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"Dear God, please don't let me poop. Please, please don't let me poop when I push."
Not exactly a prayer you'd expect from a woman, at the crisp young age of 19, while she's waiting to deliver her first baby. Yet there I was, praying to a God (at the time I wasn't even sure I believed in) that I would not poop while I pushed my daughter out. I think I was praying harder about my feces than I was for my contractions to stop.
Where did this fear of pooping come from, you ask? Well, that came from watching my sister poop. While she was delivering, of course. (I mean, who would just willingly watch their sister poop for no reason? Is the birth of your niece even a valid reason to watch your sister poop? This is the shit that keeps me up at night.)
In all honesty, I’m not sure why I was so afraid of pooping during delivery in the first place. I mean, it’s not like giving birth was a modest thing to do, and all the people I had in my delivery room were close family, and two very close family friends, who I’m fairly certain have witnessed me, at the very least, naked a time or two. But the thought of pooping while I was spread eagle pushing a beautiful child out of my crotch was terrifying to me. It still is.
Lesson #1, my friends: There is a great chance you will poop during delivery.
I have been blessed enough that during both of my deliveries, almost exactly three years apart, I haven't pooped. At least not during the actual delivery. (That's not to say I didn't puke my ever-loving guts out during both labors!) This is a fun little fact that I get to dangle over BOTH of my sisters' heads when the topic comes up in casual conversation, which, come to think of it, happens more often than one would think. It's such a fun thing to chant "You pooped and I didn't!" to 2 full grown women! (You should see the looks we get in public!)
My mother is also a tenured pooper, as she pooped with all three of her deliveries. (Maybe that’s why we’re all such shitheads?) But my mother also admits to eating things such as McDonald’s Big Macs and ‘take n bake’ pizza only a few hours before the “pushing” phase of giving birth. The unfortunate part about my mother’s labors is they were so short that anything she ate prior to going into labor seemed to be fully digested just right before her time to push. Thus, my belief that what you eat in your last days of pregnancy might affect whether you poop on the delivery bed while pushing. You might even poop on the doctor, if you’re unlucky enough.
My best advice for this particular situation? TRY to watch what you eat the last few weeks of your pregnancy. (I say the last few weeks because majority of pregnant woman can’t predict when they’re going to birth a child!) DO NOT GO ON A DIET, but definitely watch your coffee intake. And your burrito intake. And your McDonald’s intake. Hell, just watch your general intake! I tend to have this "full" feeling towards the end of my pregnancies, and especially the day I end up going into labor, where I can't eat more than a few bites at a time, so perhaps me not having more than a few calories to digest has helped me in NOT shitting myself during delivery. Who really knows? At the end of the day, whether you pooped a big one or not at all, you're delivering your sweet baby, and that's all that really matters.