Saturday, February 4, 2012

Vito was sick. Or, a story of poop and love

Boy, was I gone for a while. I have a host of stories to tell but my world stopped last Saturday morning when Vito got diarrhea. He had attended a kiddie party the afternoon before. I brought him there with his yaya, then after about 30 minutes, I had to leave so I told the yaya to make sure Vito doesn't fight with the other kids, not break anything, and to eat just a bit of cake. Well, she did all of the above. Then she gave him a glass of orange soft drink.

For the next four days, Vito's poop was watery. We were up all of those nights and we were worried all of those days. Parenting websites and a pediatrician friend said there was no need to bring Vito to the hospital unless there was blood and/or mucus in his poop and/or the baby was dehydrated and losing weight fast, and to just keep giving him water and infant formula (breastmilk would have been best--it always is!--but Vito had stopped nursing at 13 months). As for feeding him, we were told that whatever he can eat of the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce and toast) is fine but even if he stops eating, it's fine, too, just as long as he's drinking his milk.

Vito stopped eating. But he drank water and milk, and he played and played like he wasn't sick. He only cried at night when he was already sleeping and we'd have to wash him, change his clothes and diaper, and change the sheets, too, since his liquid poop would seep out sometimes. He didn't like that one bit.

I didn't mind the poop on me actually. I've had some practice with my dearly departed wabbit Galady, who had to be bathed every day when she was paralyzed for three months. I was basically covered in poop for three months so four days of Vito's poop is nothing.

What upset me, of course, was this was Vito's first ever illness. Vince and I barely slept. We've never been so worried. I prayed and prayed. I would check each dirty diaper, like stick my face in there and poke about, watching for blood or mucus. I cried every night. I was exhausted. When Tuesday rolled around and his diaper finally registered a creamy texture, I've never been so happy. I've never been so happy to see shit in my life!

Vito's fine now. He's gobbling up everything in sight and acting like he never even got sick at all. Vince and I are so relieved and thankful. We had spent a week in hell and are grateful that we all came out of it unscathed. I try not to make a big deal out of Vito's diarrhea since there are many, many, too many children out in the world suffering from much worse so even though my heart was breaking for my baby boy, we always prayed for the other children, too. For their protection, healing, strength, love, guidance. I can't imagine life without Vito but millions of parents lose their children every day and, for a brief moment, I was given a glimpse of that terrible abyss. And I was made aware that for countless people, that abyss is their life. So I prayed not just for my son, but for all the families in the world.

It's hard to imagine one woman can pray for all the children in the world but, if you are a mother, I know you know that this is possible. I know you pray for the world, too, because that's what mommies do. When we became mothers, we found that our hearts become so big, they swallow up entire universes. That's why we can't stop praying and making this world a better place. I know now that that's what I have to do and it took a lot of poop to make me realize that!


  1. so glad that vito is fine now...

  2. I know how you feel. My Neo had an upset stomach last december and boy he was vomiting all that he drink or eat. We have to bring him to the hospital to rehydrate him. and it was a real nightmare!
    I am glad your Vito is okay now.

  3. I'm so happy he's feeling better now! Much love to Vito, you, and Vince :)

  4. "When we became mothers, we found that our hearts become so big, they swallow up entire universes." - i absolutely love this and i couldn't agree with you more.

    i'm so glad Vito is okay now!

  5. the diarrhea is actually viral. our baby had it last week also. when we went to the pedia last weekend, she said she had lots of moms calling about their babies.

  6. Hi Frances! Sorry to hear about this just now. I hope it's not because of something he ate from the party. - Nadja (Benjamin's Mommy)

  7. When the diapers leak, they do it in one of two ways which allows you to troubleshoot a bit. When my baby was small, they'd leak around the thighs. Every time I put the diaper on, I'd slide a finger along the thigh and make sure the elastic was snug, no gaps. This helped a lot.


This is all pretty new to me so please feel free to share your mommy wisdom!