How to Get Your Constipated Baby to Take a Crap


While in Mexico over Christmas vacation, I had the good fortune of discovering not jut one, but TWO ways to get your constipated baby to poop. Lucky me.

We left for Mexico on a Sunday, and by Thursday we realized that we hadn’t even cracked open the huge box of wipes that we brought with us. Maybe it was the large quantities of quesadillas and guacamole I was consuming, but it was clear that Nakita was plugged up more than a toilet after Kaiden’s visited it for one of his massive man-poops. She seemed fussier than usual. And her farts really smelled.

So on Friday, New Year’s Eve, myself, Siig and my sister Julie walk into town for a double mission: prune juice and pinatas. (I wonder if we are the first people on the planet to go in search of those two items on the same day?) After a long walk into town and a stop at a couple of small markets, we find success in a supermercado. Prune juice and candy for the pinata, purchased. Next, we make our way down Pinata Alley, where the locals have set up small pinata factories in their houses and storefronts. We buy a large pink and purple one for the girls, and a red and gold one for the boys.

We take a taxi back to the house where we are staying with 20 members of my family. (What’s that you say? That doesn’t sound like much of a vacation???) The kids are getting out of the pool to get ready for the Mariachi Band that is coming soon. Kaya goes running into the house before I call her back to dry off and wrap up in a towel so she won’t slip. Then, in what must be one of the biggest cases of irony in the known world, she scampers up the stairs wrapped up tight in a large towel, trips over it, and then can’t brace herself because her arms are trapped inside, and falls straight onto the stone stairs on her chin. I don’t feel horrible or anything.

She screams as only a wounded child can do, I see large drops of blood dripping from her chin, and take one look at the cut, feel sick to my stomach, and know that a trip to the Mexican ER has become our plans for New Years Eve. Oh joy! Of course, where I go so must the baby, so the four of us (me, Siig, Kaya, and Nakita) hop into the car and head for the hospital. Kaya is unusually calm in the car ride. Is she in shock? How can I bottle this and get her to act like this at home?

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised by the hospital. We are seen right away, which would never happen at home. The doctor looks at Kaya’s chin and says, yup, she needs 3 stitches. The worst part is the anesthetic injection. I hold Kaya’s hand not because she needs the support but because I feel like I am going to start crying. And wouldn’t you know it, while I am holding her hand and trying to put on a brave face, Nakita pukes all over herself, and me, and the hospital floor. So much for sterility. I have no hands to clean up because one is with Kaya and the other is holding the baby, so I sit there with puke everywhere, trying to breathe slowly and go to my happy place. Which would be Mexico. But not in the ER watching my daughter get stitched up while another vomits her lunch on me.

Finally, Kaya is all stitched up, we pay the bill ($150 for everything! I highly recommend falling in Mexico rather than in the U.S.), and we get back in the car. We stop at the pharmacy to buy some medication, and that’s when Nakita decides to become unconstipated – I hear a sound like a volcano erupting, shit goes flying everywhere, and a putrid smell fills the car. The baby looks relieved, but I am horrified – I am now covered in puke AND crap. And so is the baby. Of course, as Murphy’s Law would have it, I ran out of the house without bringing the diaper bag. C’est la vie.

When we get back to the house, all 20 family members want to hear the story about the hospital, and I have to fight through the crowd to get to my room to get out of my clothes and take a shower, and strip Nakita down. To add insult to injury, while Siig and I and the baby are getting cleaned up and ready for the night’s festivities, the rest of the family decides to have their Pinata Party without us. So we never even got to see the kids hit the pinatas that we worked so hard to track down and buy. Just kick me while I’m down, why don’t ya!

So the moral of the story is this – if your baby is constipated, all you need to do is BUY prune juice. You don’t even need to give it to her. And take a visit to an ER. Just don’t bring your diaper bag.

Paging Dr. Ball Grabber

rubber gloveWhat kind of day is it when you watch someone stick a finger up your husband’s butt AND another stranger grab his balls?

Not a good day.

It can also be called a LONG day and/or a day spent at the ER.

All of the above is what I would call yesterday.

I have to be honest though. I did not exactly witness the first incident, the sticking-the-finger-up-the-butt moment. The doctor said I could be in the room but, as politely as I could, I excused myself. I told the doctor: “I’d like to sleep with my husband again, so I really don’t need to see this.” She laughed. I wonder if she sleeps with her husband anymore after multiple finger-sticking of various men?

We arrived at the medical clinic at 9:30 am. after dropping the kids off at school. I thought we’d be there for a couple of hours and they’d send Siig home with some medication and all would be good. He had been complaining of severe side pain since Friday night. We had spent a great weekend in San Francisco seeing live music with 50,000 other people at Outsidelands. Walking back to the car on Saturday night, Siig doubled over in pain. Of course, to all the drunk people streaming out of the concert he just looked like he had had too much to drink and was about to puke. He got a lot of laughs.

But Siig was not laughing.

We debated what he had. Pulled muscle? Hernia? Kidney stone? Before heading back to Tahoe our friends took us to the most amazing pizza joint ever, the recently opened Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach. The chef and owner was the first American to ever win the Pizza World Cup in Naples, Italy. His pizza margarita is to die for. If you are ever in SF and like pizza even remotely, you absolutely MUST go there. You will not be disappointed. The raspberry iced tea, meatballsĀ and green beans were amazing too.

But I digress. So the doctor told us that Siig probably had one of three things: kidney stone, diverticulitis or…shit, I can’t even remember the third disease anymore. Too much witnessing of ball grabbings has erased my memory. Must. Block. It. All. Out.

So off she sent us to the ER to get a CAT scan. Sweet. Now I knew we were in for a long haul. Nothing happens at the ER under four hours, even in a relatively small community like ours. Every step takes forever. The check in, the registration, the triage, etc. It’s like they enjoy drawing it out as much as possible, just to prolong the physical and emotional pain.

The ER doctor, after fondling Siig’s balls and making him cough a few times (that, I did witness, and not sure if I am a better woman for it or not) and sending him through the CAT scan, diagnosed him with diverticulitis, which is basically an infection of the colon. Apparently, nuts and seeds can trigger it. Great. Siig, of all things, has grabbed a bag of almonds on the way home on Sunday.

While Siig was hooked up to an I.V. infusing him with pain meds and antibiotics, I listened to the hustle and bustle of the ER. They were having a very busy day. Nurse Monica was an angel but she was so busy she kept disappearing for long periods of time. We had some interesting neighbors: there was an older woman who had fallen out of a golf cart, a Harley dude who had a motorcycle accident and a 66-year old cyclist who had run over his buddy on his bike and then broke his own clavicle – for the third time. We got fed up with him after we heard him recount the story for the FIFTH time to his wife. He was clearly enjoying the attention. But the most annoying was the lady a few beds away who was reading aloud a book about Ted Kennedy to her husband. I like Teddie and all, but I don’t need to hear his entire life story read in a monotone voice in the hospital. Spare me.

By 4:00, Siigo was starving. He had not eaten anything all day. The doctor said he could finally eat so I gave him half of my turkey-avocado sandwich. Then Nurse Monica returned with a list of foods he should avoid for a few days. Meat was at the top of the list. It was to be a liquid and yogurt-only diet for a few days. Woops! We swore each other to secrecy.

An hour later, we were finally out the door, rushing to pick up our kids on time. I had joked with Siig that he should keep his hospital gown on and walk around like Jack Nicholson in “Something’s Gotta Give.” But I guess we had all seen his private parts enough for one day.