What if I poop?

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What if I poop?

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According to a Bump.com  and every MOPS group I’ve ever attended woman have many of fears for their labor. Ranked in the top ten, is the concern of whether you will poop at the precise moment when all you want to  do is greet your  precious little one. Our job as your Doula is to help you alleviate some of those fears. However, as a mom of 6 I can’t honestly tell you that you shouldn’t be afraid of poop. Let me be clear though, you should be afraid of poop, just not your own.

As a new mom at home with my 3 day old infant I was just starting to get the hang of things. As least that is what I thought. One night, actually it was about 3am, I attempted to change my daughter’s diaper in the middle of a feeding. I remember it as if it happened yesterday, even though she will be 13 this coming fall. My hope was that she would drift quietly back to sleep when I nursed at the other breast. I already had all my supplies ready and laid her on the ottoman in front of me. I took the wet diaper off and quickly placed the new clean one under her bum. As I reached for a wipe I heard this awful sound. No one ever told me that newborns can have explosive poops when their body is adjusting the first few days of life. By explosive, I mean poop shoots out of this tiny little person you’ve been told only eats a few ounces in those beginning days. Thankfully, I was looking toward the wipes because I had poop all over the side of my face. There was poop on the ottoman, the couch I was sitting on, my pajamas and my hair. I froze, but only for a second because I needed to close the diaper due to the continual fountain of what resembled a soft serve machine of poop flowing out of my tiny princess.
About 5 years later another poop tragedy is experienced. A scenario that I had heard about happening,but I had escaped so far. You’ve heard the story before, it’s pretty common in parenting circles. It starts like this, “I went to get my baby up from their nap and…”
Here I was, having a beautiful day, and that is when I found my my 18month old son standing in his crib covered in poop. My smile that I had on my face getting ready to greet my baby is erased as the scent hits me. My eyes widen in horror as I see poop all over him, the walls, the crib rails, and the sheets. I begin to question what has happened here. Wasn’t he wearing a diaper? When did he learn how to take his pants off? Is the crib really that brown or is this all poop?
As the saying goes, children are a blessing so I have plenty more stories to share, but I will spare you. I encounter poop on a daily basis. It’s left in the toilet by many forgetful children. It’s smeared on the seat by a 5 year old still learning to wipe himself. I get to see it as I sort the laundry and discover which children still don’t wipe well. I should also mention the time I had to explain to my 6 year old son that even though I had been letting him pee outside I had to draw the line at pooping in the yard.
Speaking of pooping outside, I almost forgot the most recent story of my parenting journey. This year I potty trained our 6th and final child. I was so darn proud of myself I almost made a sticker chart for me. She only took a few days to get the hang of it, by the weekend we had ventured out in panties. I felt so confident in my parenting skills I planned a week long camping trip for our family. On the first evening it as it was getting dark, I was making dinner and my husband was setting up our tent. My 2 year old comes running up saying she needs to go potty. In the blink of an eye she has pulled down her pants and is now squatting near a tree. I rush to help support her, holding her waist so she is in a sitting position. She emptied her bladder which was apparently quite full. I thought to myself, this is my life as a mom. This is what you hope and dream about all those years. This, This is it helping your baby girl pee on a tree. At that moment I felt her stomach muscles contract. I screamed, “ARE YOU POOPING ON THE TREE?”
Poop is actually what parenting is all about. You can be afraid of it now, but you will get used to it. Infact after nearly 13 years of raising kids they have so desensitized me to the smell, color and amount that I now prefer to clean it up any day, if it’s compared to vomit.
If you are afraid of pooping in labor here are some things that you should know. Most women do it. If you are pushing the right muscles your body will naturally expel whatever is left in your bowels. The truth is your practitioner is prepared. They have a towel, net, and trash bag close by. They have seen this before and are quick to clean it up. Most of the time no one else notices because they are much more excited about the other events going on in the general area.
With parenting and birth, the yucky parts will always be overshadowed by the other beautiful events going on. Calm your fears and know the next part is more fun.

-Jessica


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