Since Rex was born, I’ve struggled with, let’s call them ‘toilet issues’. Two hours of trying to push a sizeable human head out of your nether regions will do that, I guess. However, I did, stupidly, think things downstairs would miraculously heal in time. Sadly they haven’t, and the for the past twelve months, I’ve had to change my trousers almost as many times as my one-year-old son due to leakages.
I pretty much lost all sensation for needing a wee directly after giving birth, so much so I stepped down off the bed the day after and a gallon of wee just fell out of me. Ah, good times. Things did improve to the point where I could actually hold it in, but a year down the line I often found myself with a soggy crutch after every gym visit, so off I went to the doctors, where I was referred to the Bowel and Bladder clinic.
Now get comfy for the world’s shittest (and probably not very accurate) biology lesson…
At my appt, a really wonderful specialist nurse, Mel, explained that the pelvic floor muscle is basically like a hammock, that goes from front to back, underneath your undercarriage and basically holds all your innards up (I did not know this). And my hammock, due to trying to get Rex’s giant great swede out of my vagina for such a long time, right now, is somewhat slack.
But just how slack, I asked? And wished I hadn’t.
Next came the tests. The first was OK. That was just an ultrasound where Mel scanned my bladder to see if I was emptying it properly. Apparently your anatomy can change after having a baby (yeah, no shit) and the bladder can sometimes form separate little pockets, which wee can get stuck in when you go to the toilet and therefore the bladder doesn’t empty properly. I have no pockets – hurrah! First test nailed!
Next came the ‘physical’, which I failed miserably. Oh yeah, naked time, legs akimbo, gloves on and fingers inserted.
‘Cough for me please’. Forces cough out. ‘Oh yes, there’s definitely pelvic organ prolapse there’.
The rest of the appt was basically Mel and I discussing said prolapse, the entire duration of which she had at least two fingers inside me. It wasn’t awkward. AT. ALL.
Awkwardness and the last shred of dignity I had left gone aside, I’m probably telling you all something you already know here but did you know there are two different ways of finding your pelvic floor muscles? When Mel asked me to squeeze her fingers with what I took to be my pelvic floor, she said she could barely feel anything. BRILLIANT. But all was not lost because then she told me to imagine I was stuck in a lift with George Clooney.
Er, okay. I don’t know where you’re going with this Mel…?
Imagine I’m stuck there and I need to fart, but obviously don’t want to, so squeeze to hold it in. Now, I don’t know about you but I am the fucking MASTER at holding in farts. Being extremely windy as a kid who did gymnastics three times a week for many years means I got in a LOT of practise at it. Trust me when I say you need to become an expert at that shit to hold a fart in mid cartwheel.
“YES, that’s it!”, Mel cried.
I then had to pretend to squeeze a fart in for 10 seconds (or as long as I could) and then do five short squeezes of a second each, which, I’d like to point out, I excelled at.
That, my friends, is my rehab for my undercarriage hammock.
So, for any of you out there reading this are like old pissy pants here, see if you can pretend to hold a fart in three times a day and it should (she says tentatively) help. If, again like me, you are utterly shit at remembering, try this Squeezy app Mel recommended – never again will you forget to squeeze your bumhole like a date with George Clooney depended on it.