Remember how I had just mentioned that now that I'm a Mom, I've learned to move at lightening fast speed? Well, combine that comment with a comment made by my mom on Monday night and it created a very interesting Tuesday morning.
I had been at the grocery store with the Bear on Monday night, cell phone glued to my left ear when I was talking to my mom. She asked if my blog readership was down. I said yes, I'm averaging between 50-100 hits per day, down from the 800 hits I had when Scotty had been hospitalized. We laughed, since people only seem to be interested in the bad stuff. I'm very happy to have 50-100 hits as long as it means my child is safe and healthy.
And what was I buying at the grocery store? Prune juice. The little bear had not pooped since last Thursday. I was trying hard to not freak out, since I know it's common for babies to go up to 7 days without a bowel movement. It was not like him, but especially as babies mature, their digestive systems also mature and that breastmilk is used more effective (thus creating less waste). I was proud the little guy was effectively using his food, but getting a little worried about the lack of poopy. With each diaper, it's like a new adventure. Poopy? No poopy? You never know what you're going to get...
So by Monday, I had call Dr. Awesome and we agreed to do the prune juice route. Little Bear happily gulped it down (thankfully! Please don't let me have a picky eater on my hands) and I expected fireworks. And...nothing. He ate the juice at 5:30pm and was tucked into bed by 6:30pm. At his 11pm feeding, I woke up as Brian changed his diaper, fully expecting to see massive amounts of poop. We're talking about 4+ days of poop, right? It was going to be huge. Except...there was nothing. Not even a wet diaper. Bone-dry.
I went back to bed worried. Scotty had only eaten 23 oz of food that day - a significant drop from his normal 32-40oz per day. His feedings are still almost 90% breastmilk, which has laxative-like effects. This lack of poop was really worrying me, especially since we had given him the prune juice almost 7 hours earlier.
When I woke up for his 4am feeding, I went to change the diaper when my heart stopped. Not only was there no poop, but it, again, was completely dry. No urine. Not a spot. I looked at Scotty and gave him the once-over. He looked like a normal little baby. Fussing, hungry, active. So where was the poop? Where was the urine?
And as we all know, I take 'no-urine' very seriously. This was one of the factors that contributed to everything that happened during his first week of life. Dehydration makes a baby lethargic, which makes it harder to find the energy to eat, which contributes to more dehydration, which then makes them more lethargic...you see where this vicious cycle is going. My mind was racing with this as soon as I saw that dry diaper, thinking that Scotty was once again dehydrating before my very eyes. Choking back fear, this was NOT going to happen again. Not on my watch.
So, I called Dr. Awesome and miraculously, she answered. It was 4:09am and she answered her phone. On the third ring. Amazing. Anyways, I gave her a run-down of his symptoms (eating less, no poop, two dry diapers) and she told me to promptly take him to a pediatric ER. Fighting back panic, I woke up Brian (shreiking, "We have to go to the hospital! NOW!") and began once again, putting a bag together. Remember that lightening fast speed? Yup, its helpful. We were dressed and on the road no later than 4:22am. It used to take me 20 minutes to get Scotty in his car seat but now I can do it (especially when terrified) in less than 60 seconds, when necessary.
By the time we got to the ER (same hospital from his NICU stay), Brian dropped me off in the ambulance station while he parked. I ran in, found the triage nurse and she asked me to see the baby. I couldn't believe they weren't taking us back sooner - this was a medical emergency. And Scotty just blinked at her with his giant blue eyes, like, "Huh? What am I doing here?" He wasn't crying, which made me think he was exhausted and about to expire any minute. All babies cry - why wasn't mine making noice?
Aghast, she made me fill out paperwork before taking us back, and by that time, Brian had come through the double-doors. I was now shaking with anger and fear that things weren't happening fast enough.
Once in the back, I gave Scotty's medical history to one nurse while the other stood with Brian and the baby. I was just getting to the part about his high biliruben levels when I turned around to find both the nurse and Brian peering at Scotty's diaper. Both were smiling.
It was full of poop. And looked very, very wet. The air whooshed out of me like a giant balloon. And Scotty blinked again, as if to say, 'Geez, Mom. Get a grip.'
Brian and I exchanged a look like, "Oops..." but agreed that we wanted a doctor to give us a clean bill of health before heading home. The on-call doctor was super nice and very patient with us, and told us that we did exactly the right thing by coming in. So, that was nice to hear. I also explained to the doctor that Scotty had looked pale the night before as we put him to bed, but as we sat there under the flourescent lights, he was the loveliest shade of pinky-peach imaginable.
We left about three hours later, feeling like absolute idiots. I'm sure our chart has been flagged (again) with the 'Crazy Mom' sticker. The whole time, Scotty just kept looking between us like, 'Um...you guys are crazy. I'm hungry and I'd like to go to bed, please.' Such a silly kid. And to think we're his parents...
I had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Awesome yesterday afternoon, and I could tell she was having trouble containing her giggles. She was playing with Scotty's legs when she told him, "Your momma was freaking out, wasn't she?" I would have been irritated if anyone else had said that, but when she said it, it sounded right. Momma was freaking out - making me think that our first NICU stay was probably far more traumatizing than I thought. Considering my heart drops at the sight of a dry diaper, I'm probably a little on edge - and will continue to be so. Until this child is 18, and then I'm going to worry about all kinds of other stuff.
So, I'm happy to report all's well that end's well. Scotty's still on the prune juice but he's pooped twice now (just little poops). He's weighing in at a whooping 16lbs, 13oz and hit 12 weeks as of yesterday. I don't know if that is an accurate weight, since he's only had little poops. I keep telling him that if he doesn't keep pooping, that means he's, well, full of....:-) Poor kid!