Sunday, April 7, 2013


Last Tuesday, I took Holden to the Baby Weigh-In at Blooma. Gone are the days that we worry about his milk intake and weight gain, but I like knowing where he's at; when 100% of his nutritional intake comes from me, seeing the numbers creep up on the scale provides me with validation and pride.

At 6 weeks and 5 days, Holden weighed in at a whopping thirteen pounds, four ounces. He and Lydia are neck and neck for who will be the bigger baby. Because Holden (just like Lydia) is exclusively breastfed, we are not worried about the possibility of overfeeding. It seems I just grow large children.

Lydia's weight is something that I haven't talked much about, largely because it has been a source of stress for me. We try really hard to walk the line with Lydia of feeding her healthy foods and allowing her treats in moderation. We don't want her to develop a difficult relationship with food and her weight, but we also want her to be healthy.

For Lydia's whole life, people have been telling us that she would "stretch up," and she has. At her four-year appointment last week (with her new pediatrician--the same as Holden's), she measured 44.5 inches. She weighed in at 52 lbs., quite heavy for a four-year-old. Her weight was referenced by her pediatrician at her three-year wellness check, and when I realized she was gaining weight quite rapidly between then and now, I brought her in to talk with another doctor about it. Both times, I left feeling somewhat helpless. While both doctors gave us some pointers on nutrition, in general, we have done a pretty good job. We continually work to find healthy vegetarian recipes that aren't only pasta-based, Lydia gets her "Sweet of the Day," and makes food choices accordingly. She is in yoga, will return to gymnastics soon, and gets outside at school nearly every day. When let loose at the park, Lydia will run for upwards of two hours. We limit screen time to well under the APA's limits, even through a Minnesota winter with a pregnant mom. As we approached this wellness check, I was still quite worried--partially about her weight, but almost as much about seeing her doctor. There's nothing quite like trying so hard to instill healthy habits in your child only to be told (either directly or implicitly) that you must be doing something wrong since your child is heavy, and it's difficult not to think, "What am I missing? How can I be putting her at risk for health problems when we are working so hard?"

Last week, for the first time since we left our beloved Dr. Bell in Austin, we were validated for all that we have worked to do for Lydia's health--not because her weight or BMI dropped, but because her new pediatrician considered Lydia's diet and exercise over her weight. For the first time in two years, we heard, "Keep doing what you're doing. You're doing a great job."

A dear friend and health professional who knows us as parents quite well told me something on the day before Lydia's appointment that really resonated. I was confiding in her my fears and anxieties about Lydia's weight and seeing the doctor. I told her that I felt there wasn't much more we could do in terms of Lydia's diet, exercise, and overall health. And then, I heard something that finally, finally registered. She affirmed our choices for Lydia and told me that we are conscientious parents and said this: "You are going to go into that appointment with confidence, because you're doing a wonderful job. And if the doctor tells you otherwise, you'll leave and say, "I guess that's just another person we disagree with." Fortunately, the appointment went well, and we feel comfortable with this new pediatrician and her views on health, weight, and nutrition, and fortunately, she understands that BMIs are not foolproof in assessing well-being and respects us as parents. Mostly, though, I feel fortunate that I have finally found some confidence in my parenting and advocating for my child.

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