Monday, September 14, 2009

Above Average

Over the summer, I started to notice that my daughter was growing quite a bit. All of sudden, it seemed that her shirts were getting too short and her shoes were getting too small. When we started going through her jeans from last year, most of them were too short. The jeans that had been far too long at the end of the last spring don't drag on the floor anymore.

I didn't measure her at the beginning of summer, but I think she grew about 4 inches between May and September. When I measured her this morning, she stood at 54 inches tall. I wondered where that put her on the growth chart and it turns out she's 7 inches taller than average, although at just under 60 pounds, she's a little lighter than the average nine year old.

I know, you're thinking "So what? Kids go through growth spurts", and you would be correct in thinking that. But with my daughter, it's truly amazing. She had a long way to go just to get on the growth chart at all. She was born 17 weeks prematurely and weighed just 14 ounces at birth. She was 11 inches long, which, for reference, is the same length as a Barbie doll. An average full term baby weighs approximately 7 pounds and is 20 inches long. That's a big difference.

She spent the first six months of her life in the hospital, so we got used to seeing her in comparison to other premature babies, but even then she was smaller by far. For the first few months after she was born, we couldn't find preemie clothes small enough for her. The smallest preemie diapers the hospital had were huge, too. I think she was almost a year old before she could wear clothes labeled for newborns.

The day we left the hospital with her, the doctors couldn't tell us whether she would ever be the same size as other children her age. I'm not sure when she started to catch up, but by the time she started preschool, she was smaller than the other kids, but not dramatically so. Last week, at school, she walked in with a girl who had been at least a head taller than her last year and now they are the same height.

I always knew she was above average!


Tattoos and Teething Rings said...

I hate the growth charts and percentile numbers- who's kid is average? My son is "underweight" but tall, my daughter is "overweight" and slightly tall; they eat the same foods and have the same two parents, both are active, there's just no telling what your child(ren) will look like. Considering your daughter's history, I think it's great that she's growing like a weed!

Heidi said...

Wow, your daughter is an amazing fighter. I was born 8 weeks early and my mom thought I was small weighing 4 lb 3 oz... I was a whopper compared to her! The dr's always told my parents I would be smaller than everyone else and would probably have a lot of learning problems. At 9 years old I hit puberty and had a HUGE growth spurt getting to 5'3 (where I still am today). I was way taller than everyone else and amazed the dr. I also graduated ranked number 1 in my class, so they were wrong about the learning problems also. Each kid is different and the dr's just don't know! Congrats on having such an amazing daughter :)

Purple Flowers said...

Bless her life! :)

L.B. said...

Willoughby Daughter is a great fighter, and grower too.

That's an insane amount of height she grew in five months!

Chicago Mom said...

I am so glad your daughter was such a fighter and is here today to shock you with her growth spurt!

Lissaloo said...

I think it must be all the sunshine and water that kids get in the summer, mine all grew a ton this summer too!
It sounds like you have one tough little girl, she will never be just average :)

Amy said...

That's quite a growth spurt! Is she happy to have gained height? She sounds like she is tall and thin (most women's dream, uh?!) It's wonderful that after being a preemie she's now above average in height! That's great and as a fellow preemie I am extremely proud of her. Congratulations on havinga healthy daughter :o)

Raoulysgirl said...

I'm in the same area as Tats. My oldest is tall and "slightly overweight" while my youngest is short and "underweight." I was not able to breastfeed either of them (though I tried mightily with both!). Both are good eaters with pretty mature palates. Go figure.