It’s true, everyone poops, Brad Pitt poops, Barack Obama poops, Mila Kunis poops, the Queen poops, and yes even the most adorable babies in the world poop. Believe it or not that last one came as a surprise to me. I’m not an idiot, I knew my baby would poop, it just wasn’t something that I put much thought into.
My daughter wasn’t even out of the womb when her poop became a major concern. My wife’s water broke, or we thought it broke, then a little later we were confident that it broke. But we’d been warned (because we were two weeks late) that if the water had the appearance and consistency of pea soup, there could be meconium in the fluid. Meconium is a scientific word for infant shit.
Meconium is a concern after the water breaks because it would be potentially dangerous for the baby to be inhaling, baby shit. As with everything in pregnancy and birth, everything is subjective. For instance, one persons murky pea soup is another persons chicken broth. As it turns out there was no meconium, but it was just a matter of time before there was a ton of it. So here you go, your weekly dose of way too much information that you didn’t ask for, in a article that is sure to keep some mouth breathing boyfriend away from my daughter for a year or two.
–Though she didn’t poop in the womb, she did poop just seconds out of it. Then pooped again somewhere during the shuffle between the bathtub and the bed. Meconium is essentially tar. Odorless sticky tar, it’s a nightmare to get off clothes, the changing table, and your babies butt. Thankfully it only lasts a few days (for breast feeding babies, until the colostrum is replaced by milk). Lucky for me just prior to the milk coming in, my daughter literally filled her diaper with meconium. Opening up the diaper and peering in I could see nothing but a thick brownish black tar, it was horrific, I washed her off in the laundry room utility sink.
–Once the milk comes in the poop changes, I call it dijon mustard, because that’s what it looks like. Needless to say I didn’t eat mustard of any kind for some time afterwards. It’s odor is not pleasant, but not terrible, but she was shitting once every hour it seemed, and it was starting to get old. There were a number of days when I would just carry her into the shower to wash her off, but on one occasion she required a bath, after she pooped on me, the wall, her stuffed animals and herself. It was traumatic for all of us, perhaps more so for the stuffed animals.
–Occasionally you might come across diarrhea. None of this poop looks right to begin with so in order to identify it you have to know what your looking for. Diarrhea is dark green, and foamy, and accompanied by a lot of crying. This only happened once but that of course was the day we took her to see Great Grandma.
–After the Dijon Mustard comes this brown liquid in varying thicknesses. It’s basically brown paint, and if you don’t clean out the diapers (we use cloth diapers) properly, then good luck getting the stain out. The most disturbing part of the poop at this stage? The smell. Not that it smells bad, it smells bad only because I know it’s poop. Fresh, it smells like wet flour, but once it dries it has the distinct odor of hot buttered popcorn. This is unsettling because while the smell itself isn’t disgusting, knowing that it’s baby shit makes it terrible. When you first enter this stage you get a dirty diaper every other day (which is glorious) but then it turns into every day (which is disappointing).
My wife feeds the baby, which is obvious. In exchange for the sacrifice she makes to her nipples, time, and modesty, I change 90-95% of all the diapers. Two months in I’ve seen all that my daughters bowels have to offer, and now because you’ve read this article, you have an understanding of what her bowels have to offer. The frequency, consistency, and odor of the poop changes as she gets older, every time we enter a new stage I surprisingly feel sadness. From tar to dijon, brown liquid, and whatever comes next, it only signifies that she is getting older.
The last thing I ever anticipated was gaining a relationship with my daughter through her poop, and yet here I am, mentally cataloging it’s shape, color, viscosity, and many other measurements. Some of the best quality time we get together is with her looking back up at me. Likewise she learns a lot about me during these times. Such as, at 3 a.m. with my eyes half closed and brain half awake, I will fumble with snaps, struggle to fold the diaper, and on occasion forget to use the covers.
No matter what mood I’m in watching her smile up at me will always melt my heart. My daughter, sadistically laughing at me, finding it hilarious that I am wiping her ass and changing her diaper. But I will have the last laugh, because one day I will be old and decrepit, and lord knows I might need a diaper, and I will make sure she is there to wipe my ass, and I will look at her and laugh and laugh.