We just got back from Sophie's nine month doctor's appointment. Sophie has only gained two pounds since her six month appointment, which means that her weight has dipped down below the 5th percentile. Likewise her height. The doctor didn't tell me that I was starving her, but that's the feeling I get when she tells me that I should be feeding her more and that we need to "fatten" her up. And I feel guilty that I'm apparently not giving her enough of what she needs. I feel guilty that I am still (somewhat selfishly) breastfeeding her and that I consider that to be her primary source of sustenance. I feel guilty that I have allowed her to be stubborn on not eating anything more solid than stage 2 baby food. I feel guilty that I encourage her to sleep so much that maybe she's not eating enough. I just feel guilty.
But then I find myself getting angry that I've been made to feel so inadequate. Because if I'm true to myself, I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. I am not excited about giving her a bunch of artificial vitamins. Nor am I interested in stuffing my child like a Thanksgiving turkey because she is not high on a standardized measure that takes into account nothing other than those two factors. I know that I was a small baby, a failure to thrive kid. And just look at me now, I'm in the 73rd percentile (ha, frakking percentiles). Certainly genetics plays some role in how your child develops. Also, I know that some mommies out there would shout a grateful hallelujah if their baby gained two pounds, so I can't be too critical. I must be happy for what I can. My girl is happy and active and smart and, I feel, healthy. I must remember that those statistics cover such a wide range of people and body types and that I CAN NOT evaluate my own performance on such a flimsy calculation. She's small but she's mighty, my little bean, and we're BOTH doing fine.