Friday, March 7, 2008

Radical notions

(I say Hope is auditioning for the bassinet production of "On the Waterfront." Mo thinks she looks more like a survivor of Zion from "The Matrix." Either way, it's a hot look.)

We have new marching orders from Dr. Spitenup: Leave no poop uncounted.

It's no longer enough to merely record that Hope moved her bowels three times in a day. We now need to describe it vividly. The consistency: Like oatmeal or pudding? Creamy or chunky? More, more, more! Pie charts and graphs illustrating trends aren't yet required, but won't be discouraged. Logarithms showing the relation to poo, pee and spittle may soon follow.

We exaggerate of course. A bit. Dr. Spitenup is serious about poop.

And so are we. Like all new parents and many senior citizens, it's become the barometer of our lives. Most conversations about Hope eventually come back to it. It shapes our lives -- in more ways than we ever realized.

The inscrutable Dr. Spitenup, in his odd but ingenious way, confirmed mounting suspicions yesterday about the relationship between Hope's diapers and her feeding. We should have caught on sooner, but we're sometimes pretty slow with this parenting stuff.

It turns out that babies naturally try to move their bowels or expel gas when they take a bottle. It's instinct. So when Hope squeezes and nothing happens, it hurts. The more she sucks, the more she tries to fart, the greater the pain. So she responds like anyone rational would: She stops doing what makes her hurt. Unfortunately, that means avoiding the bottle like a Village People reunion.

So it may be the cause of her terrible feedings could be as simple as constipation. It's a simple theory that we should grasped months ago. Hope is still so small we can feel the gas and gurgling as it moves through her. When there's a rumble in the tum-tum, it usually doesn't portend well.

That's one of the pitfalls of being new parents of a child with a genetic condition: There's no doubt that CdLS complicates everything, but sometimes the cause of issues can be fairly obvious.

Likewise, Spitenup has a radical diagnosis for why Hope sometimes cries for an hour or two around dinner. It's colic. Pure and simple. One or two in 10 babies has it. It goes away eventually, but it's confounded doctors and parents for millenia.

That's not to say Hope's issues are simple. Many aren't. The results of her sleep study were downright depressing. We may need to seriously address her reflux soon. But once in a while, it's nice to have humdrum problems.

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beth said...

I'll never look at oatmeal the same way again.


Anonymous said...

Now that we're four years out from the kidney transplant, I thought we'd gotten over family discussions of pee and poop. Guess not. But humdrum is good.

Hope you have a great, regular (ha ha) weekend. We're sending good wishes your way.

Grandma K.

Lisa said...

I've never been so excited about the thought of constipation. As you said, it's a much more simple problem...than the other issues you're facing. We hope that's all it is!
Lisa, Brian and Liz