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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Panty liners, pee & pregnancy

It’s time the truth came out. We – women who’ve birthed children – lament about the perils of labor, the cravings, the doctor’s visits, the 2 a.m. feedings and everything in between. But, in all of my four pregnancies (the current one being the forth), not one mother has ever told me and I had not experienced the 24-hour necessity of wearing a panty liner.

I know: You’re thinking, “Ewww… how can she even bring that up?” How can I not? It’s been a secret for far too long. I’m starting to wonder if every pregnant woman is walking around as uncomfortable as I am and keeping this big secret – even from her partner. Sure there’s the weight gain and the swollen hands, legs and feet. But we’re used to that – we have PMS. Sure there’s the indigestion and heartburn, but who hasn’t experienced that at some point in their life? The back pain – been there, done that.

How many women – 35 and younger – can actually say, “Oh yes, I have urinary incontinence all the time because of the beach ball pressing down on my bladder. I have to wear panty liners 24 hours every day!”

Not only do I have to wear a panty liner 24 hours a day, but because the baby has always been so low I’ve been wearing them since my second or third month of pregnancy. I’m eight months pregnant now! (Why she’s so low is an entirely different story. Maybe I’ll get into the non-existent abdomen muscles at a later time.) I feel like I should contact the company and demand they make me their national spokesperson. Surely, there’s something else in this for me than just the continual purchasing of a product that I’m extremely tired of looking at.

I’m sure I should be focusing on the miracle of life; as some would like me to. Or maybe I should think about the joy of having a newborn. Hmmmm… sorry, I can’t. All I think about is the gross things that are happening in the southern parts of my body that I was so unprepared for.

I know each pregnancy is different, but after three pregnancies you start to get a little cocky. At least I did. I had no idea I would experience the “pee problem,” as I like to refer to it in my head. I was even further baffled by the itching and burning in an area that you should only speak to your doctor about. Read in a whisper: hemorrhoids.

Of course, that’s TMI like the kids say: Too much information.

One of the things that make this experience so bad is that going without feminine products during pregnancy has always been one of the things I’ve looked forward to the most. Be honest, ladies. Ten whole months without tampons and sanitary napkins is like heaven on earth. The expense alone can break the bank and the freedom (for most women) of not having a monthly cycle is like an extended vacation!

Well, as I near the end of this pregnancy – only about six weeks to go – I pray for a healthy baby, an easy delivery, a quick recovery and an end to the pee problem!
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