Saturday, January 24, 2009

In his own right

I know this is a cliche, but it's amazing how different two people who come from the same parents can be. Fionn is completely different from Emerson in every way (except of course the albinism). Whereas Emerson took forever to kick in the womb and sometimes went so long without moving that I had to drink a gallon of orange juice to get him going, Fionn kicked non-stop from about 14 weeks gestation until five minutes before being born (he actually kicked me all the way down the birth canal, and yes, it's as painful as it sounds). Whereas Emerson was happy to lay on a blanket and take in the world for the first three months, Fionn wants you to hold him and interact with him CONSTANTLY. The list goes on and on.

One of the biggest differences is in their ability to focus. Like most babies with albinism, Emerson's nystagmus and slower vision development meant he didn't focus on our faces until he was four months old. Those initial months were agonizing to say the least. As my mom reminded me recently, there were several times that I would break down on the phone and sob that he didn't even know I was his mother. But the moment he made eye contact (and I remember that moment vividly), our relationship completely changed.

I was prepared to go through this again with Fionn, but to our surprise, he seems to be able to focus on us already. He wants to make a lot of eye contact and is giving us drooly, muppet smiles. I'm telling you, eye contact and smiling are nature's brilliant way of ensuring a baby's survival!

It will be interesting to see what Fionn's personality develops into - especially considering Emerson is just about the goofiest child I've ever met. For now, we are banking on a bright future in politics based on his uncanny resemblance to Ted Kennedy:

In case you're interested, we will be updating the post about milestones for Fionn as well. Hopefully this will give us some insight on how much of their development is based on personality and how much might be attributed to albinism. Of course, albinism affects each person differently so this is far from scientific, but hopefully it will help other parents in the albinism community.


  1. Amazing, how early personality is established. Ari was the same way, kicking from conception all the way to birth...and needed constant interaction and stimulation for the rest of his life after birth. I'm so glad you wrote about that because this baby's lack of kicking was beginning to worry me!

  2. Hey, at least he doesn't look like GW.