Friday, October 17, 2008

Tricky Questions

We don't take Henry out much.  He was discharged from the NICU right at the beginning of cold and flu season so we need to keep him out of public places.  Besides, he needs to conserve his energy for growing.  One place I do need to take him, however, is the clinic for weekly weight checks.  The doctor needs to make sure he is gaining weight appropriately and adjust his calorie intake as needed.

We had an appointment last Tuesday and while I was there, something was brought to my attention by the other patients in the waiting room.  Five or six people must have asked me how old Henry is and I had no idea how to answer!  At first, I just said he was six weeks old--which is true--but anyone who has ever seen a newborn can tell that my wee five pound baby is not six weeks old.  Then I said that he was six weeks old, but that he was born premature.  I don't mind sharing what happened, obviously, but I don't know if I'm giving them more information than they want and I'm not always up for a long conversation about HOW early he was, HOW long he was in the hospital, HOW much he weighed when he was born, etc.  I can certainly chat someone up once in an evening, but five or six times?  I'm not sure I'm up for it.

This is really a non-issue, though.  We'll be taking him to the clinic once a week and that will be the extent of his outings until he is larger and his corrected age won't raise so many eyebrows.  And it's not like I find the questions or the conversation offensive or distressing in any way.  It's just a lot to talk about with strangers in a waiting room.  Over and over again.  Sometime, though, it's just hard to know what to say.


Angoraknitter said...

I wondered about that. How often it seems premies get slated on growth/ development charts based on their birth date, and while everyone knows they're early ect...there's always sort of when will they "catch up with their age" thing. I suppose I'd probably take to telling folks He's (3x week's gestation), or whatever his corrected age would be...I mean unless they need to know when to send a birthday card, or something.

I'm so glad he's home with you now. Is he still waking up at diner time?

Michelle said...

I ask people all the time how old their baby's just conversation mostly. Just answer "six weeks" and if they say "he's so tiny" just agree. If they press on with "but he's seems too small," then say he was premature.

Anonymous said...

Or you could just answer, "Gosh, I have no idea. I was watching porn on the Internet the other day when one of my kids said, 'Hey, Mom! A baby just appeared on the sofa.' And there he was."