Pelvic floor muscles are one of those things you only really talk about once you fall pregnant. No sooner do you realise you have them they are ruined.
It’s like discovering you have a beautiful chocolate cake in your cupboard you didn’t know about and then immediately dropping it on the floor. Into shit.*
People told me to make the most of life before I had children.
Go out to dinner! They said.
Enjoy time alone with your partner! I was told.
If I could turn back time I would have sacked off the romantic dinners and spent my free hours enjoying piss free star jumps instead. Every time I hear Cher singing If I Could Turn Back Time I imagine it’s a paean to her weakened post baby undercarriage.
If I could turn back time,
If I could find a way,
I’d take back those words that hurt you,
And you’d stay.
Once you discover your pelvic floor you are supposed to exercise it/ them/her.
Now I am a big fan of exercise, I like running and I love kickboxing but I’m not sure lying in bed twitching your bum can be properly described as exercise.
I was pregnant with my son in the summer of 2012 and got swept away with Olympic fever, I was squeezing all day every day.
In my mind my pelvic floor was the equivalent to Jessica Ennis’ stomach, or all of Denise Lewis – it looked amazing! In reality (admittedly a place I don’t like to visit often) I was pregnant with my second child in two years as I hurtled towards 40.
In short my pelvic floor was fucked and nothing was going to save it.
All that squeezing just made me look like I was constantly being jabbed by an invisible fork.
I didn’t really mean to hurt you,
I didn’t want to see you go,
Once I’d had my babies I spoke to the doctor about getting my pelvic floor muscles back. Was there anything I could do to tempt them home? Maybe I could throw them a small tea party? Or write a letter apologising for my actions? Perhaps we could arrange couples counselling?
The doctor sighed, opened a drawer and brought out a rubber band. What followed was the most excruciating few minutes of my life. And I say this as a woman who has given birth twice without pain relief.
She twanged the rubber band explaining that this represented the muscles of a teenage woman. Then she scrabbled around in her desk and found a bit of old string, dangling it in front of me, this she explained, represented the muscle tone of a woman nearing 40 who had just had two babies.
She told me to keep doing the exercises and avoid star jumps.
I sat there waiting for the TV cameras to reveal themselves thinking this must be some horrendous new GP based hidden camera show. But it wasn’t.
The moral of my story is this:
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
For tomorrow you may regret doing star jumps.
*I don’t know why there is shit on the floor. Sometimes there just is. However the cake that magically appears in your cupboard is pure fantasy.