Part of what I try to do here on the blog is talk about the issues of motherhood that aren’t in the books…or the usual ones. I have tried that with graphic birth stories and even embarrassing posts about pinworms. I don’t really embarrass easily and if you know me in real life, I am willing to talk to you about anything. No joke. Anything.

This is one of those things I have filled the ears of many of my cohorts. Lately I talk about it more than having this baby. So here we go internets, lets get this out there:

To put it nicely, Landon’s arrival killed my pelvic floor.

To put it the way I usually do, I continually pee myself.

Yup. Sneezes scare me. Coughing fits are just plain horrible and I had to train my vajayjay just as much as my legs for a half marathon. I actually got better after that race. It was tolerable but then the minute Dolphin came into the picture, my muscles were like “FUCK YOU LADY” and have gone on strike.

Yes. It is embarrassing but there is only so much I can do at this point. So mostly, I just laugh at myself. I pack extra clothes all the time. I make it work.

But this post isn’t just to gross you out, it is to reach out to you others with this problem.  That’s the thing. I know I am not alone.  According to different reports I have read anywhere from 1 in 8 to 1 in 12 moms suffer from this in different degrees.  A lot of us hear it from the older generation that they have this problem.  Comes with motherhood.  Another one of those “awesome” merit badges you get for birthin babies. But ya see, it can be fixed and the vast majority of people I have talked to, have no idea. When I talk about this to people, it is a huge revelation.  They don’t have to spend a portion of their budget on Poise pads. HALLELUJAH!

There are various ways  to get it under control.  For some, it could just be more Kegels. But even with then, you have to keep them up for the rest of your life. And when you are 60 and can’t anymore? Coming back with a vengeance.  Others, like me, need a little more help. There are different surgical procedures to repair the damaged tissues. I had read about this when training last year and knew that once #2 got here, I would be getting it fixed.  I have already talked to my doctor and we are looking at 2 months post partum.  I am pretty excited to say the least. So for my readers, I have asked my OBGYN, Dr. Seidel of Physicians for Women in Cary, NC, to explain these.  Thanks Dr. S!

women restroom incontinence

Urethral Sling

A sling helps correct incontinence with mesh that supports the urethra. It is a minimally invasive procedure that basically helps your urethra rest on something to alleviate the peeing thang. There are many different types of slings and would be decided upon by you and your doctor. The procedure takes about an hour with local or general anesthesia which your doctor would decide. You go home after and full recovery is 4-6 weeks. Check out www.amswomenshealth.com for more information.

Pessary 

A medical device, not unlike a diaphragm, to help tighten your junk up. This is a temporary or permanent solution. Can be placed by a doctor, midwife or nurse.

Retropubic suspension surgery

This is basically a facelift for your junk. It pins everything up using ligaments. It can be done with 1 large abdominal incision or laparoscopicly. This is pretty major surgery causing hospitalization and a catheter. Recovery is 4-6 weeks.

For a little more info from another OBGYN and fellow mommies, I found this great podcast from Pregtastic where they discuss this in detail with other moms speaking about their experiences.

So know your options. Talk to your doctor and make a plan. You don’t have to live in a constant state of worry that you can’t make it fast enough to the bathroom or have to give up high impact exercise. It isn’t a right of passage for being a mom…it is annoying as hell. Just a great thing it can be fixed.

Photo credit: http://www.wegotkidz.com/tales-of-a-pregnant-womans-husband/

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessie April 19, 2012 at 9:21 am

Have you looked into going to physical therapy? I know it sounds strange, but my friend is a PT and works with women on pelvic floor issues. I know she has talked about loosening the muscles for people, but surely there are things a PT could do to help tighten. Just another option to research.

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Brandy April 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I haven’t but I think my Dr. would have the same thing to say as about kegels. Unless you are religious with it, it will just go back to the same state. You aren’t fixing the problem…just strengthening around it.

I was manhandled during birth pretty bad. Nurses commented they hadn’t seen bruising like I had. I am amazed it isn’t worse.

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Lizzy B. April 19, 2012 at 10:19 am

I don’t presently have any pee-related issues, which is – I suppose – something I can thank my c-section for. (High five, c-section incision!)

That said, I appreciate the reminder to do my kegels.

Smooches,
Lizzy B.

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Surf Momma April 19, 2012 at 10:26 am

I had a c-section but my bladder took a lot of damage while I was pregnant, they tacked it back in place when they did my surgery. It’s not perfect though – I can stand a sneeze here or there and a cough but when I get sick and sneeze and cough my head off it’s plain awful!

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Brandy April 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Seems to be C-sections win here. I was pretty manhandled…whomp

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SHorne April 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Thank you so much for writing this. I tend to be a rather quiet and private person and with something as embarrassing as peeing yourself…well I just wouldn’t share it. I know it is common and I am not alone but all too often that IS how I feel. I spoke to my OB after delivering my last child and all he said was “kegels, kegels, kegels! After delivering five babies I think there is only so much kegels are going to do! It is annoying as hell to have be to be standing in just the right position to sneeze! What’s that? A sneeze coming? Wait!! I have get ready, cross my legs, brace my myself and hope like hell my bladder doesn’t give out complete right there on the floor!

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Brandy April 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Yeah. Even my doctor said kegels are building muscles around the area. It isn’t repairing the problem. Just like if you hurt your ACL and build the muscles around it to help it…you still haven’t solved the problem So when you are 60 and don’t want to do your kegels anymore, you are back to square 1.

Maybe talk to a different doctor? There is definitely other options out there.

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