Originally posted in my ‘The Confinement Chronicles’ at 30 weeks pregnant with first baby.
If there are any entrepreneurial business investors reading – I have a proposal for you. It’s a new App/ software proposal. The names I’m working with at the moment are ‘Google Pee Earth‘, ‘Loocation Loocation, Loocation‘, ‘To pee or not to pee‘ or ‘Wee Wizard‘ – but I am flexible and open to negotiations. The App will enable you to type in your Postcode or will use your GPS Tracking system to locate you and show a map of your surrounding area. Small toilet icons will be littered about the map. Upon clicking on each tiny toilet it will inform you:
1/ How far away the toilet is from you (in waddle miles)
2/ A rating for cleanliness and hygiene
3/ A likely queue length – and therefore likely ‘Loo rage rating’
4/ Whether you have to pay to use it (don’t get me started) or
5/ Whether you have to play the pregnant card to blag your way into it
Pre-Pregnancy, peeing is not something one ever gives much thought to. But as soon as you are into your pregnancy weeing seems to take up 85% of your existence. Combined with morning sickness you can spend up to 92% of your time in bathrooms. Where to pee – and how fast you can get there – becomes your prime concern, much like your Gran. I used to proudly boast that I could last a twelve hour flight without leaving my seat to wee. “You just hold it!” I used to chortle smugly. Well, you can kiss those days goodbye Lady! There is no such thing as ‘holding it in’ anymore. Have you been doing your Pelvic Floors? I hear you ask. “No, I bloody haven’t”.
Pre-Pregnancy I would never ever have gone into a Coffee shop or Restaurant ‘just’ to use their toilet facilities. From around six to nine weeks pregnant I bought a hot chocolate every time I needed the toilet – then things started getting silly. I’m not made of money!
My partner spends his time, with me in tow, marching towards Retail Assistants, Toilet Attendants and Cleaners, Hotel Receptionists and Waiters exclaiming “She’s pregnant – can she use your toilet please?” Said Professional looks towards me to where I am stood, crouched over, pouting and sticking out my stomach. I must say, I find this aspect of him as dashing, heroic and chivalrous as Mr Darcy. A proper modern day Gentleman is someone who will gain you free entry into a toilet when a baby is pressing on your bladder. It’s enough to make you marry a man. And when you find that toilet – Oh Lord are you grateful! You feel like weeping for joy and embracing strangers on the way out.
I can tell you this now – Debenhams’ toilet is full to the brim of mothers (pre and post giving birth) abusing their free facilities. That is why you can guarantee a spectacular queue. “No, no J.K Rowling isn’t doing a book signing today, this is the queue to Debenhams’ toilet”. They put it on the seventh floor up, but that won’t stop us. And I can tell you something else, none of them are buying a YSL Touche Eclat on the way out.
Using dodgy, pongy, unkempt, public toilets in the early weeks of pregnancy, when sickness is at its height, is beyond painful. Gag inducing to say the least. And I went to France where toilets are scarce. In one public unisex toilet in France I could blatantly see a tramp having a kip next to the urinals. Did it stop me? No it didn’t.
It is the worst at night. Night time for me now starts at around 9pm. I hoist myself into my warm comfy bed with my furry hot water bottle and can guarantee I then have to heave myself out of that Utopia up to twenty times till morning. Each time I get up and leave the room the light from the landing shines into the bedroom and my fumbling about stirs my partner. He foolishly mumbled one night “that is annoying”.
“Oh? oh? Is it annoying? It’s annoying is it? Annoying you say? As you reside there smothered in the toasty duvet not having to move a bloody muscle? Is it annoying LISTENING to me having to pull my fat, heavy, exhausted body out of the bed twenty times a night, tip toe across the cold wooden floor and pee with one eye open and wonder back into bed knowing that only a few moments later I will probably need to get up again. YES, I SUPPOSE THAT MUST BE ANNOYING FOR YOU DEAR!”
To make matters worse we do not currently have a downstairs toilet. I have my own bums and tums workout going which involves having to sprint up and down stairs numerous times a day to relieve myself. I have been tempted to use the downstairs sink and if TENA Lady did full on adult nappies I would not be adverse to using them.
At around 20 weeks pregnant I had a two hour train journey where I was forced to use the toilet seven times. It was one of those new fangled electronic toilets with a large sliding door. The type where you gain entry by pressing a large button which then lights up and the door painfully slowly slithers across to the right and you step inside. On the inside there is a corresponding button that you press again to shut the door. I went through this rigmarole six times and took my position on the seat. On the seventh, after a few moments, to my horror, the button lit up and the door started to crawl back to the left.
The door peeled back to reveal an elderly lady with a look of confusion, revulsion and terror, in equal measure, on her face. It was like some hideous game show round on ‘The Price is Right’ “Look what you could have won Edna…. a heavily pregnant girl perched on a lavatory!” She clearly didn’t know what she had done or how to remedy it. Whatever was wrong with old fashioned manual locks is a mystery! So all she could do, the poor dear, was stand and stare at me. And all I could do was stare back. We were in a staring stand off.
She probably thought she was higher on the priority list of ‘toilet use’ than me, being elderly. But I would disagree – and nothing was going to stop me from weeing. Normally this sort of incident would naturally cause me to hurl myself off the train in shame. Oddly, I barely blushed, smiled politely and waddled back down the aisle. A toilet is a toilet and a pee is a pee – even if I must have a geriatric audience.
Ooo, must dash, excuse me.
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