The poo doula
Today I have been a doula.
For a constipated three-year-old.
We tried breathing, and laughing, and distraction, and pushing, and screaming, and squeezing hands, and talking about how mummy pushed babies out of her yoni.
We tried good cop, bad cop. We tried patience and gentleness. We tried insistence. We played hardball and said there was no going to her beloved playschool unless she did one.
It’s been three days… and counting… This child has managed to go eight days before without going. Getting more and more hyper, and cranky, and uncomfortable, and miserable, and sore, and not able to sleep, or eat much.
We have been stuffing her with fruit, and weetabix and withholding dairy. And getting her to drink lots of water. We have stroked her back and massaged her tummy and read her stories on the toilet and made cooing sounds of sympathy. We have tried singing songs, making jokes, reading books about poo, lying that it won’t hurt, threatening that it will hurt if she doesn’t do it soon, done huffing puffing birthday candle breaths…
Oh how like labour this is, I thought. And what a great doula I would make, gently, wisely coaching a woman through.
“Push” I suggest gently.
She ignores me.
“Just try, a gentle push”, I say.
“A little push, go on.!”
“Oh for goodness sakes just push, for flips sake, you have to push or it’s never going to come out!”
How many doulas and midwives resist saying this every day of their working lives? Ah well! I think I’ll stick to being a writer!