Baby Watch has turned to Poop Watch… I am Poop obsessed

I am obsessed with this person’s”BMs”

So Baby Watch 2010 ™ has come and gone, the little one arrived on Thursday night May 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm.  Thank you all for your well wishes, anecdotes, and compliments on the overall comeliness of my offspring – you’re absolutely right, she’s gorgeous.  I’m writing this on day 5 of her short life, and overall, the Magster and I are feeling good.  We went to the first doctor visit yesterday, which assuaged many of our worst fears.

Some of these fears were minor (she has red blotches all over her little body!), and some were less minor (her mild jaundice has turned to severe jaundice which is causing irreprable brain damage!), but after the doctor visit, we’ve been assured that our worrying has been for naught, she’s healthy and acting like a 5 day old human should.

This jaundice business has turned pretty serious.  Back when I had jaundice in the late 1970s they had your mom plop you outside to get a nice tan in the sun and look at how little my brain was damaged!  What was I talking about?  Oh yeah, poop.

So, in technical terms, a babies poop causes jaundice.

The muconium poop that’s inside the baby as they are marinating has to come out once the baby has hit the outside, if it comes out too slowly, it causes jaundice.  This muconium is driven out by the mother’s breast milk cycling through the babies body.  So there are 2 major issues that happen when a woman has trouble breastfeeding initially.  1) You are killing your baby because you are not able to feed them enough milk, and 2) You are irreparably damaging your babies brain because you are incapable of driving the muconium out of them.

Luckily and thankfully, the Magster didn’t have too much trouble breastfeeding.  Sure it took every single second of the first 2 days of lil’ Andie’s life, but she was doing it, and neither mother nor child seemed to have much trouble (aside from Andie’s propensity for chomping down on the nipple at various points).  This didn’t stop the Magster from obsessing over it obsessively, but she was reassured by the midwife and nurses that she was doing a great job.
That was until the day we were checking out and the very nice nurse/lactation-expert decided she need to dump all potential information (see hazards/warning signs/impending death) that we may want to look out for before our first doctor visit in a couple of days.  Andie had a mild case of jaundice, and she wanted us to know that if it looked worse (eg. yellowing of the lower body), that we should probably completely freak out (or at least that’s how we took it).
We arrived home on Saturday and were thankful to be out of the hospital.  Ballard Swedish has great facilities and a very helpful, attentive and knowledgable staff – but it was nice to be in our own home.  As the father, in the first couple of days, there isn’t much you can do besides reassure your wife that she’s not killing your baby by not breastfeeding her enough, and diaper duty.  I actually enjoy diaper duty, and as we became more and more convinced that the jaundice had gotten worse, I relished every single one of Andie’s dirty diapers.
By Sunday, when she had not had a bm in almost 24 hours (frequent urination, but no bm’s) – we were working ourselves into a poop-watch frenzy.  A watched pot never boils, and I’ve recently learned, a watched diaper never fills.
The first 3-5 days before the woman’s “milk comes in” involves feeding the baby a potent pre-milk substance called colostrum. This is the danky milk that is super potent and allows a miniscule amount to nourish the baby.  Their stomach’s are the size of a cherry, so it doesn’t take that much (although, it did take Andie a long time to get her fill).  Finally the milk came in on Sunday which avalanches into many happy bms and the realization that we had not and would not be causing major brain damage – because of jaundice at the very least.
Seeing as my only real use to my family currently is changing little Andie’s underoos in a timely manner, it is my life.  For now I’m content, if not mildly obsessed with it.
This was right after she joined us… where jaundice was not even a thought in our mind

To continue the theme of poop, there are a couple of funny anecdotes I’d thought I’d relay.  They could also be seen as a cautionary tale for new fathers who tend to do stupid things.

We have a local diaper service called Sunflower Diaper that is basically a one-woman operation.  She provides cloth diapers and comes and picks up, washes, and returns these handmade diapers in our neighborhood.  We have yet to have her come pick up the dirty diapers, but it seems like it’s going to be an awesome thing.  We are responsible for buying our own covers, and the Magster of course bought 6 nice new and stylish covers to protect the inside of the diaper from the getting out.
In my fanatical obsession with getting the dirty diaper off, cleaning my progeny, and getting a new diaper on, I realized that I’d been throwing the dirty covers into the can with the soiled diapers and poo-ey wash rags.  In a previous life (ok within the past 5 years), I’ve had to do a little dumpster diving – not to find food, but probably because I accidentally threw my keys away or something.  The Magster seemed to thoroughly enjoy watching me dry heave as I dug through the bin recovering our covers. Hardy har har.
The second, and more graphic anecdote, involves the baby and the dog.
Our friend Whitney was over with her baby Dahlia, and we were all in the baby’s room talking about various baby stuff.  Nature called and I eagerly sprung into action to do my fatherly changing duty.  I had lil’ Andie up on the changing table when all of a sudden a voluminous and loud rumbling caused what can only be described as a geyser of baby poo to come forth from the child.  It shot out towards the door just at the moment when our dog Friday came ambling in to see what was going on.  Poor Friday caught a face full of baby poo and boy was she surprised (if not slightly delighted!).

Friday was slightly less delighted when she was hit with this unexpected substance (a glass of wine spilled on her)

One bit of advice, keep a diaper in front of the babies butt when changing her.  That short window of opportunity, when the rear is fully exposed, proves just too tempting to the newborn!
These poo related incidents were just a couple in what I’m sure will be an interesting and fulfilling foray into baby-rearing.
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7 thoughts on “Baby Watch has turned to Poop Watch… I am Poop obsessed

  1. Tanya May 26, 2010 at 2:16 pm Reply

    I’ve been enjoying catching up on your blog. Excited for you two and can’t wait to meet Andie!

    • seattlekungfoolery May 26, 2010 at 6:48 pm Reply

      Thanks for checking out the blog – we are in love with our little one. Can’t wait for you guys to meet her too!

  2. K Woo May 27, 2010 at 1:45 am Reply

    I have to say…. reading this has been the highlight of my day. You’re right…. she is one beautiful child. And no, I’m not just saying that because she is my niece. You guys did real good. Keep up the blog James, this may help cut down my daily visits. umm yeah… probably not!

    • seattlekungfoolery May 27, 2010 at 2:09 am Reply

      thanks k-wo, i’m glad i can count on you, my mommy, and various spam robots to check out my blog!

  3. Aileen Pritchard May 29, 2010 at 1:45 pm Reply

    You have done it once more! Superb post!

  4. James May 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm Reply

    Thank you Aileen, please come back often!

  5. […] doing the coolest things with poo.  I have not heard about something this cool and poo-related  since that time that Andie had that projectile one that Friday voraciously ate up.  Perhaps my constant referencing of poo is detrimental to the serious tone I’m trying […]

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