There are a number of things that nobody tells you about becoming and then being a parent. One of these things is that labor can actually wreak havoc on your tailbone, rendering you basically defenseless against unpadded pews and other barbaric resting places, like folding chairs or bucket seats. No one warned me, but it can happen. I promise. But that’s a topic for another day.
Today what I would like to address is that when you are a hormonal, sleep-deprived mother with the life of the world’s most precious human in your hands, you can very easily be consumed with the need to analyze that sweet little baby’s poop. I mean, like really scrutinize it. And it’s not just me. If it was, websites with names like “Diaper Decoder” wouldn’t exist.
Note: most polite mommies seem to refer to baby poo as BMs, but in our house we find that mildly offensive. I will call it poop, poo, or other scientific terms, but not BM.
Late at night, after I drag myself out of bed to feed and snuggle and reswaddle my little guy, I often find my thumbs furiously abuzz on my phone’s keyboard, searching the ramifications of whatever the color and texture of the latest diaper full of poop. Seriously, type in any combination of hue and consistency of baby poo and you will receive more information than you ever thought was possible, all with the added challenge of a brain that doesn’t function well enough to determine what’s credible and what isn’t (because you stay up all night researching excrement).
I have discovered that I have breast milk oversupply, my baby has a fore milk/hind milk imbalance, he’s lactose intolerant, he is not lactose intolerant but has a cow’s milk protein intolerance, he has an intestinal virus, and that nothing at all is wrong and everything is completely normal…all from searching information on one type of poop. It’s a jungle out there, folks.
Not helping the new mom anxiety is also the fact that newborns poop incessantly, and often behave as if they’re in excruciating pain while they’re doing it (this is especially true if you’ve just finally gotten them to fall asleep). This behavior is totally normal (a real doctor told me that), and becomes almost comical at a certain point, because that amount of drama over 98% liquid poo is just ridiculous, and, let’s face it, babies are adorable when they make those straining faces.
Yesterday, after my kind and caring pediatrician went above and beyond the call of duty by spending more than 20 minutes on the phone with me listening to my baby’s symptoms (he actually does have a legitimate virus), and then patiently listening to my descriptions of his diaper contents, she told me everything was fine and to “try to rest easier tonight.”
It was good advice. I snuggled, fed, and kissed my boy, put him in his bassinet, and didn’t Google anything. Well, not much anyway…