A Heartbreaking Work of Super Pooping Genius

warning: The following post contains frequent mention of poop and poop related activities. If you are offended by the talk of poop, whether of the infant or adult variety, you might want to wander elsewhere and offend not thy precious sensibilities.

First of all, we should clear up some confusion as to the pronunciation of our little frog baby’s name. Leta rhymes with pita, Rita, dorit-ah. Leta does NOT rhyme with jetta, meta, or vendetta. If you choose to pronounce Leta in a way that rhymes with jetta, she will most definitely give you The Demon Frog stare and then poop on you. That was the first mention of poop. It only gets worse from here.

The last seven days have been the most difficult, most humbling string of incoherent hours of my life. I have never been more tired or more sore or more weepy or more terrified or more joyous. I will soon write a post dedicated specifically to what happened during labor, but right now I’m just concentrating on making it hour to hour. I will say that I had really low expectations for labor, meaning I thought it was going to be a horrific, gory experience, and I know that it is for many women, but it is because of those low expectations that I can actually sit here seven days later and say that labor was a somewhat pleasant, perfectly manageable process. The lesson to be learned from this is, of course, to aim low in life and be thrilled when the worst doesn’t happen. I am a new mom and I am full of wisdom!

What hasn’t been perfectly manageable, however, is the inhumane aftermath of labor that no one really talks about. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse — worse than the “level 2” vaginal tear and subsequent 4,000 stitches, the hemorrhoids of such mythological proportions that the Pentagon has assigned a special surveillance team to monitor their terrorist activities, the bleeding, the abdominal contractions and cramps, the body-contorting fatigue — I developed a raging urinary tract infection on Saturday and then became monstrously constipated yesterday morning.

Here is where talk of poop really kicks in.

Right now I’m looking at a nightstand littered with over seven prescription drug bottles, including pain relievers, antibiotics, prenatal vitamins for breastfeeding, and a huge container of stool softener. The thing about stool softener is that it is supposed to soften the stool, and for normal people who poop normally, stool softener may actually soften the stool. I have never pooped normally, and all the pushing I did during labor has basically made it so that my body cannot EVER poop again, and stool softener in my body makes it so that the poop in my body isn’t very hard, just marginally hard. I spent about four hours in the bathroom yesterday morning trying to pass Mt. Hood out my hemorrhoid and suture laden ass, and all the relaxation techniques I learned for labor became laughably inept as I screamed and screamed for mercy.

Now I’m drinking more prune juice than they have in stock at your average retirement community, and this is having a very interesting effect on my baby who has taken to breastfeeding delightfully well. Again, I will eventually sit down and devote a whole week’s worth of posts to breastfeeding and my new new beautiful breasts that have taken on the size and likeness of nuclear reactors, but right now there’s just one thing I want to get off my chest about the whole thing, no pun intended. Everything I’ve ever read about breastfeeding has obviously been written by a man with no tits, because everything says that as long as the baby is in the right position it shouldn’t hurt to breastfeed. I am here to tell you that there is no possible way to have an 8-pound creature GUMMING your tender nipple without the slightest bit of discomfort. The only way to describe it to a man is to suggest that he lay out his naked penis on a chopping block, place a manual stapler on the sacred helmut head, and bang in a couple hundred staples. The first two staples REALLY hurt, but after that it just becomes kinda numb, and by the 88th staple you’re like, AREN’T YOU FULL YET?? But then the comparison really fails because a man doesn’t have two penises, and after stapling the first boob the baby moves on to the other boob and the happy stapling begins ALL OVER AGAIN.

I’m feeding about every 2.5 hours, and ever since I started drinking gallons of prune juice the baby is pooping every 2.5 minutes. I exaggerate, yes, but you should see these poops. Jon and I are totally fascinated with the color and texture, as if our baby is some sort of Picasso weaving neon orange and green lumpy creations into her diapers. I am very jealous of her ability to poop so regularly and with such artistic flare, but I am also ELATED that her body seems to be thriving. Every time I hear her fill her pants I get so excited that I want to frame the dirty diaper and hang it on the refrigerator.

I’m running out of time before she wakes up for her next feeding, so I wanted to say really quickly that I have never been more fulfilled in my life and I mean that in the most un-hip, earnest way possible. My life before seven days ago feels like it happened decades ago, and I never knew I could love someone or something so intensely or so achingly. I spend several hours a day just listening to her breathe. I can’t stop smelling her neck or gobbling up her little frog feet. She is the most perfect creation in the world, the most innocent bundle of coos and yawns and mumbles, and my heart breaks every time she focuses on my face. I am so in love with my baby that I’d be willing to pass an entire mountain range out my ass just to watch her wake up in the morning.