… Compatibility

Different kinds of compatibility

  • religion
  • race
  • world views
  • personality
  • emotional 
  • sexual
  • physical / body
  • and other mysterious ones

Compatibility: physical / body

It is unlikely that you ever considered compatibility of blood when considering with whom you would like to settle down and have children.

RH blood picIt is the year 1954. My daughter, Marie, is part of the 15% US population with a blood type that is Rh-Negative. She is in a long term relationship with Fred, thinking of marriage. I asked Fred if I could get his blood sample, and I found out he was Rh-Positive. I, the protective father, did some time travelling to 2010, checked out a few Wiki articles, and discovered some disturbing information. If my daughter marries Fred (or any Rh-Positive man for that matter) her first pregnancy will be normal, but the following pregnancies will all likely end in miscarriages, stillbirths, or severe birth defects.

P_Rh_incoOf course, in 2010, it’s not a big deal. In the late sixties, RhoGAM was introduced as a wonder-drug: to protect the immune system of Rh-negative mothers from deadly Rh-positive blood. And blood transfusions were routinely done on newborns, both after birth and intrauterine (meaning while the baby is still in the oven). But I also know that another suitor of hers, Jimmy, has “good blood,” Rh-negative. My daughter had previously shown a liking towards him. In fact, before she met Fred “with the wrong blood” she wanted to date Jimmy, but at that time, Jimmy was going out with someone else.

  • Do I want my daughter to experience the agony of severe complications of future pregnancies because she married Fred, a guy with incompatible blood?
  • Do I encourage Fred to join the Peace Corps and do a two year stint in the jungles of Africa while I try to get Jimmy into the picture so that he can marry my daughter and sire my half dozen grandchildren?   
  • What do I do with this special revelation about disease information I picked up while doing my time travels to 2010, surfing the internet, and discovering amazing things about hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.  (wiki)

Some say we should not get preoccupied thinking that there is a “right person” to marry. That is debatable.  What is not debatable is the biology of blood: some blood types are not compatible. For thousands upon thousands of years this Rh incompatibility was a serious issue.  Today, with relatively recent medical interventions, it is no longer a major problem. But still it does not change the biology: some blood types are not compatible. Just because we have a solution to this specific compatiblilty problem,  does not mean the problem has gone away.

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It will take a bit of time before I address other incompatibilities.