Just a little over 2 years ago, Greg and I were attending a Birthing class in Boston, which should really just be called a Scared Shitless class. The teacher was talking to us about all the things we might encounter when we go into labor.
“Now just so you know, a lot of women poop during delivery, and this is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
My husband couldn’t help himself. “What happens if the husband poops his pants?” he blurted out to everyone.
Insert the sound of crickets chirping here.
Now I’m not lucky enough to have vaginal deliveries, but if I were I can tell you what would come to mind if I pooped on the table. “Thank God. I haven’t pooped in days.” But seriously, I think it’s hilarious what we get embarrassed by during childbirth. Just the other day I was having a conversation with a friend who went through natural childbirth and was embarrassed to sit in the birthing tub topless, for fear that her giant boobies would become more like life preservers floating on the surface for everyone to see. I mean, her hoo-ha is hanging out for the whole world to see, but she doesn’t want people to see her ta-tas. I guess we all have our limits.
Take my birthing experience for example. The dreaded c-section. I went through this for the second time last week so it’s still fresh in my mind. Picture this, fifteen people in the OR and you are splayed out on the table totally naked like Jesus on the cross. You know when you wear shorts and you sit in a chair and suddenly look down and realize your thighs are spread out like fatty pancakes as flat as they can get for everyone to see? A c-section is like that only a thousand times worse because it’s your thighs, calves, butt, boobs and everything in between and you’ve been eating whatever you want and retaining water for the past nine months. It’s one thing to have surgery like this when you’re knocked out. But when all you have is a spinal, you are totally coherent and can picture how wonderful you must look below that curtain.
Oh, and this embarrassment continues after the surgery too, when you are forced to wear disposable underwear, get the catheter taken out, and pee in a measuring cup so they can measure your urine.
But now I’m home, safe and sound and free of embarrassing situations, or so I thought.
The other day I made the unfortunate decision to go to Corner Bakery with my new baby. I walked in and immediately was attacked by an old lady who insisted on getting her head all the way under the infant car seat canopy, giant blue hair and all.
“Ohhhh, he’s so cuuuuute. How old is he?”
“6 days,” I answered.
“And when are you due with this one?” she then asked, nodding at my belly that still hadn’t gone down from the pregnancy.
Seriuosly? Seriuosly?! Wouldn’t that would mean I had to get pregnant again when I was already pregnant? I don’t think it works that way, although you never know with all of the fertility treatments available these days.
So here I am standing in front of what has to be the stupidest lady on earth, and yet I’m the one feeling embarrassed by my post pregnancy pregnant belly.
So who knows what embarrassing thing will happen to me tomorrow. Maybe I’ll look in the magnifying mirror for the first time in days and realize I forgot to pluck my beard, which is actually nothing more than one lonely but very mortifying whisker. Or maybe I’ll forget that I’m breastfeeding and open the door for the UPS guy without my shirt on. True story, by the way. A mom I know. Or maybe, just maybe I’ll accidentally leave the house with poop on my face. Ahh, the joys of motherhood.