Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Growth Curves (or Lack Thereof)

(made with the Growth app)
Today was Mr. C's 9 month check up. 

He's a cutie (definitely medically important).

He just started to wave (and waves in response to someone saying 'hello'...making an awesome connection between a word and an action).

The pediatrician was impressed.

His height and weight? 

Yeah. The pediatrician was...concerned (a word I don't like...I'm not sure why I dislike it, but I do. Thankfully, the pediatrician didn't use that word, but it was the gist of her response.)

We need him to eat, eat, eat over the next month and will be going back in a month to hopefully see a change in both his height and weight. It isn't the weight that was as concerning as the plateauing of his height. 

Looking back over his numbers doesn't help. 

1 month - 61% for weight and length; 26% for head size
2 months - 50% for weight; 73% for length; 25% for head size
4 months - 26% for weight; 44% for length; 35% for head size
6 months - 14% for weight; 34% for length; 50% for head size

At 6 months we just though all of his energy and calories were going toward growing a big brain. Then all of his numbers dropped at this appointment.

No matter how hard I try to tell myself that it's probably nothing, that he's developmentally doing great (like the waving), all I can keep thinking about is that I have made decisions that have directly impacted his growth. 

I'm great at cutting other people slack (almost too good at that), but myself? No. I'm my worst bully.

I'm bad at maintaining logic in these situations. No matter how much I try to stop the swirling negative thoughts and give my worry/anxiety/guilt to God, I keep coming back to feeling like I did something wrong. It's hard when that's true, at least to a certain extent. 

As I mentioned in this post, Mr. C didn't like baby foods. His big sister showed interest in eating when she was 5 months. She would stare at us and move her mouth in anticipation of what it would be like to have food in her mouth. 

Mr. C never really went through that phase (until recently). Based on his dislike of baby foods, I kept giving him more time thinking he just wasn't ready for baby food (I can't blame him for not being interested in pureed food). 

Miss S also got teeth earlier. Mr. C is still toothless, so I was nervous about giving him "finger foods" despite knowing that a lot of mamas swear by it.

I noticed that he wasn't filling out his jammies as quickly as he did the 3-6 month size. 

I kept looking at Miss S's growth and development booklet and thought Mr. C should have grown more. 

I guess I didn't realize how little he was growing. 

When I attempted (a few different times) to weigh him at home, he was measuring at about 17 1/2 pounds. Still not as much as I thought he should weigh, but ok. 

My inaccurate home measurements were off. 

His weight today was 16 lbs 7 oz. He's literally slipped off of the growth curve.


Even if I could have made different choices, I didn't. He's 9 months old. He's got plenty of time to make gains in his height and weight. The most probable reason for minimal physical growth is because of decreased intake of food. He likes feeding himself. He can make a lot of gains in the next 30 days.  

I can type those words. I can say those words. I could explain those words to someone else.

This mama? She's stubborn.

Instead, these are the words I tell myself (some in a harsher tone than others):
I'm not producing enough milk. I need to drink more. I should be pumping more. If I was a stay at home mom, this wouldn't be a problem. Why didn't I try more often to get him to eat baby food? I didn't try hard enough, did I? Why didn't I try puffs earlier? Why haven't I been giving him more food more often? Why did I push away the thoughts that he should be drinking more?

Being a nurse can help and hurt. I don't want to be the nurse that is a hypochondriac, but then I worry that in situations like this one that I should have worried more. It's a vicious cycle.

Maybe some of you reading this post are wondering why I write posts like this one. It's for a few reasons. 
1. It helps me to process how I'm feeling.
2. If there are other parents out there who've lived this experience (or are living this experience), I'm living it too. We aren't alone. 
3. To remind me that #2 is the case and that I'm not alone. 
4. To remember that could of, would of, should of doesn't get me anywhere but down.
5. To free these thoughts from my head (it helps to let them go). 

Already I'm having a better perspective.
Mr. C is healthy.
He makes me smile.
He makes other people smile.
He is napping after eating Joe's Os, banana, puffs, 3/4 of a waffle, 80 mL of breast milk, and nursing on both sides.

And, his big sister is excited about adding some more glitz to her valentines. A little art therapy is just what this nurse needs.


  1. Kristin -- I'm with you... we should chat about our boys. Mine aren't even on the charts for weight (at 8mo they were 13lb13oz and 14lb2oz- they are on the charts for height. I've decided they're on their own curve - slow and steady, right? Talk to Lisa too, her boys still aren't on the curve! And my boys aren't eating finger foods yet -- I give them the mum-mums -- but puffs, etc they seem to not masticate long enough and nearly choke! :-( Let's chat soon. Hang in there mama! You're doing a great job and remember Mr C is not Miss S, they'll develop differently xxoxoxo

    1. Kim - deleted my first comment since I wasn't making the connection between your name and you. Mama brain! The word "masticate" should have given it away even if your name (and the fact that you had twin boys) didn't seem to click in my brain. I'd love to see you sometime soon!! Maybe a play date for the big sisters and the boys can hang out together?

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  3. My little Avery came in underweight at her 4 month appointment and it made me so sad :( Mostly because I was nursing exclusively so I felt like I was failing her. Ugh. Things all worked out and she's a little chunker now which I love :) Avocados are a great, healthy food to help babies bulk up!

    1. Rebecca - Thank you for giving some feedback as a mama who's been there. It's so hard not to feel like a mama is "failing" when breastfeeding is the main (or only) nutrition. I look at some mama's little ones and figure they must be pumping out cream whereas mine is low fat. So far, Mr. C is eating most everything we put on his tray. Praying for pounds and inches!