When I called Linda after school today, one of the first things I asked her was, “Did Violet poop yet?” Today was day seven of the poop strike, and we were starting to feel some serious anxiety. Although we know it’s possible for babies to go a week or more without a bowel movement, it just didn’t seem right since we’ve been feeding Violet high fiber foods like squash and sweet potatoes, and she’s been getting plenty of fluids. Linda called the doctor today, and a nurse told her to give Violet a dose of Karo syrup if there was no movement by tomorrow. Reluctant to follow this advice, especially because our pediatrician at the same office advised against it the last time Violet was backed up, we decided to follow a different route. My friend Amy recommended feeding prunes – believe it or not, they’re available in baby food form. She said they “made everything move along nicely” for her daughter, but that we should use them “sparingly, unless you enjoy blowouts.”
We ended up not needing the prunes, however, because after her dinner of butternut squash, I put Violet on the bathroom counter to change her, and that’s when things started to happen. All evening, she’d been in a good mood – a bit squirmy – but smiling and playful. That ended after I opened her diaper. I won’t go into the dirty details, but within a few moments, she started to whine. Then, a confused look came over her face and she started to cry - loudly, and what we’d been waiting for finally happened – a lot. She yelled and screamed the whole time, looking to us for help, and all we could do was tell her it was going to be okay while trying to keep up with her catching her output. It reminded me of her time in the hospital, and I hated it almost as much. What made it especially horrible was we didn’t know when it was going to end.
When it was all over and everything was cleaned up and a new diaper was on her, it still took Violet some time to settle down. Linda fed her and that helped. She fell asleep quickly, exhausted from her ordeal. Now, I wonder how things will proceed from here. Is her body just getting used to the new foods? Will she continue to cry every time she has to poop (I had one mom tell me today that her daughter did)? Was all of this responsible for Violet waking up in the middle of the night for the past week? It seems that like most baby worries, our relief is tempered by not knowing what’s coming next.
205 days old