Mar 052013

“He’s a monster!” – L&D Nurse commenting to the room just after the uncomplicated birth of a baby.  The nurse was referring to the baby’s size.

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 March 5, 2013  Big Baby, birth, L&D Nurse  Add comments

  22 Responses to ““He’s A Monster!””

  1. “No, but I think *you* might be.”

  2. Need some context- I would have taken this as a compliment. First thing I thought of when I read the nurse’s comment was that she must be referring to baby’s size.

    • Same here. It’s not often that I am not appalled by comments on here, but I’ve heard this term over and over in all kinds of settings to describe a big baby. I am sorry if the mother was offended by it, though.

    • Yeah, I refer to my own children as monsters (well, mansters lol) — but it’s obviously different if it’s said with disgust rather than love and affection…

    • Not the OP, but I would probably be annoyed by this, even if it was obvious it was meant playfully. Something like, “Oh, what a BIG little guy you are!” would be more appropriate for a comment by a stranger, I think.

      Plus I can imagine a nervous mom, especially a first-time mom, suddenly worrying that something was very wrong with her baby.

      (I also wonder how big the baby actually was. Who knows, this baby could have been designated a “monster” for being over seven pounds – the horror!)

  3. Is he green with fangs and talons? Cuz that would be a monster. And super hard to birth

  4. I have 10 1/2lb babies and I have heard it all. lol Now I just smile and say “yep! And he’s completely homegrown”. They don’t know how to respond to that. :-P

  5. Sounds like when I had my 2nd son and the nurses whispered in the hall at his size, that he was a VBAC, and the baby nurse said “Well, I am going to have to try to track down toddler size diapers.” Whatever, y’all are just jealous!

  6. Yeah, of the two statements in the email I submitted, I was surprised they went with this one.

    This was my best friend again (same one as ). Second baby, no pain meds or I.V., short labor. He was just shy of ten pounds and shot out so fast, the doctor almost dropped him like a wet bar of soap. After safely directing him onto the bed, he was weighed and the nurse said this.

    No, the problem was when they used his size as an excuse to try to bully her into a c-section with her third, telling her if he was as big as her second, she wouldn’t be able to birth naturally. She kept calling me in tears after every appointment, scared out of her mind. Then, wouldn’t you know? Unmedicated birth, normal weight baby.

  7. OMG the nurse made a playful comment about the baby being big?? How dare she not be stone cold serious 100% of the time. Having fun is not allowed!
    I know I have said similar things. Although I can usually judge if the couple is playful and fun at all.
    You’re really reaching on this one…
    I am CERTAIN the nurse meant nothing malicious with this comment.

    • Several people have already commented that they don’t think this was so bad. And even the OP said she was surprised they used this quote. Personally, I think it is annoying at worst, and I would not have submitted it.

      However, I think it’s worth making a couple of notes on why this is an *annoying* comment:

      1. “Playful” comments can often be taken as rude, obnoxious or annoying by someone who does not share your sense of humor. In a professional setting it’s best not to make any playful comments that could be construed as being at someone else’s expense (or at your own expense, since you don’t want to sound incompetent). Surely you can make jokes without making anyone the butt of them?

      2. “Playful” comments become gratingly annoying when it’s the 17th time you’ve heard that same thing today. On behalf of “mothers of…” (mothers of big babies, mothers of twins, mothers of large families, mothers of children who “look different,” etc.) everywhere, for God’s sake stay away from the obvious joke whenever possible, and especially during times of stress or great importance. We get sick and tired of hearing it! (And at a birth you might be the first one to say it — though you won’t be the last — but you might not be. She might have been hearing it at every appointment for the last however many months, like this mom was hearing it during her next pregnancy.)

      3. In context, this does sound like part of the incredible hysteria that the medical community seems to have about “big babies,” which does make us (perhaps overly) sensitive to such comments, especially when things like this are used against us like it was during this mom’s next pregnancy.

      • (Also, “mothers of unborn children whose last name will be Potter, but whose first name ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BE HARRY, SO STOP ASKING!”) :-P

        • Trust me Michelle, I feel your pain. We’re on our fifth pregnancy. The jokes haven’t stopped.

          • We’re about to try for #8, and I doubt my brother will be able to restrain himself this time. He never has before. :-P

            Just wait until he has kids. My maiden name is the same as a famous baseball player. ;-)

    • The term “monster” was used not very long ago to refer to babies with severe birth defects. You can still find photos of “anencephalic monsters” out there on the internet.

      I had an anencephalic baby. If someone with a medical background referred to my subsequent baby as a “monster” I’d feel stung and confused. So yeah, playful comment, but because it’s a medical term (outdated) used by a medical professional, she needed to use a different term. And yeah, the chart might mention if this mom had previously delivered a baby with severe birth defects — but it wouldn’t mention if her sister had, or if her dead twin was referred to as a “monster.”

      If she’d said, “He’s gianormous!” no one would have batted an eye.

  8. (Also, “mothers of unborn children whose last name will be Potter, but whose first name ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT BE HARRY, SO STOP ASKING!”) :-P

  9. You know what, though? Commenting on size isn’t always they best idea with a new mom. My son was 8.5 lbs and the nurses kept saying how big he was. Eventually I started to worry. I’m overweight and it’s one of my biggest fears for my children. Until they said anything, 8.5 lbs was normal in my eyes. It doesn’t take much for a new mom to get nervous.
    Interestingly, I hear all the time how tiny my daughter is. She’s 40th %ile! 17 lbs at 8 months! I don’t think she’s small. Strangers always comment on this. But people in the grocery store don’t know how we struggled with feeding in the first month and how often I took her for weight checks and cheered for every ounce gained.
    My point is, just say the kid is cute. Size can be a very touchy subject.

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