I haven’t blogged in a while. Not because there has been no craziness to share. There has actually been lots but I had a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removed) on October 31st (I know, who has surgery on Halloween? Eerie!) so I’ve been too doped up on Tylenol 3s and experiencing pain I naively wasn’t counting on that has left me unable to put words together to form sentences. Lots of fun to come! Stay tuned!
The past few days have been poopy. I mean this in a literal sense. Not in a “I’m a mom now so I don’t use words like ‘shitty’ anymore” sense. Sometimes I wonder if my son’s first word will start with the letter “F.” Just kidding. We’re not that bad. At least not all the time. I digress. (Again.)
Poo has been the theme of the past few days. Lots of poo, lack of poo, trying to poo, underwater poo, spontaneously unexpected poo, struggling to poo, squished between toes poo.
My 6 month old son was introduced to baby formula 2 and a half weeks ago. He has been exclusively breastfed up until this point. And I don’t mean exclusively breastmilk-fed. I mean the little boy has squealed like a baby pig if anything but a boob has been put in his mouth, We had tried introducing pumped breastmilk in 7 different bottles, a syringe, 3 different sippy cups and he refused all of them. He also hates baby cereal and all pureed foods I have introduced to him so far. He is a boob-only man. We started trying to introduce a bottle to him 2 months ago to prepare for my surgery date when I wouldn’t be able to feed him. Because my gallbladder was inflamed and full of stones, my surgeon told me that he would aim to perform the surgery laparoscopically (I have rewritten this word 8 different ways and it still has a red squiggly line from spell check. So I’m leaving it as-is) which is 4 small incisions in the abdomen where they suck the gallbladder out rather than cut you right open) but if Old Gall’ was too big, infected, too close to other organs or there was risk of stones getting pushed into my pancreas during surgery (I know, I just puked in my mouth too) then I would have to have open surgery where they slice you right open. The difference is day surgery versus 3-4 days in hospital and a 2-3 week recovery period versus a 6-8 week recovery. My surgeon wouldn’t know until he was “in there” so we were hoping and praying for a laparoscopic surgery which was the outcome! Hurray!
I have a ton of pumped breast milk frozen in the freezer that I have been storing for “just in case.” Originally I was thinking of storing it for “just in case I ran away to Mexico” but it worked out to come in handy for “just in case I had surgery.” With not knowing a clear time of how long I would be in hospital or unable to breastfeed, I didn’t want to mess around with my son’s nutrition so introduced formula early so we would know that he could eat it without reaction and be able to supplement as needed. After some time and tribulation, he has managed to take a bottle and eat formula. He actually started eating from the bottle without debate on the day of my surgery. It was like he knew that he had to because there was no other option.
That being said, even though it has only been a few months since our 17 month old daughter was on formula, we had somehow forgotten about the rank-smelling spit-up and stinky, green poops that formula causes. (We clearly had supressed these memories the way you do with any sort of traumatic life event.) The formula has also caused my son a lot of constipation. The iron in formula makes for hard, green poop. My son has been screaming in pain trying to push out poop as his body tries to adjust to his new food source. I can’t breastfeed him while I am taking painkillers so we’ve been trying to feed him a combination of breast milk and formula so that we don’t entirely deplete our frozen stash before I can feed him. In order to keep up my supply, I am pumping every few hours and dumping it down the drain because it is no good as long as I have Tylenol 3s and other medication in my system) Frustrating, I know.
It only gets poopier.
Two nights ago, little Miss 17 months, spiked a fever of 102 a couple hours after going to bed. Hubby got her up and brought her to me as I lay in bed. (I still can’t lift her post-surgery so have to beckon for him to bring her to me! “Fetch me my child!”) She had some Tylenol and I tried to feed her any kind of fluid to keep her hydrated. She refused milk, apple juice, pear juice, water. I even tried giving her a few sips of my gingerale out of desperation. She refused. All I got out of that was baby backwash in my gingerale. Still drinkable! Another weird thing that changes when you’re a mom. Pre-nibbled food and backwashed drinks aren’t so bad and are definitely still consumable. As the Tylenol kicked in, she started to return to her happy, cheerful self. I had a small bowl of plain, potato chips (my weakness) next to me and offered her one. Her first-ever junk food. She happily ate it, breaking off a piece and eating every other one as she fed me the other pieces and giggled as she dropped them into my mouth. Hubby was not impressed that I had given her a few chips since I’m usually on the “balanced meal, nothing processed, whole foods train” but hey! She’s not feeling well and I have extreme guilt over being out of commission from my surgery so this is making both of us feel better. Ha!
Then Miss 17 months shoved a piece a little too big in her mouth which resulted in her gagging herself and throwing up her entire stomach contents all over our bed and all over Hubby and me. I stripped her down and poured her a bath while she happily ran up and down the hall wearing just a diaper, high on Tylenol and Hubby stripped down our bed and threw it in the wash. Neither of us are strangers to being vomited on these days so that didn’t really phase us but we were not exactly overjoyed about another load of laundry since I haven’t been able to do my usual bazillion loads a day. I’m pretty sure we are all going to be buried alive in dirty laundry if I don’t get back on my feet very soon. He returned to give Miss 17 months a bath. As he took her diaper off, she pooped. Timing is everything. He noticed she pooped as she stepped in it, pressing it into the bathroom floor and between her toes. Amazing! Hubby carefully wiped poop off the floor and from between her toes as she giggled and squirmed all over.
Two days later, Mr. 6 months was squealing in discomfort with a rock hard-tummy trying desperately to have a bowel movement. At the same time, Miss 17 months spiked another high fever and was screaming in pain, also with a hard tummy. She was doubled over in pain in the bath tub. I hoped the warm water would relax her body enough to poop. (The things you never thought you would wish for until you became a parent!) Since I have been out of commission, she has pooped in the tub at least 5 times while Hubby has given her a bath. At least 3 of these times were when her 6 month old little brother was in the tub with her causing quite the disgusting disaster. I had to cheat my “no lifting for 2 weeks” instructions and lift my poor little boy out of his sister’s poopy bath water and clean him up. There are some circumstances where doctor’s rules need to be broken. This is one of them.
Both babies were screaming. Neither baby was pooping. After trying juice and force-feeding prunes, pumping legs, warm baths with baking soda, I decided to go to the pharmacy to see about buying suppositories for one or both babies while my parents watched them. Oh yeah – I was hoping my daughter would poop in my parents’ bath tub! haha You’re welcome! They have been generously watching them for us every day while I am unable to lift them in and out of cribs/car seats/ high chairs and wrestle my daughter to the ground to change her diaper.
This adventure to the pharmacy is even more exciting because since having gallbladder surgery, I am still working to get my own digestive system back on track and am basically having the same problem. Laxatives are what the doctor ordered. So while I am out of the house to get something to help my babies poop, I’m also hoping that I don’t poop. Ironic. My sister called me as I was in the pharmacy. The usual “What are you up to?” was answered by me saying “I’m just waiting to talk to the pharmacist because both babies are having trouble pooping so I want to find out about infant suppositories but I just took laxatives myself so I’m really hoping I can talk to him before I poop my pants!” Her response was as usual, “Oh, your life…” Perhaps next time I should stick to the usual “Oh nothing. What are you up to?” No one really wants or needs to know the graphic content of what I’m usually doing!
I made it back with a box of suppositories to try on Miss 17 months without having any sort of accident. The pharmacist highly discouraged using anything on Mr. 6 months old, saying that he was too little to risk using anything like that. Good to know. Simply buying the suppositories was all I had to do to end the mayhem. I returned to find Miss 17 months asleep and Mr. 6 months had finally pooped. Looking back over the past 17 months, it is absolutely incredible how many times I have talked about poop, closely examined poop, googled poop, cleaned up poop, hoped for poop, pumped little legs to help with poop. And it’s not gross (anymore). It’s normal. It’s life.
Little Miss 17 months woke up from her nap with a fever of 103, screaming in pain. You could tell her skin hurt and her body ached so I made a quick decision to take her to the doctor immediately. A few small obstacles. 1) What about Mr. 6 months? My mom quickly offered to watch him. 2) I can’t lift her into the car without risking literally splitting my insides open. My dad offered to come with me to do the lifting/carrying. 3) You just never know how long you are going to be waiting at a clinic and again, I’ve been taking laxatives and have just had gallbladder surgery. This could be interesting.
I scoped out the location of the public washroom immediately on arrival and planned in my head the logistics of how I could get there quickly if needed. It would mean some quick tossing of sick baby girl from my lap to my dad’s and running like mad, praying no one was already in there. The reality is, there is always someone in the washroom at the doctor’s office taking forever. This is probably because of the surprise urine sample cups you get handed and have to go in there and picture bubbling brooks and waterfalls to try to force yourself to pee on command. Fortunately the clinic was awesome and saw us right away, sent us home with the diagnosis of a virus and said to keep fever down and keep her hydrated. We escaped poop free. This is the second time my dad has bailed me out and helped me take babies to the clinic. I’m sure the staff think he’s my baby-daddy. Excellent.
Miss 17 months cuddled in bed with me until about 4am that night when I called (on the phone so I didn’t wake both babies up by shouting) Hubby to come upstairs and move her into her crib for me. He has been graciously sleeping on the couch for the past week and a half so that I can get lots of rest (translation: not watch him snore in my face all night) and so he doesn’t accidentally kick, hit or push me in his sleep while my body is broken.
I expected our daughter to be feverish and in need of more Advil when she woke up at 8am the next morning. When I opened her bedroom door, she looked over, stood up, smiled and offered her usual enthusiastic “Hi!” She makes a rainy day sunny, that’s for sure.
How funny is it that after I did everything to try to get her to poop in the tub the day before and was unsuccessful but then that night as Hubby bathed her, she again had to be evacuated because she pooped in the tub on his watch AGAIN! I swear I didn’t train her to do this trick. Out she came to run up and down the hall in her diaper as he shook his head and cleaned it up…again! After she went to bed, baby boy ended up in hysterics again trying to poop. It was a long and late night with him. He had 4 baths and a million tummy rubs to try to get that poop out.
I sacrificed taking my pain killers in order to be able to breastfeed him through the night both for comfort and to give his little body a break. Frozen, pumped breastmilk is on the menu for him today (well it will be defrosted and warmed when he eats it!) while I stay home to rest my stapled up body. When I opened the dishwasher to get a clean glass to pour myself a glass of water, I noticed the entire upper rack was filled with our babies’ bath toys that Hubby had run on the sanitize cycle after last night’s bath time poop mayhem. Fantastic. Until next time, rubber ducky.
Everyone has pooped and is happy. Suddenly having a “poopy day” is actually a good thing!
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