One thing I truly did not realise before having my first child, was the utter havoc that can be wreaked by pushing a child out through your pelvic floor. More havoc can be wreaked, if, like my son, you decide to be a touch unwilling in the matter, and someone has to fish you out with something akin to a pair of metal salad servers.
In order to get the salad servers in, space must be made, usually by way of an episiotomy. For the uninitiated, this means that your perineum is cut, and after baby is safely out, you are stitched back together.
In my case I had an internal scar that went further north than I could reach without dislocating my wrist and effectively giving myself a DIY sweep.
This led to about 8 weeks of searingly painful poos. It felt like I was on fire. Every time I had a poo. Several times after birth I was caught out and had to use a public convenience- my God. I nearly ripped the toilet roll dispenser off the wall by grabbing it in attempt to do something other than scream the place down.
The other thing I hadn’t expected was the problems with weeing. The first problem was that I was catheterised. And it wasn’t emptied often enough. Cue a dramatic loosening of the connectors and wee flooding all over the room, me, the bed… The healthcare assistant really enjoyed cleaning that one up. After I regained the feeling in my limbs, they removed the catheter and I was allowed to get up and go for a wee myself. After a couple of hours, I thought there was something wrong with me. I had convinced myself that they were going to have to put the catheter back in, and that I wasn’t going to be allowed home because I couldn’t go, and… And… And… So I went to the loo to just confirm my self-diagnosis, and lo and behold, it just poured out of me. I had not taken into account one vital piece of information: there was no longer 7lb 12oz of baby plus assorted gubbins bouncing around on top of my bladder, which meant I could hold on for longer than 20 minutes between bathroom visits. Phew.
Like a good girl, I did my pelvic floor exercises, and managed to get my poor, mistreated pelvic floor back into some sort of working order.
Fast forward to now: every time I cough, sneeze, laugh too hard, or pass wind, I piss myself. And bearing in mind I have just been sick, and have a seriously annoying cough, I should take out shares in Tena Lady.
It’s just the worst aspect of being pregnant that seems to be some sort of social taboo. There now, I’ve said it. Now you know. And it’s utterly humiliating.