Last Thursday was Baby Guy’s well baby check-up, and he did a great job at the pediatrician’s office. He was happy and well-behaved the whole time. Well, his shots were a brief hiccup in the happiness, but he recovered very quickly and we didn’t have any issues with grouchiness as a result of his immunizations, so that was great.
Of course his height and weight were checked, and since he’s not gaining as quickly as he should be, we’ve got to do more digging into the causes of his intestinal difficulties. Before we left, we were given a grand total of four containers in which to collect stool samples for the lab to examine.
For some reason, when we’d previously discussed stool testing, I had this vision of taking a soiled diaper to a lab technician who would test it for any and every possible issue.
The reality of stool sample collection is significantly more complicated than the idea I had in my mind. For example, the sample is not supposed to be contaminated with urine which is just fine for a potty-trained adult, but not so easy for a 6 month old. Also, you can’t just give them a dirty diaper. Apparently you actually have to use those containers, and it’s up to you to figure out how to get the poop into them. The suggestion we were given was to put a disposable diaper on Baby Guy, but inside out, so it wouldn’t absorb the poop and then put another one on over it the right way to prevent leakage. Well, I didn’t like my chances of getting that right, and after mulling it over with my husband before we fell asleep that night, we had a different plan.
So, in the morning I used one of my cloth diaper covers, but without a regular insert. I folded up a flat diaper in front, to soak up urine, and left my baby’s behind free and clear in the waterproof cover. Then, I waited for the magic to happen.
Unfortunately, there seems to be a learning curve to collecting liquid poo, no matter how ingenious your plan is, so on that first try I’m pretty sure I had more all over me (and the changing pad cover, the outside of the diaper, and my son’s onesie) than I had in the container. It doesn’t matter how many rubber gloves or tongue depressors they give you, wrangling a sample isn’t an easy task. I think I managed to get about 6 drops into the first cup before I gave up and put another modified diaper on the kiddo.
The second try was easier. I’ll spare you the details, but it involved another adult whose sole occupation during this time was to hold Baby Guy’s legs up and out of the way. (I probably owe her a fair bit for requiring her to assist in this activity on her visit.) I actually gathered enough to meet one vial’s requirements that time, and after merely 2 more poopy diapers, I had 3 of my 4 containers ready to go.
I took a Sabbath rest from collecting, and on Sunday we had too much going on to be able to dangerously diaper my little one, so the last sample got collected first thing this morning. After delivering it to the lab today, I’ve settled in to wait for results to come in. Though I am immensely proud of my success, I have declined to share photos of the finished product. You’re welcome.
I’m hoping and praying for answers. We’re awaiting a call back from the GI doctor after an alarming day of symptoms yesterday. It’s pretty frustrating to feel like everything we’ve done to try to get to the bottom of Baby Guy’s issues still isn’t working. I am not sure what lies ahead for us, but God knows how to heal him and we’re not going to quit doing everything we can to find what works.
I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it a thousand times again, but I’m so thankful that my boy is such a happy baby and he doesn’t seem to be in pain or even discomfort most of the time. I’m also thankful for everyone in our lives who is praying for us and especially for Baby Guy.
Oh, and if you ever need advice on how to collect liquid infant poo, I can help you out. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but call me if you need me.