Moms know their babies better than anyone else. If mom feels like everything is right, then it probably is. And vice versa. So why is it so hard to trust our Momtuition?
Up until now I’ve actually been really proud of my confidence in myself and my knowledge of my baby. For a first time mom, I think I’m pretty cool and collected. Friends and acquaintances have actually told me they’re impressed with how confident I am, given my neophyte status. My mantra generally is that babies aren’t that breakable, emergencies aren’t that common.
And my confidence started early too. When my OBs were trying to convince me that I was on borrowed time with my pregnancy, I knew better. I felt the healthiest I’d ever been and at 41 weeks I pushed out my 8lb 9oz, perfect baby to prove it. When the public health nurses were trying to tell me I was starving my baby and I needed to put him on formula, I knew better. (Ok, I was hormonal, so I had a few moments of doubt. I drove to the store, bought the formula, then came to my senses and threw it in the garbage.) My milk came in that day so fast the baby was gagging on it and I told the nurses we didn’t care to see them anymore. Then, when he was 8 months old and suddenly had a fever out of the blue, I didn’t worry too much. I sat down on the couch and nursed him for two days straight until the rash showed up. Then I called Telehealth and told the nurse I just wanted to confirm it was Roseola. Indeed it was, and my Momtuition was right – again.
So why am I doubting myself now?
The other thing I’ve been confident about up until now is his ability to know innately what his body needs. My philosophy about feeding is that as long as each of the options on the plate is healthy, then it doesn’t matter if he has 3 helpings of one and none of the other. His instincts will guide him. And I’ve already seen proof that this wisdom works. One of his favourite foods has always been brussels sprouts (believe it or not). But when he was about 8 months old, he started throwing them – and every other vegetable – on the floor. The meat, eggs and avocados were the only foods that made it past the gates, meal after meal. The environmentalist in me was cringing at how much meat he was eating. But guess what? I was mysteriously craving it too and 3 days later, lo and behold, my first postpartum period arrived. What a smart Little Man to know
he we needed extra iron! That Momtuition about trusting him was bang on – yet again.
So why am I worried about his food preferences now?
Little Man started walking about 2 months ago and at the exact same time his molars started to come in. He’s eating less, nursing more and moving all day long. It’s a recipe for weight loss. He’s still growing and learning new things every day. He’s still making ample diapers. He’s happy all day and sleeping enough but not too much. Every indicator outside of the 10.4% weight loss says he’s fine. When the nurses overlooked all of those same markers last year and told me that his 10.3% weight loss trumped them all, I was livid. How asinine!
So why am I so worried that he’s lost weight now?
I think part of my problem is that I don’t have the resources I did before. When we lived in Calgary I had umpteen friends with babies who were going through the same things or who had already been there and done that. I would hear about their worries, challenges and solutions before I encountered them myself so I had lots of time to mentally prepare my plan of attack. And I knew constantly that my baby was totally normal. Here in Toronto, I’m alone in Mommyhood. The women in my family either didn’t breastfeed, or were done before their babies were a year old, so I can’t ask them either because formula-fed babies grow differently.
I think the other part of my problem is that food and weight are my biggest personal hang-ups. I make sure to be hands-off with his eating so that I don’t project my screwed up attitude onto him, but it’s so hard. So even though eating less and losing weight is actually the opposite of my problem, watching him pick the sweet fruit but not the nutrient-denser kale gives me visions of a lifetime of food manipulation.
I don’t have any answers to sum this post up with. Just one final question: if anyone knows the whereabouts of the magic Mommy Confidence Wand, could you fill me in??