Last week, I hit an all-time low. I did something I never thought I would do: I sat bare butt on a public toilet seat … in a gas station … and I enjoyed it.
It wasn’t one of those fancy gas stations with the toilet seat covers and spray-on cologne dispensers either. This one was your regular, run-of-the-grungy-mill gas station bathroom, complete with urine odor and random sheets of tissue paper littering the ground.
In my pre-pregnancy state, I would only pee in places like this if I was at least 78 percent sure that I would go into kidney failure if I didn’t or if I happened to be wearing latex gloves at the time. And, even then I only used the “hover technique.” You know, the hunched-over, squatting position that allows you to pee without touching the toilet and get a fantastic thigh work out all at the same time?
But these aren’t my pre-pregnancy days and, as they say, desperate times call for desperate measures. And, at that moment, I was as desperate as an outlaw.
My husband and I had finally pulled into the gas station after driving the five-hour stretch from Memphis to Birmingham. Wait, make that 5 hours, 18 minutes, and some odd seconds. I have discovered that when you’re pregnant and you’ve got to pee, every second counts. It’s kind of like the luge in the Olympics, only slightly less life-threatening and much more important. For those of you who don’t know—which is probably most of you—and for those of you who’d like to know—which is probably none of you—luge involves racing down an icy track on one’s back and is one of the few Olympic sports timed in thousandths of a second. It’s a nutso sport, but not nearly as crazy as the urge to pee can make you while pregnant. That day in the Birmingham gas station, I made a beeline for the bathroom, entered the very first stall, plopped down without a single thought (besides “Sweet relief!”), and, the rest, is blog history.
But I have a confession. While sitting on a public toilet seat without protection totally skeeves me out, I don’t think it’s the weirdest pregnancy pee story I have. I think that award belongs to an incident that took place a few weeks back. Tom and I had invited friends over to stay the night, and the next morning I awoke with a full bladder—the kind that you have thirty seconds to empty before it does so on its own. I got up to use the restroom but discovered that one of our guests was showering in the bathroom. If I were a cursing woman, I would have inserted an expletive (or two) here.
I considered joining Jake, our lab puppy, outside at his favorite bush, but still being in my nightgown, I decided that peeing into the cup next to my bedside was a safer bet. That turned out to be only slightly true.
Being too embarrassed to tell my husband what was going on, I hid in the closet to do what had to be done. This would have worked out fine, except I realized too late that I had far less bladder control than I had previously assumed. And so, I ended up with an unfortunate infinity-edge pool effect. Not wanting my husband to know, I hid the cup until everyone left and it could be disposed of properly.
Like I said, pregnancy can make you do crazy things, especially when you’ve got to go. And speaking of having to go … I wish you good health—and plenty of toilet seat covers—until next week.