A Salute to Moms of Tiny Babies

When someone gives birth to a huge baby, everyone is all sympathies — “oh that poor mom” — but when someone gives birth to a tiny baby, it’s the exact opposite. The most common response I got to my 5 pound, 12 ounce pipsqueak was: “lucky you!” with a little wink.

I’m not saying a woman who gives birth to a 10 lb. heifer doesn’t deserve all our utmost admiration, because she DOES, I’m sure of it.

But us Tiny Baby Moms have our own shit to deal with.

Like round-the-clock heel pricks on your tiny, terrified newborn. Once an hour, for at least the first 24 hours. Brutal.

And the weight checks—oh, the endless, anxiety-inducing weight checks! Once a week or maybe every other week (if you’re lucky), you load up your itty-bitty baby into the car seat, drive 10 miles an hour to the doctor’s office (because you’re convinced your 5-pound baby isn’t safe in that ginormous car seat), and you just pray he met his goal weight.

And if he didn’t, then hold onto your britches, because hell hath no fury like a breastfeeding mama scorned.

You mean to tell me, I’ve been nursing this little baby Skeletor every two hours on the dot, round the clock, and he only gained 4 ounces?! Aw heeeeellll no… *burns down pediatrician’s office*

I mean where is it all going? They’re drinking the milk, right?

So you pump and bottle feed to measure the ounces precisely, and get buried alive in pump parts and bottles, and get so deliriously sleep-deprived that your pump starts talking to you in the middle of the night.

And then, you have to watch your tiny baby spew that precious hard work right back out, because, oh yeah:

THE REFLUX. The life-ruining, destroyer of dreams, thief of joy that is reflux. GERD, as the doctors call it.

Sure, big babies get reflux too, and it’s just as hard on them. Tiny babies are just much more prone to it. Reflux is an evil demon that lives inside your newborn until he literally pukes it out, hopefully after a few months.

You will throw all your crunchy mama aspirations out the window when your tiny baby is suffering from reflux.

“I’m not medicating my baby until he’s at least a year old!” turns into “please dear god, what can I pump into him to make the screaming stop.” So just give into it, and get your tiny baby some relief.

If you can get the reflux under control, you’ll have a fighting chance to upgrade your newborn from baby Lord Voldemort status to, like, hairless Sphynx cat status. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll get him to sweet cherub baby status in time to actually wear some of his clothes before they go out of season.

Teeny, tiny, string bean baby mamas deserve all the praise and admiration – they're put through a lot those first few months.

My actual tiny string bean baby.

Because more than likely, if you’re anything like me, you bought, washed, and organized a whole wardrobe of outfits for your little babe while you were still pregnant, blissfully ignorant to the tininess in your future.

And then you birthed a skinny little praying mantis of sorts, and nothing fit him. The Newborn outfits that everyone told you would only last a week before baby outgrew them swallowed your baby up for months. So by the time he fits into the adorable 3-6 month cozy Christmas outfit you’d planned, it’s March.

Just embrace it, and have yourself a Christmas in March party. When you look back at the pictures in 10 years, you’ll never remember that it wasn’t actually Christmas, because motherhood eats your brain from the inside out.

But trust me that one day, you’ll go to the pediatrician, and your arms will be sore from lugging around your beast of a baby, and that little chunk will be in the 80th percentile, and you won’t even know what to do with yourself, you’ll be so proud. You’ll want to toss him in the air to celebrate, but you won’t be able to because he’ll weigh 25 pounds, and you’re not a damn body builder.

So hang in there, snuggle your little string bean, and enjoy these sweet days for what they are – long, exhausting, thankless, and generally sucky rewarding (just go with it).

 

Moms of tiny babies have it rough. Weight checks, reflux, anxiety galore... here's to you, tiny baby moms!

13 Comments

  1. I’ve never experienced this myself, as my children were rather big. I appreciated your candid and somewhat eye-opening perspective. All the best to you and your family 🙂

  2. What a beautiful tribute. I had no idea what moms of tiny babies go through.

  3. I love how open & honest you were in this post!! I can only imagine how hard it is to see your baby go through that and not know what to do to help him. So glad he’s gaining weight now, though! <3

  4. I loved reading this post. Yes its true and My son lost lot of weight post birth. and I had to hear a lot from many people . My doctor was sure this is normal Still. 🙂

  5. This post was equal parts funny and true. My first daughter was 6lb 1oz when she was born and then when she had her one week check up she was down to 5lb 8oz which scared me to death! Daughter #2 clocked in at 7lb 10oz and has always been a champion eater, so that was a relief!

    • That gives me hope for when we have a second — hopefully he/she will spare me that stress!

  6. Chrissie, I love your mad writing skills but love you and Your not-so-little-anymore string bean even more.

  7. First of all, how cute is your baby?! I was fortunate enough to have two larger babies (both around 9 lbs) and it wasn’t easy. However, I was always so grateful for them being healthy. I had to take my son in for just ONE weight check because he wasn’t gaining fast enough and it was pure agony. The anxiety, guilt, fear, worry, just consumes you. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that more than once. You deserve a medal! Great job Mama!

  8. Okay, first off, you have the sweetest baby ever! How adorable! And second, hats off to all preemie moms out there! I can’t even imagine. I have not had a preemie baby, myself, but I WAS a preemie baby. My mom had to go through so much with me. I know it is not easy.

    logancan.com

  9. I admit I’ve probably been THAT Mom that hoped for a baby that was just a little bit smaller 😉 My first was 9 1/2 pounds, haha! My biggest problem (besides getting him OUT – he got stuck at his shoulders because he was too big) was that he was hungry ALL THE TIME and wanted more food than I was able to produce to fill his comparatively giant tummy! Always important to remember we ALL have our challenges, and that we need to pull together to get through it 🙂

    • For sure! Big babies definitely have their own set of drama to deal with.

  10. I know how hard it is to have pre-mature babies and relfux. It is tough! Two out of three of my children were born premature and both of them were REALLY colicky and had reflux. My youngest daughter was born at 37 weeks but she was not colicky AT ALL (phew!) and was such a good baby. It is a tough road and I definitely feel for you. I love the little outfit you put on him. So cute! ((hugs mama!)) and it is crazy how time flies by, my oldest is 11 and I’m still in shock from that. Good Luck!!! 🙂

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