a victory visit!

I couldn’t be prouder of my little man, but I know he’s small. In the back of my head, I always wonder when he’ll catch up. And every season that passes without us having to buy new clothes for the girls leaves me a little more discouraged. I understand that each child is different and I’m small and they look healthy and I’m doing all the right things and they eat like horses and blah blah blah. I’m currently going through Kelle Hampton’s memoir, and her words are salve to my soul. I need room to mourn and space to process… grace to grieve that which isn’t what I’d expected and hoped.

Well, the three youngest had a well visit today. We made the decision (along with all of our specialists) to stop the visits for awhile, so this was the twins’ first appointment in six months. I’ve had a rough couple of weeks emotionally, and I’m sure a lot of it has been stress surrounding this appointment. I spent some time this morning crying into my shirt, not wanting to scare Ames while he watched PBS. I eventually got myself together and took a hot shower, soaking up some encouraging words from you folks on Instagram. Whatever the scale would tell us, whatever it meant when I would have to answer “no” to all of the is-your-child-doing-this questions, none of it mattered. At least, I tried to tell myself that on the way to the practice.

My mom helped me get the babies to and from and through the appointment, and I was grateful for her help. We go to an amazing family practice that allows the whole crew, adults included, to see the same provider. They let us schedule the three little pigs back to back today. I filled out a few forms in the waiting room while Ames played with a toddler who was taller than he – and yet stumbling around, as if just learning to walk. I couldn’t help myself… “How old is he?” Sixteen months. Younger than my girls. I felt the tears prickle and looked away, blinking hard at the ceiling lights. I learned that trick at work. You’re never supposed to let your patients see you cry.

A medical assistant called our names and marched us down the hall. Ames suddenly developed an intense fear of strangers and needed to take a few toys with him. We stopped at the dreaded scale, and he held my hand as he stepped up. Thirty-one pounds. I exhaled and smiled so hard. The arm on the vertical stick wouldn’t go low enough to measure his height, so the assistant had to mark it with her hand. Thirty-five inches. He looked up at me and smiled, “I getting bigger, Momma!” You certainly are, my love. 

Then it was the girls’ turn, and the lady gave me a nervous smile. “Do they… stand up? No? Okay, we can have them sit on the scale. I’ll measure their length with my tape in the exam room.” Isaiah Jane weighed just over fifteen pounds. Honor Rose, a little more than sixteen. Deep breath and a smile again. They had surpassed the secret goal I’d set for them.

The rest of the appointment went quite smoothly. The kids played and behaved beautifully. I broke all of the rules about keeping them off of the floor and away from the waiting room toys (you try doing that with three babies). Our practitioner already knows Isaiah Jane’s story, and he was very sensitive about all three kids’ small stature. This is actually the first time all three have been on the growth chart, and he cheered right along with me. The sisters are each at 1% for both heigh and weight. He was proud to learn that Isaiah Jane is finally so mobile, she’s getting injured – hence the rug burn on her chin. Honor Rose seems to have some sweet little fat flat feet, so he wrote a prescription for her to get the same braces IJ uses. Our physical therapist recommended it, and he agreed. Hopefully, she’ll be walking independently in no time!

I want to remember the good visits with the not-so-great. Today was redemptive for me, and I want to relive it when I need to. I also wanted it to share it with those of you who have followed along and supported us along the way. Thank you for loving us so well!

24 thoughts on “a victory visit!”

  1. I have tears in my eyes reading this. I know exactly the dreaded anticipation of another visit where you don’t get the news you so desperately have been praying for AND those visits when everything goes right. It feels like a foot off your chest, doesn’t it? These tiny, mighty babies of yours are going to move mountains one day, Rachael. It has been an honor to watch them grow and share their story here on your blog. So happy for your news today! Love, M

  2. I do the same with other babies who are talking up a storm, comparing them to my little boy, who is inevitably months older, and has less than 10 words. Still. The same 10 words he’s had for the past year. Its hard not to compare. But yay! Congrats for progress!!!!!

  3. I remember the day my youngest finally made it on to the growth chart–he was 18 months old and it was as if he had just won entrance to Harvard in my eyes! I’m as delighted for you and your children as I would have been if you said “All three of them won Gold Medals!”

    And in closing, may I just say that when the phrase “beautiful baby” is heard, my brain flashes me a picture of your babies! Ames is a handsome little man and those twins always make the Gerber baby look ordinary!

  4. Rachael,
    I stop in here from time to time and I can understand where you are coming from. You can’t let yourself get stressed out too much, every child is different.

    Hang in there, mama. It’ll get easier.

  5. Rachael,
    I stop in here from time to time and I can understand where you are coming from. You can’t let yourself get stressed out too much, every child is different.

    Hang in there, mama. It’ll get easier.

  6. Aw, so happy you guys had a great visit! I think it’s inevitable that people compare their children to others or compare themselves to others; part of being human.

  7. My son turns six in January. He’s 32 lb and 36.5″. We did all sorts of tests on him — ultimately, the x-ray of his left wrist showed he had constitutional growth delay. Basically his skeleton was the size of an 18 month old when we took the x-ray (he was 4 at the time). That made me feel a lot better. Basically, he’ll have an extra 2.5 years to catch up after all his peers are done growing. Before that, it was (sweat) test after (blood) test. I don’t know if you’ve checked into that type of x-ray … but it sure made me feel better knowing what it was.

    1. Thank you for sharing! I think we’re dealing with several constitutional growth delays here, if I’m reading correctly – big heads and little everything else? I just want my boy to catch up enough to not have a rough time in school, as selfish as that sounds. Keep me updated on your son’s progress!

  8. Yay for 1%! I’m hoping my little Zach will have reached that milestone at our four month appointment next week. Hope you’re celebrating tonight!

    1. Give yourself plenty of time and grace… it took us this long just to get ONTO the growth chart! Your babes are looking huge & healthy these days, though!

  9. Great news! My littles have always been on the low end of the growth spectrum for weight, but tall. I get all kinds of comments about Declan’s weight at almost 15 months. And he’s in the 5th percentile! Hang in there, you are such a great mama!

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