On one of my first days there, one of the activities was jump roping. Going into it, my biggest fear was that my jumping would register on the Richter scale, but as I began to jump, I realized that causing an earthquake was the least of my worries.
Why you ask? Well, it is because as I started to jump, I realized, "holy shit. I am going to pee in my pants." No, I am serious. I started to pee. In my shorts. In the middle of the gym. I was in total shock because, at the ripe old age of 30, I had no prior experience with incontinence. And to make matters worse, the coach that day was a guy. A guy who co-owns the gym.
I had no idea what to do, so I just went up to him and said that jump roping hurt my foot too much (I have a foot injury) and asked if I could do something else. Thank God he is a super nice guy and he obliged with no questions asked. (Looking back, he totally knew what was going on, but was too nice, and/or creeped out, to say anything).
After class, I went up to co-owner (coach's wife) and was like, "look, this is so embarrassing, but I feel like I have to tell you because I don't want you to think I am lazy, but I had to quit jump roping because..." She literally cut me off and was like, "oh yeah, I know. You were going to pee on yourself. I totally get it."
In that moment, I felt a rush of emotions. Shock: how the hell did she know? Fear: did she know because my pants are soaked and I smell like a homeless person? Shame: everyone is talking about me.
Thankfully she went on and said, "oh yeah. It is normal. Look around. Before every jumping activity there is a line of moms outside of the bathroom." Then the happiness hit: I am not alone.
As a side note, she then went on to tell me one of the funniest stories I have ever heard about hitting a PR / peeing. Sadly though, I don't want to tell it on here because I try not to make a habit of embarrassing other people. Only myself.
So, off to work I went after Crossfit, feeling somewhat comforted, but still a little freaked out that I now had to worry about peeing on myself on a daily basis (just when I had gotten through this other fear: pooping during birth). Because, really, let's face it, peeing on yourself is a slippery slope. It can only be followed up by the cessation of bathing and teeth brushing.
As I entered work, my face beet read from the workout and my clothes stuck to my fat rolls from sweat, I ran into one of my friends, who was like, "um, you look like you are going to die." I proceeded to tell her what had happened to me. Her response, "uh yeah. Haven't you ever noticed that I cross my legs every time that I sneeze?"
WTF?! No, I hadn't noticed. You know why? Because you are a clean and lucid person, so it never occurred to me that while I was talking to you, you were peeing. On yourself.
So, yeah, people, there you have it. Having babies often, although not always (there are some lucky bastards out there), ruins your bladder. Having babies can make you a sexy and vibrant, yet incontinent, young lady.
Just three girls walking along,
peeing on themselves.
Can you get it back, you ask? People say to do kegals. I call bullshit. First of all, who can remember to do those everyday? Seriously. You can't do them in public because the look of concentration would make people think that you are actually trying to not poop on yourself (way worse than peeing).
The advice that I most often read is to do them in the car. That advice was clearly written by a man. Between handing my toddler her sippy, her snacks, and her paci and trying to change the song (MORE ELMO LALA), I can barely look at the road, let alone remember to squeeze my vaginal walls together.
So, my friends, the answer is no. You cannot get it back. Much like perky boobs and a tight, scar-free tummy, bladder control got pooped out on the day that you delivered your sweet bundle of joy. Just another price that we women pay.
My best advice to you is this:
1. Talk about it! Ever since it happened to me, I talk about it with everyone. I was at a girl's night this week and it came up in the natural progression of the conversation. The more you discuss it, the less alone you will feel. Unless you discuss it with men or young, childless women. Then you will just look like a freak.
2. Try to avoid getting sinus infections, jumping rope, and dancing. Unless you are wearing a diaper. In that case, go for it, sexy Mama.
3. Accept it. People will still like you. Parking garages smell like urine and I still use them. I bet you do too. The same applies to people. Even if you have the slight smell of urine, people, especially other moms, will still be your friend. I promise.
And finally...4. Own it. In the words of one of the people mentioned in this blog, "yeah, I pissed on myself. So what." That attitude, my friends, takes balls. Love it.