My son W loves to “give a heart” while scrolling through my Instagram feed, and his new favorite photos are of my friend Jen G.’s wee baby named Alexandra vs. random objects.
Three weeks ago Jen gave birth to her third child, Alexandra. Jen was being heavily monitored during her pregnancy as she has a clotting disorder and a history of Intrauterine Fatal Demise (IUFD). During one of her early ultrasounds, her doctors discovered she had a circumvallate placenta. When I asked Jen to explain that to me she said, “It’s basically like a placenta doughnut” wrapping around the baby.
At 35 weeks pregnant the weekly stress tests started not to go so well. Her doctors decided she should be induced as soon as she hit 37 weeks. Hearing that you’re going to deliver a baby early can be overwhelming. While technically (based on new guidelines) Alexandra would be just at term for delivery, because of the circumvallate placenta there was growth restriction.
Thankfully Alexandra arrived, perfectly, at five pounds, seven ounces and eighteen and ¾ inches long.
Alex’s size is something that Jen wanted to enjoy and remember. She has a feeling this will be her last baby, so she wants to savor every moment. That includes the amazing era of tininess.
Taking wee photos all started the first night the family was home from the hospital. Jen set the baby down on the floor next to the bunk beds. She said it looked so ridiculous.
“Like someone had photoshopped a baby in the room and gotten the sizing all wrong.”
She took a picture for her own amusement and it was so silly that she kept looking at it.
The next day Jen decided to take a photo of Alex next to a dollar for scale. She posted a photo on her Instagram with the hashtag #WeeBabyVs and her friends loved it.
Then she did a comparison of Alexandra and her son Ryan both on the same changing table. The photo series took off from there!
I love seeing newborn photos on Instagram, but sometimes they feel like everything is precious and staged. The soft morning light, the pristine layette, the illusion that the world is quiet and perfect. Jen’s photos crack me up because they are absolutely staged. It’s a baby next to a banana! It’s a baby with Cheerios! Yes, little babies are special, but you can still enjoy this stage without putting Vaseline on your lens.
Jen didn’t start the photo series for other parents of preemies, preterm babies, or small babies, but she hopes the people who see them smile and enjoy. She also says people shouldn’t be afraid of the size of small babies.
“Babies are tough.”
So far the Doritos photo is Jen’s favorite, but she is taking requests from friends and family. Mostly because she worries she will run out of ideas and there is only so long Alex will be “wee.”
Here are some of our favorite #WeeBabyVs photos …