I Always Feel Like... Somebody's Watching Me!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Diaper Catch-22

Instead of the highly anticipated Holden Beach, Part Two (insert sarcasm here), I've decided to post an update about Jackson's butt. Seriously. It's not a happy butt right now. And as a parent, I'm pretty obsessed with the happiness of my childrens' butts.

We've gone down this road before. It's a tiny red dot one minute and the next it is a raging rash. But when you combine an upset stomach, cloth diapers (which I truly adore except for this one annoying quality - they exacerbate any slight irritation) and Jackson's sensitive butt - you've got an apocalyptic situation!

We had been concerned about the bright red quality of Jackson's poor little butt, and the pediatrician had not called back with a prescription cream. When I got home from work last night after ten, Gregory had just put both of our children to sleep. The inconsolable screaming began at 10:45. Anyone who knows Jackson will attest that he is NOT a fussy baby. He will cry maybe once every few weeks. But last night, he was shrieking, screaming and shaking with pain. That's when I lost it.

It was off to the tried-and-true emergency room at Sewickley Hospital. Perhaps I'm a little bit of a spaz, but when it's late at night and your otherwise passive baby won't even be held... it's hard to be rational. The best part was that I drove Gregory's car, a manual, and literally yesterday was the first time I'd driven it alone. I probably looked like a crazed mother at midnight, stalling and revving the engine down the highway. (Let's not even mention when I had to use reverse in the tight hospital parking lot.)

All of the scenarios pass through your mind, especially after reading our go-to parenting book The American Academy of Pediatrics Age 1-5. Rotavirus? Food poisoning? Dehydration? His lips looked awfully puffy. Allergic reaction? And this damn diaper Catch-22. The wet diaper is causing the horrible dermatitis but you have to keep the diaper on - we have a wet-vac, but I certainly don't feel like using it every 15 minutes.

The emergency room doctors and nurses are always wonderful, though, making an unpleasant experience just a little bit better. The best part is they never make you feel like you're overreacting (even if you are). For some reason, the staff we saw last night were all men and they were especially sympathetic with Jackson's condition. No man likes to see another man like that! They had all dealt with the same situation with their own babies, and showed no problems helping me gently rinse his chafed butt with water every 10 minutes or so.

(FYI: It may seem counter-intuitive, but they advised that they LAST thing you should ever use on a rash is baby wipes. Say what? Yeah, apparently they burn like hell. Makes me all the more wary of the chemicals in those things. Luckily, we are stocked with cloth wipes that are just soaked in water.)

We were given the prescription to stock up on Pedialyte, Vaseline and lots of naked time. His tears in the ER proved that he wasn't yet dehydrated and while the rash looked terribly painful, it wasn't infected. And I was rushed out the door so I could get to Giant Eagle before the 1 am closing.

He is looking better today and sucking down that Pedialyte. Aahhh, the details of our lives. Babies and butts. And that's the end of the story about Jackson's heinie.


  1. Poor Jackson! Glad you received good help in the ER. Babies and butts... these are the days. :)

  2. These are, indeed, the days to remember! Jackson is embarassed that I wrote so much about his butt - he asked that you please don't tell Anna Cake about it, he doesn't want her to be grossed out.

  3. Awe poor kiddo...Belle has gotten some HORRIBLE rashes on her hiney....same pain and shaking on her end too...I can totally relate...Next time at docs ask for nystatin powder for the hiney...It absorbs the moisture and heals the rash....Oh and we stock up on baby wash clothes for days/nights like that...HUGS Lindsey

  4. i'm just so proud of how you GOT to the ER!!! that just proves to the very end how much you love the little guy...

  5. Thanks for the tip, nystatin powder...and Erin, you know me well, I was so nervous driving but looked like a fool just for Jackson!