Thursday, November 21, 2013

Eight Days Later: A Story of Bowel Movements



One of the funniest things as a new parent is to see your kid's behavior or habits suddenly change, blowing any sort of ritual or understanding of how your kid runs out the window.  You basically have to reevaluate everything you've ever come to know as true.  It's pretty much that dramatic, seriously.

These past eight days have been like that.

George has always been a good sleeper.  I'm not saying that he magically sleeps twelve hours straight, for he so does not or, well, has not.  Ever.  But, like previously mentioned, he would usually do nighttime that he would sleep for eight hours straight starting around eight or nine, and then wake up around four or five in the morning to eat, go right back to sleep, and then wake up for the day at, again, around eight or nine.  It was nice!

Over this last week, there was a gradual sleep regression that I thought was normal.  George is approaching six months, "six month sleep regression"... it sort of fit together.  So I just worked with it when he started waking up four times a night again, then choosing somewhere around three in the morning to not want to go back to sleep.  But I'd just let him play in his crib and eventually he'd fall asleep with a circle of toys around him, so it wasn't a big deal, it was mostly just cute.

This progressed over seven days, getting slightly worse each night, eventually turning into not only would he go to bed later and later, but he'd get up and want to play and wouldn't put himself back to sleep.  Instead, he'd cry for me.  But not to go back to bed, to play.  He didn't want to be lying down, he wanted to be held.  Again, these are all symptoms that I had read in the whole "six month sleep regression" formula.  So I was like, "Okay, cool.  I can deal.  I'll be okay."

And really, I was fine.  I was up later, but I could usually get George to sleep in so I could get the extra sleep I needed.  So really, we were cool.  All was cool.

Until last night.  Last night, George went to bed earlier than he had been the previous nights, probably around ten-ish at the latest.  He woke up at 11:30 PM, which had become a norm in the last few nights--for him to wake up approximately an hour and half after we had put him down.  Fine, cool.  Usually after than he would sleep four hours before he'd wake up again.  So, Brad and I go to bed.  Just after midnight, George is up.  I go and put him back down.

1:30 AM, he's up again.  Same deal, put him back to sleep.

2:30 AM, up again.  I was ready to lose it at this point, I was so tired.  Combined with the previous seven nights of weird sleep with this horror night, it was hard for me to function at this point.  I just needed to get him back to sleep, maybe just one more time, and he'd sleep longer than a hour.

No dice.  He decided he wanted to play.  Okay, cool.  Here, toys, mirror--see that baby in the mirror?  He'll play with you all you want.  Have fun you two--back to my bed, maybe he'll put himself to sleep this time.

Uh, no, Mom.  No I will not.  I go back in there, try and help him back to sleep.  Um, nope.  No thank you.  I would like to play now.  Okay, here's that crib baby friend you're so fond of.  Oh, no?  You want to play with Mom?  At this point he's literally chit-chatting with my on my lap, playing with the drawstring on my hoodie while I start into a dark abyss across the room that's called "no sleep".  This pretty much went on just as that until five o'clock in the morning when, finally, he deemed it time to sleep.  I thought, "Okay, this kid is running on like zero hours of sleep.  He's got to need to sleep a few hours now."

Again, no.  He was up at six thirty.  At this point I needed Brad.  So badly.  Luckily, right at that moment his alarm went off to get ready for work.  I ask him to come into George's room and immediately start bawling.  (You know how some people get ornery when they're tired?  Yeah, um, I get sobby.  As in, cry-at-the-drop-of-a-hat-which-includes-puppy-commercials sobby.)  Luckily Brad was able to call in and get work off and he sent me to bed.

Throughout the day (after I took a long morning nap), George wasn't napping.  And when he was, they were piddly beyond comparison.  As the day wore on Brad and I threw around ideas over what it must be.  Ear infection?  Teething?  Growth spurt?  The problem was that George just wasn't grumpy enough for us to be able to see any real problem other than not sleeping.  Seriously, that was it.  That was the only glaring issue that we could see, George would not sleep.  He wasn't grumpy, he wasn't mean, he was just a little sensitive to certain movements (which made us think ear ache) and he wouldn't sleep.  So yeah, we had no clue what to do.

Then we really started thinking about the past week.  Riddled between all of George's quirky changes he'd made, we realized that George had been having much thicker poops than normal (ahem, TMI, yes).  And then, when we really thought about it, we realized that George hadn't pooped in maybe four days, but had been pushing for one around that same amount of time.  He was probably constipated, poor kid.  That's probably why he didn't love playing on the floor on his back, but had been far cooler with playing on his tummy than he ever had.  Also, his favorite place to play was in his high chair, sitting up.  Which made sense, poo-wise.

So, we looked up infant constipation and its symptoms, which had us thinking back at the past week even more.  Extremely smelly gas?  Uh, yeah, George has been farting like an old man.  Hard time sleeping?  Duh.  Reduced appetite?  Yes, but we hadn't really found a reason why.  IT ALL MADE SENSE NOW.  It was just so hard to recognize because George had been so chill about it.  No crying, no fussing, nothing.  Just a very, very, very awake and sometimes gagging-ly smelly baby.

This poor kid was finally able to go today, and it was truly just so, terribly sad.  We clamored around, trying to help the best we could, but it very clearly hurt George and in fact made him bleed.  Which, in turn, had me crying and hurrying to call my mom to make sure that he was okay, that this was okay.  But, when all was said and done (and George was happily floating in a tub of very warm water to sooth that sore buttox of his), it was all fine.  After we pulled him out of the tub, George went right down for a nap, super easy.

So, does this mean that constipation equals a happy but sleepless baby?  I guess we'll find out tonight, won't we?  But really, we just hope that our mini man is more comfortable!  Holy cow, bleeding bottoms are traumatic.  The poor kid.  And to be that constipated and still be a nice baby?  We love that George Bradley.