Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Pound of Flesh

We just got back from Sophie's nine month doctor's appointment. Sophie has only gained two pounds since her six month appointment, which means that her weight has dipped down below the 5th percentile. Likewise her height. The doctor didn't tell me that I was starving her, but that's the feeling I get when she tells me that I should be feeding her more and that we need to "fatten" her up. And I feel guilty that I'm apparently not giving her enough of what she needs. I feel guilty that I am still (somewhat selfishly) breastfeeding her and that I consider that to be her primary source of sustenance. I feel guilty that I have allowed her to be stubborn on not eating anything more solid than stage 2 baby food. I feel guilty that I encourage her to sleep so much that maybe she's not eating enough. I just feel guilty.

But then I find myself getting angry that I've been made to feel so inadequate. Because if I'm true to myself, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I am not excited about giving her a bunch of artificial vitamins. Nor am I interested in stuffing my child like a Thanksgiving turkey because she is not high on a standardized measure that takes into account nothing other than those two factors. I know that I was a small baby, a failure to thrive kid. And just look at me now, I'm in the 73rd percentile (ha, frakking percentiles). Certainly genetics plays some role in how your child develops. Also, I know that some mommies out there would shout a grateful hallelujah if their baby gained two pounds, so I can't be too critical. I must be happy for what I can. My girl is happy and active and smart and, I feel, healthy. I must remember that those statistics cover such a wide range of people and body types and that I CAN NOT evaluate my own performance on such a flimsy calculation. She's small but she's mighty, my little bean, and we're BOTH doing fine.


  1. You know, Mady has always been in the 90-97 percentile for height and weight. I'm constantly shopping for new clothes for her (already wearing 18-24 months) and I can't help but feel guilty when she's standing next to an 18 month old body/girl at the pool...and she TOWERS over them. I wonder if I'm over feeding her. And I wonder if other Moms think I'm taking her to McDonald's everyday. I guess no matter what we do, we'll always feel guilty. Guilty for going to work, guilty for being home and perhaps wanting to work a little...I guess it comes with being a Mom.

  2. Wha...? Who's making you feel guilty or selfish for breastfeeding your baby? It's perfect nutrition even if she isn't gaining weight. Blast those percentiles! The Bean is a healthy and happy little girl. As you said, small but mighty.

    Good for you both. ;)

  3. Percentiles be damned! You're doing just fine with Bean.

  4. You are in a really weird food age. There's the formula/bfeeding and the solid food thing. It's a really hard transition. Don't sweat it so much, just keep practicing the baby food thing. You'll know when she's ready for the next level. All babies grow differently and in different capacities.


    Now you no longer need to feel guilty.


  5. It's the Mom Curse. Doesn't matter what we do or what we don't, it usually comes with guilt. And the guilt seems to enter our beings the very second that the new little life is birthed out of our bodies.

    Welcome to the Mom Club. I hear the guilt lingers even after they turn 30.

    Any chance that "doctor" has never been a mom herself?

  6. You're right--if baby is happy and developing cognitively, there's nothing to worry about. And with all that guilt, you wouldn't happen to be Catholic would you? LOL

  7. Thanks everyone! It means a lot to know that I'm not alone and that I'm just overreacting mom-style. And no, I'm not catholic! Although my mother has a phd in catholic/jewish level guilt, so it's no wonder I got a little of it.

  8. It sounds to me that you are doing everything right. Don't beat yourself up over it...although I'm sure I would be doing the same thing.

  9. OH, girl...
    I'm gonna go all Nursing Nazi here.

    DO NOT FEEL SELFISH FOR NURSING A NINE MONTH OLD. I breastfed both of mine for 12 months. I'd have gone longer if they hadn't self-weaned just days before their 1st birthday. (Yep--both of 'em--literally days before turning 1.)

    So what if she's little and precious and adorabe? You are doing the right thing. Keep on nursing...it's the best thing for her now.

    OK, sorry...I'm off my soapbox for a while.

  10. Oh, I wouldn't worry about it--so she's little? You're not starving her! Breastfeed away--she's only 9 months old!


Give me some sugar, baby!