11.21.2010

We Got a First-Timer Here!

As I sit in bed writing this, things are peaceful. I am enjoying a little "Me" time while sipping some egg nog. Punkin is laying next to me. She is happy and playful. Monsters Inc. plays in the background as I pause every couple of minutes to lean over and kiss her forehead. She is on the verge of sleep...maybe. If not, that's okay. Because she is happy. And that makes me happy. ESPECIALLY right now. Because you see, things were not this happy and peaceful just a couple of hours ago...

This post is not for the faint of heart. In fact, if you have a weak stomach, I suggest you stop reading here. Because this post is about something not everyone can discuss. This post is about poop.

Ever since she was 3 weeks old, Punkin has sometimes had to deal with problems with constipation. It has never really been that big of a deal, as it is never a consistent thing. Sometimes, I have to work a little harder because the same remedies don't always work all the time. For example, when she was a newborn, I gave her pear juice. That worked up until she was a month old. After that, I tried everything else. From different juices to warm baths to tummy massages. Again, it's not something that happened all the time so it was never a real issue. I always found something that worked and then it was back to business as usual. I won't lie though. During those moments, I get very paranoid. That deep dark fear that creeps into every parent's mind when they have a constipated child, also plagues my own brain when I see Punkin going through the same situation. You know that fear. That fear of what you have to do when all of those home remedies just don't seem to be working. The fear of having to stick something up your child's rear-end.



What!? No! There was absolutely no way I was going to do that. I don't even think I would be physically capable of doing that! Well, when Punkin was about 6 weeks old, there was a possibility that I would have to do that. The doctor told me so. He told that if nothing was working, I was to NOT give her a suppository (apparently she was too young), but rather use my finger or a thermometer to stimulate some activity. Maybe it was the new parent in me that blurted out "No way! I'll just take her in to your office and you guys can take care of that part!" And I meant it. Even to now I felt that there was just no way I could do that to my child...or anyone for that matter! Well, thank the good Lord that I didn't have to. Which brings me to tonight...

I knew Punkin had been trying to go poop for most of the afternoon. She said so. It wasn't til about 5pm-ish, though, when she was letting it be known...by crying. She was trying to go and was crying in pain every time she tried. She didn't want me to hold her or anything, but I didn't want her to just stand in the middle of the kitchen crying so I picked her up and moved her to the bed. She screamed. She stayed in bed and in the same position and didn't move. She needed to have a little dinner so I sat her up and propped her against some pillows. She cried. But she ate. Quite well actually. She ate all of her chicken and rice and even had some grapes. That told me that she wasn't in pain from a tummy ache. If the problem was that the constipation was causing her stomach to hurt, she wouldn't have ate anything. She was crying in pain of trying to get everything out. After dinner, things quickly got worse. She dared not move a single muscle, and when she did she cried and screamed. This is a girl who just gives me a dirty look and makes a groaning sound when getting 5 shots at the doctor's office. So for her to be screaming like this, I knew it must have been pretty bad. It broke my heart. I wanted to cry with her. I could feel her pain even though I couldn't. She got so upset every time I left the room. All she kept saying was "Momma, Momma!" and holding my hand. She would be calm, then all of a sudden start screaming and crying. Tears would run down her face. She lay there for some time trying and trying to go but the more she tried, the more pain it seemed to cause. I couldn't take it. I told her Aunt Gretchin, "I don't care what I have to do, I can't see her in pain like this! And it's bad so we can't sit and wait for things to happen on their own." Thus began all the Google searching and phone calls to fellow Mommies. Punkin had fallen asleep, which I knew would happen since she had not had her nap.

So, what exactly was the process here? Some people told me not to give her a suppository, some told me that they have been giving it to their children since they were born. I got different names of different products and quickly researched all of them. Was I supposed to go in a specific order? Should I try stimulating movement before I tried anything else? What is the difference between a suppository and an enema? Why are there so many different products? Do I go with a pill or a liquid or a gel? Do I give it to her while she is sleeping or wake her up? Should I just wait til she wakes up before doing anything and see how she feels? It was too much. I took a deep breath and decided that I would just run over to the pharmacy and have a heart-to-heart with the pharmacist. So I did just that. I explained to him the situation and he was very helpful. He even offered to call his sister for me (he said that she has had to do it so many times with her children), perhaps out of embarrassment of getting into graphic details. Either way, I walked out of there with the suppository he handed me and very quickly went back home. I was getting everything ready when Punkin woke up. GREAT!!! Now I had to do it with her awake. Oh, well. It had to be done and I had to do it. And I did...without any hesitation. Afterwards, I put her back in her original spot and she cried and screamed even worse than before. She didn't want go. Now, she was actually trying NOT to go. I said a little prayer. All that was left to do was to wait. I just really hoped that everything would work the way it was supposed to so I wouldn't have to take her to the doctor's office in the morning. Especially since her actual doctor is on the other side of the United States. Well, about 45 minutes later, it took effect. And after a lengthy clean-up, everything went back to normal and she was the same happy-go-lucky baby that she has always been.

The whole situation has taught me a couple of things. First of all, don't ever say that you can't do anything, especially when you have kids. Everything you have ever known about yourself gets thrown out the window and you will do anything and go to any length for your child. Second, I really do take Punkin's easy-going, happy personality for granted sometimes. And lastly, I know most of you, if not all of you, are probably reading this while shaking your heads and rolling your eyes. You are thinking "What is the big deal?" I know that 99% of Moms have had to go through this same situation and probably on multiple occasions. It is very common. But it was a huge deal for me because I haven't had to go through this before and it was something that I feared. And now that I have had to deal with it, I feel very well equipped and prepared for the next time!

*Photo courtesy of Google Images

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