I dedicate this post to my pelvic floor. I didn’t know I had one until half way through my pregnancy. It’s what keeps my bladder and uterus from falling out of my body. Baby Bop stretched the muscles to their limits and now they’re not sure what to do.
Around the same time I learned I have a pelvic floor, I learned there are pelvic floor physical therapists. I thought maybe I’d go one day, in the same way I thought maybe I’ll have a baby someday.
Now I have a baby and now I’m going to physical therapy. Three months postpartum I arrive at the PT center. It’s full of people doing all sorts of exercises. I wonder what I’ll be doing. Squats I bet.
I meet my physical therapist. She’s very nice. She escorts me to a private room with an exam table and closes the door. Maybe I’m not going to be doing squats. She tells me, and I’m paraphrasing, that she’s going to poke around my vagina.
She starts off very shallow and asks,
“Is this painful?”
“Uncomfortable.” If childbirth is painful, then one finger has to be something less than that.
She pokes around for awhile,
“How about here?”
“I thought so, it feels tight. Bring a couple breaths here. Did you do anything fun over the weekend?”
Wait, what? I’m supposed to bring breaths to my pelvic floor and chat about my weekend, while a very nice stranger has her finger in my vagina? She continues,
“Now I’m just going to let my finger float while you do a kegel and hold it for as long as you can.”
“Not bad! Ok now do 5 quick ones and fully relax in between.”
“Mmm. So that’s something to work on. Could you feel that you were tensing your whole body? Your neck muscles shouldn’t be involved in doing a kegel.”
As I’m leaving, I see a guy gabbing away while he gets his calf massaged. This is a million times less awkward.
Two months of weekly appointments later, my physical therapist pops her finger in and we’re chatting about skiing, Thanksgiving, trampolines, the election, weddings, babies and occasionally my vagina.
“Bring a few breaths here. That’s better. Can you tell?”
“Yes.” It’s not as uncomfortable.
Now we’re ready for squats.