Earlier this week I was talking with someone about our births. I was musing over the fact that I felt I should
have been bigger and taller than I currently am, if only because both my sisters are taller than my mom whereas I'm the shortest in the family. I then told them about what my mom had told me:
That there was something wrong with her/my placenta during her pregnancy of me so I didn't get all of the nutrients I should have had from all the food she eating. There was a possibility also of the oxygen uptake and gas exchange (O2, CO2) not being optimal.
I knew already that my conversing partner was 10 pounds 4 ounces (10.25lbs/4.6493 kg). That's really big for an infant! The nurses bought their mother flowers, out of sympathy.. They were born with the umbilical cord around their neck. Thankfully they were delivered with a C-section, which made it easier to ease the umbilical off.
I was born very small though I didn't know how much I weighed at birth. I stayed in the incubator for 26 days afterwards which doesn't seem a long time to me, but I was told it was a long time by the other person's standards. I don't know how different hospitalized neonatal care is in Malaysia and other countries.
This ignorance of my birth weight led me to text my mother and ask her. Apparently I was 1.5 kg. In American terms, that 3.3lbs/3 pounds 4.8 ounces! I was about a third
of the other person's baby weight! We didn't know what the ranges were for underweight, normal, and large babies were besides our vague notion that double digit pound babies are huge. They Googled something like 3.3lbs baby and found that I was on the cusp of underweight-very/extremely underweight baby or very low birthweight for some sites
My mom texted me that I was not a premature baby and went to full term. I had a vague notion about that, just from my mom once telling me that I "didn't want to leave" and that one of my sisters were "eager to leave." She also mentioned again something being wrong with the placenta. Her remark led me to Googling some terms I can't remember now but led me to intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
According to PubMed:
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to the poor growth of a baby while in the mother's womb during pregnancy. Specifically, it means the developing baby weights less than 90% of other babies at the same gestational age
.( More )
I don't know if the doctor gave this as a possibility to my mom. I have no idea what was
wrong with the placenta, if there was a name for it. My dad's told me my head seemed big for my body and it was all "floppy" but baby's necks are
too weak to support the head, anyway. I didn't get passive antibodies from my mother, spread through breastmilk, because I was fed on formula. I didn't react well to something in her breastmilk, a sensitivity to something.
I don't know if I would ever have children. Maybe? Maybe not. I know I can expect a small baby, if not hope
for a small baby! My mom, after giving birth to all of us, was pretty thin, judging from the photos and some of her post-pregnancy clothes I tried on. (Like clothes from when we lived in NYC when I was 11 months old.) She got married when she was 23 years old and I can't fit in her wedding outfit; she was that slim. I do have a different body shape from my sisters and my mom, though. One of my older sisters could fit in her wedding outfit, at least back in high school. My mom was pretty athletic all through primary and secondary school. She likes to take long walks when she can.
On a funny note, my mom texted me that my older sisters were 5 and 5.5 kilos. That's 11lbs and 12.1lbs, respectively! That's bigger than the person I was talking with, and their mother was far taller than my mother! I texted her back, saying that was heavy and she said, no, it's normal and I responded, no, I don't think so. Then she replied and said that she got it wrong, they were 5 and 5.5 pounds
at birth, not kilograms! Whew, what a relief!