…I gave birth to our tiny baby girl! It’s hard to believe she was once that small, and that she’ll be getting bigger yet. She’s definitely caught up to her peers in size, according to the experts (our doctor). At her check-up last week she weighed in at 17.2 pounds, staying near the 25th percentile for her age. Her height was around the 50th percentile while her head – yes, her large, round, beautiful head – remains closer to the 75th.
She is now able to eat table food, although some attempts are better than others; about half the time it ends up on the floor or her lap. But she keeps us entertained because she starts moving her mouth in a chewing-type motion before the food gets there, and she’ll keep doing it even if the food didn’t quite make it out of her hand. She has also very quickly learned the “stuff your whole hand in your mouth to get the tiny particle of yummy food” method of eating.
As for movement, she continues to be a little behind. From her tummy she will get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth, but she isn’t trying to pull herself up on anything or get herself into a sitting position from the ground yet, and doesn’t seem all that interested in attempting that anytime soon. At this point I’m okay with having a mostly non-mobile child, as who knows what she’ll be getting into in the months to come!
Anna Kateri continues to be a smiley and talkative little girl and we love her to pieces. Aren’t kids just so much fun?!?
Here are a few photos of her with Max, the stuffed dog we use to compare her size changes at different ages. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) most of these are now action shots; there isn’t a lot that will keep this little girl still, and she LOVES her stuffed animals!
We usually try to keep things rather light-hearted here; after all, this blog is really a celebration of the blessings we’ve received as a family. But I felt compelled to write about this today.
A few weeks ago, the National newspaper in the UAE reported on a growing demographic gap between the number of boys and girls born in India. In certain Indian states, there are 883 girls born for every 1000 boys, a 12.3% disparity. The situation is even worse in China, where 837 girls are born for every 1000 boys, which is a 16.3% disparity. The gap in both countries basically indicates that male children are more desirable than female children among certain segments of their population (in the case of India, this is especially true among the affluent and educated). As ultrasound technology improves, these parents are using the information about their unborn child’s gender to determine whether to bring the child to term or abort.
The term used to describe the abortion of an unborn child because she is female is “female foeticide.” It’s an interesting term because the suffix -cide literally means “death.” Basically, I see this as an admission by those that use the term that the unborn fetus is more than just a “clump of cells,” but a human being. Call it a tacit understanding that life begins at conception.
Had I seen these population figures a few years ago, I would have been pretty sad; I am very strongly opposed to abortion, and have been for a long time. But my experiences of the past several years have made this new story a bit more personal. I grew up in a household with three men and one woman–my awesome mom, who is, by the way, the nicest lady on the planet, I’m convinced–but after I started to date Sara, I spent more time with a family consisting of four women and one man. Nine months ago we welcomed our first child (a girl) into the world. I have three goddaughters and no godsons. See where this is going?
The problem I see in India and China is that certain people in those countries harbor an unconscious prejudice against women. However, in the West, a lot of us are making another mistake–believing that men and women are exactly the same. I believe deeply in the equality of the sexes, but not necessarily in their sameness. Pope John Paul II wrote and spoke a lot of “the feminine genius,” a term that acknowledges the equality that men and women share, but also their uniqueness. He often pointed out each woman has something special to offer the world not only because she is a human being made in the image and likeness of God, but that she has been embodied as woman.
As a man who has recently had several women come into his life (my wife, four sisters-in law, three goddaughters, my mother-in-law, and my daughter), I’m coming to appreciate more fully the way these women–and all women–are enriching the world because of the way in which they each reveal various facets of the “feminine genius.” And reading about these gender gaps in other parts of the world, I’m doubly thankful that these women made their way into the world and my heart.
And now for some pictures of two of the littlest ladies in my life:
On Monday Sara took Anna to the orthotic office for a final meeting regarding her helmet. The final verdict is this: Anna’s head is definitely better than it was four months ago. Basically the length to width ratio of her head has stabilized within acceptable norms. Any further helmet use would be purely for cosmetic reasons, but we think she looks much, much better now that a few months have passed. If we hadn’t been proactive early, things could have been a lot worse–a flat spot, possible eye bulging (sounds painful!), etc. Now that she’s totally off of her back except for diaper changes, life is good.
And now, a sweet 3D scan of the Sweetest Pea’s head. (And yes, this does remind me of those X-rays the government did of Wolverine’s adamantium-laced skeleton in X-Men. No, she doesn’t have retracting claws. At least, not that we know of.)
On Wednesday we received a wonderful present: a visit from our good friend
Rose Sister Maris Stella of the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus. She has been our good friend for about five years and moved to New Ulm, MN recently to join this religious order. It’s been about a year since we last saw her, so it was great to catch up and introduce her to Anna. Our Sweet Pea was mesmerized by Sister Maris Stella’s habit and fell asleep in her arms like they were old friends. We chatted for about two hours and I was reminded once again how wonderful it is how the various members of the Body complement each other. Thank you for your prayers, Sister; they do us a world of good!
Well, it’s clear that the gender balance of John’s family has definitely tipped in favor of the women. This past Saturday, my brother Mike and his wife Hallie welcomed their first child, Genevieve Dolores, into the world. Although almost a month early, she was over six and a half pounds and came out with a head of thick, dark hair. She’s a sweetie pie.We can’t wait to see how she grows over the coming months and years!
Mother’s Day Poem 2011
by Anna Kateri Rogers (Daddy helped, but not a whole lot.)
You kiss my cheek when I am sad;
I smile and learn, “It’s not so bad.”
You feed and clothe me every day,
love me in all kinds of ways.
I’ve met some moms; you’re the best!
Dancing or snuggling on your chest,
I’m a happy kid who wants to say,
“I love you, Mom. Enjoy this day.”
We hope all moms have a wonderful day today, and in a special way thank our own moms for all the love they have shown and continue to show us. And congratulations to the newest mom in the family, Hallie! Genevieve Dolores was born on Saturday. She’s a darling little girl.