Please Don't Make Me Laugh. Or Sneeze. Or Jump. | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

April 27, 2012

Please Don't Make Me Laugh. Or Sneeze. Or Jump.

If you are a boy, you are better off not reading this post.


Confession:  I have an issue with incontinence.

Not like a moral issue. Like, a physical issue.  And not like needs to wear Depends on a regular basis issue. Just a somewhat annoying (and sometimes damp) issue.

So we all come into this life completely incontinent.  Pooping and peeing to newborns has no rhyme or reason, and seems to be one continuous process.  Luckily, we master our urinary tract sometime around the age of 3, allowing us to enjoy a diaper-free existence for the rest of our lives.

And then I had kids.

It seems many moms have a regression in the continence area shortly after birthing children.  It may start as early as mid-pregnancy.  While women are with child, their poor muscles go through quite a beating.  One of the hardest hit? The bladder.  An 8-pound baby spends several months residing on that organ, and it goes through a gauntlet of horrors during labor that renders it completely useless for the first month or two postpartum.

Luckily, with time, perseverance and a rigorous regime of strength training, the bladder seems to bounce back to actually containing urine without being a sieve. Women rejoice that knowing you have to pee and the act of peeing stop being unfortunately simultaneous.  Life goes back to normal, and all is well.

Or so I thought.

After 2 kids, I'd say the ol' bladder is doing pretty well.  But like a used car, she just isn't what she used to be.  Most days are incident-free, but there are plenty of situations that make for close calls in the Continence Department:

As long as I know the sneeze is coming, I'm usually good to go. I have several defenses for sneezing that keep me happy and dry, including the Leg Wrap 'n Squeeze (a maneuver which involves crossing my legs tightly and wrapping my left leg behind my right leg for extra security).  

But when the Surprise Sneeze Attack catches me off guard, all bets are off.  As the sneeze is happening, it's hard not to feel completely defenseless. It is not uncommon for a sneeze to require a wardrobe change.

This one is especially dangerous. Because we all love to laugh.  And the beginning of the laugh is usually harmless.  But if something particularly tickles my funny bone, the cumulative laughter sets a bad chain of events in motion.  Once I am laughing, I usually attempt to tell whoever is cracking me up to stop making me laugh lest you want my bladder to unleash it's wrath.  But saying this as I am laughing usually ends up making me laugh harder, which in turn makes the them laugh harder, which makes me laugh even harder get the picture.  

Hubby finds it particularly hilarious to see how hard he can make me laugh just to watch the above scene unfold.  

We'll see how funny he finds it when I start wearing Depends to bed at night.

Trampolines are not your friend.

End of story.

It is inevitable that at times I have to raise my voice.  Sometimes it's because Hubby is upstairs and I need to communicate with him. Other times it is because one of my daughters has unknowingly put herself in an unsafe situation and I need to quickly bring her attention to it.  If I have not prepared myself for the strain the comes from merely exerting my diaphragm to project my voice, I get The Drips.  Or, worst case scenario, The Trickles.

Moving in General
Yeah. It's come to that.


Most gals won't speak honestly on the subject, so many suffer in silence.  Take compassion on these women. And if you are one of these brave souls, know you are not alone.

I give you The Depends Salute!

Have a good weekend.


  1. I have that issue with sneezing- big time. People look at me funny when I have to sneeze, drop whatever it is I am doing, and cross my legs to sneeze. Depends salute right back atcha!

  2. ... or cough. Ugh. 3 pregancies in 4 years and I am not faring well in the bladder department. Saluting all those mamas!

  3. Yep, sneezing is the worst, as is jumping during exercise. So frustrating!

  4. Love this--totally relatable. Thanks for putting our common struggle into words :)

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