My Pathetic Pregnancy Bladder

In just five hours today, I had to use the bathroom eight times, and I could have gone more—if only I’d had the opportunity.

This afternoon, I took my three sons—my stepsons, ages 15 and 13, and my son, age 4 ¾—to the Shedd Aquarium in downtown Chicago. 

Prior to leaving our house, I peed immediately before putting on my raincoat and shoes (#1), then again before walking out the door (#2).

After our 45-minute drive, I walked into the aquarium lobby and approached a guest services person, saying, “I’m pregnant and desperately have to use the ‘Ladies Room.’  Where’s the closest one?” (#3)

After getting our tickets and spending about 15 minutes looking at exhibits on the main level, we walked downstairs in search of dolphins.  We passed another women’s restroom, and I wanted to use it, but I didn’t want my sons to have to wait for me yet again, when they’d done so just 15 minutes beforehand.

However, 20 minutes later, just before entering the auditorium for the “Fantasea” show, which featured Beluga whales, penguins, a hawk and dolphins, I had to go, so I did (#4).

After waiting 30 minutes for “Fantasea” to start, I was desperate, but the narrator directed everyone to stay seated for the duration of the show, and I was the last person on the end of a row, meaning, if I would have ignored the rule and left anyway, I would have disturbed not only the 20 people in our row, but everyone behind us.  So, I suffered for the entire 30-minute program.  When my son sat on my lap to see better, I cringed.  When he hugged me post-show, as we waited for everyone else in our aisle to exit ahead of us, I begged him not to press on my bladder. 

Post-show, I rushed to the women’s restroom with my son in tow, relieved that there was no line.  I peed (#5), my son peed, then I peed again (#6).  Yes, with just a three-minute break, I was able to urinate again.

We then saw a 10-minute 4D show called “Planet Earth: Pole to Pole” and wandered through the gift shop, then I had to use the restroom before we left the aquarium (#6).

On our drive home, my 13-year-old son asked if we could stop by McDonald’s for some shakes.  I said yes.  Because it was pouring rain, I walked into McDonald’s alone, ordered four shakes, went to the restroom while they were being prepared (#7), then brought them out to the car.

Ten minutes later, as soon as I walked into our house, I, of course, rushed to the bathroom (#8).

The most shocking aspect of this story, in my opinion, is not that I had to urinate eight times in five hours, but that I had to urinate eight times in five hours when all I drank in this time period was 12 ounces of water, the equivalent of the liquid in a soda can.

Although my way-too-regular restroom trips are annoying and disruptive, all three of my sons were incredibly sweet and patient with me and my pathetic pregnancy bladder, all afternoon long.

Then, tonight, as I was putting my 4-year-old son to bed, he asked, “Do you have to go to the bathroom?”

“No, not right now.”

“Well, if you do, my bathroom is available.” 

You see, when we’re in his bedroom, his bathroom is closer than mine…  The little sweetheart.

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