So there I was, peeing in front of my entire family...
I really wish this was the start of a story about how I was wasted in NYC with my fabulous girlfriends and couldn't be bothered to find a toilet so I threw caution to the wind and peed on the floor before laughing my way to find pizza at 2am. But alas, it is not. Rather, this is the beginning of a story where I, holding my one day old baby in my arms, pissed all over my bathroom floor while my husband, four year old son and dog watched in horror.
To be more specific, my husband looked at me with kind, sympathetic eyes, because that's just the kind of guy I married. My son looked at me with utter confusion in his eyes, likely because I have spent the better part of the last two years trying to get him to stop peeing on the floor. Yet there I was, standing - frozen really - in a puddle of my own urine. And, my dog - well I couldn't really see his eyes at all because he was too busy licking it all up. And thus began my journey as a mother of two. I believe this is also the exact moment where my journey of being in control came to a screeching halt. Control of my bladder (obviously), but also control of my life as I once knew it.
Let me back up a bit. I have always been a person who enjoys being in control. When I was in kindergarten I sang in the church choir and I would frequently snatch the microphone from anyone who I felt wasn't doing the song justice. I didn't give a flying f*ck if everyone was supposed to get a turn.
If they couldn't get with the program, they weren't staying in the spotlight.
You might call that having control issues, I call it doing God's work. This trait is something that has stuck with me in the decades since my meteoric rise to fame at Plaza United Methodist Church. And it has served me well.
The need to be in control has helped me excel in many areas of my life, including academics and in my career getting people to do what I want...er, I mean producing Reality TV, where I really just act as a fly on the wall. But I digress. What I'm trying to say is, I never looked at my preference for control, my desire to be in charge, as a negative thing. But then again, I had also never peed all over my bathroom floor.
I feel like you might be wondering why the pee was all over the floor. Plenty of people have pissed themselves in a drunken stupor and not suffered the indignity of having their hundred pound dog lick it up. "Was she naked," you ask? Dear god no! Once I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror after delivering number two, I vowed never to be naked again. But that is a different post, for a different day. I was wearing a nightgown. I purchased this blue and white polka dotted frock from TJ Maxx when I was pregnant with my first. And, I loved it. It's comfortable and perfect for nursing. No other criteria were required. I have many fond memories of my postpartum insanity in this nightgown. So, I couldn't wait to wear it again for old time's sake when I had my second. Also, I was too lazy to buy anything new. Underneath this nightgown on the day in question I was wearing a pair of mesh underwear, as modeled for you in this photo. You're welcome world.
As an aside, I must tell you, I LOVE mesh underwear. I feel like "mesh underwear" should be the secret passcode in order to enter the gang of motherhood. As soon as you say it to another mom, instant recognition occurs and you know EXACTLY the goodness of which I speak.They became the single most comforting part of life with a newborn. With my first, I was a bit horrified of them initially and never thought to ask for more when I left the hospital. With this one though, you bet your bottomless mimosa dollar I loaded up on those suckers before they wheeled me outta there.
So, we've got nightgown and we've got mesh underwear. In the cookbook of wetting oneself, this is surely a recipe for disaster. But here's the real kicker. I was wearing a maxi pad the size of a Buick! No joke, this thing was massive. It was practically a diaper, only there was no Elmo on it to help me decipher which was the front and which was the back. So why, dearests, didn't this maxi pad do its job, its ONE JOB, and protect me from humiliating myself in front of my family by absorbing the damn pee??? I have no idea, really.
Maybe that Buick-sized maxi knew something I didn't. Maybe, just maybe, that maxi pad knew I needed something that drastic to happen before I could fully relinquish the hold on my need to control -- on my need to make it seem that I have it all handled, when, as a parent, you never really have it all handled.
You just have days when you get the pee pee in the potty, and days when you don't.
What I realized in that moment, aside from the fact that I really should have done more kegels, was that I may never be in control again. No, I wouldn't always be pissing myself (would I?), but I would likely never have the ability to fully control my life in the way I wanted/needed to before. Having one kid had been hard enough on that desire. With two, forget it! Because, the reason I peed myself in the first place, dearests, was that I had been holding my newborn in bed for hours, blissfully watching him sleep and marveling at the new life my husband and I had created. By the time I actually paid attention to the fact that I had to go pee reeeeaaaallllly badly, it was too late. But I didn't care. I wouldn't have traded a second of watching that baby breathe in and out for the ability to make im0 t two feet further into my bathroom and onto the toilet.
Now, in the months since that day, I've been tested in big and small ways on whether I'm really okay with relinquishing control. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't. Sometimes my hold on that old trait is so strong that I can't let go. But other times, I sit back and laugh. I laugh so hard at this beautiful crazy life, I almost pee myself. Almost.