There are numerous commercials on TV about men with GOING problems and women with URGES. I've talked about medical issues on the blog before, but still, this one seems radically different - like, "wow, I didn't know that could happen to someone I know." But yes. My name is Jennie, and I have a bladder control problem.
There. I said it.
Here's the deal. Every woman knows that the days and weeks following childbirth isn't exactly the ideal time to make us laugh heartily, or you'll find us racing for the bathroom. Even a couple of sneezes or a strong cough might be dangerous. But well after I had Alice, those moments continued. The coughing especially causes problems for me. After going through multiple pregnancies, I've learned there's a ton of things that NO ONE EVER TELLS YOU (my sister is vigorously nodding her head right now), and I had just assumed this was one of those things. You know, random times when you wet your pants as a 30-something adult - must be kinda common, right?
Have I ever mentioned I'm not a doctor? Okay? Might be important to make a note of that.
So last September, I'm at one of those indoor bouncy castle jump places for one of Helen's daycare friend's birthday parties (yes, I know. Sigh. DON'T ASK.), and I get to take Alice with me, too. It's her first time, so I head inside one of the bouncy things with her to jump around and see what she thought. Holding her in my arms, I experiment with a soft jump or two.
And promptly pee all over myself.
Okay, I think, that was not good. Fortunately I was wearing dark pants, but wow. Not good.
So a week or so later, I mention it to my mom, thinking she'd commiserate with me. After all, I'm 30-something, and she had me when she was not that old, maybe in 3rd grade, so that makes her um, what? Older than me? Anyway, I figure she might have had the same problem, and we could laugh about it together, right?
There was silence on her end of the phone. Finally, she says to me, "Jennie, that's not normal. You need to go to a doctor."
My first thought was, really? Not normal? And then I thought, okay. Maybe not. I mean, maybe I get to be one of those women who pays attention to the commercials about women with URGES and asks the doctor about the pricey brand-name prescription drug. It took me a few days to wrap my head around it. And steadily, over the next few weeks, the URGES got worse.
So I call the doctor for an appointment. I mention the symptoms to the nurse, and she says that sometimes bladder infections can cause leaking. Okay, I think. Maybe it's just a low-grade infection, after all this time. I can deal with that, just a simple fix with antibiotics. This doesn't have to require lifelong Depends purchases. This doesn't mean I need to visit a restroom every hour. Okay. Sign me up for that one.
I pee in a cup and give some blood, and the doctor sends me for an ultrasound to see if my bladder is doing anything strange. And I find out that the reason my leaking has gotten worse lately is due to an 18-week old baby curled up right on top of my bladder. Heart rate looks great, all the measurements are fine, and all the features look perfect. It's a girl, who's been quietly hiding out for over 4 months. And as I look at the tiny baby on the screen, I go blank, and the tears well up.
Then I think to myself, "Depends would have been so much cheaper."