"Hang on baby!" I tried to console her, "I'm going as fast as I can!"
I get her home and go to take her out of the carseat and I couldn't believe my eyes. What in the Hell...?
So I bathed her, put the dress in the sink to soak, washed out the carseat and was utterly exhausted and discouraged. I had been feeling good. Feeling like things were getting easier. I was encouraged that I was still able to do fun things with the baby. Now this unexpected nightmare knocked the wind out of my sails. At least I managed to get the stains out of the dress with stain remover. (It said it worked for red wine. Apparently it works for orange poo too.)
Someone told me it would get easier after three weeks. Then it would get easier after three months. The first week with a newborn is the hardest. Then again I was also told that newborns are "easy." "They sleep 16 hours a day." Yeah, right. I'm lucky if she falls asleep for fifteen consecutive minutes before she poos or is hungry again.
Some days I'm feeling rested and positive and happy that I feel like I can handle anything. Other days I feel exhausted and drained and it feels like I can't keep up with diapers and feedings. Some days I feel like I'm a hair's breadth away from a full-scale nervous breakdown. Except I don't have time to have a breakdown. And how would I breastfeed from the insane asylum?
So baby and me survived the exploding poo eventually, though we were both traumatized. Once she was fresh, clean, warm and dry, she started to settle down. After her feeding she was sleepy and happy.
Sh%* happens. You just deal with it. It's unexpected. It's not pleasant but it's not the end of the world. Though it can feel like it at the time. I'm so much more fragile on no sleep. It makes every problem seem magnified a thousand times. I know that hormones can wreak havoc as well. I'm guessing that while breastfeeding the body is overloaded with hormones (as much as when you're pregnant, if not more) so that likely makes me feel more emotional as well. Then there's the fact that I'm sore from the stitches, am bleeding lochia constantly (like a never-ending period since delivery). Not to mention that my life has changed utterly and completely in ways I couldn't have fathomed. There's a lot going on. Yes a baby is a miracle. Yes I love her more than my own life. But becoming a Mom is still a lot to take on and quite honestly I had no idea how hard it would be. I thought I knew, but until I was in it, I really hadn't a clue.
My friend called one day while I was changing the baby. We could barely hear each other above Michelle screaming. "I'll have to call you back," I said, "My life is poo and milk now. Just poo and milk."
The baby's poo has metamorphosed quite a bit in the first couple of weeks. It started out looking like pudding. A sticky black/forest green tar-like substance -- meconium -- unearthly poop left over from being in the womb. That lasted a few days. Then it became kind of a mustardy colour, complete with mustard seeds. The latest incarnation is this watery orange stuff. I guess that's what my breast milk does to her. I was concerned that it's always diarrhea but considering she's on an all-liquid diet I guess that's just how it is. She won't have a solid poo until she's eating solid food. Something to look forward to I guess. I hear that eventually there will only be two diapers to change a day. Right now it's about 6. One positive thing about so much poop is that at least I know she's eating. But it is overwhelming to have to change her so often. Especially when it goes through more than a diaper. Right through her clothes and blanket. I'm doing a load of laundry every day now for the baby. I've already thrown one sleeper and blanket out (I really loved the pink dress so it was worth saving but I'm not going to that much trouble for a plain old sleeper or blanket.)
The worst is when I'm out or heading out because it's an ordeal to get her in the car seat to start with and then when you have to change her and get her out and start from scratch again, you just know you're going to be really late for your appointment! Timing is everything. I'll be just heading out the door and hear the gurgling sounds of a poo brewing and have to take her out and go through it all over again. That's still better than having it happen while we're out and hearing her scream.