On Shortness.

We just had Baby O’s 6 month check-up – lots of good info, lots of relief that he’s growing well, lots of vaccines that made him cry but gave me a little more relief.  But really, the only thing that mattered at this visit was one number – 95.  95th percentile for height, that is.

My.  Child.  At the top of the height chart – for now, anyway.

Me – who started at around 15% on the chart but quickly fell off it altogether.  Me – who cleared 5 feet, but only just.   Me – who couldn’t sleep for a week at the end of pregnancy because my small torso could no longer hold the 8.5 pound baby inside without sacrificing basic functions like laying down without pain.

It’s caused me to reflect on height and procreation in general.  There’s a lot about shortness that makes mamahood more complicated – and they don’t warn you about this in the books.

Pregnancy, for instance.  Pretty much all of it.  Consider the difference between 5’0” me and someone a foot taller than me each carrying a baby 20 inches long.  Yeah, exactly.

I’d heard people say they really felt the pregnancy in their rib cage or in their hips.  I thought – or?  I felt it everywhere – this creature was jabbing body parts everywhere he could fit them and in the tug of war between him and my vital organs, he was winning by a landslide.

And then there was childbirth.  Each anesthesiologist I encountered commented on how short I was within minutes of meeting me.  I even needed a special pose – requiring an extra wide leg stretch – to get the epidural because the spaces in my spine are shorter, too.  (I was at least glad to get shout outs for my extra-good flexibility in that wide-stretch I had to do – a girl can count her chops where she gets them).

With the arrival of O, I quickly learned those hands free pumping bras were selling a level of multitasking not available to the shorter set.  Who can squeeze anything between the bottom of the milk bottles and the top of my lap when sitting down?  Not me!

And now I have a baby in the 95th percentile for height.  My baby is too tall for me to hold with one arm while grasping a drink in the other.  When he stands on my lap he practically sees over my head.  My 6 month old is nearly half my height.

Turns out there are a lot of good reasons to have a baby – and being able to reach the top shelves of your cabinets (or in my case, the middle and top shelves) is one of them.


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