Monday, April 26, 2010

The Bonuses of Having a Tiny Preemie

There are a few things about having a tiny preemie that are nice. I relied on this list for the three months that my baby was in the NICU. Here is what I have come up with: (Ok, they don't really apply if you had multiples or a c-section. Sorry.)

1) Easy delivery. Well, I've heard that for a lot of people it's worse delivering a tiny baby. I don't know why. From the time that they broke my water to the time that The Kid was born was 30 minutes. That's how long I pushed and the only miserable part was the contractions, which are the same no matter what size your baby is.

2) Easy recovery. Once the epidural wore off, I felt as though I had never been pregnant, much less given birth. They offered to wheel me in a wheelchair up to the NICU to see The Kid, but that just sounded silly to me. I walked. The most painful part for the few days after delivering was my back where the epidural went in. And my IV site. My hand hurt for over a month.

3) No stretch marks/dark belly button line/extra weight. At my six week postpartum check-up I weighed what I did before I got pregnant. Woohoo! I don't know how long I was at that weight; I don't have a home scale. And I went home from the hospital and put on my pre-pregnancy jeans. Yep. I did. They didn't look as good as they did before, but they still fit. And now they look just as good. And I never got that dark belly button line. Or stretch marks on my belly. Well, I got the short end of the stick with that, I guess, because I got one stretch mark in the middle of my belly when The Kid was two weeks old. Not fair. But still, I never liked my body as much as I did in those few weeks following The Kid's birth, merely because no one else gets to look that good right after having a baby. Sorry, ladies. :D

4) Someone else took care of the dirty diapers for the first three months. That was nice.

So, those are the things that I enjoyed about having a micro preemie. But really, the bad outweighs the good. Next time I will gladly endure 42 weeks of miserable pregnancy uncomfortableness. Give me all the stretch marks that will fit on my huge belly. I'm just trying to be optimistic because I have no other choice. Next time I hope it's different.

And let me dispel a myth: Just because your baby is three months early does not mean that you have three extra months to prepare at home. No. Once you are no longer pregnant, you lose all of that "nesting" stuff. I had no desire to paint The Kid's room. And I had no time. Instead of conveniently taking your baby with you everywhere you go (in your belly, of course), you have to spend hours in the NICU. Even when you have to be somewhere else, you don't want to be. And you only have a few hours at a time to do anything, because you have to constantly pump. It is not a time to prepare. It's a time to have no time to do anything else. So there ya go.

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