**WARNING: This isn’t a typical Erin post (wait, is there a “typical Erin post?” let me know). Bill Maher says, “If you see or hear something you don’t like in the media, just go on with your life. Turn the page or flip the dial or pick up your roll of quarters and leave the booth.” (Erin showed me his NYT article HERE that contains this quote) **
In December I wrote a post for Aiming Low entitled, “Top 7 Reasons My Lady Bits Are Angry.” Well, here we are four months later and my vagina (yes, I’m saying VAGINA now) is still pissed. Pun intended. Men, you can see where this is heading, so you may prefer to click off. Otherwise, if you have an issue with this post, please call 867-5309 and ask for my assistant, Jenny. She’ll take care of you.
In the mornings after I take the twin terrorists to school, the house is quiet save the sound of my feet padding down the hall with Piper blowing raspberries and humming into my shoulder. I put her down for a nap, close her bedroom door and head downstairs to read, write and clean up the mess I call my kitchen.
In that unusual silence I hear my vagina, a.k.a. The Flapper, flapping with every step I take. Every move I make. Every single day, every word I say, she is yawning, stretching wide even though there’s no baby inside. The Flapper got her name because that’s her schtick. She makes flapping noises with her loose lips…that shall launch ships. Like a million miles away at top speed in utter horror and trepidation.
Quite unlike Helen of Troy. A-hem.
I pretend only I can hear, though I suspect others have and this fills me with fear and loathing in Kansas City.
You see, my six-inch Caesarean scar is nothing compared to the sounds of The Flapper. Do my 80s comrades recall The Clapper?
Well, this is similar. Only I don’t have to clap to get it to work. And I can’t clap to stop it. There is no off switch.
- I wouldn’t have The Flapper if I’d gone with my gut, if I’d listened to myself and trusted my instincts.
- I wouldn’t have The Flapper if I’d challenged the (male) docs who told me I was “the perfect VBAC candidate.” Instead I capitulated, assumed they knew better than I, and did what they said.
- Part of me wanted to experience delivering Piper myself (the twins were breech and transverse), making my body do what it was born to do. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it, not at this expense.
- I felt powerful on the delivery table. Thanks to the epidural, I was oblivious to my third-degree tears & more. Being stitched up seemed to take an eternity but I assumed it was the norm. Even when he re-catheterized me and stuffed me full of packing because the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
- When I called my OB about my discomfort at four weeks postpartum the nurse told me it was normal and they’d see me at my six-week checkup. At that point, they referred me to a specialist, a urogynecologist.
- The (male) urogynecologist told me to do Kegels and that things would get better. I have not been doing the exercises religiously; however, I would like to just say, “Fuck Kegels.” There, I feel much better.
- I will never again see a male doctor for female problems. Men don’t get it. Men don’t have vaginas. Men have never pushed a baby out or carried a baby inside of them.
- While a part of me is grateful for having had both delivery experiences, if I had it to do over, I’d have had an elective C-section (like I’d planned all along until the end when Piper measured seven pounds and they suggested I reconsider VBAC).
and a special thanks to Daune, @TheGrasshoppa. She always encourages me to fly. Because as nervous as I was to publish this and use the word vagina and talk about the real stuff going on, it’s not really about the flapper. It’s about my confidence in myself. And HOW I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO MYSELF, TO MY OWN BODY. Daune helped me realize all of this. Thank you, sweetheart.
Women: Trust yourselves. You know better than anyone what you need and when something isn’t right.