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Thursday, June 05, 2003
Day 108: Baby Status, meconium

Given it's been a week or so since the last baby status update, it's time to check in with the baby's progress.

The theme of the week is growth. Incredible Hulk-type growth. (Off topic: I'm guessing Lou Farrigno would kick the new cgi Hulk's ass!).

In fact, the baby will grow so much this month it will attain half it's birth size. And it shows -- Elisa's stomach seems to be growing daily. So she can't go around complaining "I don't feel pregnant anymore!" Instead, she does that "rubbing the crystal ball" thing on her tummy. And it's weird, but I can't seem to keep my hands off it either.

No new organs are being formed -- that whole process is essentially complete. The outline is there, it's just time to color in the details (staying within the lines, I hope).

The baby has finger and foot pads (we could've just bought shoes!), and the eyes now face forward, having migrated from the sides of the head. It's really starting to look like a baby! Actually, if you check this Flash presentation, you'll see that our baby has looked like a baby for about three weeks, but now it's really looking more and more like what'll pop out in about 5 months. I can't get past how amazing that is!

But the best part of this week? It's this:

By today (day 107), meconium (the early fecal waste material) will begin to accumulate in the baby's bowel. This material is the product of cell loss, digestive secretions, and swallowed amniotic fluid and is the result of the digestive system practicing digestion while the baby is still in the womb.
Let's deconstruct, starting with "Meconium". Who comes up with these names? That name sounds like it belongs on the Table of Elements, right next to Rhenium, Osmium and Iridium. Meconium would also be a great name for a death metal band.

When I hear "Meconium", I just don't feel "fecal waste", but then again I'm not a high-powered scientist/doctor. So let's move on to something I can probably understand a bit more: baby poop.

So tell me, why the heck do I think this is so darn cute???? I'm literally thinking, "oooh! That's adorable! Our baby is producing fecal waste! Where's a camera when I need one?" Then I think, "Is this just going to sit in the baby's bowel until he's born? Eeewwww!" But then I banish such thoughts from my mind and get back to how frickin' adorable this is.

So why the fascination? This gives me a hint:

Parents of newborns love to discuss their little darling's poop. What's normal? What's not? Well-known comedian Robin Williams described his sonís first bowel movement as a cross between toxic waste and Velcro ó sticky, blackish-green meconium. After the first movements, the color usually changes to mustard yellow, and you'll probably hold the Dijon when making your next sandwich.
Hmmm. Lovely. If nothing else, this confirms the meconium sticks around until after birth (eeewwww!!!), but also goes to show that if you're single or childless, make sure you break all friendships with expecting couples.

Dinner table conversation is bound to be less than appetizing.

p.s. Do these guys know that "meconium" has another meaning?

by Kos | June 05, 2003 03:52 AM