I had a conversation with a dear friend who is also breastfeeding. Like me, it’s a love hate relationship. Much like my breastfeeding relationship with Hooper, she expressed concern over how much milk she was giving her baby and if it was enough. I remember these concerns all too well and I probably sound like a broken record talking about it yet again.
I still have the same concerns that I did with Hooper, with Van. The only difference is that all I need for reassurance is to grab Van’s chunky leg. I encouraged my friend to feel good about her decision to breastfeed and reminded her that her baby looks perfectly happy and healthy.
Then the conversation turned to percentiles and I found myself reassuring her that the 50th percentile is a wonderful place to be and found myself diminishing her fears and justifying mine by reminding her that Hooper was, at one time, in the 10th percentile. As we talked, I got on the computer and began searching for a picture of what I remember to be a very scrawny Hooper. And the conclusion I came to was this: He wasn’t ever that scrawny. I think hearing “the 10th percentile” scarred me more than any image of him during that time.
So the take home message is this: They come in all shapes and sizes. Percentiles, smerpentiles. If I had to do it again- because living in hindsight is one of my requests for when that genie pops up- I’d ask our pediatrician not to even share the percentiles with me. In the end, the percentiles did nothing other than cause me unnecessary turmoil.
The first photo above is of Hooper when he was 36 weeks old and in the 10th percentile for weight. The one below that is of Van, in the same week of life, and I believe in the 60th percentile (though, to be honest, I’m not even sure what percentile he is anymore) for weight. I can’t even tell that much of a difference. I know, based on the clothes Van’s wearing, that Van is much larger than Hooper was at his age. But the picture of Hooper certainly doesn’t scream TENTH PERCENTILE out at me.
How do you feel about percentiles? Did hearing your child’s percentiles cause you any unnecessary worry?
Side note: Same house, different kitchen. A reminder that I still need to share our kitchen renovation…