Sunday, April 8, 2012


I met a woman called Chika at the Knights of Columbus Easter cook out today. She delivered her third baby, a delightfully chubby eight month old girl, at the same hospital where I delivered Belle. She says she had a great experience there. I am sure I would have too had my circumstances been different. I nearly had Belle taken away from me because I hadn't sought medical care when I didn't know I was pregnant. Black American babies are still harder to place. I shudder to think where Belle would have gone had the efforts been successful at taking her away.

While I ate a healthy diet and did plenty of basic exercise, including a four mile walk just days before Belle's birth, I admitted to drinking (mostly beer) socially, without blacking out. I chose to be honest about this because it would have shown up in Belle had there been a problem (It wasn't!). Chika thinks the harsh treatment I received was just the medical profession's way of covering their own ass. Whatever the reason, I still have a lingering sense of panic that someone might take Belle from me if she farts.

Belle turned four months old yesterday. A friend pointed out, "She has doubled her weight!" Truth be told, Belle is twice her lowest weight (4lbs, 5oz to 8lbs, 9oz). This is right on track, especially based on her corrected age. The health visitor took a closer look at Belle's chart and discovered slow but steady, consistent growth. Other mothers, including Chika, have had babies who, like Belle, have lost nearly one pound after birth. The infamous "they" have given me such grief over Belle's birth, Belle's slow weight gain despite my best efforts, etc, that I can't often see the forest for the trees.

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