wellness

"Did I just pee my pants?" Tell me you're postpartum without telling me you're postpartum.

Poise
Thanks to our brand partner, Poise

“Oh my gosh, Rikki, I literally just peed myself.”    

My friend Nicole said this from 10 steps in front of me as we walked along the local boardwalk in the warm winter sun, our prams rolling along.

“Oh hun, right, OK, are you OK? I’ll go find where the nearest loo is?”…is what I should have said. 

Instead, I laughed. 

Like, the down-on-all-fours-in-the-middle-of-the-path-so-annoyed-joggers-had-to-run-around-me kind of laugh. 

I know, I know. It probably comes across as being really mean and inconsiderate and all of the other words that went through my head mid-laugh, but honestly, it was truly funny. 

Why? Because it has happened to me a THOUSAND times and I was ecstatic that someone else actually understood and went through it sometimes too.

It’s pretty astounding to learn that 1 in 2 women over 35 experience light bladder leakage (LBL). And that 50% of those women affected experience bladder leaks specifically from pregnancy or childbirth. 

When I look to my left, then look to my right, that’s exactly half of the women in the Coles cereal aisle I was in today, fighting their kids to put the chocolate cereal back. 

That’s a LOT of women who can relate. And a lot of them wearing Poise (like me), to try to keep their poise in everyday situations.

Up until about 15 months ago, I was the other half of women. I could laugh hard and loud without a care in the world. I could run down the stairs to get my ringing phone and jump on a trampoline like I was in the circus.

So what happened 15 months ago? Well, Sailor happened. 

She was small, swift and eager to enter the world with a quick slide and cry. After trying to have our Sailor for almost 8 years, my hubby and I couldn’t contain the feeling of finally completing our family. 

Sailor was our second girl, Summer being born back in 2011 when I was fit, healthy and everything in place (if you know what I mean). 

I carried high and compact, and could have a coughing fit without a single drop of pee exiting my soon-to-be-ready baby canal. 

The doctor said to thank the kegels I did every morning and night on the train home from work, so I was convinced it was because I just had a vagina that did what it was supposed to do.

An 8 year age gap might not seem like a ridiculous amount of time, but for this baby mama’s body, it was as if a LIFETIME had passed. 

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I had aches and pains in areas I didn’t even know existed. Things were jigglier. And that was only the things I could see. I was NOT prepared for what my body was capable of once mama decided she was ready to bounce again… literally.

Image: Supplied.

Three months after having Sailor, we took Summer to Inflatable World, home of the most inflatable bouncy-toys you will ever see.

"Mum! Come try this one!" Summer coaxed as she (roughly) threw a basketball into my guts. Never one to shy away from the odd bounce-a-roo (and a self-proclaimed 3-point hooping star), I joined her. 

I had just sunk the best nothing-but-net shot you will ever see when I felt a little sensation as my feet re-joined the inflatable Earth. 

It was wet. I was wet.

"Babe, you alright?" My hubby was asking from down below on the actual Earth, clearly seeing the look of confusion on my face.

"Yeah, I’m good," I replied, quickly scooting my bum over the side of the bouncy platform. I put my hand on the side of the bouncy and yep, it was wet. Joining the dots, I put my hand to my crotch and yep, that was wet too. It went straight through my tights and yep, great, now my hand is wet with pee. 

What happened next was unexpected. 

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I laughed. Like, REALLY laughed (I know, I like to laugh). I did a kind of crab-like dance to the toilets howling and dabbed myself as dry as possible. 

Summer followed me in telling me that I’m sooo embarrassing but instead of saying sorry or trying to shoosh her, I chased her around the bathroom with my pee-hands. (What's mum life for if you can't choose the ridiculous option to gross out your children?).

I knew jumping on the bouncies was a bit ambitious being 3 months postpartum, but I didn’t expect that to happen. 

I’ve had little pees happen all over the place since this incidence, but am now better prepared at keeping myself dry and comfy. Two words: Poise Liners.

I first turned to regular period pads, but quickly realised they weren't cutting it at all. They didn't give me dryness (far from it), which made them extremely uncomfortable throughout the day, and I needed some odour control going on in there. On my grocery shop hunt, I discovered Poise which I'd never used before, and they promised to hit all three of my pain points.

They're thin, flexible and comfy, and give me protection a period liner can’t. They're SO much drier (four times in fact) and more absorbent than period liners, and with fancy little granules inside which absorb and lock odour away. They're just ticking my boxes all over the shop.

I feel protection with a capital P when I'm wearing them: they're great for the gym or rolling down that hill that’s been calling your name.

I'm keen to try their new Ultra Long Liners too, just to ensure I've got that coverage and protection in place. 

And yep, my Poise Liners have been worn just about everywhere with me – in the car going over a speed hump, jumping up and down on the sidelines at soccer (I'm that parent), and squatting down under the dining room table to pick up all of the world’s crumbs from Summer’s dinner plate. 

No activity, chore or celebration is off the cards – with Poise in my undies, I can be confident the pee is put back in its place.

So that day when Nicole experienced my familiar dampness, I felt a huge release (not a wet one for a change). It was the best feeling in the world to know that someone else has these little episodes too. 

She was initially embarrassed but then I rattled off all of the stores in our local shopping centre that I had once had to make an impromptu visit to the change room in. We then tried to one-up each other's public peeing stories over a hot choccie.

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LBL is one of those things that the women in my circles are generally talking about. 

They might think it’s an older person’s problem or something to be ashamed of. We talk about all kinds of things that are ten times worse for anyone overhearing the conversation so why is a little pee in your pants so taboo? 

Sure, it's not always convenient having LBL, but I don’t shy away from it. 

Heck, I'm happy to talk about it with just about anyone: my friends, the women in my family; nothing better than knowing you’re all in good company. I say it with a bit of pride; my body is bloody amazing – I carried and birthed two babies.

If the only downfall for that is a little bit of pee in my knickers every now and then, I’ll take it! Oh, and the odd please and thank you from the kids would be nice too.

Have a light bladder leakage story? I definitely want to hear it! Leave a comment with your story below.

Want a free Poise Ultra Long Liner to try out, or another Poise product? (Of course you do). Head over to poise.com.au for your Free Sample Kit, and see the difference in coverage it makes to protect from light bladder leakage. 

Your undies will thank you.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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MMSurvey
Poise
Not all pads are not created equal - Poise Thin & Discreet pads have been specifically designed for 3-in-1 bladder protection with superior dryness, odour control and comfort which a period pad can't provide! They are 45% thinner than the regular range of Poise pads (you'll barely feel them!), and 2x more absorbent and at least 3x drier than leading ultrathin period pads. It takes Poise.