I have a confession to make: I sometimes succumb to ‘mompetition’ and baby-comparing with my other mom-friends. I know, I shouldn’t do this. I also shouldn’t watch The Bachelor Pad, but what can you do? It’s out of my control.
I mentioned before that I was with several other moms the other day, and we had our babies on the blankets outside, and were chatting and catching up. But I kept looking at A and getting worried because, unlike many of the other babies (all different ages, mind you), he’s not crawling, he doesn’t stand flat on his feet (he’s a ‘toe-walker’ apparently, and his achilles heel may be short? iamworriedabit), he doesn’t say “mama” or “dada,” etc.
This comparing of course made me feel TERRIBLE because why should I worry? He’s amazing: he rolls like the wind, so he’s surely just thinking, ‘why crawl?;’ he probably just wants to be a ballerina, hence the toe-walking; he screeches in a pterodactyl-esque voice when he wants something, so what’s the point of “mama” and “dada” anyway?
It’s just that aside from my overly-anxious personality (thanks for that one, mom!), we did go through some unexpected challenges in the early stages of infancy. Challenges that I worry might have had an effect on his development. Around 2 months old, A was extremely fussy and squirmy, especially when he was eating. And he would go a week or so between poops. When he was nursing, he would cry and cry, and it was so frustrating. I remember a time when I was at the parenting group where I met a lot of my friends, all the other moms were sitting with their (in my mind, at least) serene, happy babies, while I was trying to feed A who was screaming and crying. I finally gave up, left the group and immediately called Kevin and bawled my eyes out on the phone. I just didn’t know what was wrong.
The next day, I made an appointment with A’s doctor to see what was going on. In my mind, I thought he was constipated and was having tummy troubles since he wasn’t pooping as often as he used to. I mentioned this to the doctor, who basically took my word for it, without doing much of his own investigation (another post on this soon to come), and told me to cut out dairy. And so I did.
But there was no change.
I don’t know why exactly, but something clicked in me. One night, while nursing him, I just sort of thought, ‘maybe he’s not getting enough to eat.’ And so, I remembered the formula I got in the mail (I must have signed up for a points card at a maternity store or something), and made a bottle. HE DRANK THE WHOLE THING! Even after nursing for, like, 20 minutes. He was HUNGRY!!! This happened when he was 3.5 months old. and I wish to God that I did this sooner. So, for the next week, I continued to top off his nursing with formula at night, and he seemed happier.
At his 4 month check-up, the doctor did a routine weigh-in. A did not gain a SINGLE pound, not even half a pound for two months. He dropped from the 50th to the 15th percentile in weight, and seeing the doctor make a pencil-dot on the 15th percentile in A’s growth chart made my heart break. And it still breaks. The doctor prescribed me Dom Peridone to up my supply, and I have been on it since. A’s weight is great now, and has been back at the 50th percentile since he was 5 months old. AND he went from the 15th percentile in height to the 85th!!
But since then, I feel so worried that because of my late-intuition (why the hell did it take me over 1 month to try giving him more food!!), and because my doctor didn’t think to weigh him when I brought him in the first time, rather than just agreeing with my uneducated diagnosis of constipation, maybe the lack of weight-gain those 2 months affected him somehow. God, I hope I’m wrong.
BUT, in my heart of hearts, I look at my beautiful little boy and know that he is okay. He’s just like every baby, in that he is doing things on his own schedule. They all do. And while he’s not crawling, he is doing some other amazing things. He knows his name. He knows my dog’s names. He laughs and smiles when I get him from his naps. He bangs toys together (this is a milestone, apparently) and is just pretty awesome. So he is okay.