Eliza Grace was born on March 15, 2006, at 26 weeks, 4 days, weighing 1 pound 4 ounces and measuring just 11.5 inches long. She is the light of my soul and this is the story of our life in the big city.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A New Milestone ... 20 pounds!

Yesterday Eliza had a morning check up with her GI and an afternoon visit with her pediatrician. I think it is safe to say she was officially 20 pounds! At the GI she weighed 19 pounds 15.5 ounces (could they not have rounded up?) and at the pediatrician three hours later she weighed 20 pounds 2 ounces. I have decided to split the difference and call it 20 pounds. Also it's good to know their scales are pretty close. The GI was really please with Eliza's progress in the past month. Never in her life has she gained a pound in a month (a half pound used to thrill me) and I think we were both shocked to see that she had gained a bit over a pound and a half this past month.

It was also kind of nice to hear the GI say I was doing a good job. The past few weeks I have run across an inordinate number of people who have told me I should "get over it" or, my personal favorite, that I have a "chip on my shoulder" because Eliza was a micropreemie. Is it something in the air these days? I know a few other moms in the micropreemie boat who have had to tolerate such ridiculous comments by people who have no earthly idea what it is like to spend months on end in the NCCU while your child struggles just to survive or to raise a baby who requires substantially more care than the average infant or toddler.

When I embarked on this adventure of single motherhood, I somehow thought that other women who had chosen to be single mothers would be more supportive than my married friends and acquaintances. Interestingly this has not been the case. There is a handful of single moms I have met who are just wonderful. The larger group however has really acted as if extreme prematurity is somehow "catching" or that it should never be the topic of conversation since it not "relevant" to their discussions. I find this attitude quite interesting since the majority of the single women who have told me that I should "get over this" are well into their forties and planning their first or second babies. Given that demographic they are at a fairly high risk to end up in the preemie boat, which would be pretty ironic. So I have decided that I, and the little "chip" on my shoulder known as Eliza will pal around with our friends, mostly married and some single, who bring compassion, empathy and a bit of humor to the table and leave the judgmental, narrow minded and mean spirited folks to wallow in their own muck.


abby said...

Yay, Eliza! And she looks wonderful, too. I love her fuzzy fleecy outfit.

It's funny how much one's expectations change. When we embarked on this journey of having kids, we assumed that our biggest support network would end up being other gay and lesbian parents and that raising Hallie and Olivia among kids of same-sex families was going to be very important for us. We both distinctly remember watching the heartwarming-yet-cheesy Rosie takes a cruise special during Sharon's pregnancy and thinking a lot about that. Then, of course, things turned out quite differently and all of those concerns have just completely disappeared. Instead, we find ourselves inhabiting a very different world where micropreemie parents are the center of our universe because they, above everyone else, understand what the heck we're going through. Even if their kids have different issues, we all have some issues that we need to face and none of them involve getting over microprematurity (quite the opposite, really). So, interestingly (and I think in a way that has really enriched me and broadened my own views of the world), I find myself having much more in common with folks whom I would never have imagined getting to know so well or trust so much. Who the heck cares about differences related to politics or religion or what have you when its our kids at stake?

This isn't to say that our friends and family haven't been great--they have been. And they have always been well meaning and without them this would be materially much harder to do. But it's the micropreemie parents who oddly enough keep us sane.

Anyway, didn't mean to hog your comments section, and again, GREAT news on the weight!

Anne, Eliza Grace's mom said...

Abby, I couldn't agree more about my expectations changing after Eliza was born. My micropreemie parent friends and other NCCU friends really are a great support and resource and I don't know where I would be without them. I also think I need to tell them all "thanks" more often!

And by the way Abby ... you're not nuts, I changed the photos since your original post ... you can however "admire" the fuzzy fleecy outift in Eliza's photos from my November posts!

Aidan's mom said...

How wonderful!!! You are right about there being something in the air lately. Lots of random people (especially on blogs) telling us to get over it.

It is nice to know that somebody else understands.

Congrats on the weight gain!

Sarah Furlough said...

You're always welcome to bring your "chip" (Eliza) down here, and we can commiserate over a glass of wine. Better yet, we'll come there- you've got better restaurants!

BTW- I agree with Abby's comment. We all have so much to offer one another. Even though I never in a million years would've wished to have my boys early- I am glad for all of the wonderful people I've "met" because of their prematurity!

23wktwins'mommy said...

HURRAY for 20 lbs!
By the way Eliza is absolutely gorgeous.
I think you do a great job, and as far as people telling you to "get over it" or "you have a chip on your shoulder" they really have no idea what your life is like. You're dealing with the every day effects of Eliza birth, so what is there to "get over?"
Anyway, you know you have support in us preemie parents.

Proud Preemie Mom said...

Go Eliza! That is wonderful. And we thought TWO pounds was exciting!

A friend of mine had a preemie 23 years ago, endured a very tough road of almost 3 months w/ a ventilated son, several chest tubes, ROP, head bleed - all the fun stuff. He's thankfully now a handsome, strapping, very healthy active college graduate. When I started this journey on bedrest November 2 of 2006, she told me to only allow "nutritious" people in my life. Now I know what she means. Anyone who at ANY time adds stress to my life is not allowed back in it until I say so. It is all we can do as preemie moms to get through the day ourselves, much less get our children through it, without thoughtless comments. Surround yourself with those who care - not necessarily understand, b/c I've found that doesn't always matter!

So happy for Eliza. What a milestone.


The Walsh's said...

Well you know how I feel about the "chip on your shoulder" crap because we go over and over it on the phone - I just hope that the next person who says it actually gets vomited upon.

You're great. Eliza's great. 20 lbs. is GREAT. But you're allowed to be frustrated. My gosh look at what you're dealing with and what your last 2 years has been like. You're fabulous.

Keep up the weight gain Eliza. You don't want these silly G tubes. They're not flattering at all.

Sarah said...

Congratulations on such a huge weight gain! She looks great.

I have some family members who tell me that I don't need to be upset anymore because he's home and everything is 'just fine.' I honestly believe that some people find other people's pain and struggles uncomfortable.

For what it's worth, you are doing such an awesome job with her! I can't imagine doing this alone and yet you handle it with such style and grace.

Arlene Marine said...

Dear Anne and Eliza Grace,
What a terrific way to start the New Year. This family is blessed to have you both in our lives. Eliza Grace, you are indeed a cutie in your fuzzy pink outfit!
Anne, you are a terrific Mom, single or otherwise!

Casey's trio said...

Congrats on hitting the 20 pound mark! It would always frustrate me when I'd take one of the girls to the doctor on Monday and get a weight and on Wednesday they'd lost 8 ounces...splitting the difference sounds good to me. Love these new pictures of Eliza. Those rosy cheeks and that smile are adorable.

nuts4labs said...

Hey Anne & Eliza!
Way to go Eliza on both the 3 inches and the weight gain!

I am so sorry you are getting responses as you are from people. Even though I have not met you and Eliza and have only talked through email and reading this blog. I just have to admire all you do to make Eliza's world the best it can possibly be! You see it on her face in all the pictures. I have mentioned many times to friends of mine that I feel you are one of the strongest women. If you didn't say anything about it being hard I would wonder. Your human its hard and you are doing an incredible job.

I also have to say I have learned so much from reading the blog and with the twins coming, I'll be honest, an early birth scares me, but I feel at least a bit educated.

Have a fabuous time in Saba, a well deserved vacation. I hope it is uneventful and wonderful!

Kay & Christopher and the soon to be twins!