Words to Live By

Happily married. 41. Infertile/perimenopausal. TV and iPod addict. Transplanted Canadian living in California. {Warning - abundant sarcasm and frequent *gasp* profanity lie herein.}

Friday, February 10, 2006

Newsworthy

This was posted over at Bird in Hand the other day and I am stealing it to share with you.

From NPR: Babies' Cells Linger, May Protect Mothers
February 8, 2006 ยท Some scientists have proposed that when a woman has a baby, she gets not just a son or a daughter, but a gift of cells that stays behind and protects her for the rest of her life. That's because a baby's cells linger in its mom's body for decades and -- like stem cells -- may help to repair damage when she gets sick. It's such an enticing idea that even the scientists who came up with the idea worry that it may be too beautiful to be true.

Actually, the study shows that when a women gets pregnant, regardless of whether a live baby results, she still gets the benefit of these fetal cells. Some small consolation for those of us who have been pregnant but don't have a baby to show for it. Read and/or listen to the entire article here and tell me what you think.

Secondly, the other harbinger of all things newsworthy, Access Hollywood, recently posted a story on their website called "Celeb Hot Moms May Redefine Motherhood". I almost didn't read the article since it seemed to rehash what a lot of other stories have said lately -- its cool and hip and hot to be a Mom in Hollywood these days. However, deep in the article were two paragraphs that grabbed me. My comments are in parentheses.

"It's hard to imagine that there was a time when motherhood, especially the unwed kind, could spell the end of an actress's career. In 1935, Loretta Young resorted to pretending to adopt her own baby daughter, and later altered the child's emerging family resemblance through painful plastic surgery, rather than admit that she and Clark Gable were the parents. [This was alleged in a 1994 book, "Uncommon Knowledge," written by Loretta's daughter, Judy Lewis, who claimed she was the result of an affair between a married Gable and Miss Young. According to Ms. Lewis, Miss Young had her baby in secret in late 1935, then eventually "adopted" the child when she was 2. A spokesman denied it, and in a 1995 New York Times interview, Miss Young refused to discuss the story, calling it a "rumor of a bygone time," and adding, "I have made peace with my daughter."]

"Hollywood actresses wanted to keep their luster as an attractive, young unmarried woman," says film historian James Robert Parish, author of "The Hollywood Book of Love."

Motherhood was out of the question, Parish says. "In the '20s, '30s and '40s, big actresses would have abortions --Judy Garland, Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, not only because the studios would be mad, but because they were so afraid someone else would replace them in the public's affection."

I'm happy that at least in this regard, Hollywood and our society has made some progress.

10 Comments:

At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Molly said...

Wow. I hadn't heard that about Loretta Young. How sad.

 
At 1:19 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

What a great post, Donna.

I was a freak who had my son's stem cells collected, so I appreciate that he benefited me in return. If only those cells would promote a subsequent pregnancy, huh?

It is hard to think of the power the big studios used to have, but plastic surgery on a child is over the top. I'm not so good with secrets.

 
At 1:31 PM, Blogger Kross-Eyed Kitty said...

Hmmm...lingering fetal cells benefitting mothers. Call me a sceptic, but I fall into the Bystander Hypotheses. If this were true, women who have had children would not have any cancers, heart disease, lung disease etc etc etc. We know that's not true. Its a load of crap.
Which, makes me feel better seeing as though I'll never be a mother. As for Hollywood moms. Good for them.
(I'm a little bitter today...sorry.) Had one too many people ask me today when I was going to start having babies.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger fisher queen said...

I'm glad things have changed for the actresses. I didn't realize that that had been an issue. I heard the other story- it just made me feel like sh*it as usual.

 
At 5:07 PM, Blogger Coloratura said...

Marilyn had a ton of abortions, some think as many as 14...

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Coloratura said...

But what I think is really interesting is how the stars refuse [for the most part] to talk about how they get to motherhood, especially the ones that are over 35. There's been a slew of them (Julia Roberts, Holly Hunter, to name just a few.) Granted, it's a very personal subject, but I think it contributes to the general population's ignorance about women's fertility cycles. There's this myth that women can children well beyond age 35 even 40 and I think that really needs to be revisited... at the very least they could say 'yes, we had some help' and leave it at that. I just get the impression that not enough people really know how the fertility thing works...

 
At 5:40 PM, Blogger Donna said...

I don't believe the NPR article says that having these fetal cells means that you absolutely won't get cancer or other diseases, just that the research may suggest some benefits. Also, I'm not sure I agree that just because you are on TV or in the movies that all of your personal information becomes public domain. I would recognize the right of any celebrity to keep their fertility struggles under wraps, although it is helpful when celebs dispel myths, about IF or any other issue (eating disorders, for example.)

 
At 5:31 AM, Blogger Bird said...

Thanks for the word.

 
At 6:48 PM, Anonymous Manuela said...

Very sad... but I'm not sure that Hollywood is holding up a much improved standard today...

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Pamplemousse said...

I am not sure if Hollywoood really treats stars any better now. Look at what has happened to that poor girl Katie Holmes??

Glad to see you got my man Rufus on your iPod. You are one cool chick, eh?

 

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