The other night, a few friends and I were talking about our child-birth experiences. Don’t ask how we got on the subject because I still have no clue. When I mentioned I would probably post about my experience for one of my children they all looked at me and said; “NO WAY! It’s too embarrassing! People you know will read it!” So I pondered that and thought screw it! It’s not like I’m the only one embarrassing things happen to! I’m just stupid enough that I actually share them with others. So since they pretty much think I’m nuts if I post this, I’m going to do it anyway.
Other than my first delivery, which was an emergency C-Section after too many excruciating hours of labor, my next two were both scheduled. Three years ago I had my daughter and my surgery was scheduled for a Monday morning. That previous Friday I had my last visit with the OBGYN before the delivery. She saw me in the office and asked if I was all ready for Monday and of course I was. Any woman who has been pregnant knows that by that ninth month you would pretty much pay anyone to get that child out of you and fast!
Monday morning comes and my husband and I head off to the hospital. I should note that at the time of this birth I was also working at the hospital where I was delivering, so I knew several nurses. It was comforting to know that. Or so I thought.
They put me in my pre-op room and get me all undressed and hooked up to the infamous IV. My OBGYN shows up and asks how I am doing.
“Miserable,” I replied.
“Why? What’s wrong?” she asked.
“Well, I’m constipated and I can’t take it anymore!”
“How long have you been this way?” she asked me.
“Oh, the past 4 or 5 days I guess.”
“Pam,” she began, “why didn’t you tell me this when I saw you in the office on Friday? I could have given you something to make you go over the weekend.”
Great. Now she tells me!
“You have about 40 minutes until we take you into surgery,” she said. “Why don’t you go to use the bathroom and maybe you can go. Try to relax.”
There are two things wrong with that statement. First of all, most women, myself included, do NOT use public restrooms for anything other than tinkling. I’m sorry, but unlike most men, we cannot just “go” anywhere.
And second, how in the world are you suppose to relax when you are getting ready to go in for surgery, have an IV hooked in your arm, and are using the facilities in an unfamiliar bathroom. My husband had to walk me past the nurses station, where my Dr. was sitting, to the bathroom in the room across the hall. I needed him to hold my hospital gown closed while I pushed the IV along beside me. He helped me into the bathroom and then waited for me. I tried. Nothing. Wasn’t happening!
As I left the bathroom and was returning to my room – husband still travelling behind me holding my hospital gown closed – my OBGYN asked if it would be alright with me if three nursing students were present during my surgery.
I’m all for supporting nurses so of course I said, “Sure!” I would come to regret this moments later.
I returned to my room, hauled my big self back into the bed and waited in misery for this to all be over.
Finally, they bring me in for surgery and ask my husband to wait outside of the OR until the anesthesiologist gets the spinal in me and they get me situated. They have me sit on the edge of the operating table, put a chair in front of me to lean my feet on and tell me to lean forward and put my head between my knees so he can give me the spinal. Yeah, that’s an easy task when your stomach is the size of Russia. But, I did as they asked and leaned as far as I could. I waited with my teeth gritted for some excruciating pain to occur. I felt a pinch, and continued waiting. Moments later the Anesthesiologist told me;
“It’s all done. You can sit up.”
“Really?” I said. “I didn’t feel a thing. You must be really good!”
I swung my right leg up on the table and then they had to grab my left leg because in those few seconds of sitting back up, the spinal took effect and I had absolutely no feeling left from under my ribs down. It was perfect!
They get me all set up, pull the curtain up in front of me so I can’t see what they are doing and begin positioning my legs. Well, here is the thing. When you are pregnant, there are lots of “fun” little gastrointestinal quirks that go along with it. Constipation is of course one, along with nausea and vomiting. But you can also add flatulence to the list. Oh, it’s a fun time for us women, let me tell you! And that combined with a spinal that leaves you with absolutely no control over your lower body parts once they numb you up does not make for a great situation.
Well, you can kind of guess what happened at that point. I’ll be proper and use the terminology that my sister-in-law uses for such flatulent episodes. She calls them “Fluffs.” At that exact moment, the worlds largest FLUFF flew out of my body. I was mortified. Embarrassed beyond anything else. Where do you run and hide when you are being strapped to an operating table, naked with people hovering over you. I wanted to crawl in on myself and disappear. I wanted my husband there so he could make some sarcastic comment like “Good one” and we could all laugh about it at least. But he wasn’t there. He was still in the hall waiting for them to bring him in.
And of course, I had to be the congenial patient and invite those three nursing students in to further add to the witnesses of my embarrassing moment! I swear I heard the one young male student snicker and I wanted to slap him with my placenta.
Minutes later, my OBGYN leaned over the curtain in front of me and whispered something. I must have looked confused because she repeated herself. Here is what she actually whispered to me;
“Did you have any success in the bathroom?” (She was referring to my constipation situation).
Here is what I thought she said, which was why I looked confused.
“Did you have any sex in the bathroom?”
I couldn’t figure out why she would be asking me that. I know she saw my husband come in the bathroom with me, so maybe she was thinking we were up for some action? Wait…what? Yeah, just what I was in the mood for…a little bit of what got me into the situation I was now in. I don’t think so.
I guess my expression looked confused enough that she repeated her question. I started to laugh and told her what I had thought she asked me. Of course, that prompted her to begin laughing and then she said,
“Hey, if you could manage that, you are good!”
Damn straight, Chickie. And don’t you forget it.
Hours later I was in my room enjoying the after bliss of childbirth (meaning I was pumped up with some awesome euphoric drugs) when a few of the nurses I worked with came up to see me.
One by one they came in to chat.
“So,” said one girl in particular. “I heard you really let one rip in the OR.” Followed by hysterical laughter from everyone.
I should have sued the hospital for a HIPPA violation of my personal privacy rights. That enormous “Fluff” could have earned me a few cool million!