I know that I’m a total stereotype for being a Jewish mama who worries about everything, but I feel like the fact that I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder gives me a bit of an excuse.
Either way, there is a whole spectrum of issues that I never anticipated worrying about prior to beginning the parenthood journey.
Like baby poop.
If anyone in the NSA is monitoring my internet search history (or Facebook. I see you Facebook app, spying on everything I do!), they’re really going to think I’m obsessed with poop because now that we’re done with the baby helmet, I think poop queries make up 85 percent of my search history. The other 15 percent are comprised of Queen Elizabeth trivia (because I’m fact checking The Crown as we watch it), baby food recipes, the weather for possible snow days, and how little sleep you can survive on before you start creating underground fight clubs and making soap.
In the beginning, his poop was unconcerning. Jacob was kind enough to cry when he needed to poop, so when he stopped crying and got all happy, we knew he had a squishy tush. This typically occurred when I was in the shower. When my husband went back to work after Jacob was born (He really is the best baby. He made his arrival at the beginning of April, ensuring that I had the maximum amount of leave time. I was able to take off all of fourth quarter at school and then got the summer too), I’d feed Jacob and then plop him in his bouncer seat in the doorway to the master bathroom so I could see him while I showered.*
*Our master bathroom is freakishly narrow. Apparently our house was built with Slender Man in mind. Navigating it while pregnant was… interesting.
On good days, he’d fall asleep and I’d actually get to put on makeup and get dressed after I showered.
Most days, however, he’d cry a little bit when I got in the shower, then get happy and chatty. Which I dreaded. Because it meant he’d pooped. And not like a tiny, cute amount of baby poop. I’m talking like elephants would stop and point and be like, “Wow, that’s a lot of poop even for us!” Remember the scene in Jurassic Park? It was like that but with a baby in a diaper on top.
And the happier he got, the more poop it meant there was. My little guy somehow managed to have poop-splosions so enormous that what came out of his diaper could fill the entire bouncer seat. And there he’d sit, happy as a pig in–you get where I’m going–wiggling all around as the poop slopped down onto the carpet.
We may have lied a little when we had our carpets professionally cleaned a couple months ago and told the guy that the dogs had accidents in our bedroom. While that’s true in some spots, we definitely had baby spots in other places!
If you told me I’d miss those days, I’d have called you a liar.
But now that we’re on solid food, which my little chunky monkey loves, the poop isn’t flowing as freely. So I find myself Googling baby constipation remedies. Which was kind of embarrassing when I accidentally left that on my screen at school and then projected my screen for the kids to see an assignment.*
*I’m totally lying. Not about doing that, but about feeling embarrassed. That’s one of the downsides and/or perks of motherhood that I’ve discovered. I no longer have shame. I’m too tired to feel shame. We’re doing baby swim classes with Jacob and while I was always the one who was like, “Why do old ladies walk around the locker room naked? Why? Why?” Now, I’m like, eh, I’m holding a baby while trying to get dressed. What do I care if someone sees a boob?
So after massive amounts of Googling about the consistency of his poop (it’s not usually the rabbit pellets, it’s more of a poopy wedge), possible culprits and possible remedies, we tried everything. Prunes, prune juice, tummy massages, bicycling his legs, putting him back in that bouncer seat while I shower, taking him out in the backyard (hey, it works for the dogs!), coffee, etc. No dice.
Which means that the most likely problem is that he needs more water in his diet.
Cool. We’re working on sippy cups. I bought 17 different kinds (actual number, not hyperbole). Which my husband keeps trying to drink from, then proclaims too difficult and throws over his shoulder into a growing heap of rejected sippy cups.
Which brings us to our next problem: teething. Jacob’s four front bottom teeth are all in. His four front bottom teeth, however, are all poised to come in at the same time. Literally. You can see all four just below the gums, but they’re taking their sweet time making an actual appearance.
And those lovely sub-dermal chompers are making it hurt for him to drink be it from a bottle, a sippy cup, a straw, a stream etc. He seemed perfectly happy to drink pool water at his baby swim class last weekend, but I draw the line at water that has a measurable urine content in it. Literally though, he looked like one of those whales inhaling water. Not okay!
So short of sitting on him and squirting water into his mouth (which a. makes me think of that Shel Silverstein poem where the babysitter thinks she’s supposed to sit upon the baby and b. will probably make future water drinking rather traumatic), I’m at a loss until those teeth come in.
Note to self: Google how to make baby teeth come in faster!
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