When first-time expectant moms learn about the very real possibility of having a bowel movement during a vaginal delivery, they're understandably anxious. I mean, no one wants to take a dump in front of complete strangers at a moment that is supposed to be magical and life-changing. Except for me. OK, so it's not like I hope it happens, but I'm not going to get all worked up about it because, honestly, I don't care if I poop on the table during delivery.
My daughter was delivered by the on-call obstetrician who had to take over for my midwife when fetal distress required a vacuum-assisted delivery. There were at least a dozen people in the room, including my husband, who stayed safely behind my shoulder during the "action." I honestly have no idea if I dropped a deuce or not. At that point, it didn't even cross my mind, and afterward? Well, I figured, if it happened, it happened, and I'm kind of glad I was none the wiser.
I'm due with my second baby in a few weeks, and my attitude regarding pooping on the table is best described as "devil may care." I don't fault soon-to-be moms who are worried about it, but I'm not personally planning to sweat it, and here's why:
Because It's Totally Normal
We don't have statistics on how many women poop during delivery, because hospitals mercifully don't track that crap (pun intended). But it's really common. I, for one, refuse to be embarrassed by something that's a completely natural byproduct of the labor and delivery process.
Because It's The Same Muscles
Your provider will likely let you in on a dirty little delivery secret: you're going to feel like you have to poop — and you should go with your instincts. You engage the same muscle groups when pushing as you do when defecating, so if you feel like you're pooping (and if you do, in fact, poop), that just means you're doing it right.
Because This Isn't My First Rodeo
It's not like I'll be in for a surprise when I feel that familiar pressure on my colon and rectum from a descending baby. I've already delivered one baby vaginally, so I know exactly what it's like to push out a little watermelon. It feels like passing a fairly large poo log, you guys.
Because My Partner's Seen Worse
My husband was in charge of my wound care after hemorrhoid surgeries for both pregnancies. The man had to fashion a sumo diaper for me after I peed through my dressings, so it could hardly get worse. If he was going to leave, it would have already happened. A little poop isn't going to change anything.
Because Modesty Is Already Out The Door
There's something about pregnancy that removes every shred of dignity you ever had. It could be the uncontrollable farting, the vomiting so hard you pee your pants, or the way your growing belly makes you waddle, but you just stop caring what other people think. Because you can't control any of it.
Because I'm Dealing With Professionals
We're talking about medical professionals, people. It's not like they haven't seen poop on the delivery table before. Honestly, I'd be surprised if they even blinked an eye. Nurses are a discreet bunch, so they'll clean it up and change your bed mat and probably not even tell you.
Because I Have Bigger Fish To Fry
Namely, squeezing a tiny human out of my vagina with as little damage to my lady bits as humanly possible. I'm not going to risk prolonging the process for fear of feces. So pardon me if I'm a little "meh" about an albeit inopportune BM.
Because All I Really Care About Is My Baby
My priority is delivering a healthy newborn, and however that end is achieved is really fine by me. I know that once I'm holding my baby in my arms, the rest of the world will cease to exist. So unless we're talking about an Apgar score, the number two doesn't mean anything to me.