I have a wee (little) secret to share with you. My bladder is the worst.
Ever since I hit puberty, I have been having little accidents. It started in the most horrific way too – during economics class in grade eight. We were laughing (quite hysterically) at the scenario the text book had asked us to solve. I don’t remember what it was exactly, other than it was so far fetched and unrealistic that we all laughed so much we couldn’t breathe, and I well, I peed my pants.
It was also just my luck that the teacher called me forward to answer this specific problem on the board. This was followed by an awkward “uhm, ma’am… I don’t want to stand up right now”. There was some protesting from her end and it wasn’t until the class asshole announced that I have “probably messed gross period blood all over my chair” that she let it go.
When the lesson ended I remained seated and she handed me a pad. I was graetful for it and waited for her to leave the room before I made the mad dash to the bathroom, thanking whoever decided on our dark school skirts because it concealed the problem quite well.
I sent a text message to my mom to please please, please, come fetch me, because I’ve peed my pants like a toddler. She called the school with some made up excuse and I walked out with my blazer tied around my waist like a real rebel. I suppose my class mates thought I had messed some blood, but it was never mentioned again. I think I would have been teased relentlessly had they known the truth.
This was the start of my bladder anxiety. I was aware of my bladder and my imaginary need to wee ALL. THE. TIME. For the following five years I wore an extra thick pad to school every day. I opted for the one with the plasticy cover that had “micro funnels” so that if I ever had an accident again, it would be absorbed faster. All this plastic did was cause countless yeast infections.
I would pee about 5 times before I left the house. Again as soon as I got to school, and again after every lesson. I would go at the beginning of break and once more a few minutes before break ended.
I was very athletic and played sports for two hours after school Monday through to Thursday, followed up by gymnastics on Tuesdays and Thursdays too. It was NOT fun running around with a thick pad or doing long jump and getting all sandy. It was also awkward trying to disguise it in a leotard.
Away games were the worst. Having to sit on a bus, not knowing when I could pee again. Not being able to find the bathrooms at the other school / university. I was in the KZN team for both athletics and gymnastics, which meant that we often stayed in other cities for a few days. It was just a nightmare and very exhausting mentally. I imagine this is what people with IBS experience but on a much more serious scale.
My obsession and paranoia stopped after school though. I had decided to do my degree from home and the bathroom was right next to my room. Over the course of the next two years, I had forgotten I even had a problem and I was finally diagnosed with ovarian cysts. The doctor thinks these may have been putting pressure on my bladder, since my “little leaks” would precede the pain from the cyst.
It remained a non-issue until I was twenty four and pregnant with my first child. I had expected the little “glipsies” because there are SO many jokes about pregnant woman and moms wetting themselves.
What I wasn’t expecting though, was to full on pee my pants every now and again. Not just “oops, I weed a bit” but a proper, “omg! did your water just break?” kind of wee.
It was mortifying. I had “morning sickness” through out my pregnancy that lasted up until half an hour before Seth was born. I vommed at least once a day and it snuck up on me in the most inconvenient places. In Tesco buying groceries… In the Mc Donald’s Drive Thru… on the high way going 70 miles an hour… at work… even during meetings. It was OK though. People were grossed out but they sympathized… until the puking was accompanied by pee in my third trimester. That’s when it just became ridiculous, so I decided to start wearing adult diapers. I am so glad that they exist because they saved me countless times.
After having Seth, I now have a real “mom bladder”. Sneezing is never a good idea and picking up my heavy son also makes my bladder say hello. So does bending over or standing up too fast, or even getting a hug that’s a little too tight. Kegels are also not as effective as I hoped they would be.
I started wearing breathable panty liners every day but I was soon plagued by thrush again. My body just has to hear someone whisper “thrush” and it jumps on the bandwagon. It’s really not fun.
And to be honest, wearing a pad or panty liner, does not make one feel sexy at all. Then there’s also the annoyance of it moving and sticking to you… and the times when it decides to fall out.
I didn’t know what to do anymore. No panty liners were breathable enough to prevent thrush and I didn’t feel confident enough not to wear them. By some miracle, another blogger buddy of mine retweeted one of Giggle Knicker’s tweets and after checking them out I got in touch to test out their panties.
Giggle knickers are cotton panties with a very clever and very absorbent middle panel. The four layers in this magical panel, pull the liquid away without pooling, leaving you AND your clothes dry. There’s no fabric pads that need to be switched out – it’s an all in one system, just like ordinary panties, except a little thicker. Since it’s 95% cotton, it’s breathable and washable too.
Not only does this sort out my thrush problem, it saves me money by not having to buy panty liners, and that in turn means that I am making less waste that’s going to end up in the landfill.
Most importantly though – I get to feel normal.
Giggle knickers look and feel like any of the other panties I own, just far more luxurious. The quality of the material is suburb and the cut is excellent. Since becoming a mom, I want “proper panties” and these are exactly that. They cover my whole (much larger than it used to be) behind, and are so comfy that I don’t want to wear any of my other undies.
There are more shapes (such as thongs, boy shorts etc) and colours in the works but for now they are only available in one cut and colour. The sizing runs from XS to XL (0 to 16).
You can buy your pair of Giggle Knickers via their online shop for £15.
20p of each Giggle Knicker sold, goes towards Free a Girl India, who fight against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children. So not only are you setting yourself free, you are helping to do the same for others, while still saving money and the environment. There’s really no downside here.
My only wish is that these were around twelve years ago when I was at school because it would have made my life so much easier.