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Stupid things I worry about: Pooping out the baby



WARNING: Poop talk!

Yeah, I know this is not possible. I’m well aware of how all of this works and that pooping too hard won’t kill your baby. However, the PTSD in me argues otherwise and since my BFP I have not been able to have a fulfilling “movement.”

I have spent my entire life dealing with constipation. The slightest change in my diet or environment can leave me backed up for days. Treated myself to a lush dinner and cupcake? Constipated. Stayed over night in a hotel for one night? Constipated. Didn’t walk for a few days due to a cold? Constipated. Looked at the toilet the wrong way? Constipated! Ok, that last one is an exaggeration, sort of.

Poo and I have a long, complicated relationship. Pooping got a little easier when I was finally diagnosed with a dairy allergy. It got even better when I learned about Colace and then became FUCKING AMAZING when my proctologist (yes! I have one of those doctors, too! GO BELLE!) introduced me to Miralax.

Then infertility came and along with it came synthetic progesterone. Sometimes I’ll go three and four days without pooping. It hurts. It makes me grumpy. And it makes me worry about lovely things like colon cancer.

During my last pregnancy double constipation hit. I say double constipation because I was already stopped up from the progesterone. Then add in pregnancy and it seems someone sent a cease and desist letter to my intestines. The morning after my 6 week ultrasound I decided to force something to happen and spent a good while on the toilet, um, squeezing. I finally pooped and felt better.

Then a few hours later I started to spot and then bleed. In my little brain pooping to hard = bleeding. Six days later I learned my baby had died.

Pooping = dead baby.

I know this is not true. Pip had Trisomy 15 and was not going to make it no matter how hard I pooped but the fear still lingers and today I’m terrified to poop.

I am working hard to enjoy this second chance at a child. I want nothing more than to relish in every glorious day of my pregnancy and live like a fertile – without fear. That said the fear is there and, honestly, it is really starting to affect my bathroom time. I’m scared to push. I’m scared to poop. I get these waves of panic when I go to the bathroom. For hours after I do poop I am terrified of blood.

I’m not really sure what to do about all this. I am trying to acknowledge the fear and let it go, but it is not working. I’m trying to remind myself that it is physically impossible to poop out a baby, but I still panic. I am trying to relax and think peaceful thoughts when I go to the bathroom but nothing works. My mind always goes back to the dead baby on the screen and my first thought that I pooped so hard I killed my child.

For what it’s worth: I don’t expect anyone to have a solution to this issue. I am well aware it is all in my head and that it is probably something I should bring up with my therapist at my next appointment. Until then, I’m seriously considering getting one of those contraptions that converts your toilet to a squatting potty in hopes of making it easier to poo without any straining. I wonder how the Professor will react to this…. that man is a saint.



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  1. October 25, 2012

    Ugh – I’m SO sorry! I hate, hate, HATE being constipated! Don’t sweat it if you can’t enjoy this pregnancy yet. I had a heck of a time accepting the good news and had a pretty miserable first tri and felt really guilty that I couldn’t enjoy being pregnant. As if we infertiles need anything more to feel guilty about! In fact, I’m still guarded about it today. As long you are happy about it (you don’t have to be jumping up and down with glee) and appreciate all you had to do to get here, you’re golden. There will come a point when you can enjoy it – even if it’s the day that your baby is born. Sending you hugs.

  2. October 25, 2012

    I was/still am scared of this 🙂 you’re not alone in the crazy thought.

  3. D #
    October 25, 2012

    Glad to know that I am not the only one with this fear! I know if it irrational, but I will admit that I have Googled it before at times when times are ummm hard (haha, pun intended). Colace has been a miracle drug for me that my doctor says is safe to use during pregnancy. I have several friends who have healthy babies who swear by it. That and lots of water are great helpers. Everyone says to eat lots of fiber, but with morning sickness, all I wanted was carbs and cheese. That didn’t help the situation! :o)

  4. Ginny #
    October 25, 2012

    I second that advice on Colace – I am pretty darn sure it is perfectly safe during pregnancy and that along with LOTS of water should ease your pain and discomfort both physically and mentally. Call your dr. to check, it will be worth it, because you’re going to be pregnant for nine months (yay) and this is a classic symptom that could lead to even lovelier things like hemmorhoids (ugh). Anyway, sending you good “loose” thoughts!

  5. Aspgriswold #
    October 25, 2012

    I am so sorry you have to be dealing with this! Sending many many easy poop vibes your way!

  6. October 25, 2012

    Omg Belle! I worry about that too!!!!! When I’m constipated around possible implantation time, I rarely poop because I feel like the effort it takes will UN-implant an embryo and then worry about my constipation issues if I actually stay pregnant one day! We are cray cray! Xoxo

  7. L #
    October 25, 2012

    Hey, there is one thing that works like an arrow! I drink a glass of warm water as soon as I wake up. Also, I soak 4 black raisins overnight and have them 1st thing in the morning after I drink the water. Also, I have a banana (yellow small) as a snack before dinner time . All these work like a charm and I have a smooth time every morning.. Trust me, works like a dream.. Its my grandmom’s recipe for complete satisfaction 🙂

  8. jak #
    October 25, 2012

    woah, i can’t top L #… that is some crazy awesome witch magic advice. my doc says colace is fine, but havent had the big c yet (thank dog or jebus or somebody). usually gettin really drunk on beer works for me when big does hit, but i think that is out of the question for either of us right now;)

    i am however terrified that i will sneeze out our space monkey. its allergy season for me and even with claritin i cant stop sneezing sometimes. you are not alone with strange fears.

    happy pooping!!!!

  9. Jen #
    October 25, 2012

    This thought actually crossed my mind last night too… but I also figured I have already accidentally been living with RECKLESS ABANDON until yesterday when I got my surprise BFP and I am likely 8 -9 weeks along so I’m hoping this little guy wants to stick around. But even though I have boozed face like it’s my job, went to Mexico, got my hair highlighted, and SKYDIVED, I am already irrationally worrying about stuff like pooping too hard or having one drop of caffeine or sneezing too violently.

  10. October 25, 2012

    This is not stupid, nor is it crazy. This sounds completely normal to me. I’ve also become afraid of my poop, but for different reasons. Very early on in this pregnancy, I was constipated. Pooping was hard, but I found this oddly reassuring because it’s a normal pregnancy symptom. But the last few days my stool has been normal and it’s freaking me out. It could be because I’ve been eating a lot of vegan chili and fruit, but my paranoia tells me it’s because my baby has stopped growing.

    Well, ok. Maybe it is crazy. But at least you’re not alone in your craziness.

  11. October 25, 2012

    You’re right – it’s not physically possible – but I think it evey time I poop too, and I don’t have the same history as you. After transfer, I refused to try to poop.

    Fibergy. I lived on that while pregnant and I never had a problem. It’s by and it’s pricey, but worth every stinking penny! Get some!

  12. October 25, 2012

    Oh sweetie this sucks!!! I had the same feelings and fears. I took colace twice a day for almost my entire pregnancy and it definitely helped pooping still wasn’t easy but not impossible. I think you are also right, you need to talk about these fears so you can hopefully start to move past them but don’t put any pressure on yourself to “feel better” or confident at any particular time. I’ll be thinking of you and sending lots of good pooping vibes your way.

  13. heatherwallen #
    October 25, 2012

    Oh, Belle, no solutions but I just want to say that I totally sympathize! I am almost 5 weeks pregnant right now, and I have similar issues (and ongoing spotting). Actually I was fairly certain that last year I pooped my way to an ectopic (shortly after transfer, I just couldn’t take the constipation any more) and frankly, I’ve pretty much stuck to that story in my head. Ridiculous? Of course! Does that change anything in my head? Not so much! Hang in there. XO

  14. karaleen #
    October 25, 2012

    OMG….pretty sure this is totally normal…I kind of felt the same way…that straining too hard would hurt the baby. And…when your first pregnancy ends in miscarriage…really…no matter the reason for the miscarriage…your mind will then turn anything into a reason to hurt the baby. But…just about every woman I know has had constipation in early pregnancy and their babies are just fine….as are the two I did have after that first pregnancy…and believe me…the constipation was just as bad if not worse than that first pregnancy. Hang in there girl….eat lots of high fiber foods and push the water….maybe even have your accupuncturist (do you have an accupuncturist) do some magic on your middle. That always helped me.
    Hugs…so excited to be on this journey with you. \

  15. October 25, 2012

    I have your same problem while my husband is as regular as can be. Men!

    Maybe talk to your doctor about whether you can take this during pregnancy, but like to take acidophilus pills that I get at Whole Foods. They are supposed to regulate your “intestinal flora” to aid in digestion.

    Good luck with your pooping! 🙂

  16. October 25, 2012

    You got me with this post…I’m so glad I’m not the only one. I almost want to ask the doctor next time if by pushing too hard you can damage the baby, if only my husband weren’t with me at the appointment. 🙂 Looking forward to following your journey…well, not your pooping journey. 🙂

  17. October 25, 2012

    So, two things. I know it’s crazy and the doctors tell us it won’t happen, BUT (1) I totally worried about this too (for a long time) and (2) I’ve been trying everything to combat constipation since my egg retrieval in May. Yup, we’re going on 6 months of constipation and all the gross bleeding that comes along with it. Except…I am currently taking metamucil clear and natural a few times a day and I think it’s helping! I mean, I’m still constipated, but at least things are moving along regularly and I don’t have to push so hard. So maybe it’s worth a try? (Before this I tried dried apricots, prunes, and raisins, sweet potatoes and other high fiber foods, colace (3x/day) and milk of magnesia (yuck). None of them worked for me.)

    Btw, I can’t believe I just shared all this publicly. I must really care. 🙂

    • October 25, 2012

      I forgot flax seed. I ate tablespoons and tablespoons of flax seed for a while too. It wasn’t for me.

  18. Mary Ann #
    October 25, 2012

    My doc gave me a home remedy that well, frankly I thought was nasty. It’s a texture thing. But it’s applesauce, prune juice, and wheat bran. I forget the ratio, but it is rather thick and I was supposed to eat 2 tablespoons a couple of times a day. I couldn’t do it. But the one time I did eat it- it worked like a charm! I will also say on the pushing thing… I too freak out worried I will push my babies out. A friend of mine had colon cancer and they told him to rock on the toilet and not push. The rocking motion causes the intestines to expand and contract- moving things along. It’s not fast but it works for me! Pushing too hard can cause awful hemmroids! So I will just take my happy time in there rocking away until something happens!

  19. robin #
    October 25, 2012

    I was horribly stopped up during my pregnancy last year. I don’t really have a history of constipation, but you sound unhappy. I have a rule never to give pregnant/expectant parents advice, with the exception of: prune juice. 8oz, slightly warm, gets things going. After delivery, I drank 8oz a day for weeks. Never felt a thing (apologies for the graphic nature of this comment). Best of luck with the pooping and the pregnancy. I’m so happy for you and your husband. And thank you for your blog. It’s a great resource. If ever there is the opportunity, I think you should consider publishing it as a work of non-fiction.

  20. October 25, 2012

    Hubs was dealing with INSANE constipation for years, and it all went away after he started squat pooing. He is ALL about the squat poo. I would highly recommend it!

  21. October 25, 2012

    I don’t think you’re crazy. I think we worry and worry and wish that if we could do one thing RIGHT then our lives wouldn’t have things go WRONG with them. Back in the “crazy days” of infertility advice via the internet, I spent an entire months with socks on, sure that it was my cold feet that was stopping me from getting knocked up.

    I have heard, though, that those squatting toilet things are really good for you.

  22. tchrgrl05 #
    October 25, 2012

    Ok second comment because I didn’t think of it the first time around…2 T of lemon juice in about 8oz of water. Warm it up and drink it. Works for me every time 🙂

  23. stupidstork #
    October 25, 2012

    My sister in poo-troubles.

    Ironically, I think stressing out also causes a wee bit more constipation.

    You cannot poop out a baby. You cannot. (I know you know this I’m just repeating). Can’t be done. If anything he’ll be happy you’re happy.

    Thinking happy, laxative-like thoughts in your direction.

  24. October 25, 2012

    Perhaps tell yourself that baby needs a relaxed uterus, unhindered by a swollen over stuffed bowel? And that your “pushing muscles” during child birth are more the peeing muscles and less the pooing ones? So you uterus should just hang there while your other bits do all the work in the bathroom?

  25. October 25, 2012

    This isn’t crazy or irrational – the same muscles you use to poop are the muscles you use to push out a baby. That said I don’t think it can have any effect on a pregnancy this early. When I was big my doctor told me to be careful and not strain on the toilet, so if i was constipated I had to drink lots of water and take colace and pray haha. But that was much later on. For now, just don’t hurt yourself!!

  26. October 25, 2012

    I totally hear ya. When I lost the triplets, I mistaked contractions for pains from constipation and know that I will be scared to death when I am pregnant again and am….umm…having some trouble. Ugh. 😦

  27. October 26, 2012

    I worried about this with all three of my pregnancies. I told one of my friends during my first pregnancy and I got a look like I was crazy. Then I had a mc two days later. It’s scary. Really scary.

  28. whatrhymeswithinfertile #
    October 26, 2012

    My doc was able to prescribe a prenantal with a laxative in it. That helped me immensely!

  29. October 26, 2012

    Prune. Juice. I drink a full glass every night before bed, and in the morning: POOP.

  30. November 3, 2012

    I have dealt with constipation my whole life too. I actually had this same thought just today. I don’t think it’s crazy at all. Even though we know our babies are protected from all the pushing by so much, we are using all the same muscles we would to push them out when we deliver and it’s scary as hell! Reminding myself and you to DO. DO trust your body. Hugz hon!

    • November 3, 2012

      Oh and I use colace stool softener. I don’t use any laxative. I was always told to just eat lots of fiber and use colace when needed.

  31. wheelsv #
    April 13, 2013

    OMG !!! i have this huge fear too and just yesterday i kinda forgot about it and sadly pushed a little too hard to poo and well there was a good amount of bright red spotting :,(((((
    im sooo terrified and scared that i just want to go running to the hospital BUT! i dont want to over react since it wasent a flow and had no cramping with it :/ but omg someone tell me this happened to you and have a perfectly healthy baby in hands :(( or should i just go to the ER? and have a doctor ease my crazy mind.. t-_____-t

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