A FULL CIRCLE SAUSAGE MOMENT by Leslie Marinelli In the Powder Room

A Full Circle Sausage Moment

Epidurals and Italian sausage and peppers do not good bedfellows make.


I guess I could argue that Italian Sausage was what got me into that whole pregnant situation in the first place. Kind of befitting that it would also be what I remember most about my first labor and delivery twelve years ago.

I had just gotten home from work, and grocery shopping, and pumping my own gas that day when SPLASH−my water broke all over the driveway.

We called my doctor and followed her instructions to get to the hospital right away. (They wanted to make sure I hadn’t just peed myself…as if I didn’t know the difference. Sha!)

Several hours of “Shouldn’t you buy me flowers first?” invasive exams later, we were sent back home to await my contractions.

That’s when the fun really began, because waiting for me at home were my 70-year-old Italian in-laws urging me to eat something…I would need my strength!

They were there to help because my husband had thrown out his back playing 36 straight holes of golf a few weeks earlier and was completely incapacitated.

(Oh, can you hear that? It’s the world’s smallest violin playing a rousing rendition of the You ASSHOLE! Sonata in F sharp.)

Yeah, you know all those last minute tasks a pregnant lady needs help with, like installing the car seat, putting the crib together, reaching her shoes? None of that stuff got done at my house.

In fact, the day I was released from the hospital, my new baby, my labial icepack, and I had to sit on a bench outside for over half an hour while Mr. Back Spasm struggled with the car seat installation. Good times.

My in-laws were actually a Godsend, in spite of the fact that our little California bungalow was much too small for all of us. And by all of us, I mean four adults and the cloud of old man farts that were my ​Father-in-Law’s constant companion.

But Mom was extremely helpful around the house and kept us all very well fed. The night I went into labor, she cooked Italian Sausage and Peppers for dinner.

It was delicious. I ate two helpings.

Look, I didn’t know!

Life lesson: epidurals and Italian Sausage and Peppers do not good bedfellows make.

Unless, of course, you don’t mind your b-hole acting like a Play-DOH Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop extruder while you’re pushing.

About 18 hours later, two nurses lifted my hips and changed the paper under me like I was a paraplegic puppy. I turned to my husband and croaked in my semi-conscious voice: “Oh my God, did I just poop?”

“Yes,” he answered with his mouth, his eyes closed tightly against the sight he would never be able to unsee. “Actually, you’ve been pooping for a while.”

Score one for the passive aggressive Italian MIL.

My healthy, albeit cone-headed baby boy emerged with the rest of my dinner shortly thereafter and nothing else really mattered.

My husband, surely exhausted from having to be on his feet and repeatedly remind me to breathe and relax so many times, went home and slept in his own bed and ate his mother’s home cooked breakfast the next day.

I figure having to watch me crap myself repeatedly in front of a room full of strangers was the least I could do to even the score.

Leslie Marinelli is a writer, wife, mother of three, toilet humor aficionada, and transplanted Pittsburgher trapped in the suburbs of Atlanta. She’s the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of In the Powder Room, the creative force behind the award-winning tell-all mom blog, The Bearded Iris, and the editor and co-author of In the Powder Room’s hilarious bestselling anthology, “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”

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  1. says

    Not sure how I missed this, but I was just going through the favorites list and this is a winner! Hilarious! I had c-sections and after 30 hours of labor, when they announced it was C-time, one of my first thoughts was ‘at least i won’t poop on the table’…never mind that they set my guts on the table, the thought of pooping was worse. High five for putting it all out there!

  2. stacy graebner says

    So funny Leslie! (I’m sure you were laughing hysterically at the time too)… The visual of a Play-DOH Fuzzy Pumper Barber Shop extruder will haunt me all day… I may need to go to my mom’s for a home cooked breakfast to recover.


  1. […] Joan is very candid and open, as well. So I chatted with her about my own sufferings in the “shit department” of life. She wasn’t at all surprised when I shared with her the details of a 12 day, fecal-free, bender (that happened back in ’02). The kids had simply refused to be dropped off at the pool! Instead, they gathered together, to form one giant kid—a kid that eventually, through sweat and tears made its debut with a glute-splashing cannonball of mammoth proportions. This ordeal was like a heads up for me (and not in a turtle head kinda way). Oh no. I had been given a sneak peak into what it would actually feel like to give birth . . . […]