Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On being a 9 month old and disappointing visits

So, yesterday was Silas's 9 month visit (he was actually 9 months old on Monday) and, as I always am, I was excited to take him to his Doc and see how much he has grown.  Mommas of preemies probably never get past feeling that rush of their baby's weight gain.  I know that I haven't.  Well, B was 27 1/4 inches long (which put him in the 25th percentile)...he started out a measly 16 inches at birth so he has gained nearly a foot since birth.  That seems so crazy to me.  I can definitely tell he is so long now though. 

I have this thing where i pick him up and tuck him close to me and rock and say "oh, look at my little preemie.  Sometimes he laughs and sometimes he gets mad but I always laugh now because it looks so ridiculous to call this big strong boy a preemie.  He is so long now that when I do it I just tuck his leg behind my arm so that I can just cuddle his torso.  Hah...the more I right the weirder this practice seems.  I think it is just for see how far we have come.  I will probably still be trying to do this when he is fifteen.

In more disappointing news his weight has always been in the 5th percentile which made him a tiny guy but he always followed his curve and that was comforting but yesterday he weighed in at 15 lbs 13 ozs, which is nearly quadruple his birth weight, but it put him in the 3rd percentile.  I kept asking , "3rd?"  I was so disappointed by the loss, the loss of his gain.  It's hard to explain to anyone but another momma how it feels for something little like this to happen.  I felt so guilty and judged.  Instantly, my mind starts in on what I have done wrong and am I starving him.  The Dr. looked at all he was eating and said it looked good.  She said we might need to fit in another bottle somehow in the day (considering he still takes 3 at night) and keep doing what we are doing with the solids so that is my goal.  She said the main reason it will be harder for him to gain is because he is just so active so he is burning a lot of calories.  If I could show you a video of how much he moves in a day you would see what she means.  If the boy is not  still for a second.  People don't understand why I am so exhausted by the end of the day until they watch him for even thirty minutes.  That is the one comment that I alwys get from people "he is so active".  So, short of tying him to his seat or something I am going to have to get him to take that one extra bottle.

In terms of development, his gross motor skills are great.  He is sitting , crawling, pulling up, cruising on furniture, and standing on his own for short periods of time.  His social skills are good: waving, playing peek-a-boo.  Where he seems to be behind (once again a blow to my momma confidence), is his fine motor skills and his speech.  He still can't pick up food and feed himself, he scoops with his whole hand instead of his fingers, he isn't bringing both hands together for things.  With his speech, he is still just kind of squealing but really babbling anything.  Sometimes when he sees the cats he will yell "kee" like kitty, I think.  So, because of these little setbacks we are going to look into getting parents as teachers come to help our preemie out.  This makes me excite because it will give me some guidance on what I can do to help my boy out.

I am so proud of my nine month old and the fact that he chases cats, is entranced by the ipad commercial, has a great little shy smile where he tucks in his lips and looks at you sideways from a tucked down chin.  I love how no matter where he is in the room in relation to something that he wants, he thinks that if he just stretches a little further then he can reach it.  I love his still nearly bald head and still completely toothless grin. 

I love that when I got home from the Dr. yesterday and felt that I had been dealt a blow, I could look down and remember that he was still the same boy he had been before the appointment.  We hadn't actually taken any steps back, we were just armed with more information.  I really love that when he is most happy he looks at me first with his grin and that when he is most upset it is my arms he wants to be little almost 16 lb. preemie.


  1. Can I just say that I completely know how you feel???? I was a completel wreck when I would look at the scale for Anna. I never thought that she was gaining enough and they always told me it was fine. UGH, I wanted to pull my hair out. She was 16lb 5oz at her 9 month apt. It's so hard to see them struggle in something. Hopefully the extra bottle will be just the thing that Si needs to 'fatten' up a bit.

    On to the development stuff. Parents as Teachers ROCKS!! My lady was here yesterday. They have all kinds of tips and tricks for what to look for. I have all of my handouts. I will try and scan those to send to you. Meeting with someone is great though. It's an addded resource for questions. If it makes you feel better, Anna is having trouble brnging her hands to center. She isn't clapping or playing peek-a-boo or lifting her hands above her head. I think her speech is a bit behind too. She did tell me that if a baby is working hard in one area (such as pulling up, cruising, and walking) that they tend to neglect other areas of development (such as talking and fine motor skills). So, Silas could be working so hard on learning to stand and walk that he has forgotten the other areas for a bit. Meeting with a PAT educator is going to be awesome! And I'm going to try and scan that stuff for you today.

    Don't get down on yourself! Being a mom to a preemie is hard. Watching other kids reach milestones and waiting on yours to learn it tough. Hell, seeing other kids fat rolls is hard when your kid is wearing clothes that are supposed to be for a child that's 3 months younger. I will always worry about Anna because of her prematurity. But, I know that I'm doing the best that I can. You are a wonderful mommy! Don't ever think differently!!

  2. Thanks so muc Lisa! I would love to have the handouts. It's crazy how being a momma to a preemie is so defining. I can't compare it to being the mom to a "normie" as I will call them but for me it will always be there. My memories of his birth will always feel sad rather than happy and I will always be wanting to compare him to other kids. It doesn't help that every time we are out and someone asks his age they exclaim "he's so tiny!" Duh. I just tell him that someday all of the little girls will want to put him in their pockets!