Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Who Gives a Shit?

After a couple weeks of eating rice, bananas, squash, and anything else I could find and cook up for this kid, Zephyr has experienced his first bout of constipation. He hadn't pooped all week, so at his 6-month checkup on Friday I asked his doc, who told me not to worry about it unless he had very hard, small shits (but in a more doctor-y tone).

Over the weekend he strained to shit numerous times, but to no avail. His backed-up tummy was preventing him from getting comfy enough to take afternoon naps (and this was starting to trickle into the night sleep), so finally, yesterday, we decided to do something about it. We picked up some Pedia-Lax - suppositories of glycerin that come loaded in an "anatomically-correct applicator." Scott and I had a good, creeped-out laugh wondering what part of the anatomy it was supposed to correctly resemble, but they're basically a soft plastic pipette of liquid glycerin that you squirt up the baby's butt. I cautiously and apologetically administered the glycerin to Zephyr's pinched behind and he made the biggest, reddest "I'm poopin" face you ever saw on a baby. I felt too bad for him to remember to take a photo of this face (plus I was trying not to laugh). Scott and I exchanged uncomfortable looks and sympathetic words of support to our struggling baby, as I gently massaged his tummy in a clockwise motion.

Baby's first "Fuck you, Mom!"

An hour later, success! We had a poo. But it was a tiny stone of a poo, and I knew there was more. I fed him some apricots and greens, got him into bed for the night, and figured we'd try again today. This afternoon, he slept like the dead. Almost 4 hours. I ended up finally waking him up at 5:20 so I could keep him on schedule for bedtime. As I went to change his post-nap dipe, he started crying pitifully. He often needs a bit of a snuggle and chat before his diaper change when he wakes up, so Scott and I hugged him for a bit, then put him back onto the changing table, singing and goofing at him to stave off the tears. There was another tiny poo in his diaper, wedged up in his butt crack. Hooray!

Then, suddenly, came tears. A torrent of real tears, accompanied by cries of pain. He was straining to pass another poo, a big, dry, hard poo that was obviously hurting his tiny tushy! It was so sad to see my baby suffering, but what can you do? Yes, I finally grabbed that hard poo and tried to pull it out, but it broke off and his butt closed back, keeping the rest inside. I called the pediatrician, and we'll be therefore giving him a wee teaspoon of milk of magnesia tomorrow to help soften his stools (I'll also give him another round of glycerin to help him slide out the last of that mean old poo). And from now on, high-fiber foods will be dominant, and we'll be having less bananas and rice.

Other news from his 6-month check-up: at 27.5", he is off the charts for length for his age. They actually said he's in the 100th centile, and Scott and I laughed at this reporting error. "He's the tallest baby in the world!" He's dropping in rank for weight - 19lbs lands him at the 80th centile. His head is catching up with his body though, and has grown from the 50th to 80th centiles.

Zephyr also got his third round of shots. We thought about waiting until the 9 month visit, but we figured we may as well do it now while he still smiles at strangers. We braced ourselves for the screams that come with the injections, but they never came. The first two shots, not a peep out of Zeph. The third shot, only a yelp. Our brave little Viking took those shots like a champ.

So yeah, it's been an uneventful week. Sometimes shit doesn't happen.


  1. Sorry, but I had a good laugh at your expense. :D We kept a couple little containers of Gerber Organic pureed prunes in the pantry for the early months - usually did the trick. Also handy if traveling - they tend to get pretty constipated in flight from the lack of physical activity and (?) altitude (?).

  2. PS: The height thing can be kind of funny - Hope measured the same between two visits once and it was revealed that there's a huge margin of error due to wiggling. Not that Zeph isn't the tallest baby in the world, of course. Thank god he's not yet standing - he'd block out the sun!

  3. prunes. pureed. prune juice. either way, that always worked for us! Just make sure to have lots of towels on hand when it finally blows...

  4. I love your non-doctor-y description of events. Sorry, but I laughed too.

  5. I'm glad everyone got a laugh out of this! Once he started shitting again, I started laughing too. Actually, no, now I just have a lot of shitty diapers to change.

    Apricots and peas work.

  6. Yep. Prunes and when it got really bad, we would use Miralax.

  7. Poor kidlet. Glad he's back to pooping. Youch!

  8. poor little muffin. I remember when my son was a baby and my hubby and i worried a lot about his bms. He still has issues now but it's more because he is such a "selective" eater and doesn't get enough fiber,we end up giving him benefiber in his juice or water in the am most days...good luck with all this and hang in there. It does make for some comical (at times) moments with your spouse. Your boy just keeps getting cuter and cuter and looks like such a nice mix of you and Scott.


Yay! Thanks for saying nice stuff about my baby.