Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Size Ones

At her pediatrician's appointment two weeks ago, Grace had gained back the 9.8% weight loss which came after she was born, and then some. She weighed in at a whopping 8.5lbs... I suspect she's tipping the scales at more than 9lbs at this point- she's quite the little chunk. I love chubster babies! :)

Clearly pleased with her weigh-in results.
I can feel her getting heavier- my arms growing tired after holding her through her numerous feedings. Last week, after delaying it as long as possible, we retired the Newborn sized baby girl clothes and diapers.

I wrote to Brandy about my apprehension in doing so. Because I'm so grateful she's growing big and strong, but it seems too soon for her to no longer be itsy-bitsy. She's four weeks old today- something which is so hard to believe- that we've had her here with us this long- that she's still alive... It seems too good to be true.

At birth, Grace outweighed Jack by more than a pound (the whereabouts seemed to be identifiable as having landed in her nom-able sweet baby cheeks, naturally). Changing to 0-3 sized clothing and size one Pampers Swaddlers seems like such a feat. It's acknowledging she's growing, but it's also yet another thing Jack never got to do- when he died he was no where near outgrowing his pint-sized clothes.


Whereas Grace lives for breast milk, her soft belly a nod to the nourishment she gets from Momma's good stuff, Jack wasn't the least bit interested in breastfeeding- he was a (pumped) bottle man. He didn't re-gain his birth weight- he didn't have the time. And of course it was the lactation consultation which led to the discover (and later the diagnosis) of Meningitis... It was something I was so scared to do-  to breastfeed her and hope for a different outcome than the last time. But it's working, and I'm so thankful she's a greedy little feeder because I'm not sure I could have mentally handled it if she wasn't.


She now wears the same size diaper Jack wore in the NICU- his generously sized to allow for the catheter and other various tubes and wires. I still have the single size one Pampers Swaddler they sent me home with in his memory box... And now I wrap, and unwrap the very same diapers for his little sister. Huh.


She's here, and she's outgrowing him. She's here in a way he never really was- growing- thriving even and I am so thankful for that. But I don't know how to process that everything she does from here on out are things he never will. I feel like this may be the biggest burden of parenting after a loss I ever experience- trying to cope with my anger, guilt and sadness for the things he'll never experience, while we celebrate her every milestone.




Tonight, she fake-cried, then when her dad and I laughed at her, she gave us our first mutual gummy smile. It's enough to break my heart- because I can only imagine what his might have been like.


She locks eyes with me as we nurse together, as though to thank me for the milk she drinks.  She coos at me, and pushes her feet into the palms of my hands as I rub lotions into her soft little feet. We shower together, her warm little body pressed gently to mine as I rinse Burt's Bees from her baby mullet. Sometimes I hold her, and kiss the top of her head, and I cry, remembering the boy who occupied these same hands, these same arms, these same kisses not all that long ago... Happy tears mixing in with the sad- it's hard to distinguish them from one another.

It's all so bittersweet.

22 comments:

Brooke said...

Oh, LJ. Every word you write her resonates with me, and I know the inevitable comparisons must be especially sharp since you had Jack home with you, doing the very same things you're now doing with Grace. She is so precious and the love you feel for both your kids is palatable here.

Caroline said...

It is all so bittersweet, but I'm so grateful that you are getting to experience all this sweetness after so much sadness. She is so beautiful. I'm excited she gets the chance to learn about her brother Jack.

TanaLee Davis said...

Grace is sooo stinkn beautiful! Congrats on the growth and ever changes in your lil girl! Hugs while you feel this sting of what once was but hoping your future is brighter than ever.-
Felicia

Merry said...

Oh, I know. Yes, yes, yes,

I'm so sad now that I didn't put Freddie in any of our aby clothes, so there is nothing he and his brother wore and only one thing he wore which his sisters wore. What was I thinking?

It's passing now, as Ben grows, some of the happy sad, but I suppose it won't ever really go. Not quite.

Rose said...

She is soooo sweet! :o) Way to go, girls!!!

Mary said...

Bittersweet, definitely. But she's so beautiful and she's lucky to have you as her momma. You're a wonderful momma to both of your children.

SG said...

What a little sweetie - love the cheeks <3
Everything you said makes so much sense, even though I'm not there (yet?).

LookItsJessica said...

Adorable pics! Avery has a Burt's Bees baby mullet too haha

Sherri said...

Feeling these same thoughts as we watch our little man growing.... so bittersweet!
She's a gorgeous baby!

Tiffany said...

she is more beautiful than i thought she would be. this post made me tear up. Jack has sent you such a precious gift.

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

So happy you've got such a lovely baby girl! She's as lucky to have you, as you are to have her.

JoyAndSorrow said...

"I feel like this may be the biggest burden of parenting after a loss I ever experience- trying to cope with my anger, guilt and sadness for the things he'll never experience, while we celebrate her every milestone." YES. This exactly!!! I have struggled with this every day since bringing my daughter home from the hospital and leaving her brother there. Bittersweet, all the way, and so hard to distinguish the happy from the sad. THAT is my new normal. Thank you for articulating it so well. Massive hugs.

Renel said...

I so get this... But from an alternate perspective. Everything I experienced with Kai, I expected to experience with Camille. You writing about her looking into into your eyes as she nurses and cooing. Rubbing her little feet with lotion... Oh how I longed for these things with my daughter. Reading this brings tears to my eyes. The way you know what you missed with jack by living it with grace is the way I know what I missed with Camille because I had already experienced them with Kai. It's so heartbreaking and so tragic. I'm so glad she is not only growing, but thriving. I wish you had both you babies. I'm so glad your breasts get to nourish her from your breast. Honestly I believe it is the most magical connection between two humans. I loved nursing Kai. It is an amazing experience to feed your baby yes? Hugs.

crystal said...

Thinking of you!!! She is beautiful!!!

rebecca said...

She is so beautiful, thinking of you guys. Yes it is all very bittersweet in the beginning, hoping the joyful moments continue to warm your hearts & that you are able to feel some peace in the knowledge she is thriving. Be gentle with yourself, its completely normal to feel these difficult emotions with your rainbow baby and time really does seem to help.

Angela said...

Yes, yes, yes. It is so happy/sad bittersweet to have a rainbow baby.

Grace is a gorgeous baby. I love the pictures!

I'm still learning how to balance missing C with raising B. I don't think the learning ever stops.

Rhiannon said...

What a beautiful little lady you have there. It is all so bittersweet.

DandelionBreeze said...

She's adorable... thinking of you as she gets bigger and always thinking of Jack too xoxo

Darcey said...

She is absolutely beautiful!!!

Jenny Bagwill said...

Grace is so beautiful.

Natasha said...

It's so hard. Most definitely bittersweet. Grace is just beautiful- perfect.

Addi's mom said...

So bittersweet. So happy to watch these siblings grow, so sad that the older ones never got the chance. Jack has an adorable little sister.

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