We learnt that the daughter of our ex neighbours in Greasby had a baby girl last night – Elizabeth Mary. Many congratulations to mother, daughter and of course the father who I understand had a small part to play in the process! (the old jokes are always the best).
The only bit of information we didn’t get to start with was the birth weight but we have that now. This made me think, why are we so concerned about the weight of babies at birth? Surely, the two things that are vital to know are the sex of the child and that all is well, everything else is of little importance.
Of course, I understand that the size of the child would be important to the mother when you consider how babies are normally delivered (I don’t need to stretch the point here do I?) but it is almost an obsession for the rest of womankind to know the precise weight – why?
When these matters are discussed, as they always are, there almost seems to be an unspoken hidden message either way; nine pounds – that’s a big baby or six pounds - ooh that’s small. It isn’t like, the mother has a lot of control over the size of her offspring at birth. If she has been careful throughout the pregnancy i.e. ate sensibly, avoided smoking, taking drugs or consuming alcohol then the mother has done all she can to produce a healthy child of whatever size it is.
The fact is that mothers produce different size babies at each pregnancy, the first might be larger or smaller than the second and so on and of course babies born early will be lighter than those born late – we all know that. Babies generally come when they are ready, I don’t think they wait until they achieve a certain size.
The other obsession that women seem to have is to figure out who the new born child looks like. From my own experience of having two daughters, they don’t particularly look like either parent at birth so this to me is a futile exercise. It is only when they grow that they might start to look like some member of the family which might not even be the immediate parents. Some children end up not looking like any of their family or they might be a real mixture. I dare say many are grateful for this.
No, the important thing to know as far as I am concerned, is that mother and baby are well; that they both survived the trauma of delivery and I am pleased to say that is the case with Catherine and her daughter.