Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Unexpectedly melancholy


Don't know where this slight case o' the blues is coming from -- possibly just from exhaustion. It was a very busy day made simultaneously more easy and more difficult by DD having a stomach virus. Easier because there was way less driving, more difficult because she's sick. This is a girl who cannot afford to not eat. To say she is a twig is to exaggerate how fat she is. She is less than twig-like. What is smaller than a twig, a blade of grass? There ya go.

So, I worry about her, and perhaps that is the source of this melancholy I am feeling. All her life, she has been rather anti-food (except sweets, of course). Seriously. She is a prime candidate for an eating disorder later in life, although she has complained about being too skinny, and that's a more healthy complaint than the other way around, I suppose.

She's only in the 5th percentile for weight, but is in the 75th percentile for height. Just let your brain run on that a minute. Take the smallest weight five-year-old you know, and stretch it out over the nearly-tallest frame. Her little face and head are so tiny that she can still wear a hat we bought her at the zoo 2 years ago. DS2, who is 3, weighs more than she does.

Ah, I am obsessing over this more than I realized. She will be fine, she managed to keep down some toast and Propel this evening, and seemed to be in much better spirits. I just worry about her losing weight. It's bad enough she only gains about 3lbs a year (when you're in the 5th percentile, 3 lbs a year is right on track, according to the pediatrician), she definitely can't afford to lose anything.

Still, she is bright and lively and strong and active. I don't know why I worry so much about her.

Well, that's a lie. Of course I know: when she was born she didn't care to eat, and she lost a pound in her first week, from 6lbs 9 oz down to 5lbs 9 oz. She was nursing often but not strong enough to bring down the hind milk, the kind with all the fat and nutrients in it -- she was mostly getting the watery foremilk. And my milk supply was drying up, since she wasn't sucking hard enough to bring it down. When we weighed her at her 1 week checkup, the pediatrician was seriously freaked and wanted me to switch her onto formula immediately. I argued with him about that, and went to pumping and bottle feeding the breast milk. I had to bring her in for daily weighings for a week. The day after I started pumping she gained something like 3 ounces so the pediatrician was OK with it, it was working.

I think it was 6 weeks? 8 weeks? Pumping and nursing. Nursing while pumping, so the pump would bring down the milk, and she would get some while on the breast, then feeding her the rest from the bottle. She would get so tired. It used to take her 45 minutes to take an ounce and a half from the bottle.

That time is a complete blur to me. I was so scared but I don't even remember now if I ever talked to anyone about it at the time. There wasn't anything anyone could say to comfort me. It was all up to her, whether she would decide to eat or not -- it wasn't even a breast-v-bottle issue, either, because she was just as desultory on the bottle as she was at the breast, probably more so. She did love being snuggled up to me. She was so tiny I could easily hold her on one arm.

My heart broke every feeding. She's five now, and it still hurts a lot to remember that time. Even though she finally "got it" at around 8 weeks or so and I could ease off the pumping, she never caught up to where she "should" have been. She's always been tiny, always had this take-it-or-leave-it relationship with food, like she doesn't understand or care that she has to eat to live.

OK, I have to back away from this subject because rehashing it again is pointless. She is a very healthy girl and there's no reason to get into a tizzy over a little stomach virus! Sheesh.

I managed to get everything ready for the charity pickup tomorrow, even inventoried it all -- yay! It was a lot of physical work, so I wonder how I will feel tomorrow. Especially as I am up too late to take an Ambien tonight. Stupid me.

Of course, with the Farscape mini-series news, I am back on like an idiot. Although I am steadfastly resolved to avoid all political discussions there as they are just pointless! I was snippy to some newbie who bashed Bonnie Hammer yet again, but at least I had the grace to apologize later. I should just lurk, but I don't have that much self-discipline.

Clearly, I have no self-discipline regarding certain things, because I am not in bed yet.

Tomorrow is a half-day for DS1 and I am planning on taking it easy and letting DD recuperate, and doing some paying-work, now that all the housework is pretty much done. In addition to all the junk moving, sorting, and listing, I stripped all the beds and remade them too (except for ours, DH must've done that himself), and did four loads of laundry: washed, dried, and folded. Also, cooked dinner. And took a shower, too -- all that heavy labor, quite a bit in the garage, made me really grungy. DS2 pointed to my leg, "What's that?" to which I replied, "Dirt!" He laughed.

I quite seriously need to go out and get stuff for Easter! We are so unprepared, it's pathetic. And on that absurd note, I'm outta here.

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