Scarlett had her first well-baby visit with our pediatrician today. When we arrived, the receptionist handed me a card from Diana, one of the nurses. The entire staff has been there as long as I can remember (we’ve been with the same pediatrician since Kevin was born 15+ years ago), and Diana is the first nurse there I ever encountered – way back when Kevin was a tiny newborn and I had to take him in for jaundice. For some reason, she’s taken a special liking to us, and every time I’ve announced another pregnancy, she’s just been thrilled for us. I still remember when we took Finn in for his first well visit after he was released from the hospital, and how I cried and cried over his diagnosis and everything he had already been through in his brief life, and she just put her arms around me and let me cry and told me everything was going to be okay.
Anyway, so I opened this card today, and inside she had written a very heartfelt note congratulating us on the birth of another baby, and she had included a $50 gift card to buy something for Scarlett. I was speechless. Have you ever heard of such a thing? It was incredibly touching.
So, back in the exam room, I stripped Scarlett down to her diaper for her first weigh-in. Let me just say that she nurses about every hour and a half to two hours around the clock, so I was expecting to see her tip the scales at approaching 8 pounds (she was 7 lbs. 5 oz. and 20 inches at birth). I was sort of taken aback when the scale said she weighs 7 pounds even, and she was measured at (still) 20 inches. In fact, I almost started crying. How can it be that at two weeks old, she’s not even back up to her birth weight?
This all hearkens back to the feeding difficulties Finn had and how I agonized over every fraction of an ounce he gained or lost in the first few months of his life. I’m not saying that Scarlett has feeding difficulties – she nurses like a pro, and has from right after her birth, as far as I can tell – but this lack of weight gain was like a flashback for me today, and it kind of threw me for a loop. I don’t want to obsess over it, or make more of it than necessary, but . . . I don’t understand it. The pediatrician isn’t concerned about it (although he does want me to bring her back for a weight check in a couple weeks), and I even called Sue, my midwife, and she’s not concerned either (although she said she’d come over in the next few days and weigh Scarlett on her scale so we can get a real comparison to her birth weight).
What am I afraid of? I’m trying to figure that out. I guess just health issues in general. I guess, also, I’m afraid that for whatever reason she’ll prove to be a poor gainer, and the doctor will send me home with formula next time like he did with Finn, only this time I don’t have a freezer full of expressed breast milk to supplement with instead of formula.
I’m borrowing trouble, aren’t I?
Aside from the weight/growth issue (which I shouldn’t be concerned about, right?), Scarlett seems to be doing just fine. She’s still crabby a lot of the time – and let me tell you: this tiny little lady can bring the house down with her screaming – but she appears to be healthy, just feisty.
As for me . . . I’m hanging in there. Some days are better than others. I’m still trying to come out of the fog of postpartum-ness (maybe 2 weeks is rushing it), and I very much still feel a little alien to the outside world right now, if that makes sense. As corny as this may sound, I feel like Michael is the only person in the world who gets me right now, and so he’s the only one I really want to be around right now. I still break down crying out of nowhere – not all the time, but here and there. I think it’s safe to say that I have the baby blues – partly hormonal, and partly just feeling very overwhelmed at times – not necessarily by Scarlett and her needs, but by the other kids and their needs and demands and not minding, on top of Scarlett and her needs. I’m on the lookout for PPD, as I’ve had it before, but I don’t think that’s what I’m dealing with currently.
Anyway, baby’s crying.