It’s true. They all used to be friends. Working together for years in complete and utter harmony, they had no reason to be at odds with one another, even though in many ways, her two “friends” were complete opposites. One was of the quieter type, preferring one on one time behind closed doors, as intimate friends tend to devote to one another. Though at times a bit of a control freak with her desire to meet at regular intervals and times of the day, sometimes even in the middle of the night, her regimentation had never been a problem. The other friend was prone to loud, almost explosive displays from time to time- over nothing really. For example, something so small like the mere smell of a certain scent, perhaps pepper, would trigger her, and then look out! “Look at me! Look at me!” she seemed to call in a frenzy of hysterics. Despite these varying needs, their friendships worked.
However, all of this changed with the pregnancy, and things just never were able to return to normal between the three of them. She had tried to make all the necessary preparations for a full recovery of their relationships, not wanting the life inside her to destroy what once was, but it was unavoidable. They were all permanently affected.
The first time that the three of them came to blows was probably early in the third trimester. She was really showing and had been busy prepping for the baby. Yes, already she was washing and cleaning the new garments and assorted blankets from her shower. She hadn’t had time, or kept delaying taking care of business with her quieter friend, making all the necessary excuses, but this friend was expected at any minute. You can imagine how the surprise appearance of her other more boisterous friend created a less than comfortable situation. She couldn’t believe what happened when they all came together in the same place so unexpectedly.
She was just praising the heavens that it had happened in the privacy of her own home rather than out in public, or God forbid, at work in front of her students. She never really was one for a scene.
After that, she did the best she could to avoid an encounter with her two friends at the same time, and had been successful, for the most part. During her second pregnancy there were a few close calls again. Instead of being supportive of her, during these times of need, the two friends grew more and more jealous- combative to the extreme of her attention. Yet, if she was careful and paid close enough attention to her friends’ needs, then further embarrassment and discomfort were avoided.
“I need my drink Mommy,” stated the toddler for perhaps the eleventh time during the get-ready-for bed ritual that was commencing. Potty, PJ’s and now the tucking in of her daughters was sometimes no less grueling and dangerous than the running of the bulls in Pamplona. Tonight she was feeling the bull at her heels as she tried to appease her oldest’s requests. “I need my bunny too Mommy… and Giraffey.” As she quickly scoured the house for the must-have-or-die necessities of bedtime, her body whipped and bent around the usual hiding places for such treasures, under the couch, in the play strollers, or the microwave of the play kitchen set.
The sheer inertia of this bedtime ritual was too much for her tonight, and she longed for the sweet release of a quiet house and a minute to herself, so she pushed herself harder, breaking the limits of her usual comfort level. Finally, she was holding her oldest in her arms, humming her a soft song before tucking her lovingly into bed, when it all began. It was sudden, intense, and a war she could not have anticipated.
The impromptu appearance of her warring acquaintances was out of nowhere. The first sneeze came, and she adjusted her weight, hoping to relieve some of the pressure of her fuller than usual bladder. Sneezes usually came in three’s, but tonight, there was an unprecedented arsenal. With the second, she squeezed her thighs tight. The third, and fourth in forceful succession made her emit a small whimper as she laid her child down in her bed and tucked her in tightly. Just as she closed the door behind her, the fifth and most forceful sneeze made her body convulse as if she had just been gored by a sharp bull’s horn, sending her body forward.
There was no chance to employ the coping skills she had learned since her child-induced weakened bladder control had reared its ugly head in her first baby’s third trimester. And then it was over. It was debatable if there were any true victors.
Her baby girl could be heard crying from her room. “Mommy will be there in just a minute sweetie,” she called out in comfort to her youngest, as she raced to her room to grab a new pair of bottoms.
How many mommies out there have issues with complete bladder control since their bundles of joy have arrived? It’s an unexpected issue that wars within many of us.