In HuffPost Birth Diaries we hear the extraordinary stories of the everyday miracle of birth. This week, Izzy Fox, 28, shares her story.
I didn’t stop pooing during birth. I knew that would happen. I always need a poo when I’m nervous so that, combined with all that pressure on my bowels, was bound to make me poo – I just didn’t anticipate how much. I didn’t care though. There’s little dignity in childbirth. All I wanted was for my son to get out safely.
My pregnancy was pretty easy – we had to undergo fertility treatment in order to conceive so I was nervous throughout, mostly because I couldn’t believe I had actually got pregnant in the first place. Thankfully there were no complications and I managed quite well, if I do say so myself.
I didn’t wind myself up thinking about the birth. I didn’t even have a birth plan. To be honest, I think I just expected giving birth was going to be pretty awful anyway – and not because of hearing any traumatic stories or anything – just because logically, pushing a baby out of your vagina doesn’t sound like a fun thing to do, no matter how many paddling pools or candles you have about.
I took my grandma’s advice: “Be a good girl, do as you’re told and get that baby out as safely as possible.”
[Read More: 9 birth stories that prove every labour is unique]
When things started happening, I was already 10 days overdue. Around 1am one night, I was rudely awoken and felt some small contractions for an hour – it was like a pop inside my tummy and when I got up, my waters started to slowly trickle out. I alerted my other half, Luke, who was about to go to bed. We called the birthing unit and off we went.
I was hooked up to a monitor straight away when we got to hospital to see how the baby was doing. I wanted to stay on my feet for as long as possible but was advised to lie down so they could monitor us properly. The midwife asked me to go and provide a wee sample – and this is when the poo started. I couldn’t help but push a poo out into the tray because of all the pressure. The midwives just laughed it off and waited for me to just provide some pee.
A few hours later – at around 3.30am – my contractions started to get more intense. I asked for some gas and air and it was wonderful. I remember nodding off for a bit, everything went a bit hazy. By 7am my contractions were getting really close together and causing a lot of pressure – I was pooing with every contraction and the midwives were very subtly swiping it away.
Unfortunately, my arse was facing Luke most of the time so he also had the pleasure of watching a log fall out every minute or so. I also had to keep switching sides as my cervix wasn’t dilating evenly, and people were starting to get a little more concerned as the baby’s heart rate kept dropping.
By 12pm the next day, a doctor came into the room as I seemed stuck at 8cm. He gave me an episiotomy [surgical cut] and I began pushing – and pooing. The baby was still not budging and was back to back so I needed forceps. The insertion of the forceps was probably the one time I didn’t think I’d be able to handle the pain but I got through it and pushed with everything I had.
I tore and exploded poo, womb stuff and blood all over the doctor, walls and floor. My baby landed on top of me covered in gunk and opened his little eyes and looked at me. He was covered in my poo, his poo, blood and god knows what else. My first words were: “I love you, but you’re disgusting”.
He was bloody gorgeous once they’d cleaned him though. It’s strange – you spend most of your pregnancy wondering what your baby will look like and when they’re born you just recognise them, I thought, of course, that’s Freddie, that’s exactly what he looks like – everything I wondered or speculated was forgotten.
My birth advice?
If you need to poo, poo. No one cares and it feels so much better to let it out. Get maternity pads, always get more pads. Pack some lip balm, you’ll need it.
As told to Amy Packham.