Sunday, October 24, 2010

I'm Calling Bullshit on This

As cool as this would be I just can't fathom the story of Barbara Soper. She says her 3 kids were born on August 8, 2008, September 9, 2009 and October 10, 2010.
That's right, 8-8-08, 9-9-09 and 10-10-10.
The story is in the Indianapolis Star but I don't know if they actually checked the birth certificates.

Their doctor had to give drugs to start labor for the couple’s first daughter, Chloe Corrin Soper, who was born full term on Aug. 8.

Ok, I buy that.

Their son was a surprise all around. “He wasn’t a planned baby at all, he was a miracle,” says Barbara Soper. He was due on Sept. 20, 2009, but because sister Chloe’s birth had caused some hemorrhaging, their doctor, suggested he come out a little early so he’d be smaller.
Soper was started on drugs to induce labor on Sept. 8, but it took 24 hours before Cameron Dane Soper made his way into the world, arriving on 9-9-09.

That sounds a little fishy, but possible.

Soper says she and her husband had thought it would be “neat” if their third child was born on 10-10-10 but because her due date wasn’t until Nov. 4, it seemed unlikely.

But it ended up being “kind of a mandatory eviction,” says Soper. She developed blood clots in her legs and three weeks before her due date doctors told her the baby needed to be delivered.

The induction was begun on 10-9-10, but it wasn’t until 6:53 on Sunday night, 10-10-10, that Cearra Nicole Soper arrived.

That's the part that seems like bullshit. First of all, why would they want to have kids only 13 months apart. Especially after having gone through it once, they would have been more careful. And why did it take 5 hours for the induction. They paid the doctor to hold off until after midnight.

While the dates might seem “incredibly rare,” they’re really not. Such a lineup can only happen in the first 12 years of the century and at least 10 months apart, says Shannon McWeeney, a professor of biostatistics at the Oregon Health Sciences
University in Portland.
“Given that the first birth occurred in that window, the probability is not as astronomical as you might be compelled to think,” she says.
In fact, it’s not that high a number at all, says Philip Stark, a professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley. “The ‘chance’ you get depends on the assumptions you make,” he says. One set of assumptions gives a chance of about 1 in 50 million. More realistic assumptions — including allowing at least 11 months between births — increases it to about 1 in 2,500.
Since thousands of women in the United States had kids in 2008, 2009 and 2010, this suddenly seems a little less extraordinary. But humans “like to look for patterns, to make sense of things” he says.

I don't buy that math. I don't think this can happen unless you actively try for it.

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