Stella has been weighed dozens and dozens and dozens of times during her six months here on earth. More times than the average Orange County housewife–nevermind the average baby. Many more times than a parent can reasonably expect to endure while maintaining his or her sanity. For close to three months, we went to the pediatrician’s office weekly for official weigh-ins. She was weighed every three hours during our four-day stay at Children’s Hospital in November. I’ve weighed her at home, before and after nursing her, on a fancy rented scale that I turned to out of desperation in the the time before the tube when I was trying to figure out how much milk she was getting from me and what the hek was bothering her so much. Lately, every few days, I’ve popped her onto the cheap baby scale I bought when the tube came out. I suppose, technically, she was also weighed before birth, when I stepped on the scale at the start of each prenatal check-up.
At this rate, Stella and I will wind up with a majorly problematic focus on her weight for years to come. (“Stella, what did I tell you? Put down the broccoli and have a cupcake!”) And a weight obsession of any kind is just about the LAST THING I want for my precious girl.
So, it is with much relief and joy-bulation that I announce the good news: Stella Weigh-In Mania (SWIM) is officially over. Today, at Stella’s six-month “well child” check-up, after a full six weeks without the NG tube, she proved that we don’t need to worry anymore. No more weekly weight checks. Our only future appointment is for her nine-month “well child” visit. Hallelujah!
Needless to say, the appointment went VERY WELL. There was no stand-off between me and Dr. Numrych, as I’d feared might happen if the scale didn’t tip in our favor. She gained more weight than we expected. She’s growing longer (taller?) at a quick clip. And her head is more gigantic than ever. The subject matter at today’s check-up didn’t involve tubes or high-density formulas or other craziness aimed at helping her gain weight. It was refreshingly normal. Topics of discussion revolved around spoon feeding and baby-proofing. Here are her stats, including the dreaded percentiles:
- 16 pounds, 8.5 ounces (between 50th and 75th %)
- 26.5 inches long (75th %)
- 45.3 cm head circumference (+97th %)
After all we’ve been through, these numbers are worth celebrating. Even the god damned percentiles. Though, I hope that I can think about percentiles as often as I think about, say, checking my car’s oil (every couple of years–sorry, dad, I’ll get on that).
Necessary but not cause for celebration were Stella’s shots. And there were many. She handled FOUR SHOTS (plus an oral rota virus vaccine) like a champ. One was an optional flu shot. Scores of people in my “circles” have been dropped like bad habits by the flu. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t have allowed her to receive so many shots at once. Right after the nurse gave her the three standard shots, Cody realized that they’d forgotten the flu shot. So they had to go tromp through the halls to retrieve it, then come back and inject her again, after she’d calmed down (with the help of a pacifier) from the initial three. Well, oddly enough, when stuck for the fourth time, she didn’t cry. In fact, I am not even sure she noticed the shot at all. Perhaps her chubby little thighs were in shock.
I think Cody and I were in shock upon seeing the number on that scale. We’re always a bit quiet and tense right before a weigh-in. In that moment, I cease breathing and put all emotions on hold. Because it always feels like there’s so much riding on it. Upon entering the doctor’s office, I am mute and/or annoyed until I see or hear that number. Cody and I practically did chest bumps and high fives when we heard “sixteen p0unds eight and a half ounces” announced with appropriate enthusiasm by the nurse. I honestly wanted to bust out with a rendition of Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise”–something Cody and I do quite well. “Black is back, all in, we’re gonna win, check it out, yeah y’all c’mon, here we go again, turn it up! Bring the noise!” I think Stella would’ve enjoyed it. Maybe next time.