Today, I went through Joseph’s dresser and weeded out all the Newborn bodysuits and phased in the 0-3 month garb. He’s two days shy of two months old, but adjusted for his prematurity he’d be approximately three weeks.
Joel and I tried to measure him this morning – he’s probably 20″ long, maybe. He’s so fidgety that it is hard to tell.
Joel rigged up a weighing contraption using a Snugli-type carrying pouch and a fishing scale and discovered that Joseph probably weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of seven and three quarters pounds. So, just about the right size for an average newborn. But he’s got a really long torso, and his shoulders were coming out the neckholes of all of his Newborn sized tops. The 0-3 stuff is the right length, though he’s got an awful lot of lateral space in there.
We’ve got his two months checkup on Friday, so I am curious to see how close Joel’s and my home-made measuring came to what they can work out in the clinic, with proper equipment.
I know it’s traditional to feel a bit melancholy when your baby outgrows his clothes, all “oh, they grow so fast,” but because he was born prematurely, each time we have to size up his wardrobe, I feel great relief and no small portion of joy. I’m grateful and exceedingly happy that he’s coming along so well, that he’s growing steadily and filling in. He’s looking so much more robust every day, and I’m so glad that he’s so strong and healthy.
I know it’s completely irrational but when my water broke a month and a half early, I had this feeling of comprehensive guilt, that already before he was even born, I was failing him. That I was already screwing things up for him by not carrying to term. I wondered, as you do, what I’d done wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have kept working so long at the grocery store where I was on my feet for seven hour shifts (my last day at the grocery was one week before I went into labor!). Maybe I shouldn’t have been scraping wallpaper at the little house in 97°F heat. Maybe I’d gotten too dehydrated. Maybe I’d pushed myself too hard. Maybe something stupid I did years ago, some injury or another had made me unsuitable for proper gestation.
Now, I know all this is foolishness and I quizzed the doctors at the hospital extensively, and they said to the best of what they could tell from all the tests they ran on me, Joseph, and the placenta, they couldn’t tell why he’d come early. As best anyone could determine, there was no blame to assign. So, as Joseph has been growing and thriving, I feel a lot better about his prospects. He’s coming along nicely as a breastfed baby; he has a phenomenal appetite and a good latch. He behaves as is appropriate for an infant of his age, perking up for familiar voices and raising and rotating his head during tummy time. He even, once in a while, rolls himself over, which is quite an outlier achievement, about which I am simply unreasonably pleased:
The day may come when I feel wistful about him outgrowing his clothes and moving on in milestones, but at the moment, each milestone passed and each onesie outgrown is a relief and a triumph.