Today was his 4-month check-up and it was amazing. My first two experiences with pediatricians for him were awful. One told me I was starving my baby by trying to exclusively breastfeed and made me feel like a horrible mom when he was 3 & 10 days old. Then, her colleague at his 2-month check-up told me Roger was too fat and I was a horrible mom for using formula.
Ok, neither said I was horrible. But both did chastise me and tell me what I was doing was wrong and what I needed to do was what they said. Ugh.
Here's the thing: Jason told me the other night that motherhood is a great equalizer of women, and he's right. I've written before about fear and the biz that has come with motherhood, so I won't delve too deeply into those waters, but suffice it to say that I really rarely struggled with fear or insecurity before Roger came. The times that I did were for pretty good reason, such as things that triggered flashbacks of horrific instances of various kinds of abuse perpetrated on me as a child. Even those instances were rare.
Becoming a mother changed everything. Fear that Roger will die is so palpable that it literally--literally literally, not just a word that is meant so strengthen figuratively--clenches my throat almost shut at times. Having Roger scream so fiercely that he takes 10 minutes just to start breathing normally every time I try to breastfeed him has made me feel like the worst mother ever, and thoughts that I KNOW are from the enemy, that Roger would be better off if I were dead, have assaulted my conscience. Fighting for truth, that Jesus made me Roger's mama and him my son and that there is grace for us in those hard moments, is so, so hard.
I'm afraid to admit how hard it is. It's that frustrating old paradigm I struggle with, that weak is bad. But I'm reminded again of what is likely my life verse more than any other:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
II Corinthians 12:9
|I would do anything--ANYTHING--short of|
sin for this child. How could I not?
So, then, today was such a relief. The new doctor we tried was AMAZING. Supportive, kind, didn't at all judge me for my obesity (I've had plenty of that, too. Should I just get a tattoo on my head that says, "Before you judge me, know that I've already lost over 100 pounds and my body just won't let go of anymore while I'm breastfeeding, thank you very much," so people will stop being jerkfaces?). She was gentle with Roger, gave great advice, listened, gave me a direct line to both her and her super helpful scheduler / admin person, and even the nurse was amazing. She told me that everything I'm doing to try and make more milk is great, and that my gastric bypass surgery is likely a big culprit in my body's response, particularly because I still malabsorb (don't absorb enough) most of what I put in me.
I'm not fixed, by any means, but having a doctor look me in the eye and say, "You're doing a great job and anything I would recommend you're already on top of," and that the other doctors were both wrong in their advice and their treatment of me, was amazing. Praise God for her. She even helped with some more obstetric related issues I'm having. All around, it was an amazing experience. Why did I settle for being treated horribly, as if that's normal and to be expected? Gross!
Lastly, actual Roger stats at 4 months:
Height: 26.5" / 91st percentile (% from here on)
Weight: 14lb 2.5 oz / 29th%
Head: 42cm / 38th%
The saddest one:
Weight for Height: 0%--he's not even on the chart; he's well below the 5th percentile marking.
The doc did say it's normal for a baby that tall to be that skinny, and I didn't worry about it but the nurse didn't quite stretch his leg out all the way because he was squirming around and when he's been calm at home I've measured him consistently between 27.5 & 28 inches long. She set me up with all sorts of tools to help get him fed and told me to never hesitate to call about anything. So amazing.
When we got home, I set Rog on his play mat on his tummy while I grabbed a few items from his diaper bag. I came back into the living room about 20 seconds later and little dude was on his back! I kind of scared him because I got so excited, as it was his first time rolling over, but then I put him on his tummy and he did it again, effortlessly, as though he's been doing it for months. Silly boy. The doctor was great about that, too--she said that if he hates tummy time, do our best, but she agreed with my assessment that no healthy, "normal" 2 year old can't walk and so we're fine, just fine, as we are with what we're doing.
So yes, fear will keep coming, and I'll keep fighting, but thank you, Jesus, for a great appointment today! And for you readers, prayer that my prescription to help with lactation will work well (she said the hope is that we'll have milk, "coming out of [my] ears,") without negative side effects is much appreciated.
Ok, dump of information over. Hello, more peace in my heart.