Saturday, December 5, 2009

Was that a coo or a squeak?

When our older son Logan was born, Christie and I started religiously reading "Your Baby's First Year - week by week", and when the first year came to an end, we moved on to the next book in the series. Each week, we spent part of an evening learning about the behavior that would be expected from a "normal" child of that age, then set about convincing ourselves that our son fit into that category. Any time we discovered that, for instance, most 14-month-olds know six words, whereas Logan only knew five, we'd spend the next few weeks working to correct the shortcoming that we almost always attributed to our negligent parenting. Around his second birthday, I must've subconsciously arrived at the realization that this was a manifestation of ridiculous over-parenting, because I can't remember the last time I picked up one of those books, but I'm completely convinced that Logan couldn't possibly be a more normal 3-year-old.

Now that I'm an "experienced" parent, you'd think that I could relax and enjoy the mostly happy days of the past two months with Bryce. In spite of his unthinkably early arrival and all that it entailed, he seems to be doing great now. All of the doctors keep telling us that he looks awesome and that he's right on target for his adjusted age. However, I still find myself beset with anxiety; I really want to believe that he's going to beat the odds, but I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Did he really follow that toy with his eyes, or was it a fluke? Was he reaching for the ball, or just flailing his arms around? Was that a coo, or just a squeak?

In this case, the Internet is as much curse as blessing. I've had the opportunity to connect with dozens of other micro-preemie parents, and though this has been a great boon for my sanity, it also means that I've heard all too many stories about seemingly normal infancies followed by significant feeding and developmental issues in toddlerhood. The inevitably of some prematurity-related challenges seems to be a universal belief amongst those who've been down this road; as one parent so eloquently put it, "one simply can’t be exposed to extrauterine life at that gestation and not be marked for life from it."

So, every time we're told that he's passed another test or hit another milestone, I find myself wondering, if not this, then... what? Print this post

1 comment:

  1. You are all on the right road, Jason. Forget about the books. Each child is such a gift and will develop as they are able. At age two, Betsy could only say, "Mommy and Daddy" so she went to the hospital for many tests. The doctors found her to be normal and reminded us that Albert Einstein did not speak until he was 4-5 yrs. of age. Love them for us. You are all in our prayers.