Were you a preemie baby? Have you ever wondered how being born early — whether it was three weeks early or seven or twelve or more — has affected your life in the years since the NICU and an early birth?
We’re more than a statistic, but less than a diagnosis: we are survivors.
Wondering about the role prematurity played in my life, I stumbled onto what medical researchers call the “preterm behavioral phenotype” — what I’ve taken to calling the “preemie-type,” or preemietype to make it easier. We who share the preemietype are introverts, maybe anxious, maybe not the social butterflies, maybe inclined to pay more attention to our own inner worlds (at least sometimes! and they’re rich worlds!) than to what’s going on around us.
These descriptions ring true for me; but they are not the whole story. I’m guessing they ring true for some of you, too, even if they’re not your whole story, either.
I want to hear your stories. Will you share them with me?