Sunday, November 2, 2008

One of the Things that Keeps Me Up at Night

So, I feel like there are 1000 things that fill me with concern. The love I feel for this little boy is fierce and all consuming. On the rare occasions I'm apart from him, my heart absolutely aches. As a result of both the overwhelming love and the total lack of experience or frame of reference, I find myself terrified of anything and everything that seems even remotely abnormal. One such thing is a constant fear that he isn't getting enough to eat.

When Harry was born, he was 8 pounds, 3 ounces and 20 inches long. In the days we were in the hospital waiting for my milk to come in, his weight declined, to 8 lbs, then 7 lbs, 12 oz, then 7 lbs, 8 oz, bottoming out at 7 lbs, 6 oz. When he had his first appointment with the pedi at 6 days, he was back up to 8 pounds and was 21 inches long. But at his two week appointment, he was only up to 8 lbs, 5 oz (but 21.5 inches long). And at his one month appointment, he was at 8 lb, 13 oz and 22 inches. He had gone from the 50th percentile weight-wise down to the 25th, while remaining in the 75th percentile length-wise. But he continued (and continues) to have a good number (8 or more) of wet diapers each day and seemed (and still seems) to be a perfectly happy and perfectly healthy boy, albeit a long, lean one.

But last week, I did the old weigh yourself holding the baby then not holding the baby to estimate his weight thing and he only weighed 9 lbs 3 oz. That's a gain of only 6 oz in 2.5 weeks. And using a tape measure, he seems to have grown another inch. This puts him in the 90+ percentile for length but only the 15th or so for weight and in the <3 percentile for weight-length ratio. This freaks me out.

His latch is good. He certainly seems to eat. My production is fine. If I pump between nursing sessions, I get 4-6 ounces; if I pump right after, I get 1-3 ounces, which seems to confirm both of the preceding sentences. So why isn't he gaining more weight? Even if the scale at home is off and the last weight is off, he still seems to be getting off whatever growth curve he might have been on based just on the doctor's weigh-ins. Our next appointment isn't until the 14th, so until then this is one of the topics that keeps me up at night.


Jen said...

Maybe he's just going to be long and lean. I don't think there is much getting around body shape. It seems to be predetermined. But call your doctor early and make them work for their money. :)

mo*reezy said...

I bet he is a-okay. Having said that, I totally get your state of mind about it, and you wouldn't be the first mother to panic over something that turns out to be nothing. All the same, call your doctor for a weight check, and get his/her advice. Ease your mind - you need every bit of sleep you can get!

Nicky said...

A few suggestions that will hopefully ease your mind a bit. These are the things that helped me when I was very concerned with weight gain:

1. Many clinics, medical centers, child centers, etc., have the highly accurate infant scales available for drop-in public use. I weighed LL once or twice a week to check on weight gain, and got very different results as compared to weighing him with me on our home scale.

2. If you do find an infant scale you can use, I recommend taking Harry at feeding time. Weigh him wearing a clean diaper, give him a normal feeding, then weigh him again. Should help to ease your mind about how much he's eating in typical feeding. If it's 3 oz or more, you're doing fine.

3. You've probably heard the "one ounce a day" weight gain goal. My pediatrician says that is too high for many babies, and averaging 0.5 oz/day is still perfectly healthy.

Good luck!