When you enter the hospital on Tuesday night and haven't had a bowel movement by Saturday, the OB on duty suggests you try The Suppository.
And in case you're wondering why this story? Now? Because I had to write it before it got lost forever. Which, in my world, would be a travesty.
So. The Suppository.
It's not out of the blue. You've worked up to it.
After the baby is born, they start asking you if you've passed gas. Until you do, they only let you eat clear things. Good thing my Midwestern roots instilled a passion for Jello.
They ask about the gas every two hours.
And then, when you finally do, and it turns out to be while the very nice Canadian nurse is supervising you while you squarch your vagina for the first time, you're both so proud and so doped up that you announce it to her.
"I did it!"
She's very supportive.
And then they start asking if you've had a bowel movement.
Which you cannot imagine doing, because you are certain that pushing at all will just cause your abdomen to split wide open.
But they ask, every time they come in to check on you.
So finally, you get to Saturday. And a suppository sounds good.
Now, my nurse that day was this very kind but no-nonsense woman. She had a thick Massachusetts accent. She was tall and sturdy, with short, matter-of-fact brown hair.
All around the kind of unflappable, unfrivolous person you could imagine keeping children in order, farming, making her own clothing, and just generally colonizing these United States.
She came in to give me pain meds that evening, and I told her I probably needed the suppository. She returned with it immediately.
While she was putting on gloves, Nick, who was sitting in the corner, said, "If you'd like, you could just put it on the tip of my finger and have her back up into it."
She didn't crack a smile. In fact, she gave him barely more than a cursory glance.
He continued, "Really, it would be no trouble at all."
As he said this, he wiggled his pointer finger in a circle enticingly.
Me, I started to laugh. Hard. Which, as you'll know if you've ever had your abdominal muscles sliced, hurts like a motherfucker. Even loaded up on Vicodin.
So I was laughing but also crying. And begging Nick, who was continuing along these lines, to stop.
The nurse, ignoring him completely, said, "Could you please roll on your left side?"
I did, realizing this left my ass facing Nick. I never, ever expected to be this close enough to anyone. But life is full of surprises.
So there I was, bare, waiting-for-suppository ass facing husband, tears streaming down my face, clutching a pillow to my abdomen, shaking with laughter and pain, saying "Ow! Stop it!"
Which only egged Nick on.
"Or I can be of any other assistance. . ."
She did an extraordinary job of ignoring him.
I know she thought we were nuts. This made me laugh harder.
I cannot even remember what Nick was saying- probably offering some other inane suggestion - when she parted my butt cheeks.
And stated loudly, "You have hemorrhoids!"
I giggled like a maniac.
And Nick, who had lost his ass view with the nurse in the way, asked, "Would you say it looks anything like a dolphin's blowhole?"
I tell you, I could barely look her in the eye the rest of the time she was on duty.