This morning I woke to the sound of Autumn filling her diaper. I heard it through the nursery monitor; that distinct, wet, farty sound that means two cycles through the washer and lots of pre-treating.
I looked at the alarm clock. It wasn’t quite 5:30. The mommy part of me forced my legs to swing out of the bed to search for my slippers while the tired part of me thought that extra laundry wasn’t all that bad compared to an extra half-hour’s sleep. Of course I couldn’t let Autumn stew in her own juices for a half hour so I did the right thing and went in to check on her.
The diaper wasn’t bad at all, which was surprising. Autumn has been known to produce some beautiful works of art, most of which go up her back and stain her clothes. I think that’s a breast feeding thing. I hear most breast fed babies have loose bowel movements, but that knowledge doesn’t make the task of changing a diaper any more pleasant.
In the beginning, changing a diaper was a bit more stressful than it is now. The first two weeks of Autumn’s life were spent tracking input and output. I was given a chart at the hospital and was told to log how long I was nursing her and how many wet and dirty diapers she was producing. I guess it would be safe to say my first two weeks of being a mother were all about crap. How much crap, what color crap and how often we saw the crap.
At Autumn’s two week appointment, the doctor praised us and told us we were doing everything right. Autumn was no longer jaundiced and she had gained back the weight she lost in the hospital plus some. He also told us filling out the feeding chart was no longer necessary and I happily obliged. Being a parent, though, you never really stop tracking the crap.
I ended up calling the doctor’s office the first time Autumn went more than a day without having a bowel movement. I explained to the nurse that this kid’s usually a pooping machine and that she hadn’t gone in over a day. The nurse patiently listened to me and then suggested a few things to try to get Autumn to go. “If she doesn’t have a bowel movement within the next 24 hours, call us back.”
About five minutes after I hung up the phone, Autumn let go with the “grunt and squish” I now know so well. Relieved, I swept her into her room and placed her on the changing table. I must admit a gasp of horror escaped as I pulled back the diaper. Later on, I called Nathan to describe what I had seen. “It looked like a whole jar of Grey Poupon exploded in her pants!” I said.
Now such sights are commonplace and I’ve pretty much accepted my role in the circle of crap. I do laundry twice a week, most often running a few things through more than once in order to remove the stains. I’m so glad I never pay full price for anything I buy the girl.
The good thing about getting up early this morning was that I was able to spend some quality time with my daughter. After she ate, we sat quietly in the rocker together. I held her against my chest as she slept, tipped my head back and enjoyed every minute. When the time came to get her ready, I set her on the changing table and selected an outfit for her to wear for the day. After dressing her, I held her for about a minute before she puked all over the both of us. Yep, I’ll be doing laundry tonight.