Robbie is now 15 weeks old. Of course, since we've passed his due date (September 4) he's now entered the era of "Adjusted Age." Since he really should only be a week old, you can't really hold him to a standard of a normal 3 month old. So most of his development is measured by his adjusted age- now 9 days.
There are lists floating about that say "You might be a preemie mom if.." and one of them is "You might be a preemie mom if someone asks how old your baby is and you say "well..........""
I had this experience for the first time this past week when we were back in the hospital. When we took our field trip down to radiology for his Upper GI, people in the elevator asked. And I had to say "well....."
Eventually he'll catch up. The experts say that for every month he's early, it can take a year to catch up. So he may not catch up with his peers until he's 3 years old.
He automatically qualifies for some programs like Early Intervention to help that process. We have our first meeting with them on Monday. This will just be for paperwork.
We had an evaluation before we left the hospital and the good news there was that he's right on track for his adjusted age. It's not at all uncommon for preemies to be behind. When other babies are learning to hold their heads up, a preemie baby is learning to breathe and swallow at the same time.
Robbie is right where he should be for a newborn and actually ahead in a couple of areas- mainly regarding head control and his eating. Everyone seems to credit that to all the Kangaroo care we did when Robbie was first born.
Kangaroo Care is when a baby is naked except for a diaper and placed on his mom's bare chest. The studies about it are truly amazing.
During Robbies first months I got to hold him a few hours a day. That seems to have helped him and I know it helped me. I always told the doctors it was "Therapy Time" for both of us. I think it was the only thing that kept me sane during the scariest times.
In any case, we plan to partake in any and all programs we qualify for. Because he was so early and so small, he pretty much automatically qualifies for everything. I suppose being small does have its benefits.
The eating issues have definitely improved. We had to call the doctor again this week because he was back to not wanting to finish his meals and was screaming in pain again. I suspected it had to do with the fortifiers being added to his breast milk and asked if we could try going back to plain breast milk and/or up his Pepcid dose. The doctor agreed to try the plain milk first.
The very next feeding went extremely well and have ever since. Today, in fact, he's eaten every 2 hours almost all day- taking full feeds. If he hasn't gained weight at his doctor's appointment on Wednesday I'm going to call them liars.
But for now, we just feed him as much as he'll willingly eat.
And of course, what everyone really wants!
Robbie's jail cell crib from the peds unit:
A nurse helps me get dressed!
I love my paci!
Nom-nom-nom! Yummy Thumb!
See my heart monitor strap and my G button? I hate 'em both.
Daddy loves me!
I still love my paci!
Pierre try to eat me again!