Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birth asphyxia and niggers

Before anybody gets their panties in a knot - "niggers" is what my just three-year-old calls fingers. It is kind of funny and cute, given that she does not know everything that is wrong with the term (but I hope that she will soon be calling her digits "fingers" in the near future). She calls herself "Newno" - she can say "juice" just fine, and she can say "no" like a pro - but "Juno" seems to still be beyond her. To be honest, unless you are fluent in Newno-ese, she can be somewhat difficult to understand. When she counts, she rarely gets past three - "one, two, three, lemon, two, one". She does not sleep through the night most nights. Looking back on her baby photos - there's more than a few where her left eye appears to be lazy and looking towards her nose (a paediatric ophthalmologist evaluated her shortly after her first birthday and has said that it is nothing more than pseudo-strabismus).

That's not to say she's not without her strengths - she can identify an animal and the noise it makes likes nobody's business. She's also fearless - put the kid on a horse and she is more than happy when it moves, she hasn't met a slide or a ride that she doesn't like. She enjoys playing with other kids. The kid can shake off most tumbles and scrapes with ease. She aced her first dental appointment. She is more of an omnivore than most three year olds. She enjoys helping others - and is particularly fond of helping me when I bake. She engages in imaginative play. She has a smile that melts my heart. She is potty trained.

Meanwhile, I have a friend who has a son who is just a few months older than my daughter and he will cheerfully recite the alphabet and counts to twenty.

There is a part of me that wonders about whether or not the circumstances of her birth has had an impact. There's part of me that wonders if the cord around her neck, cord blood pH of 7.0, her being born not breathing and needing resuscitation has had an impact on her development. Until the past year, there really hasn't been anything that has significantly set her apart from her peers. There's part of me that wonders that, if she had had the same entrance into the world that her brother had - would she be the kid who counts to twenty and knows her ABC's and is fully intelligible even to those unfamiliar with her lingo.

I would love nothing more than to have full confidence that the circumstances of her birth did not have any impact on who she is or her capabilities - but what if it did?

1 comment:

  1. I worry about that sometimes too. Not exactly the same way... my boys were born breathing and had fine apgar scores and all, though one was pulled out with a vacuum due to some worrisome decels. I am worried that my boys will have ADHD. Mostly, I am worried about this because their father has it, but their other major risk factor is prematurity. Of course, I couldn't do anything about that, but it still bothers me. If they do end up having it, we'll deal with it and we'll get them help asap.

    If they have it, they'll be like my husband--the space-cadet variety (inattentive). They aren't hyper and aren't likely to be behavior problems, we'd probably already know about that. (they are 4.5yr old) But the inattentive types often don't get the help they need because no one notices they need help until it is too late. They tend to do ok until around 5th grade and then suddenly they are failing in school and can't get their shiat together for anything. I don't want that for them, it makes life much harder than it needs to be, but if it is going to happen, I think the die has already been cast.

    I suppose one could argue I made the mistake in having children with a man who has ADHD, but then we're heading down a slippery eugenics slope. And I didn't know he had ADHD when we got married. HE didn't know.

    I don't know...good luck with your daughter, I wish I could reassure you.