Merritt had his first well-baby visit on Monday. He weighs 7 1/2 pounds now, and will be 10 weeks old on Friday. He was vaccinated and then for the rest of the day cried out in pain every time he moved his little legs. It was sad, and I wanted nothing more than to curl up with him on the couch and cuddle all day, but Roscoe had needs too, so we all had to compromise.
As much as I've hoped for Merritt's prematurity not to impact him, the reality is that he doesn't act like a 10 week old and is developmentally more or less in line with his adjusted age of 2 weeks 5 days. I hope that we can drop the "adjusted age" talk soon, and that his early birth won't define him as he grows up. In the past few days he's learned to hold up his head in a wobbly fashion, and also seems to be more active with his arms and legs when he is awake. I would love to see a smile one of these days.
He has been monitor free for several weeks now, which has freed us both literally and figuratively. I'm quite exhausted of the weekly appointments, phone calls, and the organizational feats of time and energy required to keep up with all the follow-up for this little guy. I think my pessimism comes from a place of feeling that much of what we are dealing with at this point is unnecessary. Everyone errs on the side of caution, at our expense.
The latest order came yesterday from Merritt's Pulmonologist who is pushing for a barium swallow test, "just to rule out" any abnormalities in his anatomy. I feel like the doctors we deal with are in the business of running everyone through the same slew of tests and procedures without considering the individual needs or risk factors of each patient. I know the idea is to not let anyone fall through the cracks, but I'm not keen to expose Merritt to radiation just because it's the next item on his Doctor's checklist.