I’ll be completely honest right now, I don’t really know even how to start this post off. I think I’ve thought about writing it for so long now and I’ve actually written and re written it several times. I’m still not sure how this is going to go, but I really want to share this. Being a mom can be scary at times and even the most confident, will stumble at a time or two.
I know that this can lead to a sensitive topic for some, so I want to quickly say that weight gain is a serious thing and I know that. It can be a sign of a lot of potential problems and I took every bit of what we were being told (as well as some of my own instincts and research) in. I am not a doctor andI do know that there are times that I will need to listen to Doctors (and do!) and understand that they know better than I do, but on the whole I have realized that sometimes it’s best to also take your own judgement into consideration. Our issue was not that he was not gaining weight, but that his picture of health as a whole was not taken into consideration from the beginning. What I was seeing and how little man was acting as a whole did not match what we were being told.
Our first son is 14 months old now and I can definitely say that I’ve learned a thing or two about being a mom and being more confident in myself and my decisions as a mom. Things that I will be keeping in mind as we welcome our second son this summer. One of the most important things that I have learned is there is nothing like Mom’s Knowledge/Intuition.
We struggled with Doctors and Colton. I should preface this with the fact that both myself and my husband are above average height with small to average frames. My husband is 6 ft tall and thin and I’m around average (ish) height and thin as well. Colton follows along the same line, which we realized very quickly. When he was born he was long enough to fit into 3 month clothing, but definitely not anywhere near in the weight department.
At Colton’s two month appointment, I had a Nurse Practitioner sit and insinuate that I was starving my child. That I was not providing enough for him. Now before you say, well what did she say, maybe your hormones blew what she was saying out of proportion. No. She said that I was not providing enough and he was starving. He had gained weight and grew quite a bit longer and I was struggling to reconcile what she was saying with what I was seeing. I could see the growth in my child. He was happy, eating healthily, meeting the milestones that he needed to be (although not many at that time) and I was in shock at what she was telling me.
*It was about a month after this appointment that we realized that my milk, while it had come in, my supply had not been able to keep up with the demand. So while he was getting enough from me up until this time, it wasn’t enough for a long term nursing situation.
If that wasn’t bad enough to be told as a first time mom, when your son is 2 months old, it got worse. The first time she said it, I was in a little bit of shock. The second time, my mommy instincts kicked in and I said “Ok. What do we do”. Instead of working with me and coming up with a plan, she just continued on with her statements. We went back and forth, with me trying to come up with a plan. If my child truly needed more, I was willing to do whatever it took to get that for him. In the end, after several times of asking, I decided that we would supplement with formula. Eventually we ended up switching entirely over to formula.
*Honestly, I could (and maybe I will at some point) write a whole separate post about this experience, but for now this little summary will do.
Colton continued to grow longer and started filling out a little bit. He started to surpass the developmental milestones that they are supposed to meet and again, I was looking at a happy and seemingly healthy baby. I had recovered from my complete breakdown after Colton’s two month appointment and everything was back on track. Then, we headed to his 4 month Well Baby appointment.
Again I was told that he wasn’t gaining enough weight, although he had put on a lot for him and grown much longer, and that I was not doing what I should be. Let me just say, I was letting Colton decide how much he wanted to eat at every bottle. I couldn’t force feed him more than he wants and he was eating close to 6 ounces every single bottle, if not more. He had surpassed most of his developmental milestones and was working on 6 month milestones. I could see with my own eyes that he was doing wonderfully, but I had a Nurse Practitioner (and then a doctor) telling me that I was failing. It was at that point that I said to hell with it, switched doctors, and started tracking things on my own.
It was clear to me that my son did not follow along the growth curves like other children did when it came to weight. He puts on weight, but he is more likely to grow longer than wider. His first doctor did not even bother to review not only his growth as a whole to include his length, but to look at how we, as his parents, were built. I was mad leaving his 4 month doctors appointment. My gut as his mother was continually telling me that he was just fine, healthy and that we were doing everything we were supposed to.
Things got better once we switched his doctor. We still have issues from time to time with the concern over his weight, but it’s not in a way of his doctor saying we are starving him. I take most of his weight gain concerns in, keep a watchful eye on how his eating is going, and overall watch how his behavior is. I am with him all day long and I am the first to realize when something is wrong. Realizing that I am his number 1 and best advocate and that at times, I will know best and will know better than the doctors has been the best thing both for him and for us as a family. By having this attitude, my son is not only happy, healthy, meeting milestones way above his age, and growing appropriately, but our family is also happier and healthier. I am happier and healthier.