Being a parent is one of the most passionate, pride inducing jobs I have ever had, or ever hope to have. With every ounce of my being I love my child. There is a fierce wave of emotions that any surfer would be stoked to ride associated with the job and privilege of being a parent.
I fought it tooth and nail every time someone told me that I couldn’t possibly understand being a parent until I was one. How on earth could loving a child be any different than loving a spouse, a friend, or a family member? I hardly expected this experience to rock my world in quite the way that it has. The joys, the pains, the hurts…they all affect me to the extreme and I find myself moved beyond measure.
Today was Autumn’s 6 month well check up. It was a day I anticipated for many reasons ever since I made the appointment.
I hate the shots for her. I have a high tolerance for pain and to see my sweet girl suffer is so difficult. Having her ears pierced was way more difficult for me than I expected. It broke my heart to see her hurting, regardless of how short-lived the pain was. Shots weren’t difficult at first because I knew she wouldn’t remember them. But as each well check up visit comes along, my heart beats faster and my stomach drops deeper and deeper. I still know she won’t remember them at this age. But to hear her scream out in pain and to see her face experiencing that pain is just so difficult to bear. She did well today though, and it was her best time yet. I was so proud of my big girl and how she handled the pain. She was back to her smiling self within minutes of picking her up and cuddling her.
As I have mentioned before I struggle so much with Autumn’s size. She is at the highest range of her weight percentage and as a plus size (let’s get real for a moment: obese) mom it’s hard to imagine that people don’t initially blame that on me (whether it’s paranoia or truth, I don’t know). But I do not over feed my child. The amount of ounces she drinks every day is towards the lower end of the range (24-32, and she drinks 26) and the amount of baby food she eats is exactly where she is supposed to be (3 jars a day, 1 for each meal). And still her weight climbs. She is satisfied at her bottles and sometimes drinks an ounce to a half an ounce less. Sometimes she will not even eat a full jar of food and we’ll be lucky for half. And still her weight climbs. I was so looking forward to this appointment to address my concerns with the pediatrician. Let me just pause for one moment to praise my pediatrician, she is an amazing doctor in so many ways and I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else. So I spoke to her about my concerns and she finally confirmed for me that Autumn does have a less-than-wonderful metabolism and that we can forget the normal range of ounces and jars of food and the other expectations that the “average” child should be consuming. She told me that because of how well Autumn is doing with her weight and nutrition that I could back off the formula a bit because of how nutrient rich it is (she has to have cereal too because of her ridiculous acid reflux) and to instead concentrate on food. We agreed that I should probably feed her food first and then offer her the bottle. I’m hoping she will drink 3 5 oz bottles and then her 7 oz bottle at bedtime for a total of 22 oz. I’m banking on a jar and a half at each feeding. We aren’t the type to feed her empty nutrition type foods (ie. Corn), so we won’t have to change that up too much. I will be feeding her more avocados for sure, and any of the other more healthful foods that will be a good (but less rich) replacement food for her with the lack of formula. I am so happy with the results of this appointment and I feel so much better about myself as a mom with a happy, healthy, yet chubby baby. It’s not my fault. She is okay and perfectly healthy. And I needed to know that.