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The Near Miss Enema: A Postpartum Warning

Do you know what an enema is? It’s basically a flush for your bum-hole. Its entire purpose is to drive the constipated crap out of your bowels by forcing water up in there when you aren’t able to excrete it yourself.

enema cartoon explain

It doesn’t sound pleasant at all, and it most definitely leaves you feeling unsexy when you have to ask your spouse to administer it on you. But when you reach the point where pushing on the potty makes your soul leave your body, it may be time to accept your fate.

This was a fate I once came dangerously close to.

The year was 2014. I was nine days postpartum from delivering our first baby. She was absolutely perfect. My going-on ninth day of having not passed a bowel movement was not perfect. It’s no secret that constipation is a common symptom most postnatal mothers face. But being a first time mom, I was over confident and underprepared for reality.

Here, we arrive at the infamous and dreaded first postpartum poop.

I had gotten into the habit of giving myself a pep talk every time I’d walk to the bathroom:

“I can do this. I just pushed an entire human out one delicate hole. How hard can it be to push something smaller out my other delicate hole?”

Because of these verbal pep talks, it became common knowledge to my husband and my brother (who had surprised us with a visit) that I still hadn’t dropped a log yet. It was so bad that even these men, who would never experience this type of postpartum induced constipation, understood that something needed to be done. After having tried everything else, my husband politely offered to pick up an enema for me from our local CVS.

“No way.” I panicked. “My mom had to give me one of those when I was like, five years old. It was awful. Scarred for life.”

And the thought of my husband buying me an enema and knowing that’s what I was administering to myself behind the closed bathroom door had me so embarrassed. I still wouldn’t let him see me pee, so there was no way in hell I was going to admit I needed a medicine that would go up my butt and flush out my 9-day-old stool. He had just seen my torn, stretched lady bits during labor—I didn’t need another gross image of me in his head. Preserve the romance a little, right?

But when day ten was threatening on the horizon with no promises of relieved bowels, I finally gave in. He bought me an enema and I retreated to the only bathroom our little apartment had. There was no secrecy in what I was about to do.

Grumbling, I read the instructions and let my mind exaggerate how awful this was going to be. “Take the stool softeners,” they said. “It’ll be fine,” they said.

Lies.

I drank all the water. I swallowed all my pills dutifully. So why did I still find myself in the fetal position, hovering a tube next to my bum with my intestines feeling like they might explode?

After 20 minutes of my hesitation, hubby knocked on the door to see if the deed had been done. I emerged, determined to accept surgery over an enema. Though they should have laughed, I remember how supportive my husband and brother were to my plight. So supportive, that my husband then, very seriously, told me he would administer the enema to me.

HA! And I thought I was already embarrassed enough with him just knowing that I needed one. To let him administer it? Heaven help me. I had heard stories about enemas working so quickly that you wouldn’t even have time to reach the toilet! I know they say for better or for worse but did I really have to let him get a front row seat to my anus?

Now, you may be sitting there wondering what the big deal was. I know NOW that I was being ridiculous. But you’ve got to remember those post-delivery hormones wreak havoc on your emotions, and remember that we were the type of couple that didn’t really use a toilet in front of each other still. I felt like a part of our marriage was dying and a new, smellier part was emerging. (Or not emerging, since the chocolate hostage hadn’t been released yet.)

But I was finally to a point where I couldn’t deny I needed help any longer. I tearfully accepted his offer of help and resumed the position, butt in the air, sure this would kill our sex life more than what he had seen nine days prior.

enema positions

But at the last second, as my husband was asking me to “stop clenching,” I chickened out.

“Wait! One more attempt on the toilet to do this the ‘natural’ way, please!” I begged.

I guess my determination to keep from possibly pooping on my husband was enough motivation for me because… well… you can predict the outcome.

And that’s my story of the near-miss enema.

The takeaway? Ladies, drink TONS of water, take your stool softeners religiously, eat healthy, convince yourself that you’ll have an easier experience, then do a lot of praying and your first postpartum poop will be easier than mine.

Use my advice and you’ll avoid having to find out how much your husband still loves you during your “for worse” moment on the bathroom floor.

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Steve E.

Saturday 25th of May 2019

I would have no less love for my wife after giving her an enema and if anything would love her even more for the trust she showed - even if she pooped on me - which should not happen if you administer the enema correctly. How do I know , well I rank cleansing the bowels of your significant other as one of the highest acts of love , signs of trust and enhancements to intimacy. I have administered several enemas to girlfriends over the time. Why not? Constipation is very common , especially among women, indicated by laxatives (along with painkillers) being the biggest sellers in the pharmacies. Laxatives are the worst punishment to inflict on your gut and only weakens it over time tending to be habit forming which makes you unhappy and poor and the pharmacy happy and rich. Not so the proper mild soap can/bag and colon tube enema (NOT the disposable fleet variety) properly prepared and given - which promotes good bowel function. All said girlfriends were grateful and asked me for repeat treatment on regular basis, some calling me their private doc, and then some returned the favor and became my nurse. It always promoted a beautiful open and caring relationship which is why I find stories like the one above quite amusing. People have hangups about enemas, there's no doubt about that, but it usually goes back to an early experience which often wasn't ideal. If there is a level of trust that story can be rewritten and your relationship can move to a whole new depth of intimacy when you know your partner is there for you even when you are pooping thunder after a large enema they have just given you - and yes, they had a good look at your anus and everything else while doing so! After all its part of you - the person they love - and they also have one! They may even find it to be a bonding process. Or they could even get turned on as one of my girlfriends confessed about giving me enemas! Mothers you saw everything and witnessed everything about your children and if anything that makes you closer to them does it not? Also I have to say the idea of my significant other carting kilos of poop around in their bowels 24/7, especially when backed up, quite unromantic and am very willing to help them "come clean". Sure ,anything can be taken to excess but a parting tip here is that you may find adopting this healthy and hygienic practice between you absolutely transforms your sex life and makes more babies! (It promotes fertility among many other benefits). Bottoms up!

Sumati Jaiswal

Sunday 11th of November 2018

Very well explained....I m in love with u

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