Thursday, January 12, 2006
Adjusted age: Zero
It has been ten weeks and three days since my son was born. He is now officially developmentally zero.
In many ways he is a typical newborn but in so many others he is lightyears beyond that. Of course, in some ways, he is behind the typical newborn.
He still basically just eats and sleeps, however he has a few times a day where he is alert and exploring his environment with his hands and eyes. Those alert times last anywhere from an hour to (occasionally) two or three hours -- on those occasions he won't sleep again until after his next feeding.
He can support his head better than most newborns that I've seen and every now and then will roll from his belly to his back or his back to his belly. The rolls they are rare and I believe will eventually become nonexistent.
He responds to noises, to light and dark, to toys placed in front of him.
But he is behind typical newborns in other areas, particularly in size. He weighs just over 5 pounds now. He is only now starting to outgrow some of his preemie clothes.
He is behind in his ability to feed. He simply doesn't get breastfeeding, and as a result my supply is quite low. I'm taking medications and herbal supplements in order to correct the problem and am using a supplemental nursing system (a bottle that clips to my clothing with a tube that is inserted into his mouth along with my nipple; the system works on negative pressure such that when he is getting milk from me, none comes from the supplemental tube and when I am not actively letting down, he is getting milk from the bottle. This is an all around good thing because even when I am not directly supplying his milk, I am getting the stimulation that is required to cause me to produce more milk. It may allow my body to catch up and cause the supplemental system to be unnecessary, or it may not. Either way, I am able to feed my son at my breast.)
In an odd twist, I find myself slightly saddened at the loss of my teeny-tiny little man. Yet at the same time, I am ecstatic at the development that I see on a daily basis and find myself looking forward to what is to come.
In short, his story is very similar now to that of any other premature baby. He is developmentally ahead, behind, and on target with other age zero babies. What the future holds, I don't know. I only know that I can't wait to get to know this miraculous little boy.
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