I don't know how this happened, but suddenly I've become the go-to girl for gross (yes I'm adding that to my LinkedIn profile). Want to know about pregnancy hemorrhoids or what a placenta actually looks like? I'm your woman. So naturally, I have lots of things to say about poop. It's sad to admit, but my day revolves around my baby's bowel movements. Not only are they a really important indicator of health, but the thoughts I've had about my baby's poop tend more toward shock and awe, so at least I'm simultaneously entertained.
Before becoming a mom myself, I had my fair share of experience with dirty diapers. Still, and to my surprise, nannying and babysitting didn't adequately prepare me for the full gamut of poopy possibilities. I'd never cared for a newborn, so I didn't know about the transitions from black meconium to army green transitional stool to yellow mustard breastfed poop in the first few weeks. Imagine my surprise, then, when my infant started solid foods. I'm sorry, but nothing can ready you for an intact asparagus spear in your baby's diaper.
Maybe you've had these same thoughts and are searching for some solidarity, or perhaps you're preparing yourself for the poop that is to come. Well, come along with me as your guide (The Mistress of Meconium, The Pied Piper of Poop, the Duchess of Doody), and enjoy my every waking thought about what's inside that dirty diaper.
"Why (In The Name Of All That Is Holy) Does It Look Like Tar?"
Meconium, WTF?! You have this perfect, precious newborn, and the first thing it does is expel a black, tarry substance from its adorable rear end. Meconium is composed of all the stuff your sweet baby ingested in utero, including bile, skin cells, mucus, and amniotic fluid. Ew, ew, ewwwwwww. I knew it was coming, but I was not prepared to deal with the way it stuck to my baby's bottom. At least it doesn't last that long.
"That Is A Truly Heinous Smell"
Have you ever sensed that your baby has shat themselves because they're emitting a distinct odor, and then opened the diaper to have the full force of the stench hit you like a ton of bricks? I have. My baby has produced crap that could fell a f*cking horse. I don't think even Aladdin's Diaper Genie could contain that smell.
"Are Those Whole Peas?"
Sweet baby Jesus, why have you allowed entire peas to pass through my baby's system? I mean, doesn't she need the nutrients? I cannot truly express to you my dismay at having whole peas roll from out of my daughter's poopy diaper onto the changing table.
Husband: "Good God. Are those peas?" *leaves before I can answer*
"That Was Unexpected!"
So you're going about your business changing what you assume to be a wet diaper, when BAM! Turns out baby has been saving a little something for you. (Hint: it's poop.)
My husband and I refer to this phenomenon as "the surprise poop." It's like the excremental version of "silent but deadly."
"I Think I'm Going To Vomit"
I have a fairly strong stomach. I taught elementary school for 13 years, and among other things, rubbed a kid's back while he yakked red licorice without batting an eye. So it takes a special brand of poop to elicit a gag reflex. As luck would have it, my daughter is an expert at producing just such a bowel movement.
"Please Be A Fart"
My daughter is the Blair Witch Pooper. When she has to do her business, she goes into a corner, squats, grunts, and turns red. Every time, I think to myself, "Please let it just be a fart." I don't think I'm alone in my attempts to delude myself that my child has just emitted a cloud of green gas instead of the poop to end all poops.
"I Never Knew You Could Poop A Rainbow"
Did you know that baby poop comes in all colors of the rainbow? You can even download a color chart with whimsical descriptions like "hummus brown" and "rancid cappuccino," because I know I like to think of food when I'm changing a diaper.
My daughter's poop has been everything from bright orange (thank you, carrots and sweet potatoes) to greenish-blue (blueberries, mmmmmm).
"How Did It Get In There?"
It's always alarming to find poop in places you don't expect. Girl babies have extra cracks and crevices, and in order to prevent urinary tract infections, you have to get her really clean (front to back, natch). But you kind of expect to find it there. What you don't plan for is when it's behind your kid's ear (true story).
"Wow! You've Really Outdone Yourself."
Slow. Clap. Sometimes I think my daughter holds it in so she can just take one massive sh*t. Like, she's a tiny person. How does she crap what I can only assume is the equivalent of her own body weight? If I wasn't so grossed out, I'd be really impressed.
"This Couldn't Possibly Get Any Worse"
Take my word for it: don't ever utter these words. It can and will get worse. Just when you've completely stripped your baby after a blow-out, cleaned them down with a thousand baby wipes, and placed them in the bathtub, they'll poop again. In the bathtub.
It's OK, mama. Don those rubber gloves and take care of business because you know your baby will be taking care of theirs.