Today I took Baby to be weighed. At birth he weighed 9lb7oz and has been referred to since then as Chunkybum so weighing-in sessions are always fun. The last time he was weighed Baby was nine weeks old and the health visitor (henceforth known as HV because I’m writing this on my iPhone and I’m very lazy) told me I could sit him on the scales as he’s a bit too long for them now.
Nine weeks old.
Sit him on the scales.
I’m just giving you time to let that sink in.
The same HV this week was not only stupid but bloody rude. Unfortunately I was feeling teary & hormonal and had just had a crappy morning. This didn’t lead me to feel empowered and strong and capable of saying, “I beg your pardon, Ms HV, but I believe I am best equipped to make decisions about my son’s routine as I’m the one who spends every day with him, knows him more completely than any other person and is doing a grand job of being his Mummy.”
What it led to was her talking to me like she was my snotty headmaster and me saying “okay” whilst getting my stuff together as quickly as possible to avoid her seeing me cry.
I’m a confident Mum. I’m fairly sure I know what I’m doing for the vast majority of the time. But a lot of new Mums don’t feel like that and if they’d been going to see her for support & reassurance they could come away feeling that they’re getting it all wrong. That just isn’t fair.
The same HV also told my sister-in-law that her baby was too fat and her elder son was too thin. She actually used the word fat.
So in the spirit of sisterhood (and hormonal empowerment) I’m going to do exactly what my sister-in-law did and put in a complaint, because like her I cried on the way home too, and like her I don’t think it’s fair for new Mums to be made to feel like failures.
I’d like to ask you to do the same if you’re ever unhappy with the way you or your babies are treated, because other Mums might not have the confidence to do it.
I don’t want to cause trouble for the HV or get into an argument, but I do want her to realise how she makes people feel. Hopefully she’s just been in the job so long she’s forgotten how it feels to be a scared new Mum and she can try to put people at their ease, but if she really is just a rude and unkind woman then maybe her bosses need to be aware that people are unhappy about that.
To balance this entry out I’d just like to point out that my named HV is one of the loveliest, kindest non-judgemental women I’ve ever met.
Unfortunately she doesn’t weigh babies when I can get Baby weighed.
And if you were wondering Baby is now fourteen and a half weeks old and weighs 16lb7oz. He’s still my Chunkybum.