Sh*t Happens During Labor. Literally.

by Ashley Murray
Originally Published: 
pooping during labor

Let’s talk about poop, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. All the good things and the bad things.

I remember reading on some blog about how most women poop during labor, it’s natural…blah blah blah. I even remember reading the more scientific explanation of why you poop, and even may have diarrhea as an early sign of labor. I thought I prepared myself for that possibility. I talked about my fears of pooping during labor with my husband. I let him know in no uncertain terms that he was not allowed to freak out or make me feel bad about it. I was mentally prepared to shit myself while pushing out our precious child. I was wrong.

On my due date, I was doing all those so called “labor inducing” activities and anxiously awaiting the feeling of labor.

Did my water just break?! Nope, just a little pee.

Was that a contraction?! Nope, just some gas.

Did I just almost shit myself?! Definitely.

Picture this: Gigantically large pregnant lady tying to roll out of bed while squeezing her nether regions for fear of leakage. A mad dash to the toilet and then blessed relief. Wipe. Rinse. Repeat. Until the thought of using toilet paper one more time makes you want to cry.

Fast-forward a few hours to the hospital, where I was trying to relax and breathe through contractions in the lovely jacuzzi tub with my husband by my side when, guess what, the need to poop struck again. This time, I was a wet, slippery gigantic pregnant lady trying to climb out of the tub between contractions all while desperately hoping to make it to the toilet in time. Thankfully I made it, but not in time for my husband to exit the bathroom. He got to witness the humiliating sight, sound, and smell. Poor man. He assures me he still finds me attractive and sexy, even after seeing that. Maybe that pre-labor “make fun of me and die” talk really did sink in…hmm.

After all the pooping (that’s a polite term for what happened), I thought I’d got it all out so I wouldn’t poop during the actual pushing a child out portion of the festivities. Oh boy, was I wrong! Luckily, this time what happened was a bit more civilized and…controlled.

Here’s how it happened: I was standing, hanging on to my husband’s neck because I decided that was a good place to give birth (who lets laboring women make these decisions anyway!?). My sister-in-law turned labor massage therapist was behind me to give counter pressure on my back. My midwife was kneeling on the ground ready to “catch” my baby. We got through a few pushes like this when the urge to poop struck again! So, what’s a girl to do?! The obvious thing: announce it to everyone so they can be prepared! Nobody wants or needs to be caught unaware of fecal matter exiting a human ever.

I stated to the room and possibly any passersby in the hallway, “I’m going to poop now. I’m sorry.” The midwife assured me that was fine, and the nurse quickly grabbed some paper towels and assumed the poop catching position (almost like she’s done this before). Dear sweet lord. That lovely woman calmly caught my shit. As if that wasn’t weird enough, she then wiped my bottom with a heavenly warm wet rag, which was a nice little perk to shitting myself, but I digress.

I begged my sister-in-law not to look (remember, she was behind me). Then after taking a big inhale, I also begged her not to smell. She said she didn’t, but I guess I’ll never know. I failed to anticipate having a pre-labor poo talk with her. My bad. Forgive me please, dear sweet sister.

After all that pooping, I did eventually push out a wonderful baby girl, who then proceeded to poop on me twice within the first 30 minutes of her life. Like mother, like daughter, I guess.

So in case you were wondering if people really poop while giving birth, yes, they do.

And if you were looking for an honest, non-sugarcoated, raw story of how it can possibly go down, you’re welcome.

Shit happens.

Then you eventually have to shit after having the baby, but that’s a whole other fresh kind of hell.

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