Since our delightful trip to the beach on Saturday, J-cub's tummy has been getting firmer, and rounder, and bigger, and harder, and nothing has passed out the other end to ease the situation. This is not that unusual - as a baby he would only go once every 5 or 6 days (to the jealousy of all my mum friends whose breastfed babies went 7 or 8 times a day) and since he's been on solids he's regularly gone 2 or 3 days between 'movements' (ahhh so delicate, let's see how long that lasts in this post).
Last night, we had sporadic bouts of screaming between 9pm and midnight, and Jamie reported that he was drawing his knees up to his chest. In the absence of any other bright ideas, we gave him an extra bottle and he happily went to sleep for the rest of the night.
We've had a pretty normal morning today, playing, bouncing, singing, reading, napping, eating a good breakfast and lunch and drinking his mid-morning bottle happily.
Until about an hour ago, when J-cub, who was happily cruising around the furniture, suddenly started SCREAMING. I don't mean having a little bit of a whinge; I mean his full on, red-faced, tears streaming down his cheeks, breath-drawn-in-but-can't-get-it-out-again-cos-it's-so-SO-bad, end of the world scream. I rushed to his side, thinking he'd hurt himself. There was nothing in his immediate vicinity that he could have hurt himself on, and he climbed onto my knee, gripping my shoulders and standing upright, continuing to scream and silently begging me for help. And I realised that between his screams, he was doing his poo-face, and he was straining. Straining more than he'd ever strained in his life. My baby was giving birth.
I held him while stood on my knees, shifting his weight rapidly from foot to foot, pushing his back against my hand as I rubbed circles on his back, coaching him through each push and desperately trying to think what I could do. This went on for a whole episode of Big Barn Farm, which I believe is about 15 minutes long. I was getting desperate (and deafened from the screaming), he was going to explode if I didn't do anything soon.
Remembering how, when he was little, bicycling his legs would help with a bad bout of wind, I lay him down on the change mat and circled those little legs for all they were worth. His little face looked up at me, scared and hurt and desperate, begging me to make it stop.
I took his nappy off to see what progress was being made, and found a teeny-tiny solid ball of poo rolling around, and the rest of it evidently stuck half in, half out (which is what happened when J-cub was born, his head crowned and he just stopped. I had a tiny moment of glee, thinking "Ha! Now you know what it feels like!" before remembering who I was talking to). My brain jumped into childbirth-mode, and I thought "Right, let's get you in the bath, and you can have a waterbirth. That's got to help, right?"
Dashing across the room to get a nappy to wrap him up in to carry him upstairs, I heard the most unholy scream and turned round to see my darling baby boy had given birth to the most monstrous shit I'd ever seen. Ahhhh bless.
On closer inspection (honestly, non-mums, you do it, and you get used to doing it, and in time you come to enjoy it), there was an awful lot of small, packed, grainy balls of something unidentifiable in there. I had been racking my brains to remember what we'd given him that was round, when I suddenly remembered the beach, and this rather too frequent hand-to-mouth movement:Which resulted in this face:Which I think solves our mystery. He's now trotting around, as happy as a clam (a clam who hasn't been eating sand), and his stomach is about half the size it was before.
Thank you for listening.