Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Size Matters

Should size matter? I mean, when I go to Starbucks and order a venti and they shove a grande at me, that is no good. I wanted bigger. I ordered bigger. Give me the large!

So, what happens when your baby isn't the size you ordered? I wanted Hope very badly. I prayed, and prayed to our Lord for her to exist. Then one day, I was pregnant. I knew who she was before I ever saw her. I knew she would be my loving, animated, bright girl who laughs with her mommy and gets extremely excited when she sees her daddy. 

They told me she was going to be big. They told me at least 8 pounds, if not 9.

When she was born, she weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces.

This didn't bother me. However when she continued to stay petite for her age, people said the worst things to me. They would make comments about "how tiny she is...".

I don' t mind so much now. All the tests have been run, we've seen two doctors, and she hits every single milestone with excitement and fervor. Oh, but the things people said along the way:

"Breast-fed babies are usually bigger than formula-fed." Not true. Breast-fed babies can be up to 60 percent smaller, but catch up to formula-fed babies later on in their lives. 

"You know she's small, right?" Um, well, if I hadn't heard it before, I guess I do now.

"Just give her formula." Right, because that will instantaneously make her a bigger baby. Which we did by the way, along with nursing, and she had an initial surge in weight, then leveled off. Might the surge have anything to do with the fact that we were shoving her face with food?

"What does her pediatrician say?" He says she's "perfectly normal"; that one day, she will be "thanking us for her metabolism." And the gastroenterologist says, "It's her program."

"Maybe she just doesn't want to be breast-fed." Right, and that's why she eats from me at least eight times a day and will nurse from me no matter how many bottles or food you give her. And each doctor has told me to continue nursing.

Believe it or not, people I consider friends said some of the above comments. You just have to learn that they too, along with strangers, are ignorant. They haven't been in the doctor's appointments, listened to the medical advice, read the studies, or the literature.

My vote is that size does NOT matter, unless the child is lacking in some way. Hope is not. The doctor has assured me of this a number of times. 

Somebody's Mother

Every Tuesday I leave my house at about 1:30 p.m. to head to the gym. As I leave, I turn down Sitting Bull and pass a woman with white hair, who sits in a blue car. She's waiting. There is a bus stop nearby and I'm fairly certain she is waiting for her grandchild. One reason she stands out to me, among others, is because she is always the first adult there, and always before the school bus arrives. She waits with her windows rolled down and her silver window shade fully expanded on the inside of her windshield. On Fridays, I leave for the gym at about 2 p.m. By that time, most of the parents seem to be there, hanging out in their cars. As I pass them, I am certain that she was, once again, the first one there.

She reminds me of my mother. Though she has taken her turn as a mother, her role as "Grandma" is still in the works, and she takes pride in it.

Today, Hope went down for a nap. After about an hour, and as I was still folding clothes, I heard her start to chatter on the monitor. I muttered to myself, "A mother's work is never done." It's the truth; once you are a mom, your work is never done and your life is changed forever.

I like to mother with joy. I get tired, but I try not to let it show. When I hit the sheets at night, I pray that I will sleep soundly so I can recharge for her. Daily, I remind myself to embrace the changes, and I do for the most part. This blog will chronicle the changes, the events and the drama that surrounds and is infused in the life of a mother. If you choose not to read it, my feelings won't be hurt because I will never know. It will become my nighttime passion, I'm certain. 

Not everyone understands this thing called motherhood. And sometimes, there are women who keep secrets from you. It might be that you don't know what questions to ask because you are new to the role. However you want to look at it, you are somewhat on your own to develop your style. There's no manual, there's no guide. And because your child is different from any other, it's up to you to figure out what is best for this little human being. In an effort to explain and sift through some of the mysteries, I will write.