I don’t even know when or how it happened, it must have been gradual, or I just forgot one day… I don’t know, I try to practise mindfulness in daily life, but that’s because it’s essential to my functioning. It doesn’t mean I’m on top of everything. It’s the magic glue that helps hold me together and respond with loving awareness to my children when their developing brains aren’t supporting them to be pleasant. But anyway, I haven’t lost my train of thought; surprisingly, I know this is a piece about my pelvic floor and its incidental recovery from massive weight gain, pregnancy, childbirth and nowhere near enough post partum orgasms…
Yes. Hooray for me. I no longer need to anxiously insert a panty liner before working out. Or before leaving the house. And I definitely don’t need to leave a class half way through to change my panty liner. I do still wear only black leggings, however. Because I invested a tonne of dollars into quality active wear as a gesture of self love when I knew that keeping me going is essential to a) keeping my kids going and b) modeling empowered feminism to my kids.
No martyrdom here please, my life choices are choices, and if I’m not enjoying the way my life is, let me figure out what I need to do to change that. There is only now – it might as well not suck!
For me, that’s the main thing I want my kids, my students, my friends to take away from our time together. That we are agents of change, and that life circumstances are invitations to practise our personal power.
So when my ladybits were left in a state of softness after my magical female body lovingly and enthusiastically gave itself over to the work of building a tiny human, I could have let them stay that way. And spent my whole life paranoid that I smelt a bit like wee. And gone through who knows what huge big feels every time I jumped or sneezed or coughed or even laughed. Avoid laughter? No thanks. And I get hayfever. So…
… I set alarms in my phone to remind me to do the elevator squeezes – ten sets three times a day. Heaps of times, I would put the alarm on snooze, and by the time it went off again, I would have totally forgotten all about them.
That’s why I needed the alarms.
Heaps of times too, the alarm would go off at fairly public moments – during a counseling session, at playgroup, driving in the car with my teen and her friends.
Lots of times I would actually say “oh, that means it’s time to do pelvic floor exercises”, and co-opt the people I was with into being cheerleaders for my elastic hammock, and hopefully their own too.
Is that embarrassing? I don’t think so. I think people like talking about their muscle building prowess with most other muscles, and lets be real; the pelvic floor muscles are pretty major heroes when it comes to keeping it all together.
Letting people know that I’m a mum who’s recovering my pelvic floor is not as embarrassing as having to run to the toilet after 60 seconds of jumping rope (or ten, as it was the first time I went to boxing after baby). It’s not as embarrassing as regular light bladder leakage or more serious incontinence problems. I think my daughter would rather grab my phone from the cradle while I’m driving and switch off the alarm (with muscle flex emoji), than be put off having children because I never want to jump on the trampoline with her baby sister…
So, as I said, in who knows what interval, I stopped buying panty liners, because at some point I must have stopped using them at a rate of ‘keep the entire industry in profit’.
And that’s the thing about support. Sometimes we really hardcore need it in a big big way. And we’re hypervigilant about clutching to it and keeping it in place. But, my Super-vag and I have discovered, that when we couple external support with mindful behavioural choices and strengthening work that is at least mildly consistent; then that urgent, desperate need for the ‘absorbent bleached cotton product’ lessens; and eventually our ecological footprint can lighten a little bit more. And we are more free to enjoy more of what life offers as enjoyable things. Even sneezing – maybe enough of those could make up for that lack of orgasms? But I don’t wanna go through too many tissues…
Leave a Reply