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Big Baby Drama

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Moms! The competitive thing is going way too far.

Kimberly Seals Allers: Last week I found myself caught up in the oddest of conversations. It was a bunch of moms bragging about how big their baby was. The visceral display of I-can-out-baby-you masked by smiling faces and giggling laughs was purely disgusting! In this world of oversized SUVs, supersized meals, and McMansions, it's no wonder that our obsession with all things big would seep down to the products of our loins.

Baby sitting on moms lap

This is a very raw topic for me and quite frankly, gets my blood boiling. Let me tell you why. My first baby was an 8 1/2-pounder, and given my 5'2" petite frame, this was an impressive feat. When I was pregnant with my second child, I expected the same results. Hey, I knew what I was capable of and I'm a classic overachiever subject to all the same pressures to out-baby myself. So when my boy arrived at a very healthy 7 lbs 4 oz, I was, quite frankly, disappointed.

I felt I had failed this pregnancy by not producing the biggest baby possible. No matter how many nurses and visitors marveled at his bright eyes and I've-been-here-before glances, I just could not get past the 7 lb thing. I admit, I was a victim of the Big Baby hype. A casualty of the mommy competition that sadly includes everything from whose baby is biggest, who lost the most fat fastest, who out-breastfed whom, and a host of other things that moms practice a mean game of one-upmanship over. I wanted those bragging rights, and a 7-pounder (though perfectly beautiful in every way) was just not going to get me any street cred at the next Gymboree class.

Anywho, I share all this to say how sad I was to hear more mommy competitive talk. I remember how I felt when other moms called my baby a "little peanut" while they bragged of 10 lb mini-men being birthed. I often cried. I hope that we can stop this madness. Shouldn't we be more about supporting each other than battling each other like a bunch of East Coast/West Coast rappers? Shouldn't we celebrate all healthy babies, and encourage the moms with "little peanuts" to grow them into chunky monkeys with thunder thighs without all the guilt?

And to those moms in line at the Stop 'N Shop in Deer Park, Long Island, shame on you!


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Liz May 1, 2009, 2:38 PM

Whatever happened to just being thankful for having a healthy child and a healthy mother?

It kills me to read things like this. So many, many mothers would literally DIE to have had a healthy, successful birth. I think it’s incredibly selfish and insensitive to “cry often” because of your healthy baby’s healthy birth weight. I realize this blog is a confession. But I know too many women who’s own birth experiences ended in tragedy. I cannot describe how self-serving this kind of talk sounds.

Get some perspective!

ame i. May 1, 2009, 3:01 PM

Sorry, but how dumb! We have no control over the birth weight of our children.
I have 2 girls, an 8.1 and an 8.14. Both pregnancies were nearly identical, I didn’t do anything different with one or the other.

Lyrehca May 1, 2009, 6:38 PM

The irony is that macrosomia, or babies who are considered large for their gestational age, are a sign of high blood sugar during pregnancy among women with diabetes.

Talk to a woman who is trying her hardest to keep her blood sugars in line during pregnancy, and she’s probably hoping her baby isn’t too huge.

Immobilier Bretagne March 7, 2011, 3:49 AM

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