There are a lot of things about parenthood that you never realize until you’re going through it, but probably the strangest thing is my relationship with poop. I’ve never talked about poop this much in my life. I was actually one of those people who deliberately steered clear of conversations about bowel movements in my former life. Call me conservative, but I was raised in a house that didn’t discuss such things, especially at the dinner table. Oh, no, we didn’t dare mention poop, pooping, or being pooped -- or anything related to bathroom behavior. I once asked my mom if she remembered to pick up Tampons at the grocery store and my dad was so offended he picked up his plate and left the dinner table. Tampons! Can you imagine what he’d do if someone mentioned they had to poop?
And anything related to sex…that was totally off-limits too obviously. As far as my dad is concerned, I’ve never had sex. Preston was born through Immaculate Conception.
Ironic his daughter went on to work for Playboy, and very publicly blog about her life in all its beautiful and gory detail. I’ve since broken him in a little, though we still don’t talk about the stuff I write about – I’m sure we’ll never discuss this blog, in fact, even though I know he’s reading it (hi, Dad!).
Since becoming a mom, poop is generally the basis for all our conversations now. Not just mine and Jay’s, but all my mom friends too. Sometimes it’s even hard to refrain from talking about poop when I’m at work – but I’ve realized (the hard way, no pun intended) that no one really wants to hear about your kid’s poop. No one. Not even you guys reading this right now (I apologize in advance).
My daily conversations with Jay and our nanny go something like this:
Did Preston have a good poop today?
What did it look like?
Was it hard, or soft?
Diarrhea or solid?
How many times did he poop today?
Was he holding it in?
Is he still constipated?
How much prune juice has he had?
Was there an explosion?
I’ve touched Preston’s poop with my bare hands now twice. It didn’t even gross me out. I wouldn’t touch my own poop, but Preston’s poop is different. It’s my baby’s poop; I made it from scratch after all. Not that I like touching it, but I’d do it again if I had to.
He’s been constipated for weeks now. We’ve tried everything. Yesterday alone he had 9 oz. of prune juice and a teaspoon of Miralax in his milk, and he still wouldn’t poop. He’s withholding his poop because he’s had a few traumatic pooping episodes lately – which is making it worse I’m sure. And yes, I’ve tried the thermometer up the butt, moving his legs back and forth, foods that are supposed to make you poop, everything we’ve read to do. I haven’t been giving him foods that are binding either. I think he’s just afraid to poop at this point and has developed incredibly strong bowel muscles to keep it from happening. I feel so bad for him.
Last night we had another episode in which he had to poop but wouldn’t – Jay even had trouble pinning his legs back to force him to let his poop out because he’s gotten so strong and good at tightening his tushy up. Not to be gross, but it was the size of adult poop when it finally forced its way out.
After being pregnant and constipated myself, I know all too well what it feels like – you don’t want to eat or do anything when you’re constipated. He wouldn’t eat dinner last night and today he didn't want his chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (a first), probably because he knows eating leads to more poop.
I’m calling his doctor again right now to ask if there’s anything else we can do to help with the constipation. I can’t go through another episode like that, and I know Preston can’t either. I swear, it’s like he’s birthing a baby every time he poops now. We breathe, we wipe his forehead, I hold his hands, Jay holds his legs back…there’s even crowning…and when it’s all over, we cry tears of joy and relief.
Okay, you get the point. It’s bad.
I think we’re both literally pooped out at this point.
What have you done to help curb your kids’ constipation? I'll take all the advice I can get! I’m worried his system is getting screwed up from the withholding he’s doing, and obviously the stuff I’m giving him isn’t helping.