never had more than 3 extra people in there on a regular basis. Well, there was that one time in Journey’s End, but I try to forget that episode ever happened.

    4. it’s pretty amazing that all eight of those babies survived the birthing process

    5. That’s true. That is actually pretty amazing. It sounds like they might all live to leave the hospital too. Modern medicine, 1; Good Sense, 0.

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