August 16, 2007

the time is ticking away

Lydia Violet is sleeping in today so I'm taking this rare chance to catch up on the blog.

She had her one month birthday 3 days ago. I can't believe it's been a month already. Seriously. It feels like just last week we were checking into the hospital. (Though Dima says that, for him, the birth seems like years ago.)

Yesterday we were able to get a last minute doctor's appointment to check in on a few things: 1) Lydia has not had an "unassisted" poop in a week. 2) We've been discussing with the doctor whether or not she has reflux, and 3) her baby acne, to me, was starting to look more like hives than baby pimples.

So, you say, what do I mean my "unassisted" poop? Well last Thursday she stopped dirtying her diaper. Cold turkey. We missed the call in time at the pediatrician on Saturday, so by Sunday morning when we still hadn't had to change a poopy diaper we called and asked what was up. The doctor said it was normal but we could "help" her out if we wanted with a little rectal stimulation.

Now, let me take a time out here and say, here's an example of something you never envisioned talking about, let alone doing. Rectal stimulation on your infant child so they can have a bowel movement. Dima and I have become intimately attuned to Lydia's gastrointestinal tract in the last 34 days. Dealing with, I'm sure he would agree, things that we hadn't ever imagined until now. And this is not to say I haven't changed a messy diaper in my time (though Dima had not), but somehow when it's your own kid and you're getting into things like "rectal stimulation," it's totally different.

So back to the story. Essentially we needed to give her poor little butt a jump start, which in the medical sense means a q-tip to the rectum. Poor girl. But it worked and surprisingly, she didn't seem to bothered by it. Since then and after a few more "assists" she's been able to clear her system, which is good, since she was looking a little distended.

The reflux is another matter and according to the doctor totally unrelated. Just imagine a tiny baby, unable to speak, experiencing heartburn every time she eats. It's horrible. And Lydia let's us know exactly how horrible she feels. Wailing, arching and puking. Poor, poor girl. Well yesterday she got her very first prescription: baby Zantac. She has to take it 3 times a day and it seems to be working thus far, but man does it taste nasty. At least that's what the look on her face tells me when I squirt it in her little mouth. Bleck!

The baby acne? Normal. But I wasn't REALLY concerned about that as much as I was taking an opportunity to ask a professional while I was paying my co-pay.

Anyway, I hear her now. "I'm hungry!" her screams are telling me. Gotta run...


Joy said...

Interesting and gross--I couldn't stop reading about B/M stimulation! Not a motivator for having one of my own, if you know what I mean. (baby that is... not stimulation) -joy

Jessica L. said...

Yeah, rectal stimulation is definitely something I hadn't heard of before. That must be one of those dirty little parenting secrets that no one talks about.

My nephew had reflux. Luckily, when they have it as babies, it doesn't mean they have it forever. He is fine now.

Heather & Ronnie said...

I am dealing with this with my son now. How long did you have to do the stimulation?

UrbanGirl said...

I was searching (mostly fruitlessly) on the web just now for other parents locked in the rectal stimulation nightmare. So happy to have found this. Our son, who is 10 weeks old, hasn't had an unaided bowel movement in over three weeks now. At first we stimulated him every two days, then every day, then every 12 hours. This morning it was twice in four hours. Between assisted bowel movements, he becomes increasingly uncomfortable and upset, and is unable to fall asleep. If he does fall asleep, the discomfort wakes him up, sometimes with screaming. I'm coming to the end of my rope. He saw a pediatric gastroenterologist last week, who said it was fine to just keep stimulating our baby. However, this just doesn't seem right! I see that Lydia Violet eventually managed to go on her own, after about three weeks or so. Did you stop stimulating her at some point, and just cope while she was sleepless and uncomfortable? I would really be grateful to hear more about this.