Last week as I stood in the nursery at 3.30am wiping up shit (for the third night in a row) I looked at the baby and said. “Give me vomit any day, I can’t cope with this amount of shit.”
I had just changed an extreme, explosive nappy. It was everywhere, up her front, back and busting out of the sides. Followed by two more hand held nappies that were filled as I stood there bleary eyes and desperate for bed. “Give me vomit any day, I can’t cope with this amount of shit.” I repeated. Literally, as I said this, I lifted her legs (somewhat like a raw chicken) to wipe her little bottom again and out it shot. Another blast of rocketing, projectile poo. Poomageddon! It shot out like a torpedo, consuming everything in its path; including my fringe; the wall and the cream curtains! Mustard gas blasted up the curtains and trickled off my fringe onto my nose as I just half-laughed, half-cried in dismay. “Bring back the sick… all is forgiven!”
We were two weeks into a trial on the Anti-Reflux milk. True to its name, the new milk had stopped all vomit. Hurrah – two weeks COMPLETELY sick free. My washing pile had diminished dramatically. I was no longer attached to a muslin cloth and burp time was no longer like handling a grenade with a pin hanging out. In fact, I could actually sit back and casually pat her back and allow a lovely little burp to fizz out, without any sick. It was a lovely two weeks. The crying had calmed down, she was much, much happier.
Of course, there is a but. True to its name, Anti-Reflux – Reflux was held at bay. But I do feel that the box should have contained the following disclaimer:
WARNING** Drinking this milk could turn your baby into a shit machine to rival any good curry house.**
What we actually received was Anti-Reflux with a side order of explosive diarrhea.
So there I was. For the third night in a row cleaning up an endless pouring of diarrhea. Battling the poonami was completely futile. Until the tide turned I just had to try and stay afloat. Four nappies later, I was back on dry land and able to breathe (still with part of the wreckage clinging to my fringe).
Thankfully Emilie was not distressed and actually smiled through most of it. I on the hand didn’t fare so well. It was on my hands, on the changing mat, on her babygrow, her sleeping bag and even on the baby wipe packet. I HATE getting my fingers dirty so this was a very close contender with the cottage cheese massacre. The smell was revolting and I did consider waking up Daddy just so that he didn’t miss out on this momentous occasion – (Don’t think he would have appreciated that!)
So in that moment, I honestly wished for the sickness rather than the poo. I have since come to realise that I was completely insane and would like to declare diminished responsibility. In that moment I was desperate and was clearly wearing my rose-tinted specs, as I had somehow managed to forget how bloody awful reflux is and that no amount of shit is worse than a splattering of cottage cheesesque vomit – sadly I was soon reminded when we moved back to ‘normal milk’.
Clearly something wasn’t right. I’d been told that it was normal for ‘her stools to be a little loose’ but after her being on Gaviscon since she was seven weeks old, I’d forgotten what ‘normal poo’ was like. The Gaviscon days were a treat in terms of poo. Before she went on Gaviscon she had been really constipated and was going up to three days without any movement. Suddenly Gaviscon came into our lives and killed two birds with one stone. From constipated, sicky upset baby to a happy pooing, much less sicky baby. Unlike a lot of other babies, the Gaviscon actually helped us on the poo front. We did have the odd rock hard pellet but after a few days we got into a nice rhythm and she produced lovely little poo nuggets. No smell and perfectly formed. Princess poos. They were so easy that they could almost be lifted out of the nappy as no mess was made. It was quite funny sometimes to see the triangle shape created by her bum crack, as sometimes rather than a poo nugget we had more of a play-doh consistency. Unfortunately only available in one colour – mustard.
So, I was prepared for a change to her bowel movements – but how do you know what is normal? Surely I wasn’t going to become one of those mothers who takes a photo of the nappy and shares it on a Facebook Mums’ group with the tag line ‘Is this normal?’ to then have the colour and consistency of my daughter’s crap discussed by women up and down the country with no doubt a formula feeding hater popping up with the olde, ‘Breast is best, she wouldn’t be this bad if you’d breast fed.’ Seriously – why do women turn on each other? I’m of the opinion that Fed is best and I hate seeing debates escalating from the colour of crap to insulting a woman’s choice as to how to feed her own baby. Seriously people get a grip.
I digress… I wasn’t going to be one of those mothers, but how was I supposed to know if it was normal or not? Where does Korma consistency stop being Korma and become diarrhea? If it’s up the front and back is it explosive? If she has a ‘normal one’ in between are we home and dry? How am I supposed to know? What I did know was that I’d never smelt something so bad. (I could smell her from the opposite end of the house) and I’d never changed so many pooey nappies in such a short space of time. Surely this was wrong?
Sadly, this wasn’t the only middle of the night pooscapade that I had encountered over the last few weeks. Only a mere few weeks ago I was again up in the middle of the night cleaning up crap. I was sitting downstairs, I was in one of my many insomniac states and so I was downstairs, ironically blogging about Sleep. It was 5.30am and I heard my other half moving around upstairs. I went to see him, (ready to moan about my insomnia – not that he’d care) and I saw him rushing down the stairs with a panicked look on his face. “Something’s happened.” he splurted out in a very anxious voice. I panicked. I hadn’t heard the baby. What had I missed? Usually my super sonic hearing could hear every whisper. What was wrong? He looked at me and in a half broken voice stuttered… “I’ve shit the bed!” WHAT? Am I hearing you right? He had shit the bed! Give me strength.
Only five days before I’d had what I’d thought was food poisoning and had spent a very intimate 12 hours with the toilet. I’d been mocked for running the gauntlet and risking eating out of date chicken pasta… and now here we were, five days later and my boyfriend had shit the bed. Hmm maybe it was a bug after all.
So there we were… it was pouring down his leg as he stood there in a dazed state.
Get in the shower.
Strip the bed.
Hot soapy water.
Urggggghh… OPEN THE WINDOWS!
My God it STUNK. As I was there, scrubbing my other half’s crap off the mattress I couldn’t help but laugh (in between gags). At one point i just had to leave the room, I gagged and leaned over the landing banister. Wretching. Oh God, please don’t let me be sick… that’s all we needed.
Maybe I should rebrand the blog, The Little Book of Shit as this was not the first craptastrophy we’d encountered this year. When I was pregnant the Noravirus did the rounds at work and I didn’t escape. Much to my dismay as I lay on the bed and let out a sneaky fart… I too shit the bed. It was possibly the most soul destroying moment of my life. I had actually shit the bed. (yet for some reason I am now sharing this with the world wide web). So that’s all three of us. Maybe it isn’t just Sick that I’ve passed on to Emilie…
So, poor Emilie had been pooing for Britain for nearly a week. I had to make a decision. What was wrong with her? Everyone was offering me suggestions…
Maybe she is lactose intolerant…
It could be because of her jabs…
Or, because she’s teething…
Or, she could have the same bug that me and her Dad had…
What should I do? Did I take her off the Anti-Reflux milk and risk the horrific sickness coming back? Was it normal? AAARGHHH Maybe I should put that photo on Facebook after all.
Finally, my friend got a sniff of one of Emilie’s finest and confirmed my concerns that this was not in fact normal.
Enough was enough. Back to the Doctors we went.
So here we are. We are back on ‘regular formula’ with Gaviscon and unfortunately our old friend Sicky is very much back with us. We’ve had one full on, cottage cheeseesque über splattering which brought me to my senses and made me regret saying that Sick was easier than poo. Every bottle now brings with it a regurgitation of the white stuff and we are going through bibs at a rate of knots. My washing machine is back in business and the muslin cloths are again packed in every pocket. Sadly accompanying the sickness is the screaming and writhing back arching. I hate seeing my little baby distressed. But I couldn’t leave her like that, could I?
If it’s not one end it’s the other! Which is the lesser of two evils?
This is the unfortunate predicament that I am currently in. I could pursue other medication but feel that I want to see how we get on for a bit longer. Therefore, we have made the next giant step towards weaning.
We have dabbled with Baby Rice and so far, so good. Having been told by the Health Visitors that Six months is the best time to wean, I was anxious about starting earlier, but thankfully the paediatric nurse put these concerns to bed proving that my Mum was in fact right. We are hoping that weaning will help Emilie with her sickness and there may be some light at the end of our very long reflux tunnel.
And if not – at least there will be more material for the blog.
Long live the sick! NOT!