Peter and I agree: we’ll take cupcakes and sunshine over hyperal and bili lights any day.
Last January I predicted that Peter would at least sextuple his birth weight by his first birthday. On Monday, he weighed 18 lbs, 2 oz after a bottle of milk – over 7 times his birth weight. It boggles my mind to think that when he septuples his current weight, Peter will weigh more than me. On a logarithmic scale, the difference between Peter at birth and Peter now is greater than the difference between Peter and me now.
This time last year, I was amazed by my tiny baby’s strength when he managed to flip his head from one side to the other while laying on his belly. I laughed when he would kick his containment barriers with his scrawny little legs, pushing his derriere up into the air. I was impressed by the vigor with which he sucked on his little purple pacifier. I was overcome with joy when I watched him slowly wrinkle his forehead and open one eye.
Now Peter can crawl, climb stairs, stand unassisted for a couple seconds, and “dance.” (Could have guessed that my baby would learn to dance before he learned to walk.) He likes to watch Wheel of Fortune, eat the flowers in our garden, and ride around the neighborhood in our new Boba carrier. Even though he still demands several feedings each night, I will give him credit for being a good napper. He’s a very content baby; all he needs is a full belly and an interesting object to examine. (Unfortunately, now that he’s putting everything in his mouth, it’s not always easy to find an object that is both novel and safe to play with. I understand why daycare providers own thousands of toys.)
I took Peter to visit the NICU last week. The doctors and nurses and therapists were excited to see how well he is doing. The residents and interns were impressed, comparing Peter to the frail little babies currently in the NICU. The neonatologist who saved Peter’s life in the delivery room couldn’t recognize Peter as the 27-weeker who “gave us a run for our money” on July 13th last year.
I came across the following quote from Pope John XXIII today. I think it applies to preemies and their parents very well:
Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do.