But I’ve finally come to a crossroads in my journey in motherhood where I really don’t know if the decision I am making is just completely selfish or is really beneficial to Avery.
Today was Avery’s five month check up (two weeks late.) I’ve seen her grow so much this past month that I couldn’t wait to see the actual numbers. She is fitting into her 3-6 months clothes better, some of which I’ve even had to put away because they are too small, and all around just looks so much chunkier than she did last month.
Much to my surprise, when I placed Avery on the scale this morning, I saw that she had only gained 3 ounces since her last visit over a month ago. She dropped from the fifth percentile in weight to now below the fifth (I know they are both low, but Harlan was the same way.) She had previously been gaining over a pound each visit. This month she dropped dramatically. So drastically that it had her doctor concerned enough to ask me about it.
“How often is she eating?”
“Five times a day,” I replied.
“Is she sleeping at night?”
“Yep, at least 12 hours.”
“Well she’s not hungry then. Have you started her on solids?”
“Nope. Wanted to exclusively breastfeed until she was six months. That is my goal.”
She sat and looked at me as if I were a horrible mother. Depriving my daughter of solids because I wanted to meet a personal goal. She continued to tell me that if I did start solids with Avery that she would gain more weight. I told her I really wanted to wait. And I stuck to that.
Harlan did this same thing when she was around three months old. She stopped gaining weight at a rapid pace and began to drop lower and lower on the charts. She’s remained consistently below the fifth percentile for weight for almost three years now. That is why I am not worried about it.
I really want to make it to that six months mark and I only have about two and a half weeks to go. Avery doesn’t seem bothered or malnourished at all by me exclusively breastfeeding her. She’s happy and I am happy. But my doctor is not happy.
Ultimately she supported my decision to wait until six months to start Avery on solids. Avery has made all of her milestones, looks healthy, and has not given me one clue that there is something wrong. So she really had no reason to say otherwise.
Am I being selfish by wanting to meet my goal? I know I will breastfeed a lot longer than the six months, but I really wanted to exclusively breastfeed for those first six months and not get bullied out of it like I was with Harlan.
I’ll always do what I feel is best for my girls. This time, I’m just not sure if this is what is best.
More from Lauren on Baby’s First Year:
Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook and Twitter! Check out more of Lauren’s Babble posts at Being Pregnant and Baby’s First Year