May 7, 2013

Incontinence: the birthing pre-game show

It all started when I peed my pants in the picture frame department at Michael's.

Okay, that's not technically true, but it's relevant, and also, who does that? Me, evidently. Mila was in the shopping cart, my mom was walking ahead of us, and then, with no warning whatsoever, I found myself more than a little bit soggy.

"Mom, I think I just wet my pants," I said, startled, and sort of lifted up my leg for her to confirm. She started cracking up because, again, who does that? Me, that's who. In my defense, I was hugely pregnant. I couldn't see my own crotch if I tried. How was I supposed to be able to know if I was visibly wet or not?

At any rate, I was. Visibly wet, I mean. So we left. I don't know about you, but even at 40 weeks pregnant, I was still trying to maintain a sense of dignity. You gotta draw the line somewhere. For me, that line was shopping in urine-soaked pants.

This wasn't the first time I'd had an issue with--ahem--incontinence. For about a week prior to this incident, I'd been...leaking. (Seriously, this is so gross. You can stop reading now. I would not blame you in the least.) I'd stand up or move just so and feel a tiny gush of liquid. It was awkward. And disconcerting. And embarrassing.

At my 40-week midwife appointment, I asked if she'd check and see what was going on. Because while I was willing to admit that I'd lost all control of my bladder and it was squirting pee with reckless abandon, I wanted to be absolutely sure that my water hadn't broken.

She did a quick swab test and said with full confidence that it was not amniotic fluid. So yay. I really was wetting my pants.

Except here's the thing: I could still tell when I needed to use the bathroom. I still felt that urge and was able to hold it in until I made it to the toilet. So it's not like I was fully incontinent. Only partially. Occasionally. Quite sporadically. I was confused. And--more often than not--a little bit damp.

So after the Michael's incident and until Margot was born, I wore maxi pads, just in case.

I later found out from the triage nurse at the hospital that sometimes the test to see if fluid is amniotic or not isn't 100% accurate. She said it's very possible (and I think very likely) that I had a very high, very small leak, and every now and then I'd be in just the right position for some of it to gush out. Which means that my water "broke" about a week and a half before Margot was born. Which in turn explains why my fluid levels were low at 41 weeks. Which is the reason we scheduled an induction at all.

At any rate, I feel vindicated. Don't start shopping for Depends for me just yet. Me and my bladder, we got this.


Birth story tomorrow. Woo! I'd apologize for not posting it sooner, but since it took A YEAR for me to post about birthing Amelia, I don't feel too bad for making you wait not quite a month this time.


  1. Phew! I am rejoicing for you and your bladder.

    1. Me too. I was not looking forward to potty training myself again.

  2. Ha! So funny! And you are totally justified in feeling vindicated. I can't wait to read the whole story tomorrow.

    1. It WAS funny. If I hadn't already wet myself, I'd probably have done so from all the laughing we did afterward.

  3. Ah, that comment was from me. I was in the wrong Google account :(


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