Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke

Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke

Surviving Pee, Poop, and Puke

We were in a dimly-lit, quiet hospital room. Beautiful gifts lay around from the excited grandparents and friends who had visited. My dreams of having a little boy had come true, and I stood beside the crib, drinking in his handsome face. My husband joined me, leaning on the opposite side of the crib. The moment was pure joy.

Suddenly, the two new parents, inexperienced and clueless, changed their first poopy diaper alone. I didn’t expect it when a beautiful sparkling stream of urine exploded from the baby, raised in a high arc out of the crib and onto the floor. My husband and I both took a step back, unsure of how to react at first. A split-second later, my mommy instincts kicked in and I used a clean diaper to catch the ceaseless stream. I cleaned up baby, changed his sheet, and cuddled him. If only I could have looked into the future about how many gross things would lay ahead.

It was a mere two weeks later. My brother set up my living room with his professional equipment to photograph our new addition. It was the idea of someone to have the new daddy hold his naked baby on his bare arm for a perfect naked-baby-picture. In the middle of taking pictures, my beautiful new baby had rocket poop blast out and onto his daddy’s arm, shirt, and the backdrop. My poor husband, the new daddy, almost dropped our new little baby, because the event shocked and disgusted him.

It wasn’t our first or last experience with such grossness. We added three more children, who provided many more stories of gross diapers and accidents.

As a new mom (and dad) you learn to deal with all kinds of gross things right out of the starting gate. Things like baby spit up, baby poop, snot, and drool — lots and lots of drool.

So, right from the start, parents deal with gross things. Sometimes really gross things that teach us to have strong tolerance for gross things.

Cleaning bottoms of babies & toilets for potty-training boys, poopy diapers, snot, and drool are a low-level of gross.

Then there are things on a whole different level of gross. Vomit is on the whole different level to me. I struggle with the smell of vomit. Especially if I’m cleaning it out of stuff.

There was one particularly bad encounter with vomit in recent days. I found myself cleaning vomit out of the carpet by hand at 2am, because I didn’t want to use the carpet cleaning machine and wake the whole household. (Daddy grabbed the kid and said “I’ll take care of him. You got this.” And dashed out the door.) He left me picking vomit out of the carpet with rubber gloves and a washcloth. At 2am. For a good 30 minutes before I thought “Hey, baking soda would cover the smell!” Duh. Remember, it’s 2am. And I’m still in shock from walking in to check on my upset child only to be greeted by stepping in vomit. Barefoot. GROSS.

Then came the time my Athlete at age 7, sleeping on the top bunk, vomited in his bed. Oh… fun. At least it kind of stayed in his bed. I cleaned the mess, laundered the sheets and blankets, while dealing with the sick child (daddy was sick with pneumonia and on the disabled list), and I tried not wake the younger brother on the bottom bunk— ahhhh, parenthood.

Another time my then-3-year-old, Miss Independent, was laying in my bed in the middle of the night and threw up all over my bed. And herself. And in her hair. It was so bad I had to put her fully clothed into the shower in the middle of the night. Then I had to figure out where she was going to sleep. Then I had to figure out where I was going to sleep (or not sleep, as I usually just kind of wait for the kid to start throwing up again).

Those experiences taught me what no book can teach: the warning sounds of vomit on the way.

So when I comfort my 2 year old by cuddling with her in my bed, even when I’m half-asleep: I can still jump into action the second I hear the beginning retching sounds. I can’t even describe it. But I know that sound. And she vomited in the toilet. I got her there and ditched the paci, just in time. And the smell……oh that smell. I can barely hold my own stomach calm when I smell that old familiar smell.

So, then it was almost 1am. My Early Riser rested, looking so peaceful. I’m so tired but scared to sleep. She lay next to me, but I’m afraid I won’t hear her if she vomits again. And I don’t want to have to clean it out of the carpet. Or her blankets. Or her hair….

That same night, just as the sun was thinking about showing itself to us, my Wrestler, age 5, came to my side. I immediately asked him if he needed to throw up. He looked confused but said his tummy hurt. We went over protocol if he felt the urge to throw up. Eventually, he did. And he made it to the toilet every time … all morning.

I didn’t sleep that night between two kids vomiting. I kept feeling like I was just resting in between trips to the bathroom with them. Because I didn’t want to clean vomit out of the carpet. Or the bed. Or anyone’s hair.

And I really don’t want my babies to be sick.

I hate it when I can’t make it better.

But I can cheer them when they do good (like making it to the toilet and letting their body work itself out), and comfort them when it makes them cry.

Ahhhhh, parenthood.

And I will probably never have a strong enough stomach to tolerate vomit smell. It just gags me. But I’ll be strong enough to handle it, because that’s what moms and dads do. We just buck up and say, “My child needs me. I will be strong.”

I’m reminded that God is bigger than me when I’m dealing with something that feels like I’m falling sick and can’t go on. He’s beside me. Cheering me on. Comforting me. He’s really got it. Nothing is too big for Him. He doesn’t hesitate at those awful smells and vaporous sins that we commit. He holds us close anyway and lets us cry as we ask for forgiveness.

I remembered something as my Wrestler was in the middle of his bout with this sickness. Every time he felt like he was going to be sick, he would look for me and say, “Mom, I need you. I need help!” We would run to the bathroom together. I would tell him everything would be okay. I cleaned him up each time. And then afterward I held him as he cried.

It is a contrast to how I am with God sometimes. I don’t always first look to God when I need help. I run in sickness (sin), trying to take care of it myself. I long for someone to be there with me. But I didn’t ask for Him. I first tried it on my own. But we can’t clean up our own sin. We need our Father’s help.

The great part is that God will come. He will be there to comfort, to clean you up, and to hug you as you cry. Don’t miss this, friends: God is there with you. In those moments, don’t be afraid to look for Him and cry, “Dad, I need you. I need help!” If we let Him, God wants to train us (just like I train my kids) what protocol should be when we are sick in sin. We should run to God. God is merciful and cleans up our mess. If we listen, God will train us to come to Him much sooner, so the mess isn’t as serious.

God isn’t afraid of the gross. It doesn’t gag Him to see us in the gross sin and stink that we put ourselves in sometimes. He offers forgiveness for our screw-ups. And just like parents would do anything to help our children in their sickness and pain, God desires the same for each of us. He wants you and me to let Him be close – to help.

Eventually, as we grow and learn the protocol, we should be as grossed out to sin as we are to having vomit squish between our toes.

 

Linking up with friends:

Kelly Balarie: http://purposefulfaith.com/ #RaRaLinkUp

Meredith Bernard: http://meredithbernard.com/ #w2w (Woman to Woman Wednesday)

Thought Provoking Thursday: http://3dlessons4life.com/thought-provoking-thursday-welcome/ #thoughtprovokingthursday

Susan B. Mead: http://www.susanbmead.com/blog-2/ #DancewithJesus

33 Comments

  1. Yes sweetie as the mother of 5 (and one who’s currently potty training) I can so empathize. Thanks be to God for His unending love and grace in the tight spaces. Happy to be visiting you from the #raralinkup

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    • Thanks, Tyra!!

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  2. I think anyone and everyone who has been or is a parent can identify with all you wrote about. I know I certainly can. I remember one night many years ago when my husband was in the hospital. I had recently gotten back home from visiting him, got my two little girls to bed,cleaned up a mess from the toilet overflowing from upstairs down into the kitchen.then when I finally went to check on the girls and go to bed I noticed the younger one had vomited all over herself and her bed but was asleep. Anyway, I cleaned it all up and put her in bed with me. More things happened that week my husband was hospitalized, but I was so aware of God’s love and care for me during that time. I had loving friends who helped so much. I knew I was loved. We need to remember to go to God first when we sin, when sick, when sorrowful – He is ready and waiting with open arms for us to come.

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    • Gayl, I bet you were worn out! Thank you for sharing that story. It’s so amazing to me when bad things happen, we get to see the good come out from friends and family around us. I’m so glad you felt God during that time. Thank you!

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  3. Nothing. Nothing, could prepare me for the crazy that is parenthood. Oh, the smells, ha! That being said, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, could have better illustrated to me the love that my Father has for me (and for you). Thanks for making me giggle today!

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    • Meg, You said it. No book could prepare me. But I would do it all over again! You’re right: I have learned so much more about God just by being a parent myself. Thank you for saying that!! Thanks for reading today!

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  4. Gosh, I’m worn out just reading. How well I remember days like these. And how much we too have days of “yuck” in the spiritual.
    Thankful He is more than able to see past the spiritual mess and see the child for who we are… His!
    Love connecting with you via the #RaRaLinkup, Dana!

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  5. Barefoot in vomit?! *shudder* Vomit in the car is the WORST! We only have two kids so far (3 and almost 18 months) so the fun is just beginning here! I still remember the first time I had to hose out a car seat from poop. My child was covered in poop. I had no clue where to even start. But I did it, because that’s what you do. :) Thinking back, I can see God lovingly speaking to me when I wasn’t making the right choices — loving me through the sickness — and He still does.

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    • Oh, Erin! Fun times! Haha! I have lots of poop in carseat memories. GROSS! And you’re right: you do what you need to do! Keep going and doing what you need to do, Mama! You’ve got this! Thanks for reading!

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  6. Vicks… My dear you need vicks. A secret of the nurses place a luttle vicks under your nose and it will be all you can smell or it will help you not smell so much anyway. Just a little trick I thought might help! There are some smells even a nurse can not handle!

    Wonderful post, This one was so good at bring God into that patent role thanks for the reminder. Hope everyone is feeling better! I love readin your blog! I Love it and love you! Now, mommy on! You rock star!

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    • Thank you, sweet friend!!! Much love to you!

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  7. Oh girl, I totally get this! LOL! What an effective illustration to depict the nastiness of sin and a loving Father. Visiting from #W2W

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    • Thank you, Jennifer!

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  8. Congratulations on your new blog, Dana! Cheering you on!

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    • Thank you!

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  9. What a great post! Oh, what we’ll do for our children simply because they need us…and we wouldn’t be anywhere else than right beside them. I’ve learned so much about God’s love for me through my love for my daughter–and God’s love is infinitely more than what I’m capable of! (Btw, I don’t know if I’ve thought of baking soda for the vomit smell, so you’re way ahead of me!) Visiting from Coffee for Your Heart. God bless!

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    • Thank you for the comment, Laura! Parenting has definitely taught me so much about God’s love for me!!

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  10. Dana, there isn’t a mom out there who can’t relate to what you’ve written…in all its sights and smells and sounds! Such a great connection to how we need to be with our heavenly Father. And the sweet closeness that comes from pouring everything out to Him and allowing Him to help and comfort us. Only God can bring blessing from things like this! Connecting from Woman2Woman. So glad I came.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Sabra! I just love that God washes out every ugly thing about our sin, and we can stand pure and blameless before Him. Wow!

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  11. What memories you brought back that I would love to forget!!!!

    I never thought of God as my father, cleaning up my sin as moms clean up the poop, vomit and so on. Makes me understand how much he want to forgive and cleanse us from our sin. I’ll be pondering this for some time.

    powerful post. Love the picture at the top!
    and Hannah, Vicks?? why have I never heard about that!!!

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    • Thank you for reading, Marcy! I love your comment!!

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  12. Yep, I can totally relate. There is nothing that can prepare you for the many challenges of parenting. I’m so grateful for my Abba Father who cleans up my messes and washes me clean.

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    • Elan, Isn’t He amazing? I love that He accepts us, even in our darkest and messiest sin. Thank you for reading!

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  13. Yes, oh my goodness, this was me yesterday Dana. I was losing it. I think I even muttered a normally not said word under my breath. It wasn’t the 2 really bad ones, but still. Yes! God does come to our rescue in these moments. I praise him for that. I need him. Thank you for your encouraging reminder. You bless us all through the #RaRalinkup. Love your words.

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    • Oh, Kelly, I’m so sorry!! What I love is that God loves us even in our worst moments. I pray that your household is down the road to health and that YOU stay healthy and strong as well! #RaRa

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  14. Dana A little niece that visited often would say, “My throat hurts.” When I heard that I knew it was time to run!! Love this “God isn’t afraid of gross.” He is the perfect mom and dad!

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    • Isn’t that fantastic!!! Thanks for reading, Carmen!

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  15. Oh. My. Goodness! I laughed out loud, quite literally, a few times reading the beginning of this post. I think any mommy (or daddy) can identify with the pee, poop, and puke stories. I love the way you relate it back to trying to do things in our own strength and understanding instead of running to our Heavenly Daddy for help. Such a great post! Thank you for sharing, Dana.

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  16. He holds us close anyway and lets us cry as we ask for forgiveness.
    Yes ma’am, Dana. Stinky gross stuff and all. Thank you for joining the dance this week!

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  17. Loved your poop, pee and vomit stories…brought back lots of memories of my kids (now 5 and 8). Toe deep in puke, we are often shown deep spiritual truths. Perhaps because they are our weakest moments. May the Lord continue to show you His beautiful truths as you care for your children!

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    • Thank you, Amy!

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  18. oh my how I remember those days…or sort of don’t remember them. As your children age and grow up and out of the house, you sort of forget all that, and just remember the good. Those things become the funny stories that you all laugh over. I remember when my first was christened at only a few weeks old, and I was a new mommy, nervous because I’d never even held a baby before my own. I changed him right before we left, and as I was doing so, he peed all over my dress, then pooped as I was changing the diaper, then puked all over the pee-stained dress. I went to church like that. Then, he proceeded to scream during the ceremony, while the other baby there slept peacefully. The priest, who was like 90, said “Don’t you people have a bottle?” I very quietly told him that we didn’t use those, and he said, “Well didn’t you bring a pacifier?” Really, do you think that was foremost on my mind when I was running late in a pee and puke stained dress? To this day, 30 years later, every time I see one of my friends who was at that ceremony, he says in his old priest voice, “Didn’t you bring a pacifier?” Not so funny then; very funny now. I do love how you tied in the spiritual.

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    • What a story!! You are right: those are hard moments to go through, but we can laugh about them later. Thank you for sharing this story with me! I enjoyed it! Thanks for reading today!

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