When you get married, let’s be honest, you have no idea what you are getting into. When you are all googly-eyed and in love, floating down that aisle on your father’s arm, watching your groom beam at you, you never think you will one day tearfully (okay, hysterically) say to him in a hospital room after you’ve just birthed him a child:
“I’m just really scared I’m not going to be able to poop.”
And you never dream he will say in return:
“Honey, let’s just get you a suppository.”
Ah, sooo romantic. The stuff dreams are made of, truly.
But that is exactly what happened after I had my second child. With my first, I’d had an emergency C-section, and suffered an awful complication of surgery, called an ileus, which is a paralyzed bowel. Basically, I couldn’t poop or pass gas. I swelled up ’til I looked like I was nine months pregnant again and I was in agonizing pain (and also, I had a giant incision in my gut. So.) The pain was much, much worse than my actual labor pains when I’d been trying to push Joshua out.
So, after I had Sophie, and had another C-section, I was terrified of getting an ileus again. So I tearfully took my husband’s advice, got a suppository from the nurse (what a fun job. Why does anyone want to do that??), pooped, and -voila! – no ileus! Made recovery much, much better.
Fast forward three days. We are at the pediatrician’s with baby Sophie to get results from a blood test to check her bilirubin levels as she was a wee bit jaundiced when we’d left the hospital. Sophie’s doctor is checking her over and asking all the routine newborn questions, when he looks up at me and says:
“And how have the bowel movements been?”
I stuttered a bit. “Um, well…I’ve only had a couple.”
He looked at me quizzically and then – he couldn’t help it – stifled a laugh.
“That’s great,” he said, “but I was asking about the baby.”
(Ohhhhh. RIGHT. Not EVERYONE was obsessed with MY bowel movements. In my post-partum and vicodin-induced haze, I’d forgotten.)
I just started laughing – I laughed, I cried. It hurt my incision to laugh but I couldn’t stop! My husband was laughing too – why? Because my answer made perfect sense to him. He was also still a tad preoccupied with my bowel movements.
Now that’s love, isn’t it?
(I still can’t look the kids’ doctor square in the eye.)