Monday, December 13, 2010

8 weeks old? 5 weeks old? 3 weeks old?

As I turned 30, Kailyn turned 8 weeks! I had a wonderful birthday... it was exactly as I had hoped. It was a day filled with snuggling Kailyn and visiting my mom. Dobbie made my birthday special by taking me to Ocean City for a drive and a nice dinner. It was perfect! I didn't need much to make me happy except my family (and an iphone of course).

With Kailyn turning 8 weeks old, I am surprised by how much she has changed since she was born. She is getting to be a big girl. Wearing 0 to 3 months, I can finally put her in some really cute clothes. Do you like her first pair of jeans? She rocked them at the mall with her BFF Addie.

As she continues to change, I decided to start reading about her development and expected milestones. It must be the teacher control freak perfectionist in me, but I want to have information to guide my expectations. Being a first time mom, I have no idea what she "should" be able to do and when she "should" be able to do it. So I got out the Week by Week book and read up until week 8. That was my first mistake.

I felt discouraged and worried. How come at 8 weeks Kailyn hasn't smiled at me? How come she hasn't looked into my eyes? When will she hold her head up when she is sitting up?

I talked to some friends and family about my feelings. I was feeling a little frustrated. Everyone kindly reminded me that all babies develop at their own pace. Everyone kindly reminded me that she was born 5 weeks early, and she missed out on 5 weeks of developing. I wasn't frustrated at her development, but I was anxious. I cannot wait for her to melt my heart with a smile. I can't wait for her to look into my eyes and recognize me. I am excited for our bond to grow stronger every day.

I hear so many people talk about adjusted age. Adjusted age is simply using the baby's age according her due date. This would make Kailyn 3 weeks old. I started going back in the Week by Week book, and I am looking for milestones and changes that seem to fit Kailyn. As much as I don't want to believe it, her development seems to be on par with that of a 3 or 4 week old.  So as she develops at her own rate, I will love and support her. I will encourage her and celebrate all of her achievements that she makes regardless of when they happen.

I have never taken Kailyn's adjusted age into account because she was so healthy and she has done so well since her birth; however, as the weeks pass, I am starting to think I should take her adjusted age into account. I think it will help Dobbie and I manage our expectations for our baby girl. As we wait for her to look into our eyes, smile, hold her head up more, I will enjoy what she can do today. I will enjoy every little piece of her.

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