Oldtimer here… in that my kids are all grown. BUT I thought I’d share a bit… (lol, overshare ???)
I didn’t find it terrifying per se… but I did find it more “difficult” than my regular routine. I think it is a combo of elements… your body needs fibre, movement / exercise, fluids, etc to make things “run smoothly”.
When you have a baby, ALL of these elements are disturbed.
You may very well have spent a good deal of time on your back (ie. 12, 24, 36+ hours is not unheard of)… you haven’t been eating much, many of your fluids were given to you interveneously, and taken away by a catheter, and most women will have had their systems “cleaned out” before the baby. Plus your body’s been on drugs… and some of those will also just naturally end up disrupting your system enough to “slllllow it down”
Now you add in the recent strain of having a baby… maybe some episiotomy stiches… or like in my case some from a CSection… and the idea of “straining” anything is a very real concern.
You also add in the fact that you’ve been on IRON supplements for months… (lol and they don’t call it IRON for nothing)… plus the fact that many women get hemmeroids in the final months of their pregnancy… too much pressure of the baby’s head bearing down on one’s tail end.
And ya, anything going on “downstairs” can be not particularly comfy.
Most Hospitals know and recognize this all as being an issue… so they give you some meds to help the process along (stool softener). BUT all the same, it is a bit un-nerving that first poop.
Plus add in the fact, that you usually just want to go home, and settle into a life and routine, and leave the icky hospital behind ASAP. (You’ve had more than enough… thank.you.very.much)
BUT the Hospital makes it very clear, that they aren’t releasing you home until you’ve actually had a poop. (Talk about performance anxiety / pressure to perform !!)
And so it goes.
(In reality, in my experience it sounds worse than it is… it is just another element of having a baby… things are definitely better for both Mom & Baby once you get home, and back on familiar turf, and have your Hubby there as part of the team…)
Hope this helps,