Born Backward

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I was “born backward and never got over it” as my Mother used to say. In 1941, in a small hospital in a very small town, I was born breach with my Dad attending in lieu of the local doctor.. The doctor said I wouldn’t be born for another two or three hours and left the room. Within minutes my Mother told my Dad “The baby’s coming now “. He discovered immediately that I was breech. My Dad was a dairy farmer, and delivering a breech calf was something he was prepared for and knew how to handle, but his own child was something quite different. He stuck his head out the door to call the doctor, then went back to assist my Mother in delivery. When the doctor appeared again, my Dad was holding me. I was breathing fine and there was no apparent damage.

Throughout my life, as she tried to teach me the basic skills of sewing, cooking, general house keeping and crafts, my Mother found that I simply couldn’t navigate these basic skills in the manner in which she did them. After all these years I still have to “do it my way”. Sometimes I even have trouble doing things in the sequence that would be most logical. It simply doesn’t work for me.

I have, over the course of my lifetime, met a few people who don’t think I’m strange in the way that I do things. They do them the same way. In the course of general conversation I’ve discovered that these people were also born breech. Some of them are left-handed and that accounts for some of the anomalies, but not all left-handed people were born breech, so we have to leave that out of the equation.

This leads me to wonder if a scientific study has ever been done on the effects of breech birth on the brain. Does having your bare bottom exposed to this cold cruel world before your head effect the way you approach every-day life? Does it effect the manner in which the synaps develop? Does it effect the way you process information?

We all know that different people learn in different ways. Some learn by being shown and mimicking the teacher. Some learn by simply being told how to do something. Some need a combination of step by step instructions and the time to do each step for themselves. Some learn best by reading, others by listening. . .but do any of these learning methods have anything to do with the birth conditions? The longer I ponder the more questions I have.


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