At your six-week postpartum checkup, your doctor clears you for sex. When you laugh at her joke (it was a joke, right?), you pee yourself. She hands you a few paper towels, says, “That’s normal,” and doesn’t refer you to a pelvic floor therapist. Do you giggle at your incontinence (and pee yourself for a second time) or commit to never laughing again?
While pumping milk in your company’s smallest conference room, you sneeze and unwittingly shoot an inordinate amount of pee onto a white upholstered chair. Do you spend any of your precious 15-minute “break” trying to scrub the stain with spit and your blouse while staying calm (because stress lowers 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 caved to the pressure 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 engage in a decade-long starvation diet that allows you to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans and pass on unhealthy eating patterns to your children?
You’re invited to a three-year-old’s birthday party where parents are—for some inexplicable reason—expected to join their children on the trampoline. As you try and remember how to brace your pelvic floor from your postnatal yoga classes, another mom tells you about her recent cosmetic vaginal surgery and asks if you’ve ever considered snipping your labia. Do you judge this mom for being influenced by the pervasive and ridiculous standards pushed by pornography or do you ask to see before and after pictures?
You pee yourself while grabbing coffee with your best friend from college who now lives in Berlin. Since pelvic floor treatments are a standard part of her socialized health care, she can’t believe you wear period underwear regardless of your menstrual cycle. Do you embrace the title of “horrible mother” after you leave your family to be a writer in Europe or do you practice gratitude that you don’t have to use a catheter?
You’re sitting on a pee-stained chair in conference room D when an insurance representative tells you postpartum incontinence is not a medical issue. Do you pay out of pocket for the only qualified pelvic floor therapist in your city (cost: five thousand dollars) or try to convince the insurance company that peeing yourself when you lunge isn’t normal (cost: five thousand hours on hold)?
You meet with your male Congressional representative who has five children and an A+ rating from the NRA. You ask that he pass legislation requiring health insurance companies cover pelvic floor therapy as a standard part of postpartum care. He says, “Sure darling, I’ll do that right after I pass sensible gun legislation.” Do you sign up for a monthly subscription of adult diapers today or tomorrow?
Your legislation never makes it to the House floor. You join a writer’s group where you channel your rage into 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 Hilary Clinton’s idea for universal healthcare back in the 1990s?
All “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 regroup and craft the perfect blackmail letter for your health insurance company’s CEO. When dropping it off, do you urinate in his flowerbed or on his front porch?
When the health insurance CEO ignores your threats, you find some underemployed Gen Zs on TaskRabbit who are willing to help you kidnap a CEO. Do you pay them in cash or with Venmo?
You get arrested for kidnapping. The cops said it was easy to trace your Venmo payment. Do you cancel your private insurance since you’re finally getting state-sponsored healthcare, or do you watch YouTube tutorials on surviving prison?
While working in the prison kitchen, you discover a box of sanitary napkins costs one dollar less than you make 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 dollar to tip the pelvic floor specialist who volunteers at the prison?
Your cellmate sneezes, somehow causing you to pee. Do you say “Bless you” or check to see if your bladder has finally fallen out of your body?