The scale read 16 lbs 12oz, which was a weight gain for Sam of one pound and three ounces! Woohoo for Sam! We were happy to see that he gained weight, and the doctor was very pleased with it also. Sam also measured a quarter inch growth in height. I’m not too sure about that though. I think that such a small difference could easily be caused by squirminess as the nurse was measuring. (You can check out the last post Small Boys in a World that loves Tall Men to get our perspective on height, growth, and why we’re so happy to see our son Sam gain over a pound during the last six weeks.)
Dwelling on weight gain and scales, I can’t help but think about the plentiful bounty of extra pounds that I’d be more than happy to donate to Sam. Or to some other child. Or really to anyone. Anyone at all. Please, take my fat.
I was a skinny 105 lbs until about 23 years old. I put on a few pounds and gained some lovely curves. Those lovely curves turned into extra flab with a few more pounds. I dropped some when I was 26. That was the year Jack and I got married; I was a beautiful and curvy 123 lb bride. I didn’t mean to let myself go after the wedding day. Truthfully, I really hate that phrase. But during our first year of marriage I put on another 12 lbs. Then, due to a cross-country move, I fell into some depression brought on by missing my home and my husband (who had to stay behind for awhile). The needle on the scale plunged back down to 125. I can’t eat when I’m depressed. Frankly I’d rather be fat and happy than skinny and depressed, but oh how I wish I could get to a state of happy and pleasantly curvy.
Unfortunately I really started gaining rapidly once hubby and I were settled in our new home and I was happier and more content than I’d been in a long time. My highest weight was 168, I think. Remember, I’m only 5’3” so that is quite heavy. The summer of ’09 I spent staying at my in-laws’ house back home. They were gracious enough to let me stay while I helped care for my grandmother during her last weeks. I started dropping weight again, this time was due not only to my grief but because I was walking everyday around their hilly neighborhood. Now that I think about it though, I know I was walking partly to relieve some of the care-taking stress and sorrow, so I guess that was indirectly related to depression also. Whatever the mix of reasons, I dropped twenty pounds that summer and was feeling a lot better about my body. Two months later I got pregnant. The nausea was so intense that I lost a few more pounds, and I looked great. By “great” I mean skinny and sickly and exhausted and green with nausea. But skinny! Of course I went right back up to 168 with Sam squirming and kicking around inside me. Now I’m at 148 lbs. Like I said, fitting into a pair of sexy jeans would be a heck of a lot easier if I could donate my fat, and I’m perfectly willing to do so. I’m not stingy and selfish about it. I’d generously give of myself.
I’m hoping Sam won’t need any of my donated fat. Like I said, I was so happy to hear the nurse say “16 lbs, 12ozs.” That was a few days ago though. Now I’m worried about this new development. Sam has always had a bottle right before going to bed. In the past couple days, he’s outright refused it. Not even a sip. I don’t know if this is a problem or not. I don’t want to have to breastfeed every night; I won’t be able to leave the house, go to work, or get my much-deserved nightly break. I’ll have to see if he still sleeps through the night without waking for a midnight feeding. I’ve heard that teething might be the cause. He does have a fifth tooth poking through. I’ve also heard that it’s a common phase to refuse the bottle. And some of my friends had mentioned that their babies let them know when they had outgrown the need for a feeding immediately before bedtime. I guess I’ll wait and see.
Oh, and feel free to contact me to arrange for your delivery of donated fat.
Jack and I have wavered back and forth on this subject more times than I can remember in the past 9 months. Do we let Sam have a pacifier? I recoil from the idea of plugging up an unhappy baby’s cries with a pacifier. I’d much rather use holding, caressing, rocking, singing, nursing, really any number of loving methods to soothe my son. In those first few months though, I believe that infants have a desire to suck even if they’re not hungry. If we didn’t give him a pacifier then he would suck his fingers. I figured that later on down the road, it would be easier to break a pacifier habit than a thumb sucking habit. You can take away a pacifier more easily than you can remove a toddler’s pudgy fingers from his little mouth.
Jack was dead set against it though. He agreed with me about soothing our baby boy rather than shutting him up. He also hates seeing toddlers and preschoolers walking around with binkies stuck in their mouths, whining unintelligibly around a piece of plastic. He didn’t even want to start down that road. Jack felt much more strongly than I did about it, so I followed his lead on this one. No pacifiers.
First sign of pacifier trouble sprung up when my mother was staying with us. She came running from 700 miles away when I was 3 cm dilated and 75% effaced, kept me company while I remained that way for two weeks, was there when we finally had to induce, and was a lifesaver for the three weeks that she stayed with us after Sam was born. But of course every story has its bumps. My mom is an avid lover of a sucker. I was a sucker baby. Few photos exist of my first year that don’t show me with lips clamped around a sucker.
You can imagine my husband’s aggravation every time my mother kept trying to put a pacifier in Sam’s mouth. (We did have a couple of them as baby shower gifts.) Once I caught her giving one and she insisted that “he liked it.” It got to the point that Jack was angry not just because my mom disagreed on the subject, but that his mother-in-law was deliberately and repeatedly going against our wishes. Dangerous ground here, folks. On top of being exhausted, I had to negotiate the Battle of the Binky. Calm down my husband and get my mother to quit pushing the pacifier.
I kept telling my mom that we didn’t want to use the pacifier. I made sure that I always said “we” even though it was more Jack than me at that point. I didn’t want to let on to her just how much Jack was getting pissed off at what we perceived to be disrespect of our decision. Such a little thing to cause discord, a blue and white piece of plastic, but we certainly didn’t want to set any precedent of allowing our decisions to be steamrolled. Perhaps because it did seem like a little thing, perhaps because she was such an immense help and I loved having her there, perhaps that’s why I wasn’t as forceful as I could have been. I probably would have been more adamant had it gone on.
It turned out that I didn’t need to be any more forceful because this all lasted for a mere several days. We had to take Sam back to the hospital for a fever when he was just five days old. (A story for another day.) We were admitted into the children’s wing, and while there discovered that Sam wasn’t getting enough milk and he was losing weight. There had been problems with the nursing from the first day (again – a story for another day) and lactation consultants had been on hand to help in maternity. This time the lactation consultants were showing up for nearly every meal time, and one of them spotted the pacifier. (I don’t remember why the pacifier was there.) She picked it up in disgust and said, “This is really bad. You shouldn’t use this at all. It’s just going to cause even more problems for Sam. You’re trying to get him to learn to latch on and suck from your nipples, but then you’ve got this pacifier nipple that is a completely different shape.”
After the lactation consultant left the room, my mom picked up the pacifier and said, “I’ll throw away the horrible offending pacifier.” She turned to me and said, “I’m so sorry, here you are having all these problems nursing, and I didn’t even think, it didn’t even occur to me about the nipple confusion.” And she tossed the pacifier into the trash. True, it took a lactation consultant to get my mother to stop pushing the pacifier, but she did stop, and that was victory enough for me.