From Kegels to Warts to Pee in a Quart
It all started with a tinkle of pee dripping down my thigh. I first leaked mid-Jumping Jack during a kickboxing class. It was a couple of years after my second baby was born and I was finally feeling motivated to whip my tired, sagging, post-pregnancy body back into shape. But now damp and horrified that I was suddenly incontinent, I stopped jumping and dashed into the ladies' room to dry off.
"Practice your kegels, ladies!" I remember my pre-natal yoga instructor barking at us. I occasionally would squeeze one in as I sat on the subway or the toilet. But I wasn't kegel committed. Now I was paying the price.
If pooping on the table at delivery isn't embarrassing enough, peeing on yourself during any bounce or jolt may be the ultimate penance of childbirth. But this was just the beginning of the traumatic changes that send shockwaves and irreversible damage throughout my body - a change that few of us realize may last forever.
My friend Johanna, mom of two, told me last month, without a hint of embarrassment, that she has Plantar Warts on the soles of her feet from pregnancy that must be painfully removed. "My podiatrist tells me that she sees tons of pregnant and post-partum moms with warts," Johanna said matter-of-factly.
From worry warts to Plantar Warts, for moms where will the humiliation and toll of motherhood end?
One day while walking, I felt a surge of pain that I self-diagnosed as a pulled muscle shooting electrical sparks from my right butt cheek down through my leg. I thought it was random and arbitrary, only to later learn that it's sciatica, courtesy of my second born.
Don't even get me started about my varicose and spider veins that my dermatologist reassuringly promised he could magically zap away after I was done having kids. What he didn't tell me was that the cost to be de-veined could put my child through a semester of pre-school. Needless to say, my legs continue to be webbed and expanding in their geometric designs at an alarmingly fast pace.
And then there are the skin tags and other growths that sadly are neither covered by insurance nor my Laura Mercier concealer.
My once perky breasts have been dragged down by gravity and literally had the life sucked out of them by my babies' hungry mouths. And my once lovely tush, well, that too doesn't have the spunk and lift that in high school made it legendary. And finally, we ladies who gave birth the old fashioned way, know that life down there is just not the same.
So seven years later, I can tell you that the body never fully regains its pizzazz after birthing babies. Unless that is you're Kate Gosselin, who defies all rules of motherhood and laws of physics, with her white bikini clad bod on the cover of People magazine this month. Apparently, this mother of eight Gosselites is more taut than ever before. We know she's had some help with a highly publicized pro bono tummy tuck captured on her once titillating TLC series "Jon and Kate Plus Eight." And celeb watchers have also outted her chest as most likely to have been enhanced. There was also the Botox crisis that sent her eyebrows spiking in various directions... but who is keeping score?
So while the rest of us are plagued with Plantar Warts and muffin tops that won't disappear no matter how many crunches we do, here is Kate - another touched-up magazine cover story of an unflawed celebrity mom.
"I got this body from running" she told People, all pearly smiles and highlighted hair. As perfect as she looks on the cover, I'm betting that she has pee dripping down her leg when she runs.
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