Alright, let’s get a little nasty.
^^ that should spark some interest … no?
Seriously though, I’m talking about the things that no one REALLY wants to hear about but something that impacts so many women … well it impacts me and – because I know that there is NOTHING on this planet that is unique about me … I can deduce that this also affects millions upon millions of ladies everywhere.
And so, with that being said, this is OBVIOUSLY the post that I am writing that will hit the mark, go super viral and make me an over night sensation.
Getting back to the point though, I pee, no joke, and not just when I laugh.
Let’s rewind to before I had babies. I mean a long, long time ago when my body knew me, was fit and active and was the enjoyment of my husband (remember ladies, we have five children, we know how it’s done). There was a time when I could do anything without thinking of bladder leakage.
I mean, you would have to get me in a serious laughing fit, like can’t breathe, snorting, knee slapping laughing fit, for me to even wonder if there might be a tiny trickle.
I played all sorts of contact sports, wore barely there underwear and NEVER gave drips and … well … more than drips, a consideration.
I never even considered that it would be a problem after I had kids, I mean, I was active, healthy, and had a robust workout regime that should keep me looking totes adorbs during my pregnancies, after which I would most certainly bounce right back.
That. … ^^ all those high tooting thoughts I had about myself, well they were tossed out the window when my pregnancies saw me gain upwards of 50 lbs each time … rounding out the overall weight gain at the height of my fifth pregnancy being nearly 90 lbs from my initial pre-pregnancy weight to this “new me” body. Not to mention, with the extreme weight gain and a desperate attempt to birth my first son naturally, I obliterated my abdominal wall resulting in a sizeable umbilical hernia and an abdominal separation (daistasis recti) of 6 cm after postpartum recovery …
Which brings me to this point of peeing … well randomly … here and there.
Like thinking about whether I am clutching the kegels as I stand up after changing a bum, crossing my legs as I sneeze, wondering if I will make it to the bathroom in time if I’ve been particularly absent minded so it becomes a literal sprint through the house and up the stairs as the pants are being dropped and the spin, sit is perfected.
Let’s share a laugh if you will (because I know some momma is going to feel this)
Two years ago, like when I was only three kids deep in this leakage journey … my girl AMANDA (I promise I have other amusing friends, but this girl is like a little sister) suggests to our tribe that we should have a fun mom date. We need a day out to laugh and feel alive again.
Well, as we were all contributing ideas like a day at the spa, maybe coffee and a mall walk, or we could even get “wild” and do something crafty at the local shop, my girl AMANDA suggests that we go to the trampoline park.
The TRAMPOLINE PARK!
Hear me when I say I laughed so hard that at THAT time, I nearly peed myself *and I still had relatively good bladder control*.
She was serious! The visual of four or five moms, two and three kids into their journey, bouncing up and down on massive trampolines was … well, one for the ages.
I mean, the mommy tummies that would certainly not stay tucked away in the high waisted jeans or leggings. The saggy and empty breasts flapping carelessly in and out of our attempt at sexy push up bras, threatening to smack our chins and cheeks as we giggle … and then the fear of a champagne shower releasing over the trampoline … the wonder if a super long pad would even stay in place to avoid such a conundrum …
I laughed, I cringed, and I wondered what on earth this young lady was thinking (now, I should tell you that she is a fit younger momma, I have five years on her and substantially larger babies that come out of me …) but I laughed and I passed on the invitation, desperately hoping that I was not the only one who wanted to avoid this spectacle.
I wasn’t … another mom came to my side … we avoided trampolining … I can’t even tell you what we settled on or if we actually ended up doing anything at all besides a dinner, but .. let me tell you, in the two years after that wild suggestion that four moms should jump unabashedly on some trampolines, things have not improved.
This momma bladder is lacking some serious strength. I mean …
After five adorable babies I am struggling to regain the strength in my lady bits and I am beginning to seriously wonder if the next time my husband and I are intimate together he will even know. I mean, hot dog down a hallway when you push five good sized heads out your you-who.
And, as much as I am kidding about that, because OBVIOUSLY he will know we are being intimate, I mean all the lights will be off because *heaven forbid* he see me naked in this stretched out body, the door will be closed and locked because, well, so many children and NONE of them needs to walk in on what I can only imagine would look like something off the Discovery Channel … and I will probably still be wearing a nursing bra and breast pads because I’m sexy like that and no one wants tiny drips of let down in the middle of the hot and naughty.
I digress … I know there are some readers out there who are blushing awkwardly, wondering how I could have just written all that … and then there are my girls who are like, “Cass, you just described our sexy time routine! Creeper, it’s like you know ME!” << I do, I get you, we are besties!
Knowing that the trap door down there is not as effective as it once was has me searching high and low for some “protection” that is not bulky, does not irritate my sensitive parts, and does not cost an arm and a leg. All of these requirements seem to be illusive when it comes to narrowing down one feminine product however, let me tell you.
And so, the search – if I can be blunt – went a little like this.
First, because I am not even 32 yet and I cannot fathom a life of being in incontinence underwear, nor can I merit the hefty price tag on those puppies (it’s nearly $25 for 18 pairs!!! How do the elderly do it?) I knew that I would have to look into regaining the strength in my lady bits, and so … like any other WOMAN out there, I went directly to …
For some good ol’ searching! Kegels, postpartum recovery, bladder strengthening. I looked up every possible trigger word that I could to try and find some at home routines I could do while nursing, while recovering from our home birth, and while navigating our new life with five bouncing bundles of energy.
Pinterest is a GREAT resource for these tips and those fancy info-graphics when it comes to all things workouts, recipes and DIYing! And so, I knew that I would need to do those standard kegels (the breathing exercises and pretending to squeeze off the pee midstream) but I found a world of information on pelvic floor strength and abdominal repair that had me whirling with the possibilities.
First off, I will admit that my midsection will require some serious repair on a surgical level, and no – I would NOT be the mom who advocates for a tummy tuck for the sake of vanity, but when you can literally tuck a dinkey car in-between your abdominal wall and it DISAPPEARS when you crunch up … you know you are going to need help. And I am not against getting the care needed to ensure that there are not further problems down the line.
So, what is a mom to do. Wanting to break free of the Depends-style panties *as fancy as they are* (PS I would recommend the Always brand ones over the Depends for the comfort and “class” … if you can say that adult diapers are classy … they absorb the best when it comes to water breakage, and last the day without smelling funky when we are talking about leaks and postpartum bleeding) needing to save up the funds for the abdominal repair, and knowing full well that attempting to master the kegel when, at any moment I will need to launch from the couch and grab a child before certain disaster strikes … it comes down to a combination approach.
Finding a panty liner that is discrete, low chemical and effective while setting aside 20 minutes a day (even if in small blacks) to do more than the typical “elevator” kegels, while building a business with my husband and boys that *hopefully* helps us to save away enough to afford the repair without seriously impeding our family’s ability to make ends meet. It’s a balance of being practical, knowing that there is no need to enter into an extended payment plan for this repair, and keeping our eyes on natural improvements when and where possible.
I know that the road will be long and will ACTUALLY require me to work (like workout daily, which, as I have suggested in the past I SERIOUSLY struggle with commitment and consistency) but with the constant reminder that (a) I am not too fond of the trickle, (b) a more “toned” lady section will mean better bed times … and (c) I’m only 32 (almost) … my body is not destined for depends, there is a lot that can be achieved with consistent growth … or shrinkage … if only I can maintain perspective and persistence.
And, isn’t that the way it always is, we have to keep on going. We have to keep improving, keep gaining strength or courage or confidence, and we must persist.