Yesterday almost broke me. Seriously, how did I ever have the energy to deal with two newborns? We had six poop accidents and one wee accident, of all things. But yesterday is done, onward to today. The poop child has pooped today, ON THE TOILET. So hopefully they are cleared out enough that things are back under control. This also makes three days in a row with poop. Not sure that has ever happened, even when this child was a newborn.
For those that have contacted me asking why they are on stool softeners, this child is what they call a poop withholder. Basically, they stop themselves from pooping. They’ve done it since they were born. As a toddler, we actually thought they were in a pain and really trying to poop, until I bought a book called something like Constipation, Withholding, and your Child. Yes. A scintillating title.
But this little book is pretty awesome. Through it I learned that this child’s behaviours that we thought were aborted, stressful poop attempts were actually this toddler doing everything in their power to hold the poop in. Standing rigidly, clutching furniture, not peeing, making pooping noises, even screaming. Withholding often can feature soiling, which is when new, liquid poop moves around the larger poop obstruction and leaks out to go into the nappy/underwear. We’ve only had this twice, but pretty massively this last episode.
This whole thing can lead to poops which hurt the bottom, or even tear it, because the poops can be huge and not soft. Then the pain leads to even more withholding. It’s a vicious cycle.
Off we trundled to the doctor about nine or ten months ago, and tried a laxative. It gave my kid tummy pain. So we moved on to stool softeners. They have managed it well, but even with them my child only pooped every other day at most. This may be normal for some children, and for this kid, it was as good as it has ever been. We actually stopped medication. Then in November, a particularly painful, huge poop ripped them and their fear of poop related pain meant we started medication again.
We are now trying two sachets of medication a day, which is more than my child has ever had. Their colon needs a chance to shrink down, and also learn to get poop signals when there is a lot less poop in there.
This morning we had a combo poop and wee (normal for most, but such is the control of this kid that they often poop first, then wee twenty minutes later once they are relaxed and not holding poop in) and IT WENT IN THE TOILET. Thank god for small, brown, murky miracles.
This hopefully concludes this bout of poop posts. If anyone has questions about withholding or recognises their child in my descriptions, feel free to get in touch.