WARNING: this piece contains graphic detail!
Before a baby comes along, poo is the last thing you want to talk about. It’s one of those awkward things that you pretend doesn’t exist, because we all know that girls don’t poo, right? However, having a baby means that you quite literally have to deal with a lot of shit, and the only thing that’s worse than having to scrape clumps of poo from your baby’s balls, is the fact that you spend every spare minute (though there aren’t many) in deep conversation about the ins and outs of the stuff. It becomes one of those words that would make you so stinking rich if you got a pound for every time you said it, because you talk about it ALL THE GOD DAMN TIME.
The internet certainly facilitates this dreadful habit too, with forum after forum of conversations about baby faeces and extremely graphic images to boot. This fascination with our baby’s bowel movements is real and pretty unsurprising really, considering they do very little in those early months apart from eat, sleep, shit, and scream. I’ll take a shit from that list any day…at least it’s something new to look at (no, I’m kidding).
One of the first things that I remember in my hazy post-birth-giving state was Dexter’s first poo. The reason this memory stands out in particular is because it happened just after Mr B and I had been left alone with our new bundle for the first time; no family, no midwives, nada. It involved a steady stream of black sticky tar (meconium) pouring out of Dexy’s bum, with Mr B catching most of it in his bare hands, and the rest kind of just making a mess. He caught us off guard you see, and we just weren’t quite ready. I think if he’d have done it half an hour later, maybe we would’ve been on it and taken control of the situation, but in that moment we looked at each other and I distinctly remember saying “I think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew here, babe”. That phrase has cropped up a lot over the last 11 months, as it happens.
Over the next days as Dex got used to my breast milk, the poo changed massively. No longer was it black, sticky and odourless; but bright yellow, grainy (like mustard mixed with cottage cheese), and it gave off a kind of sweet aroma not too dissimilar from freshly baked bread (ok it didn’t smell of bread- that’s just gross). You won’t particularly love the smell, but seriously make the most of it whilst it lasts, as what is coming is so.much.worse. There’s loads of the stuff too, and it has a tendency to stain, so if you’re going to buy a £26 onesie for your baby be prepared for the fact that it will be bright yellow before the day is out– probably by the time the morning is out if we’re being totally honest. I think Americans call it a ‘blow out’, but I just call it an explosion of shite.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of farts. Mr B knows how much I hate him doing it and making it in to a performance piece, getting it as loud and dramatic as he can, which he does all the more just to piss me off. Dexter on the other hand; he can trump like a trooper all day long and I’d laugh right along with him- it just never stops being funny. Mainly because I just can’t get over how such a tiny human can make such a loud noise and so often too; he truly is a human fart machine.
Introducing solids is when the fun and games really begin, and I don’t mean your standard baby rice or porridge. As soon as your baby is tucking in to masses of fruits and vegetables, carbs and meat, you can only expect the worst really, can’t you? And by worst I mean full-on MAN POOS. Everything from the colour and consistency to the smell and bum-cleaning process change dramatically. For a start, you’ll smell it before you see it, and the sound of the deed alone is enough to give you a good indication of what’s in there…if you can hear it, it’s not usually a good sign.
In those very early days, you literally spend full weeks at a time just changing yellow nappies, but at the solid food stage even four poos a day is still normal…yes, really. Be prepared to get down and dirty a lot- the other day Dexter racked up a total of 5 man poos; I didn’t like my son very much that day.
A baby having a poo isn’t quite the same as the adult equivalent either. The poor little things have no privacy whatsoever, having to go all in no matter where they are or what they happen to be doing at the time. Their bright red ‘pushing’ faces are on full view for all to see, losing all dignity as they go. We like to offer Dex his own space sometimes during that intimate moment by avoiding all eye contact and turning away (and laughing) so that he can do his business in peace…we’re quite nice like that.
I’m going to finish on a piece of advice for all baby-mamas: never leave the house without a spare change of clothes no matter how many months ago their last explosion was. You’ll find yourself stuck in the toilet of a pub during a girls lunch, stretching out that vest you found in the bottom of your changing bag which is 6 months too small, and baby wiping the shit (literally) out of the waistband of their leggings. You’ll also spend the rest of the day giving off a not-so subtle aroma of faeces, and being torn as to whether to let people know it’s your baby that smells so that they don’t think it’s you, or to suck it up and deal with the disgusted glances because your baby doesn’t deserve that kind of animosity at such a young age…they’ve got plenty of time to experience that.
Also, when you’ve made the mistake once already, please please make sure that you don’t make it twice…in the same week. This time you may find yourself arriving in to town with baby and hubby in tow, paying the all day parking fee, parking up, getting baby out, realising they’ve done a poo, deciding to change them on the back seat quickly, and then what is to ensue can only be described as a real life nightmare. A distressed baby may just decide to cover themselves from head to toe in said poo getting it all over you as they go, only for you to realise there’s still no change of clothes in the bloody changing bag! I REPEAT: WE HAVE NO CHANGE OF CLOTHES for the little poo-ball. So you clean them off as best you can, wrap them up in a blanket and cuddle them on the (front) seat, comforting them until the crying stops. You then shove them back in their car seat, pack everything away again, and all go home for a bath, without that walk around town and definitely two quid worse off. Sweet.
Are you all as obsessed with poo as my hubby and I are? Let me know if you have any horrid poo stories of your own…