A Flapper is Born.

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Approx 9:50 p.m. on 10/21/11, I got to hold Piper right away on my chest. I look happy because the epidural was still going.

**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.

  1. I wouldn’t have The Flapper if I’d gone with my gut, if I’d listened to myself and trusted my instincts.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).

Six months later, I wouldn't trade her for anything. I can live life with The Flapper, but not without my little red bean.

Semi-related must-read posts that are hilarious, especially for women:

Dead Vagina Walking By Erin at Gonna Kill Him

I Can’t Take Me Anywhere By Cindy Reed at The Reedster Speaks

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.

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  • http://twitter.com/Reedster2 Cindy Reed

    Erin, your vagina post is beautiful and brave and moving… a lot like life. My vagina post was all about being inappropriate, on the other hand :).  I’m glad you hit publish – to give us all the reminder we need not only to trust ourselves, but also to find the humor in suffering, and the light (the baby!) that mothers and women find at the end of every dark tunnel.  xo, Cindy

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you for sharing your vagina cookies post with me—if it hadn’t been for you, I might not have gone through with this.


  • Gigi927


    This is a great message to trust one’s instincts. I’m so glad you posted it, Erin.

    I had an elective C with my second after #1 ripped me to shreds (after an episiotomy). Even though she was 5 weeks early, I went ahead with my decision as planned. It was a huge measure of closure for me and helped me rid myself of the angst I felt over my first childbirth experience.

    I wish you could’ve had that experience, too. BUT, this post enables you to help somebody else think twice before doubting themselves. And for that, I applaud you! xoxo

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Wait, were you clapping to be humorous?


  • http://mamawantsthis.com/ Alison@Mama Wants This

    Yes, someone said it, Fuck Kegels!!!! 

    I love your honesty. I’m 3 weeks away from my 2nd (and what I hope will be a natural delivery) and I’m pretty sure it’s going to make my vagina very unhappy afterwards. Just like it did last time. Two words: stress incontinence. 

    (I’m so glad you wrote this!)

    • Anonymous

      PS I hate kegels, too. But after pushing out 5 kids and now peeing myself constantly, I wish I’d done one or two. Not, of course, that I’m going to start now.

      • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


        I’m not starting now, either. #StrengthInNumbers

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Oy. I have a little bit of an incontinence issue, mostly just when I exercise. But it still sucks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Julia-Cowan-Roberts/1285809870 Julia Cowan Roberts

    Amen Erin! Thank you for sharing a personal and read story as a powerful reminder that we all need to listen to ourselves. ALWAYS. It will always serve us well. I love you and any kind of post you write!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You have no idea how much that means to me, and I appreciate it especially with all that I am facing right now. I love you!

  • http://twitter.com/buriedwithkids Jen Mitchell

    This post was hysterical but the message is awesome. You are SO right… we HAVE to listen to our bodies and fight for what is right because medicine is not an exact science. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you SO MUCH, sweetie. I really need all the validation I can get on this one. ;-)


  • http://twitter.com/goodgirlgonered Andrea B

    A to the WO men!!! :)

    I’m sorry your hoo-ha is flapping. Here we call it a hoo-hoo. But I have taught my daughter the correct word. She doesn’t really use or remember it. Or she seemingly says “angina” — fantastic. 

    Anyway, good for you for being brave! I was assuming this post was about your history in a past life. Or something. Hang in there. And I hope soon you have a choice not to. Somehow. Or something. xox

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Angina? SO funny! when my girls were little we called the whole kit n’ kaboodle “tushy,” but then we began to differentiate at my pediatrician’s suggestion. Maybe one day they’ll read this and laugh!
      Thank you for reading!

  • Delilah Love

    I think I might love you. I had a 4th degree tear with delivery #2. That was 4 years ago and I still have pain from it. And I agree- Fuck Kegels. I laughed out loud at this post and I think I tinkled a little bit. Another unfortunate side effect from childbirth. Again, Fuck Kegels.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I think I might love you MORE! holy crap, you’ve been through a lot. I tinkle when I exercise, so there’s that. Oh, the joys of childbirth!

  • Jayme – Random Blogette

    I am so proud of you for finally posting about this. My birth experience with Paige was horrifying and I had a c-section. I knew something wasn’t right and after almost 3 days of trying to be induced and begging and pleading with the OB my body finally started to rebel even more and I was rushed in for an emergency c-section. My family almost lost me and Paige. Doctors need to start listening to us and we need to listen to our bodies.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you for sharing this in the comments. I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like for you—but the kids are worth it. Thank goodness they’re cute, right?!

  • IASoupMama

    I am so sorry your poor vagina has created it’s own dance, but I am more saddened that you feel that you let yourself down.  And I refuse to do Kegels — my hubby would ask me, “Have you done your Kegels today?” and I would flat out lie.  After the twins were born, I made him get a vasectomy — I figure that if I had to birth four babies out of my vagina, he could suffer the mutilation of the snip-snip.  The irony was that I recovered a heckuva lot faster from the birth of my son’s bowling ball head than he did from the wee tiny incision of his outpatient surgery — talk about backwards…  

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I have to know how you “made* him get a vasectomy. I’m trying to get mine to do that and he is too nervous about it. Lucky for him I have to have a hernia repaired and so they can tie my tubes at the same time…

      • IASoupMama.com

        I told him that if I had to have a c-section for the twins, I’d have them tie my tubes since they were in there already, but that if I delivered them vaginally, which, let’s face it, after my son’s 90th percentile head, I figured if I sneezed during labor one of the twins would come flying out, it was up to him because the cost of the vasectomy was less than the cost of a laproscopic tubal.  And that I wasn’t having sex without a condom until he did it.  I think that’s what sealed the deal.

        I was right about the twins, though — Juliet came shooting out after two mini-pushes.  Willa came out pretty easily after that, but the doc did have to go in halfway up his forearm to break her water.  That was not cool — his hands were the size of polar bear paws.  Dude was 6′ 4″ when he was slouching…  My regular doc has teeny-tiny Asian hands — she missed the delivery by 30 minutes.  :(

  • Anonymous

    Love this post, momma. And listening to ourselves is something we need to do more of. I might’ve gone the same route, especially when you trust your doc. But I have to admit, I switched to a female after the girls were born (Regan Wittek, a med school student w/Dan) and she is so amazing I can’t imagine ever going back to a male doc. Some day, I wish you’d go see her. You would LOVE her times a million.

    And thanks for the lovely post. It made me laugh, but it was great advice.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      As always, thank you so much for your support and for your comments. I am thrilled I made you laugh and I also hope you will, um, go see YOUR doc about your stuff and schedule surgery. Because I’m allowed to keep nagging you. ;-)
      (smiles sweetly)


  • Mindy

    Absolutely. To listening to yourself. To using the word vagina. To having your daughters use the “v” word. Although, my daughter called it a “bagina” for a long time and believed it was located “on my bum.” Close enough, right? It sucks that you’ve had to endure this discomfort and pain and that, when you spoke up, you were ignored. Through all of this, I think it’s important to know that you never did anything wrong. You might choose differently in hindsight, but you made choices that seemed right at the time based on advice. Thanks for sharing this, for making me laugh at my post 3 babies loose lady part bits, and for reminding me to trust my instincts. I still wonder what might have happened with the cyst I had on my ovary if I didn’t have a doctor who knew me and trusted me, fitting me into a busy OB schedule and doing an ultrasound based on my horrible pain that didn’t diminish. I always felt truly blessed because if they cyst had ruptured, I cringe just thinking about that pain. I say screw the kegels too!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      My girls called it bagina, too! But that was only after I taught them the real word. Before that the whole bottom area there was called “tushy” at our house. LOL!

      I know I didn’t do anything wrong per se, I just wish I’d had more confidence in myself. But hindsight is always 20/20, right?

      And thank you for the vote of confidence on those silly kegels!

  • http://www.motherhoodthetruth.com/ Debi

     Erin, Always go with your GUT!Secondly, this is why I Will never have a Male OB/GYN they don’t know what any of it feels like and they can not relate, at all.  Thirdly, FUCK KEGELS is right! Kegels are not going to repair the damage that my giant headed babies did to my vagina.  That being said, there is a surgery that can fix the flapper ( I call mine the BIg Mouth Bass:) You are not alone my friend. Don;t be bothered by the flapping, gently roll it up and tuck it inside your panties…it will stop catching the wind and flapping. I promise:) LOL I jest. Thank you for stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing my friend and ALWAYS TRUST YOURSELF! XOXO Your friend in flapping, Debi

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are so cute and funny, what would I do without you? I so appreciate your taking the time to come over here and leave me some comment love and reinforcement. PS love the bigmouth bass!  TOTALLY!

  • http://www.elatedexhaustion.com/ Julia

    I love the honesty in this post. I am so glad you decided to share it with us. 
    I am still struggling with my original birth experience which resulted in a non-medically necessary c-section. I don’t know if I ever want to go through pregnancy again, but I know if I did I would have a VBAC. I would need that experience to restore my faith in myself, my body, and listening to my own inner voice. 
    I am so sorry you had to go through all of this. You are absolutely right, you must ALWAYS listen to yourself. Your inner voice is so wise and so very important. I am so glad you found the words and the courage to share your story. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving your words of wisdom here. We all have such different birth stories/experiences, but the bottom line is that we have to go with our gut and not just go along with whatever someone else tells us. I’m clearly still working on this one…

  • http://twitter.com/ksluiter Kate Sluiter

    i love posts about vaginas.

    Also?  Way to go for going for it and posting so honestly.  My favorite thing in a blogger is the “real” factor.

    And on a side note, you made me SO glad I listened to myself and went with a repeat Csection.  Lots of people wanted me to be a hero and go VBAC, but I knew it wasn’t for me.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Yeah, I think we’d talked about this before both of us gave birth. I really wanted a C/S again, but was basically talked out of it.

      I’m glad for you that you didn’t do it. And just b/c I did? Certainly doesn’t make me a hero! p.s. if you love vagina posts, I hope you clicked on those links I included at the very bottom of the post!

  • Cherry Woodburn

    I strongly agree listen to your instincts and the doc’s aren’t always right – not by any stretch of the imagination or your flappers.  Sorry that happened to you.

    My second son was a VBAC baby and I’m happy to say I did not have the problems you did.

    I also want to add that, although 85 -90% of me agrees about going to female doctors for female problems, I’ve also had issues with a couple of them. Because they hadn’t experienced what I did in menopause they weren’t buying my story.  Comes back to listen to your gut and if you think they’re wrong or not understanding you, move on. Speak up.  Cherry

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for weighing in here. I am happy you didn’t have the problems I do—I wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy, really. It just sucks. But fortunately Piper is very cute and definitely worth it. LOL!

  • Leah at OneVignette.com

    ERIN. If I could hug you I would (that sounds strange and stalker-ish, but bear with me:). Four years ago I had to have an emergency section with my first daughter after 30 hours of golly-awful labor and pushing. I desperately wanted to do a VBAC with my second, but the doctor wouldn’t condone it because of what happened the first time, and I finally agreed to a scheduled section. For almost two years, I have beat myself up–felt like I’ve failed, even–because I couldn’t do what women are *supposed* to do.  I felt robbed of what women should experience (well, everything except the throwing up all over my husband part…). In one blog post you have totally bonked me over the head and knocked some sense into me. 

    See why I said the part about the hugging?  Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have no idea.

    • http://momjovi.com/ MomJovi

       Leah took the words out of my mouth. I had an emergency C-section four years ago (failure to progress beyond 7 cm) and have beat myself up about it ever since. Did I get the epidural too soon? Should I have skipped it altogether? Was the Petocin to blame? I’ve relived it again and again, and even though we’re not having a second, I always planned for a VBAC if I did have another. Why do we make ourselves feel so bad about such things? And why don’t we listen to our bodies more? This is a great post and one EVERY woman should read, no matter what their birthing experience. Bravo for writing it!

      • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


        Thank you SO MUCH. I needed to hear all of this. Yes, all of our experiences may be diffferent, but the bottom line is still the same—-we need to listen to our bodies and trust ourselves more. Just because I didn’t go to med school doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m feeling and that  my instincts are off…

        I am so happy you stopped by to weigh in on this. THANK YOU!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You don’t sound stalker-ish, especially when I’m about to say that YOU have no idea b/c I think I LOVE YOU for your comment. I think perhaps we all need to BONK each other over the heads and get with the program. We need to assert ourselves and take more control. Our bodies, our decisions. SIgh. and NO, you DID NOT FAIL. Fuck that shit. You had a baby, for crying out loud! Doesn’t matter how that baby came into the world.


  • http://www.thewatson6.blogspot.com jessica

    This post reminds me of the first post I ever read of yours when I thought I. LOVE. HER. I love your honesty and the fact that you just made me realize the one benefit of having 3 c-sections and made me laugh and think all at the same time. I’m also a little stuck on the flapper reference in a sentence before you said Duane told you to fly.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Your comment just made me well up. I LOVE YOU, too. so much. Thank you for reading and sticking by me even when I’m not around as much, etc…


  • http://twitter.com/vic39first Victoria KP

    Oh, I am so sorry you had that experience. But I’m glad you’ve found humor in the situation.

    I was really lucky. My first son was c-section because he was GIGANTIC and I am tiny. The first time I laid eyes on my son I thanked God for the existence of surgical delivery. The second time around, my doctor asked me if I wanted a second c-section and NEVER tried to talk me into a VBAC when I immediately said yes.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      None of my kids were huge, and I am a big girl (tall and big boned)….so I’m still mystified why this happened, but the fact remains that I should have just stuck to my guns. I’ve definitely learned a valuable lesson here. Sounds like you have a wonderful doc!

  • http://www.lateenough.com/ Alex@LateEnough

    What a brave post!
    My first birth was a hard unmedicated vaginal birth with such a severe tear, I went to the OR afterward. I was told to have a Caesarian with my second or I’d be fecally incontinent, but I hemmed and hawed anyway. Convinently, every time I thought I should go vaginally again, I’d poop myself. It’s like my butt was a prophet and knew I’d listen to crap.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      OMG, you are such a love! Your butt the prophet—I needed a laugh after this post started WW3 between hubs and me. It’s very icy here. ANd I’m not talking about my freezer and all the pizzas in it.


      • http://www.lateenough.com/ Alex@LateEnough

        Uh-oh. Posting about the state of your vagina didn’t go over well… hmmm, maybe blame it on his large penis? {hugs} {to you not your husband’s penis} {I love pizza}

  • Kiminkc

    I have a dead vagina (vaginal group strep b that won’t go away and it’s been since December) and a dead bladder, I feel old and broken…thanks for sharing…

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I love you, I’m sorry, and thank you for reading. Being a woman is HARD. Men will never get it. NEVER.

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    I’m liking this Erin post. And I’m glad you wrote it – learning to follow our instincts is a lesson we all need to be reminded of (or maybe that is just me). But I’m so sorry that you are still dealing with this. 
    Oh yeah, and I’m loving Jenny’s phone number ;-) you have got me singing. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      From Tracie,

      Yeah, I was trying to be funny. Sometimes it works, sometimes not so much. Thank you so much for reading.

      p.s. I am wearing my TWLOHA t-shirt today. I always think of you when I do.
      love you.

      • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

        I got the funny! You do funny well, in fact I think the first post of yours that I read way way back in the day was a funny one. 

        TWLOHA <3 Love you too!! 

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com Elaine A.

    Boy, I sure did learn this lesson the hard way too.  I see your flapper and I raise you one messed up rectum.  What?  TMI?!?!??!  Sorry… ;-P  If you want details I’m more than happy to share but I’m guessing you DO NOT. ;) xoxoxo 

    • Anonymous

       I came by to read and always scroll through the comments, This one caught my eye cause I TOTALLY relate to that.. 37 stitches inside and out from my first kid who left his mark shall we say… yeah..

      • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


        oh my gosh! i don’t know how many stitches i had, but i do know when i was discharged from the hospital and leaving, one of the docs saw me coming down the hall (walking VERY slowly and awkwardly!) and said, “WHOA! I didn’t expect to see you up and out of here so soon. Word is that you had more stitches than a c-section.” gee, thanks? I don’t know how many stitches that is, though….but it took over an hour for him to sew me up.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Of COURSE I want deets—we can discuss at BlogHer, but preferably lots sooner??? I’ve had my own fair share of rectum issues too, but only some related to babies/delivery/pregnancy….


  • Threeliljoys

    I subscribe to your blog and it is my favorite reading of the day. Having delivered five children vaginally myself, I can totally relate. I appreciate your candor! I wish more women.would just be real when it comes to the experience of being a mom!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thank you so much for FIRST of all, subscribing to my blog, and second leaving me some comment love! You are my hero for delivering 5 kids vaginally. As for my candor—I’ve paid the price. My husband is barely speaking to me and is very embarrassed by it. Le sigh.

  • http://withjustabitofmagic.com Jackie

    I love how honest & brave you about things in your life. I think that I need to take a lesson from you…
    I never had a c-section or issues with the births of my kids and for that I am ever so thankful! I hear other people’s stories and I cringe in pain.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      You are a lucky duck. Yes, things were hard with Piper, but she is a doll and I wouldn’t trade it/her for the world. It sucked, but it was really my own fault for not opening my mouth and speaking up for MYSELF. I need to learn to be my own advocate.

      Thank you so much for reading and for your positive and heartfelt comments. Made me happy!


  • http://twitter.com/dutchbeingme Julie

    I love that you were true to yourself and posted this my friend. Way to go. And while I have not had any kids – I have my own vagina issues and I wonder if it has to do with the weight loss/gain etc. And I agree with you (and so many others in the comments) that you have to trust your instinct… and now (if/when the time comes) I will only look for a female OBGYN.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I am an open book and happy to discuss any of this anytime. Of course you may also want to consult your OB or PCP or someone? Have you sought any medical advice yet about this?


  • Anonymous

    First of all let me give you props for talking openly about this. I have been there, especially after the first that left me ripped from pillar to post. He took me literally when we called him ‘little shit’ while I was pregnant. It took a while to get things back to normal. I wasn’t real thrilled about Kegels either, it took a bit to get them back to normal, but it will happen. I promise. I am sorry that your doctor didn’t hear you when you talked to him. That is just wrong and crap. See I was and still am terrified of any kind of surgery. They were always told that were I to require a C section knock me out completely, I even refused any kind of pain medication or spinals because I knew that if they slipped it could cause major damage. So I went natural. Luckily I was able to do it, but it took a while for everything to get back to normal that is for sure. I believe any way you have a healthy baby is the right way to have a baby period. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      your last sentence is so true. i can’t imagine going natural, things hurt enough for me with the pain meds. and i would take surgery any day over what i just went through for piper….i know things will get better, but i’m just not very patient. i wish i could just fast forward.


      • Anonymous

         Sweetie patience is not exactly my strong point either. But we both know that we have to go through a test to come out with a testimony. Nothing worth having ever came easy. I am however ticked that your hubby is being a prick about you posting this. First of all tell him I said to shoot a baby out his penis with NOTHING for pain then talk to me. Secondly, tell him I  said if he ever wants to get any again he needs to realize that it’s not all roses and daisies. Childbirth sucks big green donkey peckers with purple polka dots. Mentally and physically. Even if he doesn’t get it it is your flapper and you can talk about it whereever you wish and where better then a loving community of women who have been there done that. If he wants an example of how you feel I would be glad to take his bottom lip stretch it over his head and stretch it down his back to his asshole. Ahem..

  • http://amandamagee.com amandamagee

    Great post. I would venture to say that even though you might have been unflappable had you chosen another route, you’d be wondering. Definitely look for the way to be grateful you had the experience—so many of us beat ourselves up for what we didn’t do or what we should have done, allow your self to be proud of the decision. I think once you have a doctor/specialist who will listen, you can find a treatment that resolves some measure of what you are going through.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for reading and weighing in here. I also think just the simple passage of time will help, but I’m not the most patient person. I’m over this, but now I have husband who’s mad at me for sharing too much in this post. But if I’ve helped one woman or made one person stop to listen harder to her own intuition? Then I’ve done my job.

  • Cecily

    Oh, honey. I HEAR YOU. As I’ve been battling pneumonia and coughing endlessly this last six weeks, well, there’s been a LOT of underwear changing because damn it I pee at every cough. AND I HAD a c-section! Carrying twins (only to about six months, sadly) and then a singleton seems to have left me with a flapper myself. And YES! FUCK KEGELS. Because even when I do them regularly they don’t work. And NOTHING seems to be able to stop the coughing/peeing issue. Damn it to hell.

    Thanks for writing this!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for READING this and commenting!

      And I appreciate the second on the “FUCK KEGELS,” esp in all caps. PS I wear pantyliners a lot, don’t you? They help! Being a woman is hard. And I’m sorry about your twins. I’ve read a bit about that on your blog and unless I’m having a brain fart I think you talked about it on a panel at Blissdom ’11….I am so sorry for your loss.

      HUGS and cough syrup, mama!

  • http://twonormalmoms.blogspot.com/ Ally

    1) Repeat after me: I will NOT beat myself up about the decision I made. Don’t second guess yourself, or you’ll drive yourself mad. You based your decision on the advice you were being given – not your fault.
    2) You are brave and honest and I, too, am glad you posted this.
    3) Find yourself a female OB/GYN and put in your medical records transfer request, now. Because that is what your HEART is telling you to do! (It’s also what I’ve done since the first male OB/GYN I had proved he had no ability to relate to the female body)
    4) If you find a cure for the Flapper, will you shoot me an email? I tore both directions before they did the episiotomy, the local anesthetic was NOT working while I was stitched up (and I had no other pain meds on board), I developed a stitch abscess and an obsession with my donut pillow, and besides all that – things will never be the same down there. Birth, age, gravity = loose and flappy. I’ll be brave and say it, too.
    5) OH MY GOODNESS – that is one seriously cute baby!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      omg. i am speechless and now feel as if I have no right to complain about anything! NO LOCAL? holy crap, woman, how did you deal??? and you’re right. Ultimately things will never be the same down there. But I’m going to stop beating myself up and start being proactive instead.


  • http://twitter.com/lauraBseymour Laura S.

    The one thing I learned from my last pregnancy, is that I will NEVER trust sonogram measurements. Every technician and my doctor all said that my baby was “HUGE” and would weigh at least 10 lbs. Guess how much he weighed? ALMOST 8 lbs.

    I had a preemie, followed by a c-section, so I haven’t had to endure this, but I am so glad that you wrote about it. I truly admire you. You aren’t beating yourself up, but encouraging people to trust their instincts about what you learned from your experience. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Okay, we seriously need a coffee date. Let’s try for next week. Even if I have to bring Piper with me and only stay a little while, I am dying to meet you IRL!!

  • http://www.nancymcampbell.com/ Nancy M. Campbell

    I’m sorry Erin. I’m sorry that there are so many stories like this out there….I’m nodding my head as I read the comments because…”Me too! Me too!”

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      I love you. I should’ve had a C/S. Oh well. Piper is a sweetie and I can’t rewind. I can only learn from what I went through and apply it to other areas of my life, right?


  • http://twitter.com/jlweinberg jlweinberg

    Oh, friend. I applaud you for publishing this because it is awesome. And I’m so sorry that you are dealing with The Flapper Situation. There really must be something more that can be done other than Kegels (and you know how I love The Kegel Experience). If a male doc had his testicles torn up and down he would surely be offering a better solution. 

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      AMEN TO THAT! Men are such babies sometimes. And thank you for sharing your llama humping post with me—FANTASTIC read and just what I needed since I have apparently started world war III here with the flapper.

  • sisterhoodofthesensiblemoms

    Oh you poor thing. Yes, fuck Kegels! What lameness that is. Ellen

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Thanks for agreeing with me on the kegel nonsense! ;-)

  • Jbswrker

    Don’t you dare ever stop writing what is in your heart, Erin!  You touch us all…reading all of the wonderful responses makes that very clear, indeed!
    and, by the way…i would love to get my hands on that pic of piper….i only have one that i have framed, and wish you would send this one my way!

  • Renee Schuls-Jacobson

    Oh my freaking gawd! That is awesome. I’m so sorry to hear about your vagina. She’s been through so much. But wow, she makes for great material. You should keep her. I almost peed reading this.

    Wait, that’s my issue. ;-)

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      Love you! thanks so much for this!
      and the peeing issue is not only yours, trust me! ;-)

  • Gooddayregularpeople

    I don’t want to talk about it…but lean in and I will whisper you this: mine feels as if I need to lay it on a skateboard to keep it up.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      a skateboard, oh my! I can relate. snorting out loud!
      love you!
      and thank you for listening and emailing with me.
      things haven’t changed yet. we still need to talk.

  • http://www.babesrockinmami.com/ stephanie

    Your poor vagina.  I want to cry for her.  Also, how the heck is she that big now!  I can’t stand her adorable!

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin


      LMAO reading your comment b/c at a first glance it sounds like you’re saying “how is your vagina that big now,” and I”m like, “well, look at the pic of what came out of it!” hahhahahahahhahahahhahahaha

  • http://babywithatwist.wordpress.com/ KeAnne

    This week was crazy, so I’m only now getting to read the post.  First of all, I now have “The Charleston” going through my had.  I always loved the Roaring 20s & flappers :-)  Thank you for being open about your issues with your vagina as well as going with your instincts. I’ve found that every time my spidey sense goes off, I need to listen to it.  Oh, and I’ll make you some nipple flan sometime LOL

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin margolin


      I was *almost* going to post a pic of a flapper dress, but then the Clapper commercial won out. I love the Roaring 20s and flappers, too! SNORT!

      Can’t wait to see your nipple flan! ;-)

  • Erin@lovesomeblog

    I just found your blog and this post and am so pleased to meet you. Two things:
    1. Is it me, or are there a disproportionate amount of “Erins” in the blogosphere relative to the general population? Have you noticed this?
    2. You had me at “F*** kegels.” We should get f*** kegels tshirts printed up and hand them out to new moms (along with a home-cooked meal).

  • http://hollowtreeventures.blogspot.com/ Hollow Tree Ventures

    Awesome.  After my 3rd baby (second VBAC) came, my doc told me I might need “pee hole surgery.”  That’s exactly what she called it.

    So I know what you’re saying.

    And f*** kegels?  A-men.

    • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

      your doc used the term “pee-hole?” WTF? what kind of doctor does/says that???
      so glad we’re in the same kegel camp!

  • http://aladyinfrance.com/ Lady Jennie

    oh dear – ouch! and can sadly relate.

  • http://twitter.com/VelveteenMama danielle

    Oh gosh, I’m reading this after reading the818′s post and eavesdropping on your twitter convo. I can completely relate.  While I don’t have a ‘flapper’, I felt like I’d been kicked in the crotch, by a horse, repeatedly in the weeks following my HBAC.  Can we say “torn clitoral hood”? I distinctly remember feeling like this was not better, and maybe even worse, than my c-section recovery with my first.  I ended up in physical therapy FOR MY VAG for a couple months.  He just turned 18m and still… yeah… basically I want my old vagina back (though personally, that is the only thing I would change about the birth, I’d still have had the HBAC, just maybe not pushed so crazily).

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