Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Need to Compare

Maybe I'm just ridiculously paranoid, but everywhere I look, babies that are Elliot's age and YOUNGER are doing bigger and better things than he is. I know, I know, we've all heard it a hundred times- "don't worry, all babies do things at their own individual pace."
If I were the mother of a "regular" baby, perhaps I would heed that advice and relax a little. But the fact is, I'm not. Sure, Elliot may LOOK healthy and whole nowadays, but that doesn't change the fact that he had a very startling, unnatural beginning to life. He inspired us all during those first hard weeks with his unbelievable strength and resilience, but no matter how quickly he recovered, he is still going to be faced with some challenges as a result of what happened to him both in and out of the womb.
I've been told that the chances of Elliot having some developmental delays is about 65%. Now that's just not fair. Hasn't he already been through ENOUGH? So here I am, silently taking note of the things that he should probably already be doing by now {eating more, sleeping longer, rolling over, sitting unassisted, grabbing/holding toys, holding his own bottle, discovering his feet, etc} and trying to encourage him. This is an interesting internal battle for me, though. Honestly, I'm in no great hurry for him to do ANY of these things. I LOVE that he is still so dependent on me. He will only be this little once, so why rush things? Well, it seems that others are always questioning me about it. You should see the looks I get from complete strangers as they try to hide their shock when they find out that he is actually much older than he looks, or that he is or isn't doing a certain thing. It's frustrating.
He will be evaluated by a specialist in two months to determine whether he is reaching his milestones or falling behind. Until then, I should probably just relax and stop worrying. I'm sure he'll catch up eventually, and even if he didn't, I would love him anyway. But I'm a worrier. It's what I do!
Thanks for listening to me ramble. I just needed to get this out.


  1. On the eating more and sleeping better thing, I am still waiting for my three year old to eat more and sleep better. I don't think that is something that ever happens!
    I think it is healthy to have some worry about whether or not he is meeting his milestones, as long as you try not to compare or overworry yourself. <3

  2. Oh hun! I think that Elliot is just PERFECT the way he is. So what if other babies can do this or that! I think there is to much hype on milestones. Babies develop at their own pace. An considering what you little man has gone through i think hes doing pretty darn good!

    Take other womens looks with a grain of salt! I believe that when we become mothers we become the most judgmental being on earth - its just in a mothers nature to worry and criticize!

    But don't give them the satisfaction of worrying about it. Just focus on your little man and give him love and affection. He will develop just perfectly!

  3. Worrying, I've learned, is a normal part of motherhood. The key is to not obsess.

    As for what other people think, I've learned that there are two topics for which everyone has an opinion: marriage and babies. However, even when people say they understand that a child has dealt with an issue, they can't really understand unless they have also had a child who dealt with an issue. My nephew was born at 24 weeks and 4 days and was in the NICU for 105 days. He's almost 3 now, and he and my sister still get surprised looks from strangers when they find out how old he is. They all have opinions and sometimes my sister's feelings get hurt. But let me tell you, although my nephew is a little behind developmentally, he is BRILLIANT and FABULOUS!

    My sister found other parents of micro premies and it helped her a lot to know that her experiences were not unique. Have you found any other parents of children with Gastrochisis? I know this is not the same issue as Gastrochisis, but my sister gets it. If you want, you can check out her blog:

    Sorry this comment is so long. But hang in there. Keep doing all that you're doing for Elliot and he and you will be just fine.

  4. It took me looooong time to stop listening to what other people think. My hubby's family is VERY judgemental and constantly compare how I'm raising my baby with how his sister raised her's 10 years ago. Elliot will progress at his own comfortable pace :)

  5. Don't worry - i don't think any baby can or should be expected to sit unassisted, hold the bottle by himself or roll over at an age of four months! That is way too early. Any baby who can do that at four months is developing quicker than usual!
    He will discover all those things when he is ready. And you cannot make him do those things as long as he isn't ready... So, relax ;-)
    I Know that is easy to say... I am a mommy to a one and a half year old girl and it's often easier said than done :-(

  6. I would say that it makes sense that he's doing things a little behind because of his beginning. It makes sense that his milestones may be a bit delayed but that shouldnt be a negative--it should just make you be that much more excited when it does happen. When Lilla got sick I was so nervous that she wouldn't develop properly so we started working with a place called Help Me Grow and they said she's perfect for her age but they loved her SO much they agreed to come back anyway. It's been such a big help for me to hear about where she is and how well she is doing. HMG is only in Ohio, but I'm sure there is something similar in your state. Lilla meets with a physical therapist every 3 months to make sure her arm is healing properly from being limp for so long, maybe meeting with someone like that would give you the encouragement & validation you need :)

  7. i don't think babies sit unassisted until about six months. and due to elliot's circumstances, he might be a little delayed in some areas right now. but i'm sure he will catch up soon enough! :)

  8. I know it's hard not to compare...everyone does it....even when I don't mean to...I am. Look...Aydan was born with no copmplications...and he is not even attempting to crawl, when all the other babies his age has been doing it for weeks. :)

    Elliot is just so darn adorable!

  9. I wouldn't worry about any of it. My little girl (12.16.10) was/is perfectly heathly. She isn't a big eater at all. I really think it's just how she is. But she's gaining just fine. She is making us wait to hear that special little laugh. (we are trying to be patient....but can't hardly wait.) All babies do things at their own time pace. So I try to wait patiently for each little milestone to occur. They come eventually.

  10. Thanks for all the thoughtful comments, ladies! They really do help! I know I just need to not worry about it. I'm trying to do that. :) It's just easy to let other people bring you down sometimes.

  11. No one can tell you to just NOT worry, we are moms and that's what we do best. If we didn't worry about things, that'd be scary!
    I do think babies all do things at different levels... My son is "healthy" and is 14 months old now but seeing him with all of his friends (he's very socialized), I see with my own eyes how different they all are. My son isn't walking yet when his little friends are running but he was standing up in his crib at 7 months when some learned at 11 months. He didn't sit up until he was 6 months old. He still wakes up twice a night (though now he doesn't eat but gets the odd cuddle). Elliot looks great! And you're being a great advocate is going to be what gets him far in this life!!! Just be the best you can be and he'll follow that!


“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
-Dr. Seuss