The F word

… and we’re back! Sorry for that little delay in bloggy-bloggage. For my American friends, this past weekend was “Canadian Thanksgiving” — and yes, I actually think of it as “Canadian Thanksgiving,” because it is such an understated holiday compared to regular “American Thanksgiving.” I have spent most of my life wishing I was American, and that our holidays were grand affairs with Macy’s parades and Black Friday and all other wondrous things. Anyway …

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Last time we caught up, I was smack in the middle of The Great Solid Food Debate. Is he old enough? Is he ready? Am I ready? And omigod, the pressure!

So, we saw the doctor on Wednesday, at Baby Boy’s four-month check-up/vaccinations (Sidenote: Holy crap, he’s four months old! Mah baybee! He’s so biggggg!). The doctor confirmed that Baby Boy is doing wonderfully well, and (to quote him directly) is “growing like a bad weed.” Um, thanks, Doc?

He measured 63.5 cm long (50th percentile), and weighed 17 pounds, 2 ounces (90th percentile!). I was SO happy to hear those figures, and honestly it feels like a total pat-on-the-back for a breastfeeding mama. He’s deliciously big and healthy because of MEEEEE, ahahaha!

And then the doctor asked the $10,000 question …
“So, is he sleeping through the night?”

No, I did not faint, burst out laughing, or punch him in the face.

I sort of did a snorty, “HA! Um, noooo, he is not. He nurses about four times throughout the night, and I have to go in there three or four more times to sort him out when he rolls over and/or gets tangled in the crib railing …”

And then …

“Wait a second — should he be sleeping through the night? Is this not normal?” Oh God, I remember thinking. What if there is a milestone that my baby is NOT MEETING? But that can’t be! He’s perfect! Aughhh.

DOCTOR: “There’s no ‘normal,’ with babies. Yes, many of them are sleeping through the night at this point, though. Is he really hungry when you’re feeding him at night?”

ME: “Yes. I’m … I’m considering trying rice cereal?”

DOCTOR: “Oh, definitely. At bedtime for sure.”

ME: “I know the experts say to wait until six months, though …”

DOCTOR (laughing): “This kid is bigger than a six-month-old. Cereal won’t hurt him a bit.”

ME: “Hmm … “

DOCTOR: “You really should give him some formula, though.”

ME: “Formula???”

DOCTOR: “Yes, at bedtime. It will keep him full longer, so you can get more sleep.”

Um, whatever happened to healthcare professionals being all obsessive about breastfeeding? I am pretty sure that, while we were in the hospital, I would have had to be bleeding from my eyes to procure a bottle of formula from those nurses. And this guy — this doctor — is suggesting it? WTF?

I was dumbfounded. I knew I’d had my concerns about rice cereal, but that was at least going to be MOSTLY BREASTMILK. I’d planned on using a teensy tiny little nip of cereal mixed with a whole lotta milk. Formula was an entirely new ballgame.

I don’t have anything against formula, but if I was going to give it to my baby, I would have done it when my nipples were cracked and bleeding on Day Two. Or when I was sobbing into my rice from exhaustion on Day Three. Or those nights in the first few weeks, when I was so tired I would have paid a lot money for someone — anyone! — else to feed the baby. If I didn’t give it to him then, I certainly don’t feel like I want to give it to him now.

ME: “You know what? Cereal is looking better and better …”

2 Comments on “The F word

  1. Formula? WTF? That's total crap.

    Brecken was big (still is): 97% for height and 80% for weight when he was the same age as your wee guy, and our pediatrician recommended cereal because she believed that iron deficiency was a problem and could be remedied with iron fortified cereal. I was pretty desperate for him to sleep through the night that it sounded like a good idea to me! We started with 1 tablespoon of Rice and after about a month moved on to the other types. At first I mixed it with breastmilk, but eventually I just did it with water because I couldn't be bothered otherwise. He loved it. It sure does change their poop though… that was a surprise.

    Go with your gut… he's YOUR baby!

  2. Thanks for the support! It's a relief to hear that cereal was a good solution for Brecken — I feel like I'm going to be ready for that step very soon.

    I'm nervous about the poop thing, eeek! May have to invest in a diaper sprayer! 🙂

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