|Everett's first trip to Greenbluff outside of the womb.|
Post-pregnancy, I am 2 pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant (thanks breastfeeding). My pelvis is still recovering from the trauma of pregnancy and child birth, but I haven't peed my pants in months. My boobs have deflated to their normal/still huge size, my acne has returned, and I rarely have time to do my hair in the morning. I went to the doctor the other day, and unfortunately I am still recovering from my bout with mono. However, I feel stronger and more energetic with every passing day. Enough about me, let's talk about the BABY!
Everett hit some pretty major milestones during his eighth month of life. He is pulling himself up, stands on his own for a few moments at a time, can walk with assistance, and is understanding verbal communication more each day. He has 4 teeth, and I can see a fifth tooth making its way to the gum line. His favorite toys are as follows: the cat's tail, the dog's water dish, our (extensive) wine cork collection, the remote control.
I am amazed at how fast his little mind is developing. Last night, I asked him to open the garbage can for me. He crawled over to it and hit the button to open the lid. Remember how he was just a helpless little blob a short time ago? Every moment is an adventure, and he is more than ready to explore his surroundings.
We had our 9 month checkup yesterday. You will notice how I am not posting his height and weight information, mostly because I am in mourning. Everett fell off the charts. He has been in the 5th percentile since birth, but from what I know of his current stats, he could gain a whole pound and still be under weight. This is maddening to me, and naturally, I feel like I'm failing as a mother.
I took some time to process all this last night, and I am still baffled and in shock. When we got home from the sitter's house, I wrote down everything I did to see if I was starving my child. Here's what the evening looked like:
- 5:30pm - nursed Everett for 20 minutes.
- 5:50pm - gave him 2 large crackers broken into small pieces as I prepared his pureed foods.
- 6:00pm - fed him an entire bowl of squash soup.
- 6:10pm - gave him more crackers while I ate my portion of the soup.
- 6:15pm - he still wasn't acting full, and apparently I'm starving him, so fed him 2 ounces of diced peaches.
- 6:20pm - still not full, so fed him an ounce of pureed pears.
- 6:25pm - gave him a handful of Cheerios.
- 6:30pm - looked at the clock and saw that he had been eating for an entire hour.
Earlier that day at the sitter's house, he ate an entire Tupperware container of diced sweet potatoes, then moved on to pancakes and cereal puffs. He still nurses or takes a bottle 6 times a day.
Maybe the problem is that I'm not feeding him the same foods other parents are feeding their babies? Is it because I am giving him fruits and veggies, while parents with bigger babies are going through the McDonald's drive thru? After sobbing on the couch and contemplating the day, I gave Everett a quick bath and ran us up to Trader Joe's. I bought an entire shopping cart filled with foods just for him (that's a lie, I bought 2 bottles of wine for myself): cottage cheese, whole grain pancakes, organic chicken breasts, avocados, eggs, bananas, etc. Anything that is baby-friendly, fattening, and filling was in my cart.
Of course I got home and realized the only thing I purchased for Jeff and myself to consume was wine. I mean, it's necessary at this point, but not a socially acceptable thing to live on. I realized this has been the story of my life: baby comes first, then take care of myself...and drink. For the last 9 months, all of my energy has been spent feeding this child, and apparently there is no physical evidence to prove it. I feel minimal amounts of comfort in the fact that the doctor is not too concerned about his weight. He is way above average when it comes to his physical abilities. In fact, he has the developmental skills of a one-year-old (bragging). But when the words "failure to thrive" and "calling CPS" are thrown into conversations about a child's small size, it's impossible not to have an anxiety attack (and fall down the stairs...happened).
Someone sent me a philosophical email about the meaning of life and the importance of servant leadership. I read a few lines and said, "F**k that, I don't have time for this s**t. I have a baby to feed!"
So here we continue to traverse the many waters of "What it means to be a parent." Have you ever heard of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? I don't think Maslow had any kids.