Monday, September 14, 2009

The Suppository. Alternate title: The man I love.

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.


  1. What a wonderful husband you have!! Amazing.

    And don't worry. Those of us that had the baby vaginally are just as afraid of that first poo!

  2. Hahahaha! You two are crazy. It's good to be so compatible in the crazy!

  3. This is wonderful. And honestly? She probably thought you were nuts, but no more so than many of her other patients. I think OB nurses see as much, if not MORE crazy, than their psych counterparts.


  4. Hahahaha! That's awesome. And as for never thinking you'd be close enough to someone to have your hemorrhoids-a-poppin' anus in their face, that's pretty much how I felt throughout the childbirth experience. Who knew the levels of intimacy we're capable of?

    How the nurse kept a straight face (or why she would want to, for that matter - that shit was funny) is beyond me.

  5. She must be a sad woman to not laugh at that.

  6. See? Life will never be the same. You and Nick are so perfectly suited. I love it!

    After 18 years, MathMan still references the poo cork on occasion. I guess that explains alot.

  7. My husband just had his gallbladder removed, and there are similar associated pain/triumphs with gas and poop. I also learned that most nurses have ZERO sense of humor. My husband is a nurse, and a very funny one at that. He was teasing and joking with all of the 5ish nurses he had in the surgery process, and only 1 laughed at his jokes. The others stared blankly, especially the night nurses. They have no humor at all.

  8. You're right. There is something worng with you.

    And I like it.

  9. WHOA. Not only do you have to squarch after a C-section (which I never knew, I thought that was an episiotomy thing), you have to do SUPERVISED squarching????

    I'm glad you have a man that can keep the mood light, cause that's a whole lot of personal space violation going on. At least you guys can keep a sense of humor about it!

  10. The Swiss are all about suppositories. But they make you put it in yourself. Not sure which way is better!

    Hysterical story though, glad it is saved and shared with all of us now! :D

  11. I agree, it would have been a travesty not to have documented this story!

  12. On that note, I'd like to buy Nick a beer!

  13. SO glad you shared that story before it was lost! (-:

  14. How could that woman not laugh?! Apparently she has no sense of humor.

  15. Oh my god. I think you're officially closer than me and B, in the poop way.


  16. ha ha ha ha ha! nothing like laughing so hard you're crying. it's the best. do you watch Mad Men? (if not, you need to start, immediately!!) in last night's episode as don's wife was wheeled away from him so that she could give birth and he could drink booze in the waiting room, it pointed out to me that back then it just might have been possible to get through life without having your husband see every square inch of you . . .

  17. After reading your baby having posts, I have to admit I'm slightly scared of childbirth. You tell the details no one else does. Maybe you should turn these posts into a book and give them to high schoolers who think it's cool to get knocked up at 15.

    I don't know how the nurse didn't laugh. I was cracking up. But I do have a sick sense of humor! =)

  18. you KNOW that nurse burst into laughter when she left the room and told all the other girls at the desk! that shit is HILARIOUS! (pun not intended)
    i think his comments would make your stomach hurt with pain just from laughter so the fact that they pulled a baby out that way too must've made it awful... but good awful

  19. Wouldn't it be great if that nurse had a blog? Whatever shall we search for to find her?

  20. squarching, pooing, farting, hemorrhoids, dolphins blow guys are awesome! What the hell's wrong with that nurse? Thanks for the laugh today!

  21. Oh my EFFING GOD! That was tremendous! Thank you for sharing!

    I am going to tell this story to my husband, who will immediately deny that women can poop at all, much less need suppositories!

  22. Fantastic. Or should I say "fannytastic." Zing!

    P.S.--Was this at Georgetown? Because that woman has to be the humorless New Englander who taught our terrible birth preparation class.


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