Star Powered Parenting 2
Before I go on with today’s story of being a new dad, let me preface it by saying that the last week and a half since our son’s birth has been largely uneventful. He sleeps well, wakes up when he’s hungry and/or needs a diaper change, and is going back and forth between direct breastfeeding and drinking pumped breast milk from a bottle. Things are going well (I think) and we’re very happy parents.
With that being said, here’s another “scare” we experienced.
Last week I was taking the “overnight shift” with our son. He doesn’t sleep unless he’s being held, and at under two weeks old that’s nothing to worry about. (I don’t sleep well unless I’m being held either, and I’m thirty five.) I would stay up with him while he fussed, ate, and/or pooped, and then he would pass out in my arms. I would soon follow, because watching a baby sleep at 2am is hypnotic. One night I was sleepier than he was, and I found myself dozing while he was fussing. My eyes kept drifting shut, and I kept having to force them open…
…until he spit up something I had never seen before. I woke up to brown, chunky spit-up along the side of his face, which was a worrisome sight because he’d been consuming nothing but breast milk and that doesn’t come up brown. My alarm bells immediately began to go off. I sat up and began to change him, only to discover that his poop, normally yellow (the color for babies who are breastfeeding) was now flecked with black spots. And in the middle of all this, I tried to remove an errant piece of string that had become draped over his umbilical cord stump. Turns out this piece of string had become stuck to the stump, and as I tried to remove it, the stump began to come with it.
So here we are at 2am. My son is vomiting and pooping strange things and I may have yanked a scab wound open early. Once again, I was a mess, but I learned my lesson from our last scare and didn’t panic.
Here’s what actually happened:
A nurse had informed us earlier that day that, when a woman breastfeeds, there is a chance that her nipples could begin to bleed. A baby could ingest her blood, and naturally it would come back up because babies shouldn’t be drinking blood (as metal as that sounds). Alyssa had been able to monitor this while pumping breast milk, but not when our son was latched on to her breast. He must have gotten some blood during his last breast feeding, and it spent some time in his system before making its exit in the middle of the night. The on-call pediatrician confirmed this, and his poop and spit-up have returned to their normal but equally gross yellow and white, respectively. I wanted to say “crisis averted,” but it was never a crisis to begin with.
As for the stump? Sometimes they’re just ready to come off early, and he never seemed to notice it had been yanked loose. So that was that.
My son has a pretty impressive scream, and now he’s ingested blood-milk. He’s on his way to being the front-man for a heavy metal band.