Poop and More …

18 07 2008

My long absence from these pages might lead a reader to believe that Masher’s digestive life has been relatively uneventful of late, but–au contraire–we have had a series of new experiences and no time to post anything at all about any of them …  until now.  

The most important thing that happened this week was that Masher pooped.  He pooped, you ask?  What’s so special about that?  A-ha, you, my friend, have evidently not waited around watching your infant son’s stomach slowly expand over the course of 10 days of no solid waste.  To be honest, I wasn’t too worried.  I read on various web sites that 7-10 days could easily pass between poops for babies who were being exclusively breastfed and hadn’t started solid food yet; some sites said even 2 weeks was fine.  But it was everyone else’s reactions to the situation that began to make me slightly concerned:  “OMIGOD, HE HASN’T POOPED YET?!?!?”  What do you say?  

And the nurse I called on day 7 had the same reaction as most of our friends and family.  “Maybe I just have super-efficient breastmilk?” I posited hopefully, breaking out some of that online MD I’d earned researching the poop situation on the Internet.  “Yeah, that’s it,” she replied, exhibiting considerably more sarcasm than I generally like to see in my caregivers.  “Here’s what you need to do …  ” and she gave us a list of activities (a) make Masher poop or (b) keep us occupied until he pooped (one or the other, you be the judge) that included warm baths, apple juice, and rectal manipulation.  Mmmmm, rectal manipulation.

On the other hand, we took advantage of the situation to blame any bit of fussiness on the extra weight in his belly.  “Oh, it’s not you,” I said when he mysteriously burst into tears when a cute, old lady smiled at him in his stroller, “He hasn’t pooped for DAYS.”

And then, at the 10-day mark, almost exactly to the hour, sitting on my lap after a short walk around the neighborhood, he pulled up his legs, broke into a happy grin, and let it fly.  Yay for poop!

But back to the nurse’s instructions …  Apple juice, you say?  So, did Masher drink apple juice?  Has something other than breastmilk at last touched his virgin lips?  Yes, yes, and yes.  Here’s how it all went down:  The day I called the nurse was also the day we drove back from the Eastern Shore, and I really wasn’t about to head back out to the store for apple juice when the kid needed a nap.  So, I called around to the neighbors, and–to my great surprise–it turns out I live in a no-apple-juice cul-de-sac.  Not being a juice person myself, I’m okay with this, but it did surprise me.  “I guess we live in an anti-juice world these days,” I said to the third neighbor I called.  “Yeah, it is pretty anti-juice,” she answered, “But do you have any prunes?  I always used prunes with my son when he was a baby.”

I DID have prunes!  But I couldn’t very well just hand Masher the prunes and let him go for it.  How could I distill the essential prune parts for his consumption?  I threw a handful in couple ounces of boiling water and let them steep while I held another in my hand for him to suck, which he seemed to enjoy quite a bit.  Then I mixed the prune water in with some milk, and he swigged the whole thing down.

As he sucked the last few drops from the bottle, I suddenly had a vision of prune-driven poop shooting out his tush with the force of a nuclear bomb.  Dear Masher, I thought, please don’t let this have been a mistake.  Who gives their baby prunes for his first food???  

Luckily, however, the prunes seemed to have no effect.

The next day, I took Masher to go see Emeril Lagasse, who is taping a new show at the Whole Foods in Fairfax, and I bought some apple juice.  When we returned home, I mixed an ounce of apple juice with an ounce of water, per the nurse’s instructions, and I gave him the mixture in a bottle of breastmilk.  Again, he ate ravenously and then fell into a deep sleep.  This is it, I thought, but no, no poop until the following day.

So, what made him poop?  Who knows.  Probably his own body finally just said it was time.  But I’m keeping that apple juice on hand just in case!

Then, having had such success with the prune and apple juices, we decided to debut some Nature’s Own organic brown rice cereal just yesterday.  Not wanting to waste my liquid gold, I used water to rehydrate the mush and settled down with a bowl and spoon–and daddy with the camera–in front of the little boy in the high chair.  “So, did he like it?” you ask.

The photos speak for themselves …

 

Playing with rice cereal is fun!

Playing with rice cereal is fun!

 

Trying out a spoonful ...

Trying out a spoonful ...

Mmmmmm, that was good!

Mmmmmm, that was good!

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!!!

Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!!!

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