When the boys were first-born I remember eagerly awaiting each Pediatrician visit to get the nod of approval on their growth and appearance. The first several weeks of appointments consumed me so much that I actually bought a baby scale and salivated over the lactation consultant(s) legit weighing station. Even half an ounce was a “winning” moment for me. The comments came in droves. “Wow they are so tiny”, “Geez, they are so fragile looking”. The worst was that the statements often came from family. Those who were oblivious to how much it stung to hear those words after spending the entire day in bed having a marathon breastfeeding party.
I worried my boys weren’t getting enough from me and Finn had horrible reflux. They weren’t even on any WHO or CDC chart for the first few months and to me that meant I had below average growing children. Finally I succumbed to the idea that supplementing was just what my boys needed. I wasn’t producing enough milk for two babies, despite what some breastfeeding guru may say and I was so stressed over trying to nurse then pump that I was a walking zombie. Just go back to my Oscar moment in the shower.
I lasted just shy of 4 months on the boob train and then I threw in the towel and strictly stuck with formula. Did I feel like I failed, maybe a little, but they started to thrive, grow and gain weight. My paranoia over the chart critics was starting to lessen. The boob bullies are a whole other blog topic but I did what worked for us. Afterall they are my children, right? Dr. Sears can bite me. I became less critical of myself and more comfortable with being a mommy to twins.
As parents we love to hear that our children are thriving and growing along the same curve as their peers, but when that curve seems to spike or dip the alarm that takes over can be very stressful. I was talking with some girlfriends over the weekend and it seemed to be a very common worry, “oh I was told my kid was too big”, “my mini me is too small”, ” my son is tall for his age”, “my son is short for his age”, on and on. I have caught myself sprouting off my boys percentiles as well. It is almost a right of passage in the parental world. You are looking for acknowledgement of your concern but also hoping someone can totally relate with their own worry.
We sure don’t analyze adults like we do our children. I have always felt that we spend our entire lives trying to be in good shape and healthy but when it comes to our offspring the plump little baby is the picture of perfect health.
By having twins I see first hand how different two little people can be. I don’t compare them so why should other people? They just so happened to share a womb, DNA and the same parents, but they are their own little people in their own little body. They are happy and loved. They are 100% on our chart of awesomeness.
As I anxiously await the arrival of our little girl, I don’t wonder how much she is going to weigh or if she will have my skinny legs or her father’s thighs. I want her to be healthy and feel loved. I want her two older brothers to know she is as perfect as they are despite what some outdated, fun with numbers calculation may say.
We are really curious as to how others have handled the comments or fears of the percentages. I feel like I often have a comeback for everything thrown at me, but I have simmered and often just nod these days. Nothing is gained by telling someone how ridiculous they sound especially when they will very likely be on the other end at some point.
What drove you over the edge? How did you handle the stress?
Happy Spring Mamateurs!