I know that calling myself a moron is a little harsh but when I titled this post “More On Reality” I couldn’t help but smirk at the fact that it could be heard as, “Moron Reality,” when read aloud. It sort of fits what I’m about to write about.
So if you’ve been following my posts, or are simply aware that I have a newborn and you are NOT a moron, you probably know that I am in the thick of motherhood right now. For example, I’m writing this at 3:33am after nursing my son. “Why am I not sleeping?” You ask. Well because about 10 minutes after almost every feeding I am awakened to grunts and squeals as Luca tries to work out his plumbing issues. Be it gas or pooping, my little guy does NOT like it. So now I’ve just made a habit of staying up in case that happens. Unfortunately, I can’t do a whole lot about it except comfort him through it. Which pretty much sucks. This is where me being a moron comes into play.
Caleb and I have been stressing about Lucas’s bowel movements for a while now. It’s so painful to watch a newborn writhe and squeal in (seemingly) pain. We thought for certain something was wrong. On week 2, we told the midwife about our concerns. She went through a whole slew of questions regarding his stool and timing of his upsets. He’s been gaining weight beautifully and has regular bowel movements. All in all, everything seemed good. So, she reassured us that this is normal for newborns to be uncomfortable because this is a new experience for them. I felt mixed about her diagnosis because I didn’t want to believe that this was normal but I also didn’t want something to be wrong with my boo.
Then week three hit and nothing seems to be improving. After one particularly rough morning, Caleb told me that he just can’t believe that this is “normal.” After a few hours, I held Luca in my arms as he started to go through the whole painful process again. At that moment, I thought of what my husband had said and agreed that this just couldn’t be normal. I called our pediatrician’s office and asked the receptionist what I should do. She recommended we come in and see the doctor on call. Caleb was at work and this would be my first outing alone with Luca, I was kind of freaked out (sounds silly I know) but I just wanted answers. So I did what any self-respecting woman would do and had a friend come with me. Enter my friend Sarah. I swear, I don’t know what I would do without this woman! She had her baby girl about 6 months ago and has been so incredibly supportive. When I texted her and told her the situation, she didn’t even hesitate to ask me if I’d like her to come with me. I was so relieved!
So she drove over and we got her little girl situated in her car seat in my car and I awkwardly situated Luca into his. Then we took the trek in the rain to our doctor’s appointment. When we saw her, she immediately commented on Luca’s good looks (I knew I liked this chick) and after weighing him said that we were “the epitome of breast-feeding health.” That felt good to hear, I’m not gonna lie. She asked me the same questions that our midwife had asked us a week prior. Things were checking out. Then, it happened. The comment that may has well have rubbed my master’s degree in the mud. She says, “Now, I don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but…” What’s the point of even finishing this sentence? I already feel like an idiot now. But of course, after she starts with that, my anxiety shoots through the roof… What did I do? Why am I stupid? Doesn’t my file say that I have a graduate degree? Damn it I should have changed out of my yoga pants!! These are all thoughts that I am not proud of but they did cross my mind. Then she proceeds to tell me that babies cry as their only form of communication and that it may seem like Luca is in pain but he is probably just very uncomfortable and confused about what is happening during bowel movements. “Again, I don’t mean to insult your intelligence but…” Seriously, she said it again, “I know for a first time mom this (Luca squealing) can be hard to hear so really all you can do is try to comfort him and yourself when it’s happening.” Then she suggested that we do a little “baby yoga” exercise with him and consider making a pooping song. Wait what?! A pooping song? Then she smiled and said that she and her husband had all kinds of songs for their kids… a changing song, a bathing song, and yes, a pooping song. My eyes sparkled with delight. She was a real person. I loved imagining her at 3am singing a pooping song to her crying baby. Suddenly I felt like maybe she was alright even though she HAD totally insulted my intelligence, twice.
Now we’re in week three and Luca still has a hard time with his plumbing. We haven’t really made our own pooping song but we have found some that work pretty good. “Push it,” by Salt n’ Peppa is our current favorite. I like to revise Florence + the Machine’s “Shake it Out” to “Poop it Out.” We also caved and started offering him a pacifier during these episodes (our lactation consultant/doula told us to wait a month before introducing the paci). Sucking is very soothing to newborns and it seems to help him a lot. We either offer our pinky for him to suck on or the pacifier, depending on the situation. I guess newborns have a hard time relaxing their sphincter while also “bearing down” so anything to help him relax helps to get things moving. I do the baby yoga thing with him too but that doesn’t really seem to help. He mostly likes to be held, chest to chest while sucking. That seems to be the winning combo.
So that’s just a taste of some more of the reality that we’ve been experiencing. For now, our co-sleeping situation is definitely helpful because I can’t imagine getting up to go the nursery every time he either needed to nurse or needed pooping assistance. It’s nice to just look over and see what’s going on rather than hearing it on the monitor and wondering what he is needing. I am so thankful for whoever invented that thing! So for now, I guess we just have to help Luca get through one of his first trials of life. Like all of them, we need to not only focus on comforting him but on comforting ourselves through it as well. It’s so hard to see a baby in pain, and I’m sure that qualifies for babies of all ages. If anyone has any tips on helping newborns get their business done, I’m open to hearing them! Thank you!