Anyone that knows me, knows how long I have battled weight issues. I never wanted to project that onto my children and probably would have sold my soul to shield and protect them from all the pain I have gone through. Oh how much life is easier when you are born the "right" size.
Fast forward to when I became a mother. My son was a healthy 8.14oz. While I was recuperating from a air pocket that traveled to my heart but took a detour and went to my shoulder, the nurse brought my son in because he was screaming from hunger. Without them being able to wake me and advising my father because of the amount of morphine I was under, breast feeding wasn't a option, my father made the decision to give my son some formula. The nurse handed him a 2oz bottle and told my father to feed him less than 1 oz.
What transpired next is what has been told to me as I was in lala land. My father was talking to my inlays, my mother and every family member. Probably saying sweet things like every other first proud grandparent would say. What the nurse mentioned about only giving him 1 oz was the last thing on his mind. Tyler drank all 2 oz, gave a big old burp and started crying again. What did my wonderful father do?? Grabbed another bottle and gave it to him. 1.5. more oz went in. The nurse doing her rounds came back and completely freaked out. She called the doctor on call and there was a huge commotion. The nurse took Tyler from my fathers arm, poked and probed him, the doctor came rushing in, got the explanation from the nurse and my father. After checking him out and realizing that he was perfectly fine and the worst thing that could happen would be him throwing up, the doctor told my father "Did he get sick?? Nope?? Okay then feed him. That one got a big appetite".
I believe that day Ty broke some record. I doubt many hour old newborns eat 3.5oz and sleep peaceful without screaming. Having been more insightful, I would have realized this was a prediction of what would come. Extreme pain, bleeding nipples, a son sucking me completely dry within less than a month and a lactation consultant telling me there is just not enough flow, or milk for him. He cries because he is hungry, him going to formula, eating every 3hrs way more than kids around him, home made baby food at 4.5 months, and still to today at age 4 the appetite of a horse. There were many fights with my parents. Here I am a inexperienced mother, with horrible weight issues and the only thing I could think about is that I was setting up my son for a lifetime of pain.
I have worried and cried many nights over his weight. He is chunky. No other way to say it. When I belonged to a military forum, I spoke to some moms about his weight. After a nasty comment was said about me, I internalized everything and never again spoke about it to anyone except extremely close friends. Until now!
Anytime I brought up concerns to my doctors they told me 96% is fine, he is extremely healthy, never sick, dont worry.
I tried to control what I could. I made his own baby food from the beginning. We are talking about spinach and mashed black beans at 6 months old, all kinds of soups. All kinds of meats and veggies. The was even mocoto soup. In case you never heard of it, mocoto soup is cows feet stewed with lots of veggies and black beans. A major hit back home.
When Tyler was 8 months old, I moved back to Texas on my own. Extreme fear of me feeding him baby food because of convenience, my father, who is also overweight but healthy as a horse, overnight me a cooler filled with homemade baby food, packed on dry ice. No joke. It cost him $150 to do that, but hey when you truly believe in something, money is no object.
Through out the years I continued to worry about his weight and continued on trying to feed him extremely healthy stuff.Now dont get me wrong, I make mistakes. We love to eat out and McD's is still a favorite (even though I read all the reports) and I never know which one is better: butter or margarine. I didnt learn that High Fructose Corn Syrup was the evil until just last year.
There is still a lot I have to learn.
At some points when the comments of how big he is got to me, I have cried to my husband and begged him to let me put him on a diet. My sweet wonderful husband who was also overweight but got a job at McD's at 17 and lost is all and who can eat cereal and cookie dough for a week and actually loose weight (dont we all hate him??) wouldn't allow me.
Its not whats on the outside that matters, its what on the inside. He repeated that to me so many times, I couldnt argue anymore. At 4 yrs old Tyler has had maybe 2 colds. Everyone around him will get sick except him. Knock on wood!
Juliet came along and I worried even more. For a guy they dont have as much vanity as we woman do, they are not judged as harshly. For a girl in this world, weight is everything. Its not how it should be, but it is. She also was born with an extremely healthy appetite. She was also 95% by the time she was 1. Then suddenly she started moving around and thinned out. Now she is barely around the 45% range. My prayers were answered on their own.
Tyler at 4 continues to be 95%. He weighs 48lbs and wears a size 5-6. That makes him the biggest kid in his class. I have put him in swimming, soccer, I push him to play outside longer than I would. Everything I do is a mirror of my fears.
At the same time, kids learns from us, even things we don't want them to learn. All day long he has to be sipping on something. I only buy him fruit/veggie juice water it down and only give it during meals. Every other time is water. I also switched his milk to 1% after he turned 2. But all day long he sees me sipping something so he does it too.
Also after dinner he requires something sweet. That is an old habit I have grown up with. Grandparents, parents, generations back do it. Even if its a small piece of something. So therefore he either gets some pudding, a couple tic tacs, a marshmallow. You name it.
I worried and worried. Well this week I was given a gift. A reassurance of some sorts.
As I mentioned before, out of 35 kids in his class, Tyler is the biggest. He doesn't have a fat face, but he is build and well bigger than his peers because he is short. This week they were learning about nutrition. One day they had all kinds of veggies displayed and asked the kids.
My son could name every single veggie around. Asparagus he called Spartacus and cauliflower, he called the white broccoli, but everything else he was able to name it. He even asked them where the Kale was. That mommy makes Kale with fried eggs and its yummy and its really good and why didn't they have Kale. When his teacher was telling me this, I had a tear in my eye. The nutritionist that was the guest speaker of the day was amazed and had to admit to him that most children have no idea what Kale is and that she didn't bring it. The only veggie the other kids could name were corn and yucky peas.
I guess it is true, that our children do learn and mimick from us. I was so stuck on him being skinny to be acceptable, I have forgotten, that being healthy is 100% better than being skinny. I am a healthy fattie. I cant qualify for gastric bypass because there is nothing wrong with me. All my levels are 100% fine. To the shock and amazement of most doctors. Maybe my son will follow in my footsteps and be a healthy fattie.
I just hope, unlike his mother, he realizes that being healthy is what is most important.