Wednesday, December 21, 2011

My love affair with numbers...

Those of you who knew me when are probably scratching your heads right about now and thinking, "Wait.  Hold the phone.  Back the bus up.  Laura, you hate math."

Yes, yes I do.  More specifically, I hate algebra.  I loathe it with every fiber of my being.  Thank you, Saxon Algebra Series, Mr. Smith, my high school algebra teacher, and my mother who made me retake Algebra 2 three times despite my increasingly obvious difficulty memorizing formulae with multiple fraction lines and an unGodly amount of variables.

Turns out, I'm a geometry person.  Who knew.

That being said, I am addicted to numbers.  Numbers are concrete.  Their meanings are fixed and easily defined.  Math is simple.  It follows rules.

Understand and properly apply the rules, and math works.

Consequently, I have an inborn love of all things spreadsheet, as anyone who has seen me in an office setting will attest.  This is great, when someone needs me to organize a file room, figure out who's milking the time clock, or tell them why their scale at home never seems to match up with the scale at the doctor's office.  File rooms become models of organization, slackers find themselves on the receiving end of lectures from HR, and scales either get properly calibrated or the person gets a nifty little quick-reference chart showing the offset percentage & a range of "If it says ____, then you weigh ____" numbers.

Until the chart and its predicted values are supposed to apply to my son.

My son who, being human and my offspring (because seriously, when have I ever been normal), refuses to conform fully to expected patterns.

Oh, the jaundice cleared out as expected.  He's getting longer.  But he was on the light-weight side to begin with and his weight gain has been a bit slower than his doctor and I would like.  He was born at 6lb 11oz, bottomed out at 6lb 8oz by November 28th, and as of Monday evening weighed seven pounds, three ounces.  That's 11 ounces of gain over 3 weeks, or about 3 & 2/3oz per week.  Not panic time, but not fabulous either.

The other point of concern?  The poop.  Yup... never in my life did I imagine I would ever be this interested in poop.  Well, my boy is apparently one of those highly unusual babies that eats plenty, grows, is well hydrated, alert, happy, hitting milestones and not seeming the least bit uncomfortable, in other words is by all other indications healthy and thriving... but takes his darn sweet time making doodie.  10 days, at one point, he went without.  I had him in to the doctor three times in that 10 days, because I was repeatedly hearing from many sources that he should be messing 3-4 diapers a day, separately from the diapers that are just wet.

This first time mom was seriously panicking, y'all.

I was trying everything, worrying that my supply wasn't enough for him, obsessing over every baby-fart, and generally driving myself insane.

Then on Saturday, my sweet little angel decided to suddenly "hershey his huggies".  (That would be my husband's contribution to today's ramble...)  And boy howdy did he ever.  Two full cloth diapers and a messed disposable.

This required a bath.

Thankfully, one of our baby gifts was a contoured bath seat by Primo.  I love it, even for my slender and very wiggly guy it does the job.

So once he was all clean & sweet-smelling again, we went back to our routine.  Eat, cuddle, sleep, repeat.  

I spent nearly two weeks in a state of near-panic because the chart said one thing and the baby was doing another.  I confirmed that his latch was correct.  I obsessed over my diet and fluid intake.  He is never permitted to go more than 3 hours from the top of one feeding to the top of the next during the day (usually more like 2), and only once at night, for no more than 5 hours.  Hell, if I could figure out how, I'd let him nurse in the Moby and just swap sides when he needed his diaper changed.  

However, being a member in good standing of the BBTC (... that's "Bigger than Baby Titty Committee"...) it would likely be an exercise in frustration for both of us, as there is no good position for him that does not smoosh his face into my body too far and make it hard for him to breathe.

But after yet another visit to the pediatrician, another round of "head feels normal, skin color & elasticity are good, mouth is moist, wet diapers, temp is good" and his weight going up again, I have officially decided to take a breath and chill.  He's a perfect little guy, just unusual.

And really, I was expecting him to "conform"??   My kid?  Somebody please tell me what you put in my ginger tea, because I know some folks that could use that level of delusion.

(Note to autocorrect:  "smoosh" is so a word.  Why?  BECAUSE I SAY SO!)

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