Tales from the Catheter

Then the doctor said something no woman going through a c-section wants to hear… “there’s a hole in your bladder.”

As I mentioned in my previous blog, a complication in the birth of Kennedy, namely a hole the size of a quarter in my bladder,  has left me with a catheter for two weeks. My heart goes out to anyone who has to wear a catheter! I give grandmas everywhere some serious props! If given the choice between suffering child labor or the catheter… I’d skip the latter!

Let me preface by saying that I consider myself a pretty tough cookie. I was walking six miles within a week after my last c-section. I generally don’t do pain medicine (unless you consider a stiff cocktail medicine) and my motto goes something like, “You’re only sick if you think you are.”

However, my toughness and grit was definitely tested over the last 14 days with this catheter!

From the start, the catheter was a pain in my ….. well you know where they stick that thing! It wasn’t the stitches across my gut causing me issues, it was the balloon stuck in my pee hole. From the first shower, I felt it’s tug. It’s already a lot to recover from a c-section, but this little tube pretty much put me over the edge!

I didn’t care to know that there is a night pee bag and a “leg bag” for day wear. I didn’t want to know how to change these. I liked it when someone else emptied my bag while I was in a morphine-induced haze after surgery. But these were all lessons I received after giving birth. Instead of time spent snuggling my newborn, I was in the shower disinfecting tubes and connecting pipes. This catheter was like another child to tend to.

Even the dog is wondering WTH is on my leg!

Even the dog is wondering WTH is on my leg!

In these 14 days I found myself saying things I never thought I’d say such as:

  • Now both the dogs and I can mark the bushes along our walks
  • Man, I wish I was going to a Packer game … I could totally avoid the long lines to the girls restroom.
  • What can I wear so that my pee bag doesn’t show in public (the answer is loose pants and maxi skirts)
  • Am I leaking?


If the catheter was just something sitting there, I could embrace it’s company in the weeks following a new baby. It may even free up some of my time… juggling a toddler and a newborn, who has time for the restroom anyways. However it’s events like these that will have that catheter giving me nightmares even after it’s removal tomorrow:

  1. Kennedy’s First Pediatrician Appointment: Half way through the appointment the doctor says, “what’s that on the floor?” I notice a small wet spot and my heart drops into my stomach.

It couldn’t be what I think it is. I had just told him I was wearing a leg bag, but he said, “it couldn’t be that or your shoe would be wet.” We look at my flip-flop…IT’S WET! Try listening to the doctors newborn advice with your heartbeat ringing in your ears. All I could do was will the appointment to end. When it did (“any questions”… just could you please forget this ever happened) I said, “okay. I’m going to go ahead and wash my shoe off after you leave. I’m so embarrassed.”

2. Trying to Change My Pants: Anyone who has had kids knows that afterwards it isn’t all fun. There’s the hospital undies you are sent home with and the pads. In the process of changing those, I accidentally flipped the switch on my catheter. That’s right… as a grown woman, I peed on my bathroom floor. To top it off, my c-section stitches left me unable to clean it up myself. Is there anything more degrading than having your husband have to change diapers AND clean his wife’s pee off the bathroom floor. I’m just glad I don’t get to keep this catheter in any longer to find out.

Until this catheter I can’t remember the last time I cried anything other than tears of joy. Adjusting to life with a newborn and toddler is overwhelming enough. Adding in the third child, the catheter, was almost too much to bear!

Tomorrow I’m going to be very happy going back to the loo. I can’t wait to just sit down and pee. But maybe not… as this catheter has also led to another first for me…a UTI!

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