AAt your six-week postpartum checkup, your doctor clears you for sex. When you laugh at his joke (it was a joke, wasn’t it?), you piss yourself off. She hands you some paper towels, says, “this is normal,” and doesn’t send you to a pelvic floor doctor. Do you laugh at your incontinence (and piss yourself off a second time) or commit to never laughing again?
While pumping milk in your company’s smallest conference room, you sneeze and unknowingly urinate excessively on a white upholstered chair. Do you spend any of your precious 15-minute “breaks” trying to scrub away stains while staying calm with spit and your blouse on (because stress reduces milk production)? Or do you laugh anytime Mark asks why the white chair in conference room D smells of urine?
You join a running group because you’ve strained to get back to your pre-baby weight. When you realize you’ve been peeing yourself for three miles straight, do you jump into the nearest pond or do you indulge in a decade-long starvation diet that forces you to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans and Allows unhealthy eating patterns to pass. your children
You’re invited to a three-year-old’s birthday party, where the parents—for some inexplicable reason—are expected to join their kids on the trampoline. As you try and remember how to brace your pelvic floor from your postpartum yoga classes, another mom tells you about your recent cosmetic vaginal surgery and asks if you’ve ever smelled your labia. Have considered. Do you judge this mom for being influenced by the pervasive and ridiculous standards pushed by pornography or do you just ask to see her before and after pictures?
You get pissed off while drinking coffee with your best friend from college, who now lives in Berlin. Since pelvic floor treatment is a standard part of her social health care, she can’t believe you wear period underwear regardless of your menstrual cycle. Do you embrace the title of “terrible mom” after leaving your family to become a writer in Europe, or do you practice gratitude that you don’t have to use a catheter?
You’re sitting in a pee-stained chair in conference room D when an insurance representative tells you that postpartum incontinence is not a medical problem. Do you pay out of pocket for the only qualified pelvic floor therapist in your town (Cost: five thousand dollars) or try to convince the insurance company that it’s not normal when you pee (Cost: five thousand hours on hold)?
You meet your male congressman who has five kids and an A+ rating from the NRA. You Asks pass legislation that requires health insurance companies to cover pelvic floor therapy as a standard part of postpartum care. He says, “Sure dear, I will do that right after we pass sensible gun legislation.” Would you sign up for a monthly subscription to adult diapers today or tomorrow?
Your legislation never comes on the floor of the House. You join a writer’s group where you vent your anger in an action novel with a middle-aged female protagonist. Do you embrace peeing yourself as part of your core identity or contemplate what would have happened if Republicans had embraced Hillary Clinton’s idea for universal health care in the 1990s?
All the “Big Five” publishers pass on your novel – there’s no market for an action story where the main character is always running to the bathroom. You reorganize and craft the perfect blackmail letter for the CEO of your health insurance company. When taking it off, do you pee in her flower bed or on her front porch?
When the health insurance CEO ignores your threats, you find some unemployed Gen Zs on TaskRabbit who are willing to help you kidnap a CEO. Do you pay them with cash or Venmo?
You are arrested for kidnapping. Police said it was easy to trace your Venmo payment. Do you cancel your private insurance because you’re finally getting state-sponsored healthcare, or do you watch YouTube tutorials on surviving prison?
Working in the prison kitchen, you discover that a box of sanitary napkins costs one dollar less than what you earn a month. Do you build a time machine and convince your younger self to be more diligent about taking the pill, or do you spend your remaining dollars tipping the pelvic floor specialist who volunteered at the prison? does?
Your cellmate sneezes, which makes you pee anyway. Do you say “bless” or check to see if your bladder has finally left your body?