I never expected it to be this hard. I mean, sure, get pregnant, go through that collection of experiences that will have you swearing off sex before you can say “heartburn hell” three times fast. Sure, wait in anxious anticipation for your little bundle of joy to arrive while you Google for the millionth time “how to go into labor like, NOW”. But this, this is too hard. How is it supposed to come out when it’s this hard?
Oh, you thought I was talking about labor being hard? Oh, you sweet naive soul. I too, was once like you. Sipping red raspberry leaf tea to “tone my uterus for labor and induce me naturally”, lining the pockets of some little tea company so I could convince myself I was doing something to end what I jokingly called The Longest Pregnancy That Ever Was, and getting the low down on labor from my co-workers. I nodded and “oo-ed” and “ahh-ed” at the appropriate times, and tried to mentally prepare myself for the hardest thing I would ever have to do.
And then I gave birth and whoo hoo it was no big deal because #epiduralsarelife and then I came to the hardest thing I would ever have to do. Or pass, really.
Given that I am nurse, or really, a human with a functioning brain, it should have occurred to me that
Chick Filet+ Pizza+Ice Cream+ Coffee+Crackers+Apple Juice X 3 days = Lots of poop.
But I was taking my stool softeners like a good patient and farting in bed to the great chagrin of my husband (“Honey, these windows don’t open!! WHY DON’T THESE WINDOWS OPEN??”), so I deluded myself into thinking I would be just fine. After all, when they tell you that a suppository is optional, who among us is going take THAT offer?
“Hmm, yeah, I’m feeling like my private area hasn’t been violated enough in the past 4 days, lets shove something else into the mix.”
So I went home, poop-filled and happy with my adorable little blonde eating machine. And my son.
Over the next day or so, in between the distracting pain of my boobs swelling to the size of small boulders and the pain my son’s head caused when he bulldozed into this world, I was aware of the frightening sensation of gargling cement in my intestines. One week out and there was no denying there was a very serious problem. I would feel the urge to flatten a country and at the pace of wounded turtle, waddle to the bathroom to sit on the toilet in agony.
Every time without fail, I would feel the excruciating pain from my stitches and think “But there’s just no room!”. Eventually I would give up and go take some more laxatives, even though every nurse and plumber knows, dumping something in the top when the plumbing is plugged from the bottom does no good at all.
Eventually I succumbed to the inevitable and pushed Eric out the door to get me suppositories. Now just in case you think my problems, let me tell you a little something I learned about suppositories. Instead of softening the poop so that it can come out, it just stimulates the muscles of your intestines to contract in order to aggressively push the poop out. So the violent pushing which I was avoiding, given the extensive embroidery that had been done in that area, was now being done by my body without a care in the world.
To make matters 100,000% worse, in an effort to be a good wife, I had encouraged Eric to go out with his brothers and I was home alone with Sebastian. So my body is forcefully trying to expel my liver, while I’m trying to feed a screaming infant who is, God bless his heart, trying to nurse a brick four times the size of his head.
Relief came in Target, as it usually does- although not usually in this way. I was walking around trying to maintain my sanity as a new mom when I felt like my abdomen was about to exit my body. I waddled as quickly as I could to the very far away bathroom, and I remember thinking, “well, I can’t scream here”.
And then I birthed a second baby.
And that is how I survived the hardest thing I have ever done.