‘Did you ever do your Kegels?’
‘No Doctor, what’s that?’
‘Tighten your bum and vagina muscles.’
‘Oh right? Is there anything else I can do because when I run? I am wet down to my knees.’
‘No there’s nothing else really.’
Does this sounds familiar?
I have literally never laughed, sneezed, stubbed my toe, walked briskly or went for a run without a pad because I knew I would be drowned wet; since I had my babies four years ago. It is a small thing to many, but a big thing to some. And I am feckin’ sick of it.
I went to a Christmas party last year, danced and had a blast but I was so uncomfortable afterwards because I was drenched.
It is another post-partum body complication I have to deal it, manage, factor into my weekly shop or think about before I go anywhere. AND NO ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT IT!! Why are we so bad at informing women? Do we think women will not have babies if they knew the truth?
My mother-in-law recently said to me when we were having one of our post-partum conversations, ‘Men are born. They live their life. And then they die. Nothing ever changes for them.’ Now this was all said in jest and of course we laughed, but let’s be honest… she is not wrong. In fact, she is actually fairly spot on.
Women are constantly been challenged by their bodies; and as a result we have to evolve in order to keep all the metaphorical ‘balls’ in the air. We are continuously thrown curve balls, and as deadly, amazing and legendary as we are, these challenges are enough.
I recently starting feeling very creative; a new feeling for someone who can’t draw a straight line without a ruler! And I thought about all the ‘stuff’ I have on my plate (some definitely self-inflicted I will admit) that my husband doesn’t have and it is not his fault, it is just my life now that I am a working mother of two who takes anti-depressants, who needs to practice ‘self care’ whilst doing everything else. And this led me to think about my sometimes ridiculous daily to-do list.
I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am depressing. I am a runner. I am a wife.
These can be positive and negative depending on your mind-set and perspective. Positive because they can create targets, a support network, encourage reflection, help built structure. Yet negative as they can also lead to pressure, looking to outside influences, mentally ticking boxes, negative self-talk and putting yourself in second place. Does it go against self care? Or is it purely a practical thing?
Thinking of all these things brought me back to the notion that anything to do with our post-partum bodies is just accepted as part of the course. Sometimes I feel the women of the past have done us a disservice, unbeknownst to themselves because they did not speak about it, question it or challenge it. I sometimes feel that they make us look weak, winey and just not up to the task.
We are not asking for much. We don’t want it all. We just want to be looked after better. To be treated with care and compassion. To be heard and given options when we have exhausted the usual things. If Kegels does not work, then tell me what else I can do because it is not ok to wet myself every time I bloody sneeze
As I write this I know that I need to do something about it and you are probably wondering where this is all leading is.
I have made a promise to myself to do something and I will let you know how it goes. I am going to start doing more to help myself because I know there is something I can do, but it is costly. I will take control over my body and fix it, and I will talk about it when it is fixed. Because I will fix it. I will not accept how my body has changed. I can be strong again