The Birth AFTER You Give Birth: That First Poo

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about…or maybe you don’t. Maybe you were one of the lucky few who didn’t have issues with your first bowel movement after delivering your baby. Whether you did or didn’t, I feel compelled to share my story! I need to get it off my chest, just like I needed to get it out of my body. I’m certain it will even make someone chuckle who’s battling the postpartum blues or who is in the last dreadful weeks of pregnancy. Anyhow, without further ado, the story of my poo…

I am a fit person who generally eats healthy, but during those last months of pregnancy, eating became a total free-for-all. I was hungry all the time and constantly craved carbs. Instead of stressing over my 35 lb. weight gain, I decided to live it up and eat whatever I wanted just this once in my life; and that I did. I never deprived myself (or the baby) of anything. I worked out my entire pregnancy, even up until the week of delivery, which undoubtedly helped curb the potential of a massive weight gain.

I gave birth to my daughter, Grace, on rainy Sunday afternoon around. We were able to leave the hospital and head home the very next day. It was December 29, 2014 and there was no urge to poo yet. Days went by and I settled into motherhood with my precious little newborn and my helpful, loving husband. I quickly resumed clean and healthy eating. I was taking all the right steps towards a healthy GI tract. I was also taking stool softeners and ibuprofen for pain management…down there ☺

New Years came and went, and on January 1st I finally felt the urge to go number two. It wasn’t just, “Oh, I might need to go the bathroom” or “Do I have to poo? Maybe I do, but maybe I can hold it. Hmmm…” NO!! It was a sudden and urgent necessity that came out of nowhere, backed by powerful certainty that waste needed to leave my body, like NOW!

Except, I couldn’t. I was scared. It hurt. Let me elaborate…

My first attempt was around 10 am that day. After eating breakfast it hit me. I ran to the restroom, sat down and took a few deep breaths. I tried to focus and drop that load, but just couldn’t…nothing! I was afraid I would bust a stitch or something. I was miserable and sweating. My efforts continued ALL DAY. I even tried in different bathrooms of my home, as if new scenery would make a difference. I was shaking as I braced both walls surrounding the toilet. I tried hovering over the toilet, in somewhat of an elevated half squat. My whole body quivered. Nothing.

January 1st turned into the 2nd. I decided to start researching solutions to help move this process along. I stopped taking painkillers because I was afraid they were keeping me constipated. I also doubled up on the amount of stool softeners I was taking. I tried to poop again for hours that day. I laid my clammy, postpartum body on the cold, tiled bathroom floor and asked God to help me poo. FINALLY, that evening, I pushed out 2 tiny, sad rabbit pellet sized poos. Well, crap! Did this even count? I felt so disappointed and just knew there was something bigger in my future.

That entire weekend was spent calling the doctor and running to the drug store to buy different things to help with my backed up bowels. You name it, my husband bought it. Fiber supplements, that magnesium citrate drink, Miralax, and glycerin suppositories. UGH! I whined that I needed to just go to the ER and have the doctors pull it out of me. After speaking to my OB, he told me if I did go to the ER, all they’d tell me to do was give myself an enema. Nothing had EVER been up there, and there was no way in hell I was going to place this thing in my bottom and spray whatever it is you spray. Forget it.

Magnesium citrate gave me the runs. It caused immediate, but temporary incontinence. Within an hour of drinking it, I crapped myself twice. What a disaster! They were puddles of disappointment and disgust that ruined my unattractive postpartum granny panties. Meanwhile, I kept my husband updated every hour on the hour, on what was happening with the poo situation. It was hilarious. We took our relationship to a whole new level during this time. I found myself miserably trying to poo day in and day out.

Some days, I’d get a few more rabbit pellets here and there; some days I’d get nothing at all. Every day I felt frustrated, fat and literally, full of shit. There were tears from pain and lack of sleep. Tears of frustration and confusion. No one really warns you about the first few weeks after the baby. No one helps you prepare for your first poo, or lack thereof! I was crying because I just wanted my body to go back to normal. I just wanted to be able to go number two daily for goodness sakes!

Two miserable weeks passed. That’s right…TWO WEEKS. I had spent 15 long, grueling days waiting for the moment of glory. On January 10th, my husband and I went out to eat for our first dinner date post-baby. We tried a new restaurant with an “upscale home-cooking” menu. I ordered the Philly cheesesteak. Yes, I knew I was taking a chance on the cheese constipating me further, but this was totally a cheat meal. I was eating mostly low carb, so it tasted like the best meal I’d ever had.

The very next morning, January 11th, shit happened. I had the urge to go, and I knew it was going to be the real deal. I sat down, breathed in and out, pushed, AND THEN THERE IT WAS!! Those grains from the Philly cheesesteak must have SERIOUSLY moved things along. After a few brief moments of wondering if maybe a grenade was passing through my rectum, I finally felt relief! Now I could finally move on with my life and stop talking to everyone non-stop about my troubles: my inability to take a dump.

It was time to move on and enjoy my little bundle of joy. I hadn’t realized how preoccupied I was with the fact that I couldn’t go. I could breathe in motherhood and breathe out serenity. I could smile and laugh, and didn’t feel lingering discomfort anymore. I forgive my body for failing me in my time of need…but I will NEVER forget!