Babyzoid has always been a crapper. From the moment she started taking breast milk (starting out with 1ml every hour in a syringe) she could poop for Britain. She usually waited til the most inconvenient time possible. She'd do it when I was breastfeeding her - sometimes 3 or 4 times! I remember one occasion where it got ridiculous. She was strong enough to latch on at this point at around 33 or 34 weeks (gestation) and would take a few gulps, then she'd strain and poop. I'd change her, and she'd do it again... and again. And again. I would give up in the end and she would damn well have to wait until she'd stopped feeding as those micro nappies were too bloody expensive to be burning through at such a rate. Even earlier than that, waiting until she was having her 'cares' done in the incubator was another favourite trick. This involved having lots of little tiny cotton wool balls which you painstakingly unfurl and dip in special distilled water before attempting the old 'top and tail'. This is quite a challenge when your baby looks like their limbs will snap in half at the slightest bend. And even more so as you have to do it through the incubator port holes whilst baby is still wired and tubed up. Tricky!With Babyzoid, you'd take her nappy off, lift her legs and try and get at her botty with a damp cotton ball, and she'd let fly a barrage of projectile yellow poo. This would mean not only would it cover her legs and my hands and wrists, but it would also coat the incubator wall so it looked like a an exploded korma in a microwave. The incubator would then need to be taken apart, disinfected, and her bedding would all have to be changed again. Even her fluffy toys occasionally got caught in the crossfire and would have to be taken home all sodden in a nappy sack to be spin-cycled.
The cotton wool cares method is still used once the baby has graduated to the open cot, and if you so much as flash a babywipe in baby's general direction then your hand will be slapped and you will be shamed and admonished. Well, if our fearsome but lovable chinese head nurse was on duty. I'll never forget her slapping the hands of our neonatal dad friend when he cocked up a nappy change. She was fierce!
When it came to the time when my friends twins were going home it was time to teach us how to bathe our dinky dumplings. So Babyzoid had her first baptismal dunk somewhere around the 10 week mark. The bath they wheeled in was really small, but our three babies were all still between 3 and a half to 4 and a half lbs. We were all terrified. Terrified we'd drown our babies, terrified we'd tip the bath up, and most of all terrified for being shown to be completely incompetent and getting cuffed around the head in front of all the other nurses and parents!
It was with relief that Head nurse was not the one who was doing the 'demo', though she would pop in every now and then to laugh at us (old-school Chinese nurses are so harsh) The twins had their go first with my good friend, their nervous mummy, with me watching and learning. I seem to recall that they cried a little, but were perfectly cooperative on the whole. As I had the naughtiest baby on the unit I feared the worst, and it would be great for this little story if she'd flooded the whole unit and escaped down the corridor. But she was great! She loved it! It seems silly now the amount of poop I've handled (sometimes literally, nice) but one of my biggest fears was that she would poo everywhere. Indeed the nurses were all pretty much placing bets that that is what would happen. My little girl was known for being 'one of the lads' pretty much as soon as she got into the open cots. I'd be sat there by her cot, chatting with the mum's of the two baby boys in the room, when they'd all be doing the loudest botty burps, and Babyzoid's were always the loudest and most frequent. It used to amuse the other mum's and I wasn't sure whether to be embarrassed or proud. She hasn't changed to this day. But in that first bath she kept her bowells in order, saved her mum's blushes and was the model baby. It was only afterwards when we got her into the pristine white hospital towell that she exploded - copious streams of sloppy liquidy pasty poop jettisoning into the towell, at which point she rendered pointless the ablutions mummy had just bravely performed.
Now I look back on those days fondly, as Babyzoid's poo is now a thing of wonder. How can one baby shit so much? I'll tell you how, it's because she eats everything she gets her hands on! Her infamous appetite knows no bounds and what isn't used as fuel for her manic whizzing around and daredevil settee dives is expelled unceremoniously in gigantic stinky overspilling cowpats. I'm not in a hurry for my little darling to grow up - it's going too fast as it is, but I think we might be starting potty training before long as averaging 8 or 9 babywipes per poop is getting a little ridiculous...
This was a 'Poo Carnival' post. Please check out more exciting excretory tales over at Ella's Poo Parlour: