The Today Show aired a segment last week about obesity in children as young as nine months. As I sat and watched Matt Lauer barrage the doctor with questions, I found myself asking first, How can a nine-month-old become obese?
Then I asked myself, Is Caroline going to be that way?
You see I had a big baby. Not huge, but big. She tipped the scales at 8.8 pounds and 20.5 inches long. Since then, her stats have climbed quite rapidly, but as our pediatrician has stated, “she’s perfectly healthy.” At first I was fine with it. Actually, I was happy with it because I’m thin, and have been my whole life (except when I was a baby). Because of my thin stature, I had to hear more than once during my pregnancy, “Gosh, you’re so small!” So, to birth a nice, big, healthy baby girl was my crowning joy.
But after about the ninety-eighth time of someone acknowledging her larger-than-average weight and height, I’ve started to take it personally. I feel like I’m doing something wrong.
My feelings of worry only escalated this weekend at the aquarium, where my husband and I met some friends. We hadn’t seen them in about a month, and they kept commenting on our daughter’s heftiness. The conversation went something like this:
Woman: Can I hold her?
Woman: Wow! You’re a big girl! What should we call you, pound cake? Or maybe meatball?
Me: Smile. Not sure what to say or how to handle the comment.
Woman: Are you still breastfeeding her?
Me: Yes, I’m doing both breast milk and formula.
Guy: When you breastfeed her, are you dipping your boobs in chocolate? (Hand gestures boob being dipped in chocolate.)
Me: Uncomfortable laugh. Not sure what to say. Look at husband for reaction. Blood pressure rising. Now I’m officially pissed even as the conversation moves on.
My poor little girl had officially been made fun of. It took everything I had not to take a jab at him.
I know we have a big baby, but I also know in my heart of hearts that she’s going to be just fine. She’s only five months old, and she still has a lot of growing to do. I’ll always worry about her, because after all, I am a mom. But, I also know that my husband and I are doing the best that can to raise a healthy, happy, little girl.