by admin on December 5, 2011

(this is not esme, but...)

ever since esme’s birthday (nov. 23rd) she has been turning over a nature/nurture question in her mind.  esme was born 5 weeks early and weighed a mere 3 pounds 14 ounces.  so small she began, and small she has remained!  in addition, because of the way school scheduling worked in those days, she started kindergarten at 4 and a half, and was always the youngest (and usually the smallest) in her class.  she was shy and scared, and didn’t learn to read until second grade.  and while she eventually gained a good deal of academic confidence, a certain smallness/shyness/sensitiveness remains with her to this day.

so, esme started to imagine, what if she had been a full-term baby?  she would certainly have been bigger (although probably still not huge).  she might even have been born at the dawn of the next year, placing her a full year behind her actual graduation dates.  all her classmates would have been different.  she would have been among the oldest in the class.  perhaps she would have been considerably less shy, and might have learned to read in kindergarten (not so common in those days!).

and what about her body?  would it eventually have been the same as the one esme has inhabited for 58 years and a few weeks?  or would it have been subtly different? perhaps esme would have been bold enough to embrace pink, despite her mother’s disapproval.  perhaps she would have dated in high school, instead of waiting until college.  maybe she would even have gone to the prom! same parents, same upbringing, different birth = a different course in life??

esme did a quick google search concerning the effects of premature birth on later life.  many of the possible problems mentioned tended to occur at 7 weeks prematurity or greater, and few were relevant to esme’s situation.  however, there was some evidence that premies can be “shorter”, “lower in extroversion,” have more “social problems” as teens, and “weigh less” than adults who were full-term infants.  hmmmm……




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