Jun 24, 2011

thoughts at 31 weeks

22 years ago, almost to the day strangely enough, my mother gave birth to my brother Dan. She was also only 30 weeks pregnant.  

{dan, above - three weeks old, barely 3 pounds}

All along, I have said that as long as I make it to the 30 week mark, when my brother was born, I will feel I've succeeded - the rest will, somehow in my mind, be considered a bonus, more time for our little man to grow big and strong. Now that I am here at 31 weeks, all I can think is "you'd better stay in there for 9 more weeks little man!"  

{dan, two months. just home from the hospital, 6 pounds}

I cannot imagine the emotions my mother went through, feeling her body start to contract and her water break, being bed-ridden for six days in the hospital while the doctors tried to give my brother more time, more time. Knowing he would come far too early, and unsure of what that meant.

 {dan, eight years old}

Lucky for all of us, all it meant was that he had to grow. Weighing in at 2 lbs 8 oz, he was lucky enough to have his lungs fully formed - meaning he was able to breathe on his own. He didn't know how to eat yet however, so he had to be taught to suckle - something I had always thought was "instinct" in babies is not, it turns out. Other than that he was a perfectly healthy - albeit super tiny - little baby.

After two months of monitoring and growing in the NICU, he was sent home, two weeks ahead of his scheduled due date! When I look at our latest {and probably last} ultrasound of our little man, I cannot help but marvel and remember - the last time I saw a baby this small, i was twelve, he was my brother, and I only got to hold him twice in the two months he was in the hospital.

{dan, college - wearing hand knits!}

I remind my little man every day that while his uncle decided to dare-devil his way into the world, sticking around in utero for a few more weeks won't mean he's not just as tough and amazing and daring as Uncle Dan is! As much as I yearn to kiss his little face and squeal over his teenie toes, I would rather he do his growing INSIDE rather than outside.

Thirty one weeks.

Twenty two years ago I became a big sister as my mother crossed this mark. So much symmetry and synchronicity, and an entirely new level of understanding and compassion for what she must have gone through. Just ten more weeks little man, and you can begin to be brave like your Uncle Dan is. But not for ten more weeks!

No comments:

Post a Comment