One terrific thing about parenthood is the intensity of the experiences. Joy, wonder, pride, worry and love are redefined in ways so transcendent you question whether you fully experienced them before.
Then there's the little stuff, like poop.
I thought of that this morning when I applied a Popsicle stick ever so delicately to Hope's diaper and smeared it on a small sample strip. Moderation was key. Wielding a metaphor like few can, our gastroenterologist, Dr. Spitenup, warned, "Just a little will do. Don't put it on there like a prostitute putting on makeup."
Oh, Dr. Spitenup, how we've missed you.
Like Chuck Berry, zoologists or those guys in "Jurassic Park," we're collecting poop this week. Even the package is creepy: We wipe the poop on a piece of cardboard with three little pockets for each days' sample. Each package is labeled, "Hemoccult, The World Leader in Occult Blood Testing."
Insert joke here about "Rosemary's Baby." But if you're going to test occult blood, it's nice to have the world leader.
Anyway, the hope is to get to the bottom of Hope's sporadic old-blood belching episodes. They were weekly occurrences in early summer and have since tapered, but haven't completely gone away.
Spitenup's hunch remains that as Hope inches closer to sitting up -- she is getting there but has a ways to go -- she is using more of her stomach muscles and irritating her hiatal hernia. She is scheduled for another endoscopy Tuesday. That's a terrible out-patient procedure she underwent in spring that requires sedation and snakes a scope down her throat with an attached camera. It throws her for a loop for about three days.
If there's no blood in the poop, we can probably avoid the prospect and keep monitoring the situation. Dr. Spitenup doesn't like to be rushed.
We find out Friday. Mo is dropping off the specimens on her way to -- ahem, ahem -- work.
That's right. She made the monumental decision to return two days a week, starting today. It hasn't been easy or without its share of Spitenup-worthy gut wrenching. Mo went on bed rest several weeks before Hope was born, so it's been nearly 11 months since she worked. She worries about getting back into the grind. We're anxious about leaving Hope in the hands of others.
Ultimately, we think it's the right decision for her and for us. The nice thing about working two days is that, no matter the stress, tomorrow is always Friday or the weekend.
We found a nanny nearby to watch Hopesy on Thursday. She has experience watching a child with a similar syndrome, so that is comforting. Fridays, Hope is whooping it up with super-nanny, Granny Clem. I'm not sure who is looking forward to it more.