Ah, Statistics. My old nemesis. How I hated the course that was you in University. You were so dull and dry and dare I say, boring. You were actually my worst course mark ever. I hated the way you dragged down my GPA. However, statistics, you influence all of our lives.
What brought this up was yesterday I was at the racetrack for my father-in-laws birthday. I had never been to the racetrack before. I have zero interest in gambling (except the gamble it takes to have a baby). I did enjoy watching the horse races though. I had a crush on horses from grades 5 to 7 so I totally loved watching them.
While watching the horses race, we were making guesses as to which ones would win based on their odds. I have no experience doing this and I generally picked wrong. But it was kind of fun, passing the statistic book back and forth arguing about what 'Where's the Bedroom's' chances were versus 'Bonchica Bonbonbon's' (real horse names, I'm not kidding). My husband and the rest of his family even wasted some money betting on them.
Then in the car on the way home I was thinking how "The Odds" apply our lives (and I'm not talking about the band with the same name). So I decided to use my life as an example. Here are some of my odds. Both good and bad.
I'm married. Approximately 75% of Canadians will marry, so I'm in the majority on this one. I'm also fortunate according to statistics that I consider my marriage "very important" to my happiness, as people who do are 3x less likely to divorce. Super.
However, we've just passed the 2 year mark on our marriage, and divorce rates peak at 4 years with 25.5/1000 marriages ending in the 4th year, so we've got a few years to go until we reach that milestone. Also, sadly 40% of marriages end by the 30th wedding anniversary (with average lengths of 14.2 years). So, even though I don't think divorce will happen to us, either way we'd have a lot of company.
So let's look at other tragedies that are less common to the average John or Jane Doe. Homelessness. According to my Internet research about 35,000 to 40,000 of Canadians are homeless. This puts any one Canadian at a risk just north of 0.1% of being homeless. Now, I'm sure there are lots of factors that influence this. One being mental illness (schizophrenia is a family tragedy in and of itself affecting 1% of Canadians). Another is finding yourself jobless, a problem for 9.6% of Canadians as of last July when joblessness was high due to the economy.
Hum. How interesting these tragedies have way higher incidence than that of which is supposed to have occurred to my placenta. The incidence of a Breus mole is 0.05%-0.08% of all placentas. Or, we could look at the other contender in the "what the hell happened to Aidan" race which is a very very (VERY) early premature preterm rupture of membranes (pPROM for all you acronym-ists out there). The incidence of pPROM occurring prior to viability (24 weeks) is 0.4%, probably even less at 13 weeks when I think mine occurred. Now, what if it turns out that I had BOTH?! A Breus mole AND pPROM! Wow that would make the incidence something like 0.05 x 0.4 = 0.02, or 1 in 5000. Discounting the fact that one may have caused the other (as is always the case in medical shit storms, ie: if you have one shitty thing like say, diabetes, you are more likely to have other shitty things happen too, such as heart disease) Still, 1/5000 is pretty damn rare.
But 1/5000 is nothing when you compare it to the other ultimate bad luck of my life. Being born with a congenital heart defect. The incidence of being born with my particular doozie of a malfunction is 1/22,000. Or 0.0045%. Survival at 1 year is apparently 65%, leaving 1/36,300 alive.
So the chances of someone like me existing AND having a baby die of what my baby died of is somewhere in the range of: 0.0029% x 0.05% x 0.4% = 0.000058%. That is equal to just about 1 in 1,750,000. Fuck. That's a lot of zeros anyway you look at it.
So I'm pretty sure you can safely say, I'm rare. Practically unheard of.
I'm the last god damn dodo bird.
How rare are you? Do you know anyone in real life whose babylost experience comes close to your own? Does the rarity of having lost child make you feel hopeful for the future if you plan on having more? Or does it just depress the hell out of you that it happened to you?