Story of My Life

The hospital always gets busier in winter. I’ve barely seen my husband this week, and most days he only sees the kids after bedtime when he sneaks in to kiss their sleeping faces. The current eight day stretch with no days off feels a bit like a mini deployment. The positive difference is that my husband isn’t in any danger. The negative difference is that, despite Carl’s physical absence, his laundry and meals still require attention. Doing 100% of the childcare for baby twins is exhausting, but manageable with some changes. For example, when getting two tired hungry babies fed and into bed with minimal screaming, bathtime doesn’t happen at bedtime. If the kids need a bath, I’ll give them one in the late afternoon.

One of our boy’s nicknames is Puke Master. Creative, I know. And genteel. Jack is an epic and equal-opportunity spewer. He prefers hitting things that are freshly cleaned or expensive – a shirt just out of the wash, his Dad’s shoes, the oriental rugs – but will cheerfully puke on the floor, the furniture, his sheets, our sheets, himself, his sister, visiting guests, toys…really, anything except a burp rag or his bib. From sheer exhaustion I’d been hoping to put off his next bath until Carl had a day off, but my kid was starting to smell.

I bathed Annie first, dried, lotioned, and dressed her, then stripped Jack. After a shampoo, soap, and a scrubbing, he smelled much sweeter. Then, just as a I started to rinse him off, he vomited.

I washed that off, dried him off, and diapered him. He tossed his cookies.

I wiped his chest and neck clean and snapped his onesie on. Then he puked on his onesie.

After that, I pulled on his clean sleeper. He threw up on that.

I put his bib on, and carried him downstairs. He cooed appreciatively, then barfed again, missing his bib but soaking the side of his sleeper and his mother.

He’s a damp, smelly little baby, but he’s my damp smelly little baby….at least until I can throw him into his father’s arms and run out the door.

Who me, Mama?

Who me, Mama?

………………….

On a vaguely related note, black skin and hair require different care than white skin and hair. My kids require frequent lotioning to prevent dry/ashy skin, and their hair has to be oiled/conditioned to prevent dryness and breakage. On the suggestion of their (African-American, also a mom) nurse, I tried using olive oil instead of the oil we had been using. Now the twins smell like an Italian dinner. I can’t decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Mmm...delicious

Mmm…delicious

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10 thoughts on “Story of My Life

  1. Hi Sarah,

    Know your husband is a Dr and all so you are probably all over this, but Tom Kitten was a really bad vomiter in his early months – five to six change of clothes a day for the both of us bad. Anyway, I just thought it was standard baby vomit issues until he wasn’t really gaining weight and to cut a long story short we ended up getting in with a paediatrician and she suggested the issue might be lactose intolerance (some babies are not born with enough enzymes to process the milk – and it is just a matter of time for the gut to develop) and put Tom Kitten on a small dosage of Lacteeze which we just ground up and put in a bottle of expressed milk. He stopped vomiting as soon as he was on the lacteeze, and was able to come off it after a couple of months and tolerates breast milk fine (he does seem to be dairy intolerant – vomits again – but so is Ginger). Anyway, when he was diagnosed I did a bit of reading online and what came up persistently was that long term lactose intolerance was very ethnically linked – with mostly asians and african americans affected, and so I just wondered if the vomiting might be a lactose or milk protein issue for your little boy too?

    Anyway, just thought I would pass the info on, as I had never even considered it with Tom Kitten.

    Thinking of you and your pile of washing!

    Best

    sarah

    • Oh dear – that’s a lot of clothes changes! My tactic now is to just put a towel under/around our boy whenever I hold him on my lap. It’s easier to throw the towel in the wash than to change my clothes.. Funnily enough, while my husband is a doctor, he repeatedly tells me he has no idea what to do (medically) with babies. He hasn’t done any pediatrics work since med school except for kids in Afghanistan, and usually shrugs his shoulders whenever I ask him a medical question about babies. The kids’ doctor considered lactose intolerance and switched him to a soy-based formula, but his spit-up levels remained the same. She also gave him a reflux medication but it didn’t seem to have an effect. After a month on that, we switched him back to the same (milk-based) formula as his sister because at least it smells less awful when it soaks everything. The one thing that seems to help is whenever we can use donor breastmilk. It stays down a lot better than formula, so we’re very grateful whenever a friend or acquaintance gives us a frozen stash so we can supplement one or two bottles a day. Since he’s gaining weight normally for now and doesn’t seem to have any stomach pain his doctor says it’s just a (big!) laundry problem that he’ll hopefully grow out of – most likely an immature stomach sphincter. It’s nice to know your son eventually grew out of his spit-up problem – gives me hope we won’t still be constantly changing outfits when he’s 20 :-).

  2. Oh also, I wasn’t aware of the higher incidence of long-term lactose intolerance among African Americans. Good to know and to watch out for!

  3. suggestion for hair – don’t wash it w/ shampoo. i use BS and ACV and i learned while researching it that its even BETTER to use for african american hair b/c they have such an issue w/ dryness. i actually don’t shampoo my kids hair at all – just water rinse and if something particularly nasty in the summer months happens, then a little BS and we’re good to go.

    they dont need it, i promise! and if they never use it, they’ll never need shampoo. in addition, girl hair is harder b/c you keep it long. my good friend Rachel has bi-racial daughters and after 10years she says she finally figured out how to care for it (no shampoo, only conditioner, i think), so if you’d like a FB intro, i’m happy to do so for all her hair care tips lol

    As for lotion, might i suggest jojoba oil? smell-less (so no olive garden babies) but a nice hair and skin oil. i love it and use it on my face 🙂

    • What are BS and ACV? I try not to shampoo our kids hair either b/c of the dryness issue and because it can change their hair grade. However, I have to use it occasionally b/c the formula is so incredibly stick and gets caked/wound into their hair – so sticky it literally pulls out chunks of their hair if they spit up in the night, let it dry a bit, then roll in it. Did finally find a good conditioner to use on their hair instead from the “ethnic hair” section at Walmart, so I’m hoping to give that a shot next time. Funnily enough, I just ordered some jojoba from amazon for their skin/hair, but it came in a totally sketchy unsealed little bottle closed with lots of scotch tape – I have no idea what’s really in there, so I’m not using it on the kids. Clearly, I need a better supplier. Where do you get yours?

      • sorry, baking soda and apple cider vinegar – you can use the BS to scrub out the formula i think. (BS is shampoo and ACV is conditoner. google “poo-free”)

        i get mine from trader joe’s but just had to order some from amazon b/c i ran out. desert essence is a good brand. i would complain/report that seller b/c its not supposed to be held together w/ scotch tape for sure! lol

      • my friendrachel that i was mentioning, im pretty sure her regiment for her girls is no shampoo, only conditioner. some kind of really really thick leave in stuff. maybe i should just FB introduce you so she can explain what she does!

    • Ha! If you don’t mind introducing me to Rachel as you offered in your comment above, that would be awesome. I ran across her blog through Michelle Reitemeyer/Rosetta Stone, and then later saw she was facebook friends with you, but I don’t know her personally.

  4. Basil was a puker too. He had this amazing routine we called the “triple fountain” usually reserved for the car seat. Our pediatrician said that as long as he’s gaining weight and the vomit runs down your shoulder instead of splattering the wall across the room, it’s just a laundry problem. But it was one heck of a laundry problem.
    I hope your son out grows it soon! (And doesn’t somehow share the “skills” with his sister!)

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