I didn’t realise how important the weight of a baby was, all I was interested in was the number of fingers and toes and other essential “bits”, how much they all weighed was largely an irrelevance. I mention this as we appear to have had a problem during the initial “weigh-in”.
When he first hit the scales Marty was 5lb and 13.5oz, which seemed surprisingly light for a fairly robust looking fellow. Mind you, at the time we had a total of 4 minutes parenting experience between the two of us so we just went with the flow; if the experts say he’s a light weight then who are we to argue?
Two days later and the midwife popped over to check us all out and weigh Marty again. This time he was 6lb 11oz. Apparently babies lose a little weight in the first few days - judging by Marty, they achieve this by round the clock bowel movements – but our little one had gained almost an entire pound! There were a number of possible explanations; either the hospital scales were wrong, the midwife’s scales were wrong, or Leanne was producing ‘super-milk’’, milk of such sustaining power that young Marty would be 6ft 4” and fit to line up against the All-Blacks by April.
The fact that Marty was up to 7lb 2oz by day 5 of his life suggested that the Hospital scales had been in error and that the odds were that he’d been 7lb, more or less, when born.
Again, I didn’t think this was a big deal, yet Leanne was pretty upset by it. I put this down to the fact that she was well into the post-natal blues with her emotions set to ‘hair trigger’ mode, but it turns out she had a point; the first three questions everyone will ask you are: what was it, how much did it weigh and what have you called it? The order may vary from time to time but the questions remain... and we didn’t have hard and fast answers. From what I can gather, to a post-natal women, this is the equivalent of admitting that you’ve forgotten the name of your child; it is a crisis, with a touch of drama and hint of damnation. For me? I’m just thinking of having a badge made up with: “Boy. Marty. 7lb”, writ large upon it.