Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mommy, How Do You Spell Puny?

pu·ny: slight or inferior in power, size, or importance

Anja and I like to watch the baby shows on TV. All of those shows like "Bringing Home Baby," "Runway Moms," and "Maternity Ward." I avoided watching those types of shows during my pregnancy because headlines like "Mary has gestational diabetes and her baby may have two heads" convinced me that Anja may have two heads. These shows are actually more interesting to me now that I know a thing or two about pregnancy and childbirth (and even though I had a c-section, I did attend approximately 12 hours of childbirth education). What Anja and I especially like is when the birth weight of the baby is disclosed. Anja was 9 pounds 11 ounces at birth, placing her at the 95th percentile. What this means is that 95% of babies weighed less than Anja at birth. We refer to these other babies as "puny." So, when the baby's weight is disclosed on television, Anja and I say, in unison:

"Puny baby."

We do not refer to premies as puny. That would just be rude. We also do not refer to babies who are ill at birth as puny. That would just be mean and heartless. And twins: certainly it is hard to reach your maximum potential when you have to share a room. But healthy babies are pretty much fair game. On one show, a nurse stated excitedly that the infant boy who had just been born was so big that he would have to go directly to a size 1 diaper. He weighed 8 pounds 14 ounces.

Everybody together now:

Puny baby.

A few days ago, I was mulling over the posts on the La Leche League message boards and stumbled on one from a new mom who had questions about nursing her son who was large at birth. She was having problems getting him to latch on correctly. She was also concerned because a lactation consultant told her that nursing her son would be like nursing twins, and she did not know if she could maintain enough milk for him. His weight at birth? That little boy, born the day after Anja, weighed...

12 pounds 10 ounces.

Uh-oh.

Seems the table had turned.

I didn't tell Anja that she was now the puny baby. I figure I don't need to start giving her reasons to go to therapy when she is an adult just yet. But I did respond to this mom and we emailed a couple of times about how fun it is to have large babies and how most advice you receive from a lactation consultant can be thrown in the garbage.

I suppose the moral of this story is that what comes around goes around. This is an important life lesson for Anja to learn. However, until she is old enough to comprehend this important lesson, the two of us will continue in our search for...

puny babies.

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