Yes, this is a post about poop. If you have chosen to read this post, it is likely for one of two reasons:
- Like my mother, you have a good sense of bathroom humor.
- As a parent, you appreciate the power of a good poop (which is probably why my mother, who has gone through three kids worth of poop, has a good sense of bathroom humor).
One of the first concerns a parent has upon bringing a newborn home from the hospital is whether or not baby is peeing and pooping appropriately. With my first, ex-hubby and I were sent home with a handy chart on which to record the number of times baby did each for the first week. This chart would tell us whether she was getting enough to eat and digesting it properly. And each trip to the doctor included a question as to whether baby was still peeing and pooping.
When my second came along, I was an expert on pee and poop. Or so I thought. A preemie has a way of changing your perspective on the whole subject.
While my first daughter was born covered in poop and spent some of her first hours doing what business she didn’t get to in utero, my second went her entire first week without a poop. We were told to expect that she would be slower to do her business than a full-term newborn. After all, she wasn’t supposed to be receiving nutrition outside of mom yet.
Being a NICU parent means that there are different questions to ask and answer both while baby is in the hospital and when she goes home. For us, “Has she pooped yet?” was one of those questions. Finally, on day 6, the doctor decided to give her a little help. It worked like a charm.
When, at 2 months of age, our child was finally released from the hospital, poop was still a prime concern. A few days went by without one, and I gave baby one of the suppositories the hospital had sent us home with. The little bugger shot right back out as it was inserted. Unhindered, I put the suppository back in and held it there as my daughter proceeded to release a load into my hand.
After this incident, we preferred our pediatrician’s approach to the subject. Mix a little stool softener in with her bottle. This became necessary because of the iron the poor child had been prescribed.
Now that baby is older, poop hasn’t been as much of a concern. She has been pooping like a pro for some time now. Thus, we were surprised when her poop seemed to be taking a turn. At first, we thought she had caught the bug that kept her sister out of school last week. But, this bug only lasted a few hours in my older child’s case. And it came out the other end. All over the driveway.
We wondered why baby’s poop was of a different constitution until it dawned on dad that it must be the toddler formula he had started giving her as an additional supplement to help her finally reach the 20 lb mark. We stopped giving it to her.
Then we waited.
A few days went by until we got confirmation of his suspicion. This morning’s diaper change revealed a poop that was going back to normal.
So after disposing of the evidence and washing my hands, I excitedly texted the man at work about the “more normal poop” I had just witnessed.
Oh, the things we celebrate as parents.