There is a whole list of things that people don’t tell you after you have kids. I’m sure that some moms do talk about it, but it’s not really listed in books anywhere. I remember at our pre-natal class, our teacher mentioned her hair had completely changed after having her children – once poker straight, it was now totally, and unmanageably curly. I know my hair has changed a great deal – it’s texture is totally different, the hair at my temples grows toward my face now, and well, not shockingly, there is way more grey in it. I think it’s also curly, although the short cut I’m currently sporting hasn’t grown out enough for me to really tell.
My stomach, once a slightly rounded display of femininity (and trust me, I RUE the fact that I used to whine about a gently sloping tummy), now more closely resembles a question mark thanks to my cesearean scar. And the skin surrounding the scar has absolutely no sensation anymore.
And one thing that no one ever mentioned to me is my complete and utter inability to hold my bladder anymore. Gone are the days when the twinges of needing to pee were merely something to note and carry on. Now, when my body says I need to pee, I need to find facilities, post-haste. I am not able to sneeze at all if I don’t cross my legs. I find myself, shamefully, embarrasingly, unable to hold my need to pee for longer than a few minutes when I do need to go, and the safety of the internet allows me to admit to you all that there has been more than one occurence where I was not able to make it to the toilet in time. Thankfully, these incidences were all containable and while Kale might have witnessed it, he thankfully isn’t old enough to rat me out to random people, like say, the lady in front of us at the grocery store.
I know there are exercises to do to try and strengthen all those muscles that have been destroyed by carrying a baby inside me for 9 months, and if you think for two seconds I do not faithfully do them then you are gravely mistaken. I swear my internal monologue runs something like this “kegel kegel kegel Kale don’t do that kegel kegel kegel”. I also know that there are drugs I can take but they scare me because it’s not like “muscle surgery in pill form” which means that the pills either dry you out or screw with some of your pre-programmed bio-responses, and both of those options kind of scare me.
I can’t sneeze without carefully crossing my legs, and I instantly sort out where bathrooms are when I go to unfamiliar places. I am trying to relearn that I can’t ignore the need anymore. I remember when I had to hold my bladder for the ultrasound at the end of my pregnancy and you know what? That scares the pee out of me. In fact I need to pause here in writing this to go and pee because that thought just gave me the heebies.
No longer being able to trust your bladder is reason # 34687924 why I don’t really want to have another baby. Reason # 1 is that, despite having a good friend who has recently had a triumphant VBAC, I am terrified of the idea of vaginal birth now that I had to have an emergency c-section. Funny, since I felt so confident and so well prepared going into Kale’s last trimester. Reason # 2 is I don’t want to mess with the good thing we have.
So why do I keep calculating my ovulation times, and why do I continue to calculate the age difference between Kale and a sibling as each month goes by? I mentioned to my mom today on the phone that your body has a survival instinct and it selectively remembers all the crap-tacular things that happen those first few months. The robo-puking, the non-sleeping. Your body chooses to forget all that yucky stuff and just makes you remember the lovely, nostalgic stuff. I’m on to you, body. I kept a blog, and I remember how much certain parts of early infancy sucked. You can’t fool me!