I brought Sadie (dis one) to her pediatrician today to see if my four-month-old preemie has gained any weight. Two weeks ago, she still only weighed seven pounds. Her weight is not something I think about everyday. My own weight comes to mind much more often to be honest. Since before she was born, all I heard was the positives. “Yes, she’ll be born very small but small babies are fighters! They’re so used to having to fight for nutrition in the womb that they develop more quickly” Or other positives like “her brain is being spared. Every ounce of nutrition is going to her brain and the rest of her will just be small for awhile.”
In the NICU, I was overwhelmed with the positives, “look how great she’s doing! She’s breathing room air. What a little spit fire. She’s going to fine.”
When I found out that I was going on partial bedrest because Sadie was too small at 29 weeks, I first worried but then took it with a grain of salt. Me, small baby? It’ll work out. I assumed when I went for my follow up visit that my baby would have grown. A lot. I’d heard from so many bloggers that that was the case with them. But at the follow up visit, she hadn’t grown and I was rushed to the hospital to to be admitted immediately. But every nurse said two pound babies do great! Don’t worry! We see this all the time and your baby could still grow!
Before I actually gave birth, while I was on bedrest in the hospital, I received so many emails with stories of people’s tiny babies who “you can’t even tell they were a preemie now!” I bought it all, soaked it in and didn’t worry too much. I needed to believe all of it because what’s the alternative? Assume they’ll be problems? Not me. I’ve always had a somewhat unshakable optimism – sometimes it can be downright annoying. But, it’s in my blood.
As you know, she didn’t grow. I gave birth to her a week and half later and she was two pounds. “But she’s breathing room air and it’s just a matter of time until you won’t even know she was a preemie” the nurses all said.
It’s four months later and she’s only 7 pounds 8 ounces. FOUR MONTHS LATER. My doctor is concerned. Not very concerned but he wishes she was growing more, faster. He says, “let’s wait and see but I want to do a complete blood count” just to rule out certain things. I really don’t want to know what those certain things are.
I remain optimistic but there’s a part of me that wonders if optimismism at a certain point is just denial. Do I accept that there could be a major problem? Or do I continue to assume that everything will be fine and being born at two pounds is not a big deal?
I don’t know anymore. But I guess I want to be prepared this time if there is going to be a problem. I don’t want to be made a fool of assuming everything’s okay,when it’s not.