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Lost Theory Revisited – Pregnancies on the Island

By ErasedSlate,

  Filed under: Lost Theories
  Comments: 15

sun_juliet.jpgI just rewatched ‘One of Us’ from Season 3.  One of the big island mysteries we were introduced to last season was that no woman that conceives on the island can bring the pregnancy to term.  Sun has been given what amounts to a death sentence by learning that she conceived on the island.  What do we know up to this point?

What we know:

  • All women who conceive on the island die before reaching the third trimester. (D.O.C.)
  • The fetus is lost as well. (One of Us)
  • Juliet thinks that the condition occurs at conception.  (One of Us)
  • The woman’s body rejects the fetus (One of Us)
  • A young woman on the island may have the uterus of an elderly woman (Not in Portland)
  • Ben is desperate to bring a pregnancy to term (One of Us)

Why it matters: There is no doubt that the others have made a significant investment in trying to bring a pregnancy to term.  They even recruited Juliet who did the impossible by helping her sister conceive.  A birth of a child conceived and brought to term seems to have personal significance to Ben.  It even seems to be more important than his allegiance to Jacob’s purpose.  The other evidence that Ben is operating solely on this purpose is that the other ‘natives’ question it.

This whole issue sets up another layer of depth to Ben’s character.  What are his motivations? It was apparent that Annie was important to him, and something happened to her.  Is Annie disguised as Charlotte? Or, was Annie pregnant with Ben’s child and then died? It was important enough to Ben try to get Sawyer and Kate to ‘sign the deal.’ It was also important enough that Ben wanted a fresh supply of mothers for Juliet to continue her gruesome work.

  This is as big a mystery as what was in the hatch.  Some are guessing that Ben is attempting to reincarnate his mother or Annie.  Others say that bringing causing a child to be conceived and born outside the view of God would bring about the “Ubermensche” (ref. Neitsche) and lead the world out of its dependence on religion (Doc Jensen, sound familiar).   Some say that it will result in Jacob. 
More Speculation:  The failure of a pregnancy is symptomatic of the nature of the island.  It is evidence that the island either exists outside of the existence of time and/or outside of the influence God.  We have more evidence of a time shift or other time phenomena from the rocket and Richard’s uncanny Dick Clark ability to resist aging.  I think the babies cannot be brought to term because the mother’s body rejects the changes that the island causes in the fetuses.  The child would be infused with island’s unique properties and powers and would therefore seem foreign to the mother.  Remember, Juliet in ‘One of Us’ was careful to tell Ben that the mother was rejecting the fetus. The body worked against the fetus as it would an infection.

The above argument could also be used as evidence that a child conceived on the island reincarnates one of the ‘ghosts’ of the island.

Juliet’s remedy was to take a mother off of the island to complete her pregnancy.  Ben was adamantly against it.  He refused to allow her or anyone else to leave.  So, now that the Losties have an opportunity to leave, does it change anything?  Will a mother that conceives on the island be able to come to term off the island?  Will the mother die and the fetus live? Will the mother live and the fetus die?  If both survives, what will the effects be on the fetus for transitioning from the island? Birth defects? Special abilities?

This is still one of those big mysteries to which I am waiting to know the answer.  And this season, we are learning more questions to ask, not necessarily getting any answered.

  • BucK

    Ben was also motivated by Alex’s relationship with Carl, which is why Carl wound up being brainwashed and imprisoned. He didn’t want Alex getting pregnant.

    It also seems like the Dharma Initiative was trying to create a Utopian Society as seen in Orientation. Ben seems to have this same vision, although his idea of getting to that point was far different from that of the Dharma Initiative.

    Ben: “They couldn’t even get along with the islands original inhabitants!” Refering to the Dharma Iniative.

    One clue as to why Ben was so obsessed with fertility is that if you want to create and raise the perfect society, you need to make more people. Richard and his people remark that they are interest in more important things. Ben seems to be the only person who recognizes the fact that if you want to create Utopia, you need to be able to create more children.

    Funny thing is that when you Wikipedia Utopia, it refers to a place, and not just any place, and island!

  • Delosworld

    Did you know that after mating a fetus in a polar bear remains dormant for approximately 4 months?

    Did you know that two major types of sharks bear live young and that one type nurtures embryos via a type of placenta?

    From Discover Channel:

    “Viviparous sharks give birth to live young, which are nourished in the female shark’s uterus via a placenta, or a secretion known as uterine milk. Viviparity ensures that the young are very well nourished during development and thus fit to survive the rigours of the sea immediately after birth.

    Ovoviviparous sharks also support the embryos internally and give birth to live young, but they do not provide any direct nourishment to their offspring. Instead, the developing sharks rely on the egg’s yolk sac for sustenance. Some species of shark, such as the mackerel sharks, practice oophagy, whereby the mother produces a stream of small, unfertilised eggs that are eaten by the developing embryos.”

    This information might help to explain why sharks and polar bears have been included in experiments on the island.

  • Delosworld

    Ooops, I meant to say that a fertilized egg remains dormant for 4 months in a polar bear.

  • cheese

    If Jin and Sun get off the island, does anyone think that Jin could be the one in the caskett?

  • Pong

    Maybe Sun did get knocked up by her lover and the time shifting weirdness caused Juliet to think that the child was conceived after she arrived on the island.

  • boobs

    I think Ben wants to see a mother survive child birth since he essentially killed his own mother.

  • You make an interesting point with this: “Some are guessing that Ben is attempting to reincarnate his mother or Annie.”

    It goes with the theory that Ben has “gone through the loop many times” and is trying to undo a tragedy.

  • Lmz27

    Jut my own speculation, but I think that Jin and Sun are the last two of the Oceanic Six. Erasesslate is right about the pregnancy issue being a major part of the mystery left to be revealed. The pregnancy issue is TOO important to the storyline for it to not be involved with the O-6 storyline.
    If Jin and Sun are part of the O-6, I think it will be because Juliet wants to get her wish to see if Sun can carry to term and survive.

    I also believe that Jin really is the father of the baby. Just gut feeling.

    Related to a discussion on Jin and Sun, I think the Paik family, the Widmore family, Abaddon’s group, RG, Dharma, and Ben are interconnected and all at war at some point in the future after the O-6 has returned. (And Libby is/was part of one of these groups.)

    I agree that Annie plays an important role in Ben’s motivations. I’m almost sure she died in childbirth and that’s when Ben came upon Alex and Danielle and arranged for her kidnapping and took on Alex as a “daughter.”

    Also, the room where Sayid and Ben were at the end of the economist could be a room in which Ben and a team was experimenting on cloning or fertilization, this time on dogs instead of Polar Bears etc.

    How does this all tie together…. and fit into a time displacement theory….
    I dunno yet… but thanks to Erasedslate for revisiting this important issue.

  • Lmz27

    Do you think “Eggtown” as a title refers to something about fertilization and pregnancy?

  • Eric Larson

    Does anyone think it is possible that the reason pregnancy to full term is not possible, is becuase of Ben. A lot of the Losties past troubles seem to follow them to the island. Chritian and Jack. I forget his name, but Locke’s dad who turns out to be the reason for Sawyer’s past problems. Mr. Ecko is haunted by Yemi. Charlie was also dealing with a heroin problem and what do you know a plane goes down with a boat load of heroin. Is it possible that Ben brings on this problem just by him being on the island?

  • You’re right Eric, this is what I’ve written about here:

  • Bayers

    I have a question:

    Women cant give birth on the island as the mothers body rejects the feotus as it would an infection. Why doesn’t this phenomenon apply to all females on the island, by that I mean non human females? In season one we see sawyer pick up a baby boar, so the boars at least obviously dont have problems with pregnancy!

    If the island had that effect on all females of any species the whole eco system would collapse so can we assume only human females are affected? why?

    Or is it just a mistake by the writers, bit of poetic licence sort of thing?

  • Eric Larson


    after reading your blog I see that we are thinking along the same lines. Although I do say that I like where your basis comes from as opposed to mine. I was thinking along the lines of everyone’s past coming back to haunt them on the island. I like the idea that anything that Ben wants he can just think about it and it manifests on the island. Ben obviously hasn’t dealt with the issue of his mother dying and probably still has feelings of guilt and that would explain why he is not allowing women to berth. Walt obviously has similar powers in that the episode were he was reading a book of birds and then a bird smashes against the window. this is also evident in the mobisode “Room 23” where Ben is explaing to Juilette that the kid in the room is special (i assume this kid is, Walt) and outside his window lay a dozen or so dead birds. My only hole there is that first scene with the bird flying in to the window happens off the island. Do you think it is possible for everyone to have these special powers on the island? Yet, most people have no faith in supernatural powers that their minds can’t harness the power of the island, but Ben has learned to control it? Kids believe in a lot of things with out proof and in this sense may learn how to use the island, and that could be the reason that the Others were always looking for the children. Just some random thoughts.

  • Pong

    Huh, looks like I could be right!

    Pong said:

    Maybe Sun did get knocked up by her lover and the time shifting weirdness caused Juliet to think that the child was conceived after she arrived on the island.
    February 18, 2008 6:59 PM

  • lmz27

    Hi all,
    I am wondering something —
    A month or so back, under some other thread, I posted that I thought it was strange that Ben and Juliet didn’t just experiment with taking couples off the island to conceive and then bringing them back. Or, I posted, why not recruit already pregnant women to the island and see if they carry to term? I assumed they did not do these types of experiments because there was a problem getting people on and off the island, or a problem about keeping the island secret, etc. But I still thought the lack of experimentation as far as conception was silly.
    Now, I just re-watched The Other Woman this morning, and Juliet says something to Ben when they are looking at the samples under the microscope that suddenly struck me as strange — she tells him here that “Only women that have conceived on the island does it happen to which makes me wonder….” and then she gets interrupted by Goodwin and the egg sandwich.
    Now, I know she told Ben this before, when they were sitting on that rock after she’d only been on the island for six months and asked to go home. But my question is, how did she actually determine that the deaths only happen at conception? What is she basing that conclusion on? Maybe they HAVE experimented with people who’ve conceived off the island? And if so, are there other side effects that makes that solution disastrous as well? I guess I’m just trying to figure out WHY Ben is so hooked on solving this problem if the solution is as easy as sending couples off the island to conceive and then bringing them back to carry to term. Also, for Juliet to come to this conclusion about conception, she would have had to have done experiments or studies to see if children conceived off island were surviving. Who are those people? Or, is she simply basing it on Alex and Danielle’s case study? That seems a little suspect for Juliet who’s a scientist and would seem to require more than just a case that happened 16 years ago.
    Anyway, please help me out here if my logic is incorrect. Thanks.