Some warnings. If you are squeamish or don’t like to think about poop, turn away now. That is the subject of this post. Poop.
We are not talking about your average normal everyday poop here. Oh no. The events of yesterday evening were so extraordinary that I need to document them for future generations.
Some background. Over the past week, both of our daughters have had a shift in their… shall we say… routine. Where they used to have poopy diapers at almost every feeding without fail, now they don’t. For some reason, they just don’t poop with that clockwork regularity of old. Every day we pick them up from day care, we look at the little sheet of paper the lady gives us which lists all their particulars for the day and it will be another poopless day. To Alex and Meri’s credit, it doesn’t seem to bother them much. They still eat. Sleep. Pee. You name it. But the poop just doesn’t come.
Which can mean only one thing… something horrible was brewing.
That horriblness arrived last evening. I was just preparing to feed Alex, who hadn’t pooped for 3 days at this point, when she made a face. It was a look of intense concentration with a hint of exuberance. Just then I heard and felt the “arrival”. In those first couple seconds it didn’t seem any different than the dozens of other times she’s done this. But that only lasted until the aroma hit me. I was hit with a smell I was not remotely prepared for. The English language is inadequate to fully describe just what this stench was. Perhaps in Swahili they have a term to encompass it that could roughly translate to something like “decomposing dead water buffalo in 100° heat stuffed with rotten eggs”. This was a smell that didn’t just assault your nose. It assaulted your eyes. Your throat. Your sense of wellbeing. I quite literally started coughing and fighting off gags. Then I started laughing. I couldn’t help myself. I’ve heard that people in extreme situations can often turn to laughter as a coping mechanism. That must have been what happened to me.
Bear in mind… this was just the smell through the diaper and 2 articles of clothing.
I asked Jess if I should change her before I feed her (Note: she was across the room, well out of range of the attack) and she said I should just feed her first in case she goes again. That plan lasted for exactly 48 seconds before I caved and could take no more.
I put Alex down on the changing table and hesitantly began peeling off clothing. Outer play outfit was fine… inner onesie… fine. Thank god the diaper did it’s job. But it was now time to open said diaper. I unstick the tabs and begin to peel back this last bastion between my old self and my new reality.
First, if I thought the smell was bad before, it just got 1000% worse. I have a fairly strong constitution but this was too much. I was still coughing and gagging. It was just that the smell would get into your nose and throat and set up residence. This was a life event. A transforming moment.
This 1-2 size diaper was full. Now, when I say full, I mean it was absolutely full. “It” had pressed to every edge, but did not spill over. Thank you Kirkland brand. You were able to save at least a small bit of my psyche.
Up until this point, their poop had been really mostly watery. No big deal. A lot would soak into the diaper. This one, however, was not soaking into anything. We’re talking maybe 3/4 of an inch thick at the bottom. Downright shocking. Consistency? Let me just put it this way… I will not be partaking in any chocolate pudding in the near future. I just stood there, dumbfounded for a bit. I could not look away. I had to call Jess over, who was feeding Meri across the room, because she needed to see this with her own 2 eyes. I could not be the only one to see this. That would be like being the only person to see Bigfoot… only if Bigfoot came into your tent and filled your sleeping bag with poop.
I don’t think I wanted to know such things could exist in this world. What has been seen, cannot be unseen.
Upon removal, this diaper easily weighed 2lbs. That may be a conservative estimate. Bear in mind, that Alex herself only weighs probably 12lbs. For reference, that’s like a 200 lb man having a “movement” of 32 pounds. Then came the cleaning. This was certainly not like their usual, where a “bad” one constituted the use of 2 wipes. Oh no… I believe all told, I was forced to use 5 or 6 separate wipes in order to get her clean… I think I had begun losing connection to the real world. Events are hazy. Honestly, she looked like she had sat herself straight down into a mud puddle… only that ain’t mud…
This was as visceral an experience as I’ve had recently. This was not a diaper change. This was something else. My adrenalin was flowing. When I finally sat down to get back to the job at hand of feeding her, I felt… different. I was breathing heavy. Perhaps a little light headed.
Now, I know a lot of you parents out there have your own poop stories. Stories about explosions at inopportune times or places. Of ruining clothing and/or events. I now can appreciate this. This was my first real brush with the evil that lurks below.
I’m not sure I can look at my cute little 3 month old daughter in quite the same way…