Thriving. At least so I thought.
Yesterday I took Luca and Mae to the doctor’s for their two years and five month old check ups, respectively.
It was stressful enough. Luca likes to touch everything. He likes to hide. He likes to be ‘helpful.’ If it was just him and myself, I’d have had no problem. But Maelie was along for the ride and teething. While, yes, she was under the influence of Tylenol, she was still cranky.
So it was a crappy disposition from the get-go.
Luca checked out fine. He weighed in at 28 pounds and was 38 inches tall. He passed his Autism screening with flying colors and gave active examples to prove it.
Mae looked great. She is a long girl and was long from the beginning, measuring 22 inches at birth. She’s always been in the 75th percentile and above.
But her weight is another story. Born in at 7 lbs 13 oz, she seemed proportionate to her long body. And at her last visit she weighed in at 14 lbs 8 oz. of perfection. However, at the doctor’s yesterday she weighed in at 13 pounds even.
Yup, you read that right. She lost weight.
And here’s where I’ve been so out of sorts.
At the doctor’s office we weighed her on the baby scale. 13 pounds. We checked the calibration, weighed her again, 13 pounds. We had me stand on the scale holding her, then without and subtracted. 13 pounds.
I wish I was lying.
I really, really do.
So I messaged a friend of mine who had a baby only a few weeks behind me and was always there for me during the thick of the PPD with Luca. Her daughter weighs in at 18 pounds already and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous. In my note I wrote:
“The doc says not to worry until next month, because she’s still gaining in height. She is 85th % in height, but 15th in weight. Luca was the same way with weight, and is just fine, but he was also a squirt. She’s just so long and lean.
It feels better to write all that out.
I’m afraid that its my fault, that I’m not supplying enough breast milk. So I’ve been supplimenting her a feeding a day with Baby’s Only formula. I almost cried today doing that. But I’d be damned if I’d starve her just for my own pride.
I’m at a loss. But at least I’m not PPD.”
And she wrote back:
“Awww, Cassie! Do not cry over giving Mae formula. You are absolutely right that your pride comes second to feeding your baby.
It sounds like, from what I’ve read of your posts, that Mae is a really active baby. Is it possible that she just burns a heckuva lot more calories than she takes in? How often does she eat? Is your pedi concerned? If not, you shouldnt be. You and Matt are both thin so it makes sense your baybays would be the same way.
(Read this next part twice)
Your breastmilk is STILL Mae’s perfect food. You are doing NOTHING wrong. Do not beat yourself up AT ALL.
(Go read it again.)”
And that was what I needed to hear.
She also told me:
“Working and pumping/nursing is hard shit. Props to you. Especially after 4 years of being milked. Honestly. You shouldnt be upset, you should feel like the queen of the lactating world.”
Which made me giggle.
But it still has me in a funk. I noticed earlier today that I was just off. I look at Maelie – beautiful, sweet and so very calm – and I never knew that she was losing weight. I never noticed it. And while I know that doesn’t make me a horrible mother for not realizing it as it was happening, I still feel awful. I’m the one who feeds her. My body built her into the baby she is today and up until yesterday, I’ve been solely responsible for feeding her. And I’m letting her down.
My doctor says I shouldn’t be worried until she gets weighed next month. Obviously I’m going to. She said that it’s good that she’s gaining in length and that her weight could be just displaced by that. But I still want to know why she lost weight.
It just goes to show you, that as a parent, you never stop worrying. When I was pregnant, I was constantly afraid that I’d have a cord accident. When they were little babies, I checked their breathing like me watching them ensured they’d continue to do so. When they play outside I neurotically check around to make sure that no freak is going to pull them into an unmarked van. It never ends.
But now I’m just sad. I’m sad that my body isn’t doing its job. I’m sad that I have to supplement Mae with formula once a day. I’m sad that perhaps for the past two months she’s needed me to understand that she’s just hungry.
I’m just sad.