When we say that our children changed us, that their birth created a new-us, we are right. Scientifically right.
A mother’s children will remain part of her long after they are born.
Every fetus sends some of its own cells into its mother as early as 7 weeks of gestation. They cross the placenta, travel through her bloodstream, and lodge in various tissues and organs under the form of some type of stem cell, transforming into different kind of cells according to where they stay. Many are cleared out of the mother’s body by her immune system.
Scientists also believe that older siblings fetal cells retained in the mother’s body could be shared with younger siblings.
This phenomenon is called fetal microchimerism, a name that comes from the lion-goat-snake hybrid of Greek mythology.
Some accumulate at wounds and injuries, like a C-section scar, and stimulate healing; In the breast, thyroid, brain, heart, and skin, they’re sometimes found more frequently in cancerous or diseased tissues, but sometimes more so in healthy, normal tissues. The balance of helpfulness and harmfulness seems to vary from study to study.
Some scientists believe that they are retained within mothers and their offspring to promote genetic fitness by improving the outcome of future pregnancies.
Then who are we really? We are a mix of trillions of cells among which some belonging to our mother, our siblings, our child.
I found this fascinating, thinking this could mean our intuitive knowledge about our babies was also a material knowledge crossing our bloodstream and reaching each of our organs.
I found this touching, because I am Ida as well, she is inside me and she will for a long time, wherever I will be.
Ida Saoirse Scherer,
our first baby girl, who was born and died at 16+5 weeks on the 30th November 2017.
Resources about Termination for Medical Reasons
Sister-friend Emily writing for her first son Amari Regan (Fragile X Syndrome)
Katrina's blog for her second daughter April Rey (Trisomy 13)