10 Ways Pregnancy Crushed My Dignity: Part 5 – Incontinence

If you haven’t yet read the intro to this series, you should do so before reading on for some context.

As almost any pregnant lady can confirm, you pee absurdly often when you are pregnant. Before I became pregnant, I prided myself on my ability to hold my bladder for ridiculously long periods of time (which, by the way, I can no longer do after giving birth to a baby). However, while pregnant (and particularly near the end), I couldn’t go more than 1-1.5 hours without making a trip to see my friend Loo (even during my so-called “sleeping” hours). This is entirely normal and I know every pregnant woman reading this post right now is sighing and nodding in agreement (and probably just took a bathroom break before continuing on to the second paragraph).

Not only do you have to pee frequently while pregnant, you also lose some bladder control as well. Here’s how this plays out: You laugh…there goes a few drops of pee. You cough…there goes a few drops of pee. You sneeze…there goes a few drops of pee. You stand up…there goes a few drops of pee. You just hope all four don’t happen in succession…there is a reason people joke about pregnant women using Depends. Again, an entirely normal and common experience shared by most pregnant women.

The reality of frequent urination and loss of bladder control were mere annoyances for most my pregnancy, until I got tag teamed. What do you get when you combine a small bladder, incontinence, and a dash (or five) of nausea? Let me tell you:

When I was five months pregnant, I decided to visit a few friends from college who lived 45 minutes away. Apparently I had already forgotten all about my previous long distance visit to my mom, and the result of that. I wasn’t feeling well that day as usual, but was becoming so frustrated with the reality of being home bound that I was determined to get out and go do something. Sean knew I wasn’t feeling well, so he insisted on driving me. I did ok on the drive there, but as Sean picked me up on our way back home, I knew it would not be a good trip. Within the first five minutes, I was an 11 on my nausea scale. (The scale ranges from 1-5). However, I didn’t want to pull over because it was late, I was tired, and I just wanted to get home (sound familiar??) Fortunately, with zero talking and 100% concentration, we made it home without having a repeat barf-all-over-the-car situation.

Sean pulled into our carport, and I immediately jumped out before the car had even stopped and began walking briskly towards our apartment to meet up with my bestie Loo. About halfway there, it became painfully clear I had absolutely no chance of making it. Mid-stride, up came my dinner, and with impeccable aim splashed all over my pants and shoes. Now if this is where the story ended, it wouldn’t have been so bad. But oh no, little grapefruit-sized Caleb had decided to take it up a notch this time. As my body cruelly purged my entire dinner from earlier that night, it forcefully pushed something else out as well – an entire full bladder of urine. No, none of this “few drops” business…the whole topped off tank. So there I was, standing in our apartment complex’s carport drenched in my own vomit and urine. Head hung in defeat, I stared down at the damage and paused for several moments. I remember slowly shaking my head and thinking: “wow. just…wow. Here I am a full-blown adult, standing on a public street, drenched in my worst…A-mazing. I really don’t think it can get much better than this.” At that point, Sean had caught up to me after finishing parking the car, and I slowly turned to him and profoundly announced in my best Forest Gump voice (not sure why) – “Sean…I peed my pants.” To which he replied: “yes…I can see that.” I turned back around towards our apartment, feet turned out, slightly squatting, and snickered as I waddled slowly the rest of the way home.

I sincerely wish I could tell you that this incident was the absolute pinnacle of my worst dignity-crushing pregnancy experiences, but alas (huge sigh), it is not.

The other 9 ways pregnancy crushed my dignity:

Part 1 – Constipation
Parts 2 & 3 – Appetite and Weight Gain
Part 4 – Mourning Sickness
Part 6 – Crazy Hormones
Parts 7, 8, & 9 – Pain, Pain, Pain
Part 10, the Pinnacle – Diarrhomit

Also, read about Caleb’s birth:

Caleb’s Birth Story: Rated PG-13 for Language, Nudity, and Drugs 🙂

And here’s the adventures we had after Caleb’s birth:

Caleb’s Afterbirth – the Hospital (Part 1)
Caleb’s Afterbirth – the Neighbs (Part 2)
Caleb’s Afterbirth – Breastfeeding Blues (Part 3)

Caleb’s Afterbirth – Body Slammed (Part 4)
Caleb’s Afterbirth – Am I an Incompetent Parent (Part 5)

10 Ways Pregnancy Crushed My Dignity

My pregnancy with Caleb was really hard. It certainly could have been worse, but in my mind there’s no denying that the crappy-ness level of it was approximately an 8.257 out of 10. At my first appointment, the Dr. found an ovarian cyst bigger than my uterus during the ultrasound. This caused concern, because if the cyst were to grow, it could have ruptured and become a life-threatening scenario for both myself and Caleb. Fortunately, with many faithful friends and family in prayer for us, the cyst completely disappeared by my next ultrasound to the shock and amazement of my doctor. Though God miraculously healed my body (praise Him!), it was still a scary situation nonetheless, and from there on out, there seemed to be a continuous stream of challenges throughout my pregnancy.

I am grateful and feel very blessed for the life God gave us, but I don’t believe in sugar coating things and the honest truth is that I was miserable throughout my entire pregnancy (though I would obviously say it was well worth it). Similar to my lack of experiential knowledge going into Caleb’s birth, I also lacked experiential knowledge going into pregnancy. Very few of my friends took the dive into parenting before me, so I really hadn’t heard many stories and wasn’t sure what to expect. Looking back, I think I had a pretty idealistic, naive, and unrealistic expectation of what pregnancy would be like. Both my mother and mother-in-law had wonderful, easy pregnancies, so I just assumed mine would be just like theirs. I guess I just pictured myself as a glowing, joyful, walking among the clouds, cute, only gaining weight in the “right” places, rubbing-my-belly-in-public-all-the-time kind of pregnant woman (you know, how all the gagingly perfect pregnant celebrities look and act). Well, it didn’t take long for my fantasy to get obliterated (I’m talking maybe one week in). 4 Words: Longest. Nine. Months. Ever.

The good thing about adversity is we can learn from it and grow as a person. The even better thing about adversity is we can (sometimes) laugh about it later. And the only thing that’s even more fun than retrospectively laughing at your own adversity, is laughing at someone else’s. That’s why I decided to do a series on our blog entitled “10 Ways Pregnancy Crushed My Dignity.” In no particular order, here’s to crushing every romantic idea you ever had about pregnancy. Enjoy.

Part 1 – Constipation
Parts 2 & 3 – Appetite and Weight Gain
Part 4 – Mourning Sickness
Part 5 – Incontinence
Part 6 – Crazy Hormones
Parts 7, 8, & 9 – Pain, Pain, Pain
Part 10 – The Pinnacle, Diarrhomit