It’s now April and Jacob is almost 12 weeks old, a fact which Nichola and I are struggling to get our heads around. The last three months have been an absolute whirlwind and time seems to be stuck in fast-forward. Don’t get me wrong though, there have been nights that have felt like a lifetime. Times where he has just refused to settle and had ten nappy changes, but these are exceptions in easily the fastest three months that we have ever lived through.
Due to complications with pre-eclampsia and an early induction date we knew that Jacob would be a small baby. Nothing quite prepared us for just how small he would be in reality though, and when he made his early appearance on the 14th January 2016 his tiny body shocked us both. He was born at 5lb 5oz, which is not ridiculously small, indeed many twins are born around this weight, but to us he just looked too minuscule to be a real person. At first I could pretty much entirely hold him in one hand. His little body felt so fragile, and he had almost no skin folds at all.
Over the course of the next few weeks our focus was to fatten this little person up as much as we could and we followed feeding guidelines religiously. We also read books and blogs on best techniques for upping his food intake and ensuring he wasn’t bringing it all back up. At first we were over the moon if he could take 40ml of milk and this felt like a huge achievement for our little guy. We were told by multiple doctors that “as long as he was gaining weight they were happy with him”, so that became our key metric of success when it came to Jacob’s development. Before we knew it he was taking 150ml at each feed and his weight started to rocket upwards.
Jacob’s weight turned into a mild obsession for us both, as we poured over weight graphs to see which percentile he was in and whether he was nearly in the next one up. Often we couldn’t wait for the official weekly weight checks and found ourselves weighing him halfway through the week using the kitchen scales and box of cereal to rest him on! Needless to say we were getting a little carried away…
Skip forward to the present day and our little man is not so little any more. As of today Jacob weighs 11lb 5oz and to us he looks like an absolutely beast. He is over double his birth weight. You could literally put two of ‘Day 1 Jacob’ into ‘Week 12 Jacob’. He has three chins, sometimes four. He has rolls of fat on his arms, legs and delightfully chubby cheeks. He is absolutely full of life and we are getting so much satisfaction from seeing him grow. It’s easy for us to forget though that some babies are born not far from this weight, and we often get sweet old ladies coming up to us, commenting on how small he is and asking if he is only a few days old. We politely reply that he is three months old and started life as a tiny baby, but inside we are screaming “HE’S HUGE! WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”.
Weight is certainly not the only measure of a baby’s wellbeing, but it’s certainly a reassuring sign to see your child growing and developing. The problem now is that we don’t want him to grow up any more, because he’s just too cute right now. If anyone knows how to pause time, please let us know! At least we have plenty of photos and videos to remember every step of the way.