As most moms will tell you, pregnancy is awesome exactly TWO times: BEFORE you actually get knocked up and AFTER the pea is no longer in the pod.
The during part of pregnancy is no walk in the park and I’m not going to bore you with the list of ailments, maladies, situations and hemorrhoids that come with the job of gestating a human. You spend ten months (which, is two months short of an actual YEAR) growing fingers, toes, dimples and teenager attitude. Your body goes to hell, you have a new relationship devotion to Preparation H and your respect for your mother goes to an all time high. You basically climb Mt. Everest every single day. And consume the calories that are required to do such mountaineering.
And then, around 36 weeks gestation when you are rubbing cocoa butter on your constant watermelon companion, comes the realization that the watermelon will be exiting your body via a porthole the size of a kiwi.
The bun will need to come out of the proverbial oven.
And no one tells you the real truth about what that porthole looks like when all is said and done. And no one tells you about the self cleaning setting that oven is going to need to get back to normal.
But I will.
Now, both Fruit Loops came into the world via the “Unzip and Rip” method of fetal removal: the good old Cesarean section. So, this discussion will be focused on the things no one tells you before they shave you and unzip your abdomen. Just so I am clear here, though: I have the utmost, highest, mega respect for you gals that squeezed a child through your cookie. I literally cannot imagine that fiasco and I don’t want any of you Cookie Gals to get your panties in a bind over which way a kid comes out is worse. I write what I know and what I know is that nothing could have prepared me for the Post C Section Poop. Suffice it to say that you Cookie Gals deserve, well, a cookie for your efforts.
Five Things I Didn’t See Coming With The Zip And Rip (Or: How To Survive The Post C Section Poop)
1). Anesthesiologists Are Surprised When Prone Pregnant Women Vomit.
Fruit Loop #1 was born under emergent circumstances so there was no way to prepare my gut surgically (read: my “Last Meal” of pizza, ice cream and potato chips had not digested properly) so they gave me a lovely little drink to neutralize my insides. When I say lovely little drink, I mean a battery acid cocktail mixed with lye that essentially burned my entire esophagus from stem to stern. And then, they made my pregnant self lay flat on an operating table with 20 lbs of water, baby and pizza pressing on my internal organs. The weight of the baby, combined with my now permanently charred esophagus and the nausea that comes with having to have your child emergently unzipped from you has the tendency to make a gal want to blow chunks. Although I repeatedly told the anesthesiologist that I was about to become Mt. Vesuvius, he seemed genuinely surprised when I started spewing. And, of course, when you are strapped to the operating table, arms out and unable to feel anything from your neck down, you are going to need some assistance with vomit collection. If I could have, I would have punched the anesthesiologist in the solar plexus when he said, “Wow, you weren’t kidding” as he mopped battery acid from my face.
2). Shrek The Movie Will Never Be The Same.
Now, when you are unzipped to have your child removed, your lady bits are put on display for all of the operating room to see. Except you. Everyone gets to see those scary dark places that speculums go out in bright, white light. Ovaries, uteri and Fallopian tubes are whipped out and are flopped over onto your chest. I’m sure they even got to see my liver. Or pancreas. Or something I’ll never see. As Hubby so kindly reported as he peered over the privacy screen they put up to keep you from completely losing your shit, “Hey! Your uterus and ovaries look exactly like Shrek!”. So, in one loudly uttered statement, Shrek The Movie became a movie I can Never. Watch. Again. Ever. And now you can’t, either. I guess I should be glad he didn’t say Donkey.
3). Your Husband Will Jump Over Your Hospital Bed.
After all the unzipping, ripping and rezipping, you, your new bundle of joy and your completely dead legs are brought to the Happiest Place On Earth: the post partum floor. There, you learn that morphine is your friend, that your legs really might never move again and that they allow the baby to stay with you even with your dead legs. So, basically, they allow you to care for your child even though you have the muscle tone that Wesley had at the end of The Princess Bride (you know the part, where he’s on the bed, and you think he can’t move because he was just recently mostly dead but he stands up and says “Drop Your Sword” in a way that makes you wet your panties…). Fortunately, they have the wherewithal to make sure your partner stays with you. Which is a good thing, because, when, at 2 am, the baby starts choking on the large gulp of amniotic fluid he gulped on his way out and you start screaming for your dead to the world sleeping husband that “The baby!! I can’t move! He’s choking!! Wake up!!”, your husband suddenly displays the Pommel Horse abilities like no one has ever seen. Hubby, in two motions, stood up, and performed a perfect 10 vault over the bed and had Fruit Loop #1 in the rescue position faster than Mary Lou Retton. To this day, I’ve never seen that man move that fast again.
4). You Will Let A Perfect Stranger Clean Your Lady Bits.
The morning after your unzipping, there are few things that are more appealing than the prospect of a shower to wash off the surgical goo that covers you from head to toe. Nothing seems like a better idea than sitting in a steamy, hotter than balls shower and the idea of conditioner (you have to give up on the idea of shaving your legs, though. That’s just crazy talk). You wake up with abdominal muscles that are screaming because they’ve just been ripped, your legs move but still feel like lead and that charred esophagus is barely tolerating JellO so you are weak. So, that shower isn’t happening without some major assistance. And, blame it on the morphine if you will, it becomes perfectly logical to allow a woman you’ve never met to help you into the shower, strip off all your clothes and wash your cookie. You sit there with your legs wide open with the water flowing down and a nurse with a wash cloth between your legs. And it doesn’t seem the least bit weird. I’m forever grateful to that angel who gently washed my hair and didn’t say a word about the current state of my abdomen. I only wish I had bought her dinner first.
5). Pooping Is Hell.
Because the Zip and Rip is a shock to your abdomen, it would not surprise you to learn that your GI tract takes a bit of abuse and it’s a while until it decides to get back on board. In my particular case, it was a full 7 days until the urge to even attempt such a feat crossed my mind. But, on a lovely Friday afternoon, at approximately 230p, Nature decided that this gal needed to drop a post C section deuce. Now, seven days out, I was able to be upright mostly on my own accord but it goes without saying that any movement of my abdominal muscles without a pillow pushed against them felt like what I can only imagine late labor contractions feel like. And, if I might add, when incisional staples pull at your skin, you hear a record screech if you move in exactly the wrong way. But I digress.
To adequately describe what it feels like to poop after a C Section, I’ll need you to do the following:
1). Obtain two rocks from your back yard that are about the size of golf balls.
2). Make a fist.
3). Shove the rocks, one at a time, at a 20 minute per rock pace, slowly through the opening in your fist between your thumb and forefinger. Make sure opening in your fist stays stationary.
4). Do this all while hovering on a toilet, bent over, with a pillow between your incision from hell and your knees, screaming.
5). Let your husband come in and ask what the ruckus is.
6). Be amazed that you are not in the least bit embarrassed because you have a rock stuck in your ass and it might stay there permanently.
Needless to say, I did not see that painful, hour long process coming and, frankly, I’d rather have an ice pick in my eye while having a colonoscopy than ever do it again. And it was just as fun the second time around with Fruit Loop #2. Although, I had the pleasure of having a toddler as a witness to my defecation debacle so that made it that much more awesome. That and the sounds of Sesame Street in the background made it special kind of hell. Good times.
So, my hats off to all you Zip and Rip survivors and I’m raising my glass to you, too, Cookie Gals. The process of human removal from your body is not for the faint of heart and you all deserve a big fat pat on the back. Shoving watermelons out of kiwis, surviving prone vomiting, witnessing Olympic vaulting and allowing strangers near your lady bits all before you leave the hospital deserves a special treat. And, please, no fighting: there’s plenty of womb for us all to hold the “Most Awesome Set of Lady Bits That Ever Birthed A Human” title.
Now, go get yourselves a cookie. Or six.