Hey folks! As you all know, I have had weekly appointments and ultrasounds since week 28. At my 31-week appointment, I got the great news that I passed my glucose tolerance test with flying colors, and the not-so-great news that my iron level was very low. I was assured that this was not a major problem and that the babies were getting all of the iron they needed. They were simply sucking the iron out of me, the little vampires. The doctor prescribed an iron supplement for me to take in addition to my prenatals. Iron supplements -- the very thought of them brought out the competitive spirit in me. I was lucky; after the morning sickness disappeared, I was not plagued with any of the other stomach problems of pregnancy (except for that whole farting thing I talked about in my Let's get real entry). No nausea, no heartburn, and certainly no loss of appetite. I knew that iron supplements were known to screw up the digestive system, and I was bound and determined not to let those pills give me "the Big C" -- constipation.
"Eat plenty of high-fiber foods to balance out the extra iron. Fresh fruits, veggies, and grains should help," said my wise doctor. So as "wise" parents, Frank and I stopped at the store to stock up on fiber-rich, anti-constipation devices -- watermelon, cherries, peaches, carrots, cucumbers, Cheerios, Total, and Raisin Bran. When we got home I took my first iron pill (which by the way was huge), and washed it down with a feeding trough of Cheerios, half a watermelon, and a gallon of water, since that's what I was craving at the time. There was no way I was going to get butt boulders! Later that night I settled into bed, confident that I would win my battle against constipation.
Around 2 am I was jarred awake by what I first thought was my daughter bouncing off of my bladder, signaling that first bathroom trip. I quickly realized that it wasn't my bladder that was in distress, but it was my lower back that was screaming for mercy. The pressure was constant, with the pain intensifying in certain intervals. I immediately thought they may be contractions, so started timing a few. I didn't want to panic Frank, so I decided not to wake him until I started panicking. A couple of minutes later, one of those farts that catches even you off guard slipped out. I stared at Frank hoping that it hadn't woken him up, and then realized that when that gas escaped some of the pressure off of my back was lifted. I wasn't having contractions; it was just a bad case of gas. While contemplating this revelation, I came to another conclusion. The excessive gas after taking that iron pill could only mean one thing -- impending constipation, even though I had taken the preventative measure of almost overdosing on fiber. Still feeling the pressure in my back, I took three minutes to haul myself out of bed and waddle to the bathroom, knowing that in order to end my misery I would have to embark on a full-fledged fartfest.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! If you think that discussing some of the less-glamorous things in life is unlady-like, read no further! If you were offended by my Let's Get Real journal, this is much worse so do not continue! However, if you have an unforgiving sophomoric sense of humor and laugh out loud when someone accidentally falls or farts in public (like I do), please continue! Okay, so there I am in the bathroom at 2 in the morning, pacing the floor and struggling with the intense pain of all of that gas. I literally felt like I was going to explode. As funny as I am making all of this sound, I was truly miserable. This was one of those backwards situations that you don't find amusing until you've had the chance to sit back and think about it. Anyway, I'm pacing the floor with gas escaping here and there, but not nearly enough to alleviate all of that pressure. All of the sudden, I hear Mommy Lady's voice pop into my head and say, "If you feel constipated, get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth." I complied, because right then I was willing to try anything to get rid of that pressure. After two minutes of maneuvering, I finally made it to the bathroom floor on all fours. Boy, did that work like a charm! After about ten minutes of rocking (and praying), majority of the pressure was gone and I felt almost human again. Along with emptying myself of a ton of gas, I also emptied about half a can of air freshener. I waddled back to bed, surprised to see that the fartfest had lasted until almost 3:30. I knew I had to get some sleep, because all of that farting was just a precursor to constipation, and I had to be battle-ready.
I awoke again around 6:00, feeling a little uncomfortable and suffering from a touch of that third trimester insomnia. I decided to relax in a warm bubble bath to ease some of the aches I was feeling. Soothed by the silky water and pillowy bubbles, I felt like I was in a Calgon commercial, even though I had a thirty-pound island chain of baby and boobs protruding from the ocean of bathwater. Suddenly and without warning, I felt my insides begin to stir and rumble. You know that feeling when you have to drop everything and dash to the bathroom in a race against time? I understood all to well what that feeling was. I knew immediately that my anti-constipation plan backfired on me. Not only did I ward off constipation, but I also invited a hellacious dose of diarrhea. It wasn't toilet rocks I'd be fighting, but it was a case of the Hershey squirts instead. I had unwittingly put myself into a win-lose situation.
(Here's the really gross part, so this is your last chance to back out if you're easily disgusted or think it's inappropriate. If you're finding this funny so far, keep reading because it gets ridiculously funny from here on out.) I knew that it was only a matter of seconds before my bowels let loose completely. Now here's the problem -- I was 31 weeks along with twins, and any attempt for me to get off my back took an act of God and at least three minutes. I end up feeling like a turtle caught on it's back. I normally need Frank's help to get in an out of the tub. By myself, it takes at least three minutes and a series of "Yoga Mama" positions to get out of the tub. Based on the urgency in my bowels, three minutes was two and half minutes too long to get myself on the toilet. I waited a few seconds more, hoping that the rumbles would stop long enough for me to take my time getting out of the tub. That was a mistake! My stomach started churning with twice as much furor as before, and I immediately started flailing my arms and legs hoping that I could work up enough momentum to quickly hoist myself out of the tub. I wish I could say that those darn Kegel exercises worked for me, but in this case, tightening every pelvic floor muscle didn't stop the flow of anything. By the time I actually made it on the toilet, there were streaks of awfulness on the bottom of the tub and on the bathroom floor. It was terrible! I have never had diarrhea (or self-humiliation) like that in my life! There I sat on the toilet, with non-stop tears gushing from one end and what can only be described as a constant flow of fiber coming from the other end. Hormones kicked in in full effect, and I sat there crying because I, a dignified (and potty trained) woman, crapped on the floor. After I was sufficiently empty, I got on my hands and knees once more, this time to clean out the tub and the floor. Once again, I started blubbering over how pathetic the whole situation was. When I was finished, I took a shower, because now I had that "not so fresh" feeling. Finally, at 7:30 am, I emerged from the bathroom smelling of both Pine-Sol and Lever 2000. I managed to sleep until around 10 am, waking when I felt Frank get out of the bed. When he asked me if I slept well, all I could do was crack up laughing.
Just as a final note, I debated for a long time on whether or not I would be so bold as to write about this. Then I remembered Mommy's story about when she was in labor with me. She kept telling the nurse that she had to "use the bathroom" and the nurse kept saying, "No, dear, the pressure you feel is just the baby making you feel like you have to push." After a few more attempts at trying to get the nurse to let her go to the bathroom, Mom said to herself, "I'll fix you, you cow. I may be having a baby, but I still know when I gotta go." The nurse left the room to make the final preparations for my birth, and when she returned, Mommy was grinning with a satisfied look on her face. Mommy had just "let it rip," as she said, and the nurse had to clean it up. When she glared at Mommy, Mom nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders and said, "I told you I had to go," and smiled. My sister Chanel has her own story about pregnancy incontinence, but I promised her I wouldn't talk about the time she was eight months pregnant and had a case of explosive diarrhea in the middle of the store (gotcha, Chanel!). I came to the conclusion that most preggos have horridly embarrassing stories such as these, and that I would be brave and bold enough to share mine with all of you. I'll see you on the message board! Post me if you want to be brave and 'fess up on your most embarrassing pregnancy story! Much love (and fiber),
Kym and the twins!