I'm a 42yo online communications & IT consultant, and ex recording artist, from Melbourne, Australia.

After much searching, I finally met the right man. Then I got pregnant at 41 - baby boy was due 20 April 2010.

It was to be quite a journey. We discovered via ultrasound that our baby had some health problems, namely a hole in the heart, hypospadias and IUG growth issues.

Then I became very ill with pre-eclampsia, and was admitted to hospital at 34 weeks gestation.

Our baby Charles was delivered prematurely on 16th March 2010 weighing a tiny 1460g (3.5 pounds). He spent a month in hospital before coming home.

Today, a tooth - tomorrow, the world!

Baby Charles is now 6 months old. That's his real age. In terms of his developmental, or corrected, age, he's just under 5 months old. It's complicated trying to calculate and explain that, every time someone asks - such as the nurses at the local health centre, who need to know the specifics in order to work out whether he is meeting his developmental milestones.

Charles was very tiny when he first came home from hospital, after spending a month in the hospital's Special Care nursery, but he has caught up amazingly. He is now only very slightly smaller than the other babies in my local Mothers' Group, who are all of a similar age range. When Mothers' Group started he was WAY smaller.

He is a little behind in physical terms, which is to be expected given his small size, due (as I mentioned in earlier posts) to him being growth restricted for unknown reasons while in my womb (this is known as IUGR). He doesn't do tummy time quite as well as the other babies, although he is progressing. He's not rolling over yet - unless you count putting his legs in the air and kind of falling to the side. I don't see him crawling any time soon.

However, he is a bright little chap and is generally meeting all his milestones. I am so proud of him. He had such a rough start but he has done so well.

His heart condition, which scared me so much when it was discovered, has healed itself. Yes, really - healed itself! Isn't it amazing what the body can do?

He had two tiny holes in his heart when born. One has now grown over and the other become so small that the cardiologist says it no longer matters. He still has a tiny heart murmur, but that too no longer matters, we're told - many people live long lives with similar conditions. Our cardiologist thinks it's likely the final hole and the murmur will have gone by the time Charles turns one.

We were so relieved to hear this that we shed tears of joy in the car home, and then danced madly around the house all evening - Charles in our arms.

And now our baby's first tooth has peeked through his bottom gum. I was so excited! Today, a tooth - tomorrow, the world.

Our next major event - apart from solid food, which we will begin when he reaches 6 months corrected age (7 months real age) - is Charles' first hypospadias operation. This will be in three months time, and will not be easy. A second, more difficult operation will happen around March next year, when he'll be a year old. We have the best surgeon in Melbourne and we are confident. We have to be.

Once all that's over, Charles' rough start should be but a distant memory.


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