So I wet myself when I laugh. There, I said it. Not loads, but enough that when people say “You’ll pee yourself laughing” I think “God, does it show?” It’s not just when I laugh either. I dread hay fever season, where I can be overcome with a sudden bout of sneezing and no time to cross my legs.
It’s my fault really. When the health visitor came round after I brought my first daughter home, she told me it would happen.
“How are you?” she asked.
“You need to do your pelvic floor exercises every day” she trilled at me. “It won’t come back on it’s own.”
Five years and another two children later, I sometimes can’t remember my own name, let alone remembering to set ten minutes aside each day to clench and unclench my buttocks.
My bladder has become a family joke. Sometimes I can’t stop weeing, and other times I can’t get any out, even if I really need to. I laughed at my old Grandad when he developed dartitis. He would aim his arm at the dartboard for ages, and then could not let go of the dart. I don’t find it as funny now.
Sometimes I think I’ve finished a wee, so I pull my knickers up and then out comes a bit more. “Husband, more pants please. It’s happened again, and if you bring me my wedding thong as a joke like last time, I’ll strangle you with it.”
When I go swimming, I have to sit by the side of the pool before standing up, to let the water I collected ‘up there’ flood out. Don’t judge me. I’ve seen other women do it too. They pretend they are adjusting their goggles, but I know they’re not. They’re thinking “Jesus Christ, half the bloody pool’s up there.”
Trampolines are a no. Just no. Running without prior warning is also risky. I tried Pilates, but it didn’t help.
“Try and stop your urine mid flow” the teacher said to me, “then you will know what to tense.”
“Seriously? If I could do that I would not flipping be here.”
One of the kids, mentioning no names of course, (you know which one you are, fathead) came out so fast she knocked my bladder into spasm and I had to wear a catheter for two days. The husband said “I love you, but I can’t look at you right now.” I replied: “Well you’d better. It’s all your shagging fault. Now empty the bag, it’s pulling on me like a sack of udders.”
I think that my pelvic floor fell out, or maybe the midwife stitched it up by mistake. I was positive she had been too enthusiastic on my repair (perhaps the husband had a word). How the doctor laughed when I told her that I thought my bum had been sewn up.