Nurture vs. Nature (a loving, safe home vs a chaotic drug affected life)

Charlie was born 6 weeks early, his meth baby side effects

A common side effect of meth exposure intrauterine is premature birth

At Charlie’s first pediatrician visit at 9 days old his measurements and weight were:

  • weight: 5.125 #s = 1st percentile
  • length: 19″ = 6th percentile
  • head circumference: 13″ = 3rd percentile

The numbers are very low and I was most concerned with his head circumference. His head needs to grow so that his brain will grow and he can mature. Head size growth in the first year of life relates to intelligence later, it’s what happens in the first year after birth that matters most. (According to Psychology Today: how to grow a smart baby.)

I think this can’t be more true. In one year and three months of constant nurturing…. attention, proper nutrition, a safe, stable, loving and affectionate home, and a schedule he knows, Charlie has grown by leaps and bounds. Last month at his 15 month appointment at the pediatrician his measurements and weight were:

  • weight: 22#s 7 oz = 46th percentile
  • length: 32.25″ = 87th percentile
  • head circumference: 18.7 ” = 70th percentile

At each doctor appointment they are thrilled with his progress and his intelligence. His motor skills, fine motor skills and social skills are outstanding. This is quite a difference. I remember the doctor,  at his 3 month appointment telling me he would be a petite child. Now at 16 months he is taller than most toddlers his age, and he has been walking since he was 10 months old. I think he is definitely overcoming nature with nurture.

I only know that exposing newborns to drugs is one of the worst things you can do to an unborn child. It is proven every day with drug side effects including premature births and low birth weight, length and head circumference — just to name a few. Charlie has clearly overcome some of the effects and is growing and maturing very well. I am thrilled with his development and I am always looking forward to his next measurement for a new mark on his growth chart. (Although he is not. He screams and cries just at the sight of the dreaded  white coat.)

I hope and pray that he has a good chance to be happy, healthy, and smart. And that we are giving him the best possible opportunity to overcome the circumstances of his birth and intrauterine meth and THC exposure.