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August 24, 2010

Went where that month?

10 comments
So Mia is already a month old. In fact, she is already two weeks short of being two months old. And not kidding folks, I don't know who, what, when, how it all happened. From one poo to another, time's just gone by.

Given I had several other women popping out kids here, I had been wondering about some of the new-mom cliches. (That's before I joined that particular club) Y'know like, I-am-sleep-deprived. Or, I-don't-have-time-for-a-shower. Or, I-sometimes-forget-to-eat.

Now that I am one-month-been-there-etc, is all that true? Yes and no. Mia's been a "good" baby so far. That's to say she lets me have at least 4-5 hours sleep on most nights and does not drive me up the wall with (much) crying. Since I had already been surviving on 4 hours sleep while I was pregnant, this does not feel much different.

Most days I manage a shower as well. Only, she seems to wake up just when I'm about to do the whole moisturize-my-body routine. She also does not like it when I watch TV and somehow has perfect timing. Just when the case is about to be solved or the most interesting part of a documentary is about to start, she decides she wants mum. But she shuts up when cuddled.

Oh yes, other than the feed-me cry, Mia has figured out a new cry. I call it the testing-mum cry. So she will be lying perfectly happily in her pram or cot when she decides she is bored and needs entertainment --> mum. So despite no reason to cry -- there's a baby checklist of fed, cleaned, burped therefore no reason to cry -- she does this sort of WANH. Just one loud WANH and then she waits to see if I turn up.

I've stood just beyond her line of sight to see what she does and the little minx does the WANH just to get a response from me. Of course, if there is no response or no mum forthcoming in 10 minutes, the WANH then rises to WAAAAAAAAAAAANHA-AAHH. So she makes it kinda clear: Either respond when I'm just kidding or deal with the real thing.

That apart, we all have been doing pretty well (er, just heard a WANH). She's managed to projectile spew into her dad's left eye and has even managed to shit all over him. It's amazing that despite me spending more time with her, I have been pretty incident-free. Men, shrug. (Feels superior, goes before bub loses it).

PS: The pic is of Mia, four days old, in the car capsule, on her way home. The red jumper is hand knit and obviously too big for her.

August 2, 2010

Cuz you are a whale, you stupid bat.

20 comments
Right. I’ve had it with women, especially other mothers. Particularly absolute strangers who take one look at Mia and instantly go (on and on), “Ah, but she is very small, isn’t she?”

I don’t hold anything against moms who forget that their babies were equally small at birth. I DO understand that compared to their babies – who could now be two or ten months old – Mia does look small. Comments from them are all right because I know there is no stupid comparison-shit happening there.

It is comments from the I-feel-superior mothers – “Yes, she is rather small. My baby was such-and-such size at birth. She is very small, really” – that really piss me off. And yes Mia is small because she’s two-bloody-weeks-old. Given that I birthed a human baby and not a troll, she’s supposed to be small. Like every other two week old baby.

I also understand that Mia was not the standard 4 kgs-plus-size baby. She was 3 kgs at birth, which by the way is 50 percentile of most babies born. According to my doctor, Mia’s a great size given that her mother’s size is “only 10 percentile of average women”. A 3 kg-48.5 cm-baby from a mother who is petite and 5 feet tall is not “oh so small”. It’s bloody brilliant. Mia also has a beautifully shaped, small head. A mercy if you ask me. I delivered her naturally with a natural tear that needed two stitches instead of a perineum-to-bloody-belly button tear.

What irritates me (to put it politely) is how some women feel superior because their babies were huge at birth.

If I may point out here, unless a mother was malnourished or was cranked up on heroine or steroids, most mothers do not consciously contribute towards their babies sizes. You eat and rest well and try do everything right and hope the baby is a good size. All babies develop differently – and independently – inside the uterus. You, dear mother, have had nothing to do with your baby being big or small.

Some mothers have big babies because they had gestational diabetes. And that’s not a good thing. Again though, it’s not as if as the mother wanted to have diabetes. Similarly, no mother wants a premature baby or a small-at-birth baby. It happens. You deal with it and you (and I) love your baby irrespective of size.

Size is also not any guarantee that your baby will be/is healthy. A big baby could have a plethora of problems while a small baby could be fit as a fiddle or vice versa. As I said, you hope for the best for your baby. Mia, like all my friends who’ve had big babies and the friend who had twins, is a healthy baby and doing well (god bless).

Unlike a lot of babies who were born along with her, she does not cry a lot. She is a happy, content baby and cute as a button (I’m prejudiced, shrug). I don’t feel superior about her calm nature because (a) I have nothing to do with her not crying and (b) She could turn into a screamer, who knows?

So I’ve decided that I’ve had enough with mothers trying to make me feel bad – so they can feel better about themselves – about Mia’s size. Next time a mother comments on her oh-so-smallness I shall have a ready response*. *(Anyone having to deal with similar comments, feel free to use any of the below or if you come up with something better, share here.)

“Ah your baby is too small isn’t she? My baby was such-and-such size at birth.”

Possible responses:

“Oh really. Must be because I am petite and you are SO huge.” (Look her up and down disbelievingly) OR

“It takes a GINORMOUS waist to birth something THAT big.” (Spread your arms real wide; however, do follow it up with a, “But isn’t s/he cute?”) OR

“Your vagina must be a gaping hole you poor thing!” (Look horrified) AND

“And er, what’s that on your skin? Not doing too well after the birth, are you?” (Even women with flawless skin will spend at least two days fretting)

(Scowl) If any of the above is mean and nasty, so be it. It’s not f*cking nice to go commenting on other peoples’ kids. If you don’t have anything nice to say – and you don’t need to – just f*cking shut up. Stupid cows.

PS: The picture is a hippo and not a whale, in case some of you wondered. ;)