I just had my youngest child. He's the third baby I've birthed, so consequently, one might think that it would be easier this time around, since I knew what to expect. Nope. Unfortunately, sometimes knowing what's coming, and the anticipation (and anxiety) that knowledge creates, can actually make things worse. So my third pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and postpartum recovery didn't seem easier at all. Plus, I was so anxious that I had to give myself a slightly neurotic pep talk before my first postpartum poop. Yes, I was seriously that scared, so some encouragements was absolutely necessary.
If you're in the throes of postpartum life, and dreading that first trip to the bathroom, I have a feeling you'll need (or at least want) a little post-baby poop pep talk, too. So, in the name of solidarity and because the best kind of moms are those who help others get through the not-so-fun side of parenting, here's exactly what I said to myself in order to make it through that painful postpartum poop. Hey, if I can do it, you can do it, too.
You are such a badass. You just grew a 9 pound human being in your body and pushed that human being out of your vagina. You can't possibly be scared of a probably (I mean, definitely) "less than 9 pound" poop. Can you? I mean, it won't be that big, will it? It can't be. But, um, what if it is? It's been a couple of days and you've had lots of pain killers. It's probably going to be huge. What if it's so big that it tears your stitches? How are you going to explain that to the doctors?
OK, forget about that. Try to stay calm. Take some deep breaths, in and out. You can do this. I believe in you. Besides, you took some laxatives, right? Things should be moving along soon.
What do you mean you forgot to take the laxatives? How could you forget to take the laxatives they gave you? Did you forget how much this hurt the last time around? I mean, I know you are tired and you just birthed a human and your brain isn't functioning at maximum capacity, but seriously. Think of our butt. Our poor, poor butt.
Deep breaths. It's OK. Try not to panic. You can totally take a laxative now and also have a cup of coffee to get things going. I bet coffee will totally do the trick, and anyway, you absolutely deserve a pick me up after all of that hard work. With coffee all things are possible. Even postpartum pooping.
Coffee? Check. Laxatives? Check. Peri bottle? Ummm, you forgot the peri bottle? Come on. We can't possibly poop without a warm stream of water on our sore perineum. Ask the husband to bring it in. What? It's embarrassing? How is it embarrassing? He just saw you push a baby out of your vagina with your ass hanging out of a hospital gown, while covered in bodily fluids including your own vomit. He's not going to be squeamish about knowing that you are pooping.
Never mind. False alarm. Maybe we should ask for a suppository?
Hey, I have an idea. Let's use the numbing spray. You can numb up first, and then afterwards, if you are still in pain, you can take some pain killers and some stool softeners so this doesn't happen again next time.
You are so smart and resourceful, and not to mention badass. Let's do this thing.
Let's hop onto Facebook and post some baby pics while we're at it. Oh no, you forgot your phone? You might be in here for a long time. You can't do this without your phone, so you better go and get it. You probably won't poop your pants, I'm sure. Besides, even if you do that's OK because you are still wearing your mesh panties. See, all of your bases are covered, literally.
You need to poop. You can't put it off forever. Let's do it. Suck it up, and push it out. Number Two. Number Two.
On second thought, better slow things down a bit. Use a stool softener and make sure you don't strain yourself. The last thing you want is hemorrhoids on top of your stitches (well, actually behind them, but you get the idea).
Listen, I get that you remember how much it hurt the first two times you had to poop postpartum. You didn't even have stitches then, either. It was almost worse than labor, only you don't get a baby at the end and they don't administer epidurals for postpartum pooping (although, I should totally invent pooping epidurals, because I could make millions).
Seriously, though, you need to do this. The only way for this to be over is to do it already.
Remember, the longer you wait, the worse it will be, the more of it there'll be, and the longer it will take. Don't put it off, no matter how scared you are. Trust me. I've been there, too.
You've done this before, and you have what takes (mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually) to get through this. You're freaking Wonder Woman and you can do this.
So, have a glass of water, or better yet, some wine, and grab your phone 'cause we're going in. Girl, don't forget, you grew and birthed human beings on three separate and equally incredible occasions. You can do anything. I believe in you, badass. Let's do it.
OK, so it's no transcript of President Barack Obama's acceptance speeches, but you get the idea. Sometimes you just have to talk yourself through the tough stuff, and there are very few things tougher than that first postpartum poop. In the end and always, though, you got this.