In the past few weeks, Jack has been doing some really awesome things. He just started using a fork at meals (not all the time, but he CAN do it), he can recited the entire alphabet when he should be napping, he has peed in the potty often, and his speech has really improved lately. Just yesterday, he said, “Screwdriver.”
Okay, so it sounds more like “scoobaba,” but we understand him. He’s also been using language to express what he wants: “I want playdoh!” “I want juice!” Today, while we were playing with…you guessed it…playdoh, I noticed that his once short, stubby fingers have grown longer and thinned out. He has big boy hands now, instead of baby hands. And I couldn’t be happier! I bet you thought I would say, “My baby, he’s growing up too fast!” Nope, you won’t hear me say that. And it’s not because I’m tired of washing bottles or changing diapers; and it’s not because I’m ready to go back to work (am I?). It’s not because I don’t enjoy the newborn or toddler phase, because I do. Yet, I am more than thrilled to see him growing up. Each milestone achieved, each pound gained…means Jack is on his way to being healthier, stronger and less fragile.
|First Year Memory: Jack with the NG and on O2 in his younger, more fragile days (6 months old).|
I look at his “old” photos and videos and they make me smile, but I don’t yearn for those newborn days, when Jack was at his most fragile and unhealthy. His newborn stage consisted of one tube feeding to the next…one breathing treatment to the next…one doctor, specialist, or therapy appointment to the next…(you get my drift?). While Jack was extremely pleasant and happy during this phase (and still is), he was also at risk for severe illness and hospital stays. During that first year, I definitely wished time would move faster, so Jack could move toward health. Those days were some of those scariest of our lives. His second year was not as consumed by meds and tube feedings, but still held the anxiety of illness and germs and delays in development. The problem with prematurity is that once you hear the possible impacts (cognitive and developmental delays, lung disease, feeding issues, etc), you can’t “unhear” them. So in the second year, as Jack achieved many milestones on his own timeline, I was more than anxious to see him achieve the next milestone on the “list.” And each time he does, it’s one less thing to fear that he may not do. I know that all parents worry; I’m just looking forward to the day when my worries are “typical” parenting worries and not prematurity ones.
|Second Year Memory: Jack standing up on his own, from the floor, at 17 months.|