I randomly found a very, very old email thread tonight, and I had to share:

—– Original Message —–
From: me
To: my friend
Subject: Re: Hey
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2002 11:53:39 -0800

> JB told me when she emailed him to let him know she was pregnant. That’s great for those guys, I wish her all the best. I was sort of dumbstruck by it, in a I-can’t-believe-people-our-age-are-reproducing kind of way. I mean, intellectually I am aware my body physically could have pumped out like 10 kids by now but it still freaks me out because apparently mentally I am only 9 or so. I morbidly watch those shows on TLC like Maternity Ward where they show women all in pain and smooshing out babies that emerge covered in jello and it.flips.me.out. The husband is always there all supportive and *watching* all the action that is going on downtown, too. I told JB whenever we get to that point off in the reproduction-horizon he is not allowed to LOOK down there during the whole birth process. Then again, I am 9 right now, and maybe will grow up soon.


From: my friend
To: me
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 9:19 PM

> I know people my age give birth. it is a simple statement of fact that I went to high school with and knew several girls who gave birth before we even finished 12th grade. but I think the film we saw in 9th grade biology class of the “live birth” did something to me, and each time the concept of giving birth is mentioned and applied to MY life, I am reduced to that terrified, disgusted 13 year old. I don’t wonder why there are men who can’t have sex with their wives after they see them give birth. it is completely unfair, yes, but understandable. consequently, I refuse to watch “maternity ward”.

While many of my close friends have kids, janet is the first of my close FEMALE friends to give birth. I have known that janet wants kids all along, but I let myself believe that she’d go on as tongue lasher/career woman forever. and i never thought she’d bear children before lisa… who is also on a mission to become pregnant right now. while I am very happy for them, this whole scene is giving me issues.

From: me
To: my friend
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2002 4:12 PM

> Yeah. When JB read Janet’s email, he was at home and read part of it to me. I said “well, that’s great!” and then slid into a weird funk that resulted in me randomly blurting, about an hour later, “I certainly hope you don’t wish *I* were pregnant!” He was like “Ummm…no.”, probably mentally adding “PSYCHO”. It was weird to hear cause it’s someone my own age, deciding ON PURPOSE and everything, to have a child. I mean, I can’t even water my plants regularly. I started brooding on how she was all multitasking with her career and probably a houseowner and oh by the way also growing a *whole entire person* in her spare time. That was the night I watched a whole hour of Maternity Ward and snapped at JB about how he wasn’t going to be allowed to look Down There during that moment, whenever that moment should be. Him: “Umm…ok.” (PSYCHO). Because really, I know it’s a beautiful moment and angels are singing right then and whatever but how could you ever look at it the same again? And what happens with all that pushing if you have to go to the bathroom…like #2???? Oh, god.

From: my friend
To: me
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2002 2:35 PM
>
> i don’t know how to tell you this exactly, but before you give birth… they give you an enema.

Comments

36 Responses to “They don’t give enemas any more, do they?”

  1. Ang on March 22nd, 2012 8:43 pm

    Hahahahahaha! No, they do not give you an enema, as evidenced by my ruining my doctor’s shoes. Hated that guy anyway, hee.

  2. Blythe on March 22nd, 2012 8:53 pm

    I gave birth in Germany, and the midwives could not stop talking about how I needed an enema during early labor. “You will like it! It will make you feel good!” I became very forceful with my limited German vocabulary, believe me.

  3. Brooke on March 22nd, 2012 9:19 pm

    Two kids, no enemas. I’m told I ” pooped” (I believe that’s a medical term) while delivering my daughter. I wasn’t crazy about my nurse-midwife so whatevs.

  4. mlegreenberg on March 22nd, 2012 9:48 pm

    I had never heard of them doing enemas before but I can see where it would make sense. They warned me in the childbirth class that people usually poop on the table in some point of the process but that if you have an epidural you wont even know it unless someone tells you. She also said its no biggie to the nurses and they just quickly and quietly clean it up and go on like it didnt happen. If I were on the nursing end of it I definately would be pro-enema though! Yet another reason I could never be a nurse. Whatever they are paid, its not enough!

  5. melanie on March 22nd, 2012 9:59 pm

    OMG, yet another reason I am glad my two were surgically “removed” lol.

  6. Carmen on March 22nd, 2012 11:20 pm

    Two births, no enemas. Told husband he wasn’t allowed to watch “down there”, and he told me he didn’t want to cut the cord. He did both, to my horror. (Well, horror about the watching. The cord-cutting didn’t matter to me.)

  7. Sarah on March 23rd, 2012 4:12 am

    no enema, thank god. and i didn’t poop! but i did wet myself..and had no knowledge until i felt it running down my leg. Then afterwards they insisted on a catheter..which i was not impressed about, having told them, i don’t want one, i’ll just go pee….grrr

  8. Life of a Doctor's Wife on March 23rd, 2012 4:57 am

    I’m still at the stage where I can totally empathize with the horror of 2002 you. But enemas?!?! Clearly there’s a whole new realm of Things to Fear About Childbirth that I need to discover.

  9. Jen in Germany on March 23rd, 2012 5:19 am

    Gave birth in the US twice-no enemas. Gave birth twice in Germany-two enemas. I am now pro-enema. Seriously, you are going to be scared of an enema when, hello, you are going to be pushing a baby out of our vagina very shortly with a whole host of people around watching? The additional benefit is that you are literally cleaned out and won’t need to poop for a while after giving birth which gives your nether regions a little bit of a break from pushing things out and lets you heal a bit. Yes, childbirth is not pretty. Thankfully, the tiny Miracles you get to hold afterwards are and all the unpretty parts fade away.

  10. Ris on March 23rd, 2012 6:07 am

    I’m reading this (and the comments) saucer-eyed, and have decided: it’s official, I’m never having children. Maybe we can just get a cat.

  11. Judy on March 23rd, 2012 6:57 am

    I had enemas with the first two, but by the third they had quit doing that in the US. I really can’t say whether the enemas helped or not. I do know it was miserably uncomfortable to be hunched over on the toilet doing what enemas make you do, and at the same time experiencing labor pains every three minutes. And I suppose I pooped during delivery, no one ever actually told me I did, and I have no memory of doing it, but stands to reason… but there are so many gross things going on, that’s really rather insignificant. I think it prepares you for the years of diapers and spitting up ahead of you.

  12. Frannie on March 23rd, 2012 7:12 am

    I never heard of anyone getting an enema here. I had two C-sections, the first was an emergency. While I didn’t have the opportunity to push as graphically described, i did projectile puke all over my bathroom at 3 a.m. I do not regret a moment, and better than stressing myself out more, I put faith in my doc-who I had just met (since it was an emergency). I can see how that could be difficult. I hear stories of people who didnt like their docs. 1) why won’t you change docs before giving birth 2) there’s a certain level where you can have control/birth plan. But when sh*t (ha) happens you it’s best to go w/ the flow (har).Things don’t happen as perfectly, some (a lot) of pregnancy is hard and not super pretty as people would like to portray-poop, puke, engorged boobs! Yeow, etc. But the experience is SO worth it!

  13. Courtney on March 23rd, 2012 7:24 am

    As someone who is 8 weeks pregnant, I’m still stuck in the “OMFG I can’t believe we did this to ourselves, shiiiiiit” mode. But in reality, I’d be fine with an enema. I think I’d rather poop early in labor, on my own terms, than late in the game?

  14. Deb on March 23rd, 2012 9:46 am

    Good Grief.

    I never heard the enema story, thank goodness; but I did spend an inordinate amount of time during my first pregnancy fretting about that “They shave your pubes for you” rumor.

    Horrifying.

    For my first pregnancy, I read all the books and spent 9 months worrying about every single thing they listed and driving my OB insane with questions like “HOW DARE YOU suggest I use a laxative! Don’t you know that is a Drug! Are you EVEN A DOCTOR?!?!”

    For my second pregnancy, I threw all the books out and went with the “Ignorance is Bliss” game plan. My OB was visibly relieved when I told her.

  15. Christine on March 23rd, 2012 10:28 am

    I think your body does a pretty good job of clearing everything out, even without an enema. My daughter came so fast that I practically pooped her into the toilet after the, well, poop. (Natural birth; no time for anything else anyway.)

  16. My Kids Mom on March 23rd, 2012 11:33 am

    With the 1st kid, I pooped on the table. 2nd kid was going to be induced early. They DID give me an enema and it sent me into labor w/o Pitocin. (In the US)

  17. Christine on March 23rd, 2012 11:43 am

    Yeah, I’m 30 and I’m still with the you of 2002 despite the fact that I have friends with kids of their own. I think I would be pro-enema though, just because I am anti pooping in front of people, thank you very much.

  18. Sarah on March 23rd, 2012 1:06 pm

    Before giving birth, I was pretty worried about the pooping in front of people aspect. I mean really, who hears that is a possibility & doesn’t panic? After having two kids, though, I learned that by the end of giving birth to a child so many people have been in and out of the room and there are so many bodily functions going on that literally by the end of it they could have told me some perfect stranger was going to come in off the street & have a look-see, and I would have been all “What evs, come on in!”. For the record, I thought the whole childbirth process was SO much better than I had feared when I was younger.

  19. Jessie T. on March 23rd, 2012 1:55 pm

    2 kids, 2 epidurals, no pooping and no enema. They just don’t let you eat while you’re in labor…then there’s nothing to come out of your nether regions except a baby. After that, you’re famished. That crappy hospital food tasted like manna from Heaven after 18 hours of labor and no food.

  20. agirlandaboy on March 23rd, 2012 2:33 pm

    Ahahahaha! This is my favorite.

  21. sara on March 23rd, 2012 7:25 pm

    I just have my daughter and my mom totally freaked me out before i had her by telling me id need an enema and to get shaved! (side note, my phone autocorrects enema to ‘enemy’… Coincidence??) Needless to say, no enema and no poop. I even told the nurse towards the end that i was scared i was gonna do it and she said if i hadn’t done it yet, then i wasn’t going to Hahaha…. I COULD go into a horrifying story about when they broke my water.. But i think i will leave that to your imaginations :)

  22. FrostedLemonCarrot on March 25th, 2012 7:25 am

    I pooped. And peed. But your body does a pretty good job of clearing itself out before you go into labour (it’s one way I knew labour was on its way), so by that point it’s just little tiny poops, it’s not like giant logs are coming out of you. I wasn’t too concerned about it beforehand anyway (I work in health care, so I know it’s no big deal and whatever I do, they’ve seen worse), but when you’re in the throes of labour and you’re bleeding and naked, you really don’t care about much, all your dignity is gone. I found the whole labour experience, especially the pushing, was pretty much like taking a big giant dump.

    No enema was mentioned to me, ever, but I birthed with a midwife so I’m not sure if they do things differently than OBs would, plus I’m in Canada so it could be different from the States as well.

    I told my husband he could decide whether to look down there or cut the cord, I wouldn’t be offended or worried either way. He did peek a few times, especially when they said, “we can see the head!”, but I think I was hanging on to him so hard he couldn’t move down there anyway to see.

    It’s funny how you go from that mentality when you’re young, to being okay with it but still scared, and then by the time it’s showtime, it’s pretty exciting. Or I was, anyway.

  23. Carly on March 25th, 2012 7:53 am

    I totally snarfed at “it’s not like giant logs are coming out of you”.

    And just to chime in: one birth, no enema, and I pooped a little.

  24. Dianna on March 25th, 2012 12:26 pm

    Well. I’m 26 and have never had the desire to birth my own children. Pretty sure this just sealed the deal. Pooping on the table…no thanks!

  25. Brigid on March 25th, 2012 4:33 pm

    Oh that horrid child birth movie! I watched the first few minutes, put my head on my desk and plugged my ears for the rest. When the bell finally rang, I grabbed my stuff and high tailed it out of there, but apparently not fast enough because I caught a glimpse of something on the movie screen and promptly fainted in the hallway. Nice. Swore I would adopt.
    Have 2, both planned C-sections, and though my plan was to go natural, I’m secretly glad to have had the whole thing done in 15 minutes.
    I could see the reflection in the light above my head and told them they needed to cover it up so I wouldn’t faint. My husband watched the whole thing including seeing the inside of my abdominals. Ewww.

  26. AliceWithMalice on March 26th, 2012 6:10 am

    *** Currently pregnant women, or women considering future reproduction, read this comment at their own risk! ***

    I have given birth to four daughters – not a single enema, or pubic shaving, here! However, I was told I *did* “evacuate” on the table during my last delivery, but I suppose that’s to be expected while trying to push out a 9lb 8oz frank breech baby? Least of my worries at the time, needless to say! Afterward, the delivering doctor complimented me on my “amazing pelvis”, raving that it was “consummately perfect for childbearing”. Underwhelmed by sheer exhaustion, I informed him I’d put that on my resume, and list him as a reference.

    My third daughter was delivered with the added bonus of a double placenta. THAT doctor felt the need to show it to me as though I was a medical resident, and not the one recently relieved of such a horrifying piece of ephemera. I was then asked if I wanted to KEEP IT. I think the drugs prompted me to ask if I did take it home, did that mean they’d keep the baby in exchange? The nurses thought I was a hoot, at any rate.

    As for ‘spectators’, I begged my first husband to not watch during the birth of my first daughter. He spent the entire delivery at my feet next to the OB, despite. All he needed was a damned catcher’s mitt. His idea of support was shouting “OH MY GOD – you could fit a small Japanese car inside your episiotomy!!!” This, oddly enough, wasn’t the reason I ended up divorcing him.

    Enemas: not so terrible now, hmmmm? ;D

  27. Amy M. on March 26th, 2012 7:12 am

    Hilarious! I felt the same way in my 20s! I’ve had 2 babies since, and let me tell you, pride goes out the window! There were so many people in and out of that room while I had my feet in the air, I lost track. I made my husband swear never to tell me if I actually “evacuated” while pushing.

    And afterward, there was a multitude of residents, med students, nurses & doctors asking if I pooped yet. I never thought so many people could be concerned about someone’s bowels, especially someone they’ve never met. “Hi! I’m Ted, a medical student. Have you pooped yet?” Yeah, leave me alone. Trying to get a latch, here!

  28. Jennifer on March 26th, 2012 10:30 am

    Bahahahahaha! I find that whole email exchange hilarious. I’m sure I thought similar things 10 years ago, but don’t have documentation.

    I totally did not get an enema and I’m sure I didn’t care if I was pooping or not. It was more “Sure, everyone, take a look! Just get the baby OUT!” kind of thing where you lose all modestly. But maybe that was just me. I’m sure my 22 year old self would be mortified.

  29. Jill on March 27th, 2012 5:31 am

    Two babies, the first a c-section, the second not, no enemas, I was told I did not poop but frankly I wouldn’t have cared either way. My husband watched both deliveries, cut both cords, and held a leg and stared with awe as my second was born.
    But what gets me most about this post is that I’m still (at 30) the first of any of my friends to have babies, so now I’m wondering if similar emails were going around about me when I was pregnant (on purpose! holy god!) at 27.

  30. Kelly on March 27th, 2012 6:42 am

    LMAO at Alice. :)

    My stomach went into revolt shortly before I went into labor and cleared itself out. I got up in the middle of the night, thinking it was another round of tummy troubles and then heard SPLASH on the floor as my water broke. Yay for nothing to poop out in labor!

  31. michelleJ on March 27th, 2012 9:45 am

    My sister is about 9 weeks along with her first. Wondering when it would be safe (safe = we’d get a good laugh) to share this post & comments with her…. *grin*

  32. Cally on March 27th, 2012 7:27 pm


    Is there an option for sensory deprivation delivery? Maybe they drug me up, set me up with some sort of neat video visor and headphones. Perhaps playing footage of cuddle puppies or old episodes of Care Bears, then maybe give me a shake when everything’s all done down there? Because that’s the only way I’m doing this nonsense after reading all of these comments.

  33. Courtney on March 28th, 2012 5:27 am

    Love that people see pooping on their doctors as revenge. Also cracking up at Brooke’s comment “I’m told I ‘pooped’ (I believe that’s a medical term).”

    One birth here, natural, no poop (no time! He was born really fast). My mom, however, had the enema, pitocin, epidural, AND they shaved her when she had me. I think she got to the hospital so early they were just looking for things to do to her. I do not understand the shaving aspect–is it really that hard to see what’s going on down there?

  34. Amy on March 28th, 2012 1:36 pm

    I am rolling right now!! The comments are priceless. My first was removed due to an emergency. I didn’t poop, but he did right as they were taking him out…and right into my abdomen. Ew, ick, gross!

  35. laziza on April 4th, 2012 2:32 pm

    OK, all these comments are awesome, but the one that broke me was this: ““HOW DARE YOU suggest I use a laxative! Don’t you know that is a Drug! Are you EVEN A DOCTOR?!?!””

    For the record, two natural, vaginal births here and I have NO idea if I pooped or not. In the moment, who knows and who cares. Afterward, my husband tells me I did not – but I’m pretty sure he would tell me that regardless to save my delicate flower feelings.

  36. Cheryl on April 7th, 2012 6:30 am

    No enemas here, and I totally pooped both times (2006 and 2011). Thankfully, with my 2nd son, I had already been in early labor with contractions every 5 minutes or so for 4 days, so I could have given a shit less. Also, I was pretty much pissed off at the doctor (resident at the hospital) because they were going to send me home for the 4th time, but I think my “lasers out of the eyes” glare convinced him that it was time to induce. Seriously…if I could have pooped on his head, I probably would have.

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