The Overlooked Baby Milestones App: A Hidden Gem

On the day two pink lines appeared before me, I felt my world stop moving forward.

An otherwise ordinary Tuesday became suddenly enveloped by waves of joy, fear, and family phone calls from far and wide. My brain buzzed with anticipation for when my husband came home after working a 14-hour shift; eventually he arrived tired but relieved from work; I wanted this special moment captured forever on video like those quaint ones people record where the perfect gift awaits or someone special is sent on an adventure hunt.

Instead, I stood there in my pajamas holding a pee stick as the news just came pouring out of me.

He rubbed his eyes and yawned, then groaned: “Sorry about that…” “Oh no,” was all she could muster up before replying, “what?”

“We are pregnant.” Sounded strange. “I am pregnant.” Sounded lonely.

“Darling. We are expecting! Congratulations!”

My husband suddenly opened his eyes wide awake.

We were filled with joy as we celebrated, hugged and shed tears together. Talked centered on names, genders and nursery decorations… we could see an endless world of possibilities just ahead!

As my mind raced upon laying my head to rest, it continued racing as soon as my mind hit my pillow. The silence in our house seemed oppressive – how was my husband still snoring?! How was I the only person awake pondering the little miracle growing within? As his dreams continued to bloom within me.

What would his eyes be like? I envisioned his laughter echoing off of every corner, his first steps being taken and graduating college – I closed my eyes, hoping the wave would carry me off into Nod’s Land of Nod.

My heart paused before sinking back down into its seat of its own accord. As soon as this realization hit, my posture sharpened immediately in bed.

“Will I make an effective parent?”

Prayer. Text messages with friends. Reading articles online, message boards and books on Amazon did not give me the assurance I so desperately yearned for that everything would turn out okay in the end.

Within days I finally located “The App.”

My iPhone held this wonderful magical tile that provided all my pregnancy answers; even tracking its development over time! I relied heavily on it during my gestation.

Milestones were something I relished. Hour by hour, milestone updates informed my joy from ideal baby growth rates to expected changes to my body during gestation and birth preparation preparation – these milestones gave me assurance I was doing everything as planned and that everything would turn out fine.

*ping It’s hard to believe, but today your baby has arrived! Make sure that you increase the protein consumption. Also ask your doctor where and when they would prefer that their birthplace be located as this conversation with their avocado should occur! Keeping communication open between yourself and them can only strengthen their connection!

Today your baby has officially turned into a squash! Now is an appropriate time for parents and caregivers alike to monitor his/her movements – perhaps you even listened to some Mozart?

Ping! Ping! Ping!
All this happened even before birth had taken place!

My son came into this world incredibly perfect. With soft skin, squeaky sounds, and milky aroma; everything I had dreamed about. Yet did I relish his absolute perfection?

Nope. No matter. I tried.

But I was deeply distressed over his weak cry, poor APGAR score and difficulty latching. All these areas needed improvement if I wanted to be an excellent mother.

The next day, The App updated and began suggesting developmental milestones which my newborn may reach week by week.

Happy days were here again as I proudly checked off more milestones for my son’s development.

What constitutes an ideal parent other than raising successful offspring?

My recent journey had been an exhausting and, to put it mildly, stressful one – one which left me confused and, frankly, disoriented.

As I prepared my son for his 18-month pediatrician appointment, I carefully concealed his bottle like contraband in his diaper bag – I couldn’t let anyone see him sipping from “his mama,” since that definitely wouldn’t pass The App! Two vaccines later though, when he started crying out and pointing towards it… it all became evident!

“Please, Baba and Mama.”

My doctor sat back down, smiling. “You should let him have some comfort from his bottle right now, it may help him relax more.”

She stopped and waited to hear my response before continuing the dialogue.

I felt ashamed, so I pulled a bottle containing something illegal from my bag to calm him. Instantaneously he felt better.

“Your son is an extremely content child,” she replied, “who feels loved and secure interacting with strangers – all this mattered immensely! Stop obsessively worrying about milestones as this might drive you mad!”

She gave me a friendly yet unconcerned wink and left. At that moment, my fear, anxiety and stress just vanished away like fog from a surfaced reservoir.

My son wept until both he and I were exhausted – until both his bottle had run dry.

Milestones didn’t matter much.

All along, I had been keeping an eye on his milestones to determine my own parenthood success – they helped me know whether I measured up.

Once I got home, I deleted that app. Instantaneously, my burden disappeared as I realized I am an excellent parent in all ways that matter and there are milestones far more significant than pincher grasp and potty training to look out for.

My child feels safe jumping off of the side of the pool into my open arms.

He smiles contentedly at his own jokes, certain that others find them humorous.

He rushes back into our bed on stormy nights, knowing we will provide him with protection from thunder, lightening strikes and any other dangers in the outside world.

When my son scrapes his knee at the playground, he always turns to me for answers about whether he should seek medical help immediately or seek an update as to his status.

As his personality blossoms and his sense of humor deepens, I witness my son growing increasingly confident.

These milestones cannot be captured with an app and should be tracked individually to accurately evaluate progress.