The Taming of the Poo

Warning: This story will talk, at length, about poop—the process, the collection, and the sight of it. If poop grosses you out, DO NOT READ THIS!!! I can’t be any plainer people. Last chance. Poop-haters, just walk away.

On the day my second daughter was born, it seemed like a normal, uneventful sort of day. Even though I was one day away from my due date, I was feeling okay, pregnant, but okay. We went to this yummy diner in town and I ate waaaaay too much, even for someone super pregnant, and I was uncomfortably full. Little did I know, this breakfast would haunt me for the rest of my life.

I started to feel like I had to use the bathroom. This is not a shocking occurrence for a woman whose bladder is being shared with a tiny human, so we stopped at a bookstore. I think it was Barnes & Noble, but I can’t be certain. That bookstore, whichever it was, was where the contractions started. I went to pee and felt the need to poop too, but it didn’t want to happen, so I didn’t force it.

Now, I knew that it was only a matter of hours, but my husband didn’t want them to send me back home, since the hospital I was delivering at was a half hour away. So instead of heading right over, we stopped at …K-mart. I was there a good 45 minutes, pausing in every aisle with contractions. Finally, I couldn’t take the pain anymore and told him we really had to go to the hospital. Unfortunately, my contractions weren’t close enough, so he was trying to convince me to go to another store. He also had me call the nurse hotline.

I call the nurse hotline and to my horror and my husband’s delight, she said it sounded like I wasn’t ready to come in. I just want to point out that overall, I was the one who was right. At the time, they both were technically right about the contractions, but I know my body and the pain was tracking appropriately with being extremely close to full-on labor.

Meanwhile, on the way to the hospital, I still had to poop. Josh said I could poop at the hospital after I got checked, and if I wasn’t far enough along we’d stay and walk around some more until I was. Yay me. So we get there and we go up. If you’ve ever gotten to the pregnancy ward of a military hospital during a shift change/remodel, don’t be alarmed if it looks suspiciously like there was a zombie outbreak; there’s no one at the desk, it’s eerily quiet, and there’s a slight flutter to the plastic covering the unfinished projects.

I want you to remember that I kept being told I wasn’t ready. Turns out I was at a 6 when we got there. By the time they had checked us in and we’d called for the anesthesiologist, I was at an 8 and couldn’t get pain meds. Any credit that I was right about the labor? Noooo. Josh said it must have been all the walking catching up (insert my eye roll here).

Did I mention that I still had to poop? It’s true, I did. Contractions only made that feeling worse. My nurses were absolutely amazing. I remember one in particular. This little Filipino woman, whose name I still can’t remember, was my nurse in shining armor. When you’re at an 8 and hooked up to your IV already, it turns out you can’t go to the bathroom and poop. This was a problem for me.

I lamented and cried over it. “What am I gonna do? I have to go so bad!” I told Josh.

My little nurse said, “It will be okay, honey. You can just go.”

I’m crying now. “Whaaaaat? No I can’t!”

“Yes, honey, it will be fine. Everybody does it all the time,” she assures me.

“But where am I gonna go?” I cry.

“Right here, in this little bowl, and then you’ll feel so much better.”

So I’m telling myself it’s okay to do this, I’m psyching myself up to poop in front of this woman…and Josh. I feel I should add, that pooping is something I like to do on my own without an audience. If we’re in the women’s bathroom together and we’re in a poop standoff, I’ll be the one to walk away and find the second bathroom in the store, just so I can wait for everyone to clear out and poop alone. If I’m home and I”m pooping and someone decides they just have to talk to me during, I’m like, I’m pooping we’ll talk after. If it can’t wait, I turn the fan on. What?! Plops are awkward!!!

I’m ready to do this and she says to go ahead. Nothing. I push again. Nothing. I start to cry again. “Oh no, it won’t come out!”

“Sweetie it’s fine. Come on now. I tell you what we’re gonna do. I’m going massage it down for you. Let’s get you on your side.”

She helps me get on my side and then does this amazing, ninja, acupuncture, Jedi, massage trick. I’m relaxing and it’s great. And then, I feel it, I need to poop.

“I can do it now.” I smile.

So I think this is where the doctor came in really quick, because the pooping efforts halted. And I remember my nurse telling the doctor that I had to go poop, and telling me to hold on just one more minute. Now I’m thinking, another minute, oh, I can’t wait one more minute. But I did. She said that the baby had to drop first, or I could risk getting the poop mixed in with the baby. This brings a very new meaning to the term shithead, so I waited.

She informs me that the baby has dropped down, like landing gear, and we are go for poop. The reality of it wasn’t as great as in my head. In my head it’s like a submarine getting ready to fire: AWOOGA AWOOOGA!! Aye, aye, sir, firing torpedoes. In reality, I poop, in her hands, and she just walks it away and comes back and congratulates me like the three-year-old I’ve turned into, and we celebrate. I’m actually shocked I didn’t get a sticker.

Josh was standing in full view of the entire thing, staring in horrified amazement at the train wreck in front of him. He wouldn’t have looked away if you paid him. I remember him saying, “Oh gross, yep, you’re pooping, right in her hand, yep, you’re pooping.” But I think in his mind all of his thoughts were screaming, WE ARE TELLING EVERYONE ABOUT THIS!!! MY WIFE POOPED IN SOMEONE’S HAND!!!!

So when people ask me about the births of my children and I get to my second child, I start at the diner and omit the poop for as long as I can, until Josh comes into the room. “Did she tell you she pooped in the nurse’s hand?” I always smile in a way that says, yep, that’s the man I married, such a caring and loving giver. You’d be amazed how many people are curious about pooping in someone’s hand. It’s apparently underrated.

As a final thought, when I was in bed last night thinking about having to recount this lovely story, I thought, thank heavens that the song “Let It Go” hadn’t even been imagined yet. Phew, totally dodged THAT bullet. Can you imagine someone singing your poop out? Let’s not.

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Do you have a poop story that you need to get off your chest? We’re here for you, like a ninja massager/Filipino nurse, in shining armor. 🙂

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