We seem to have a troubling pattern developing in this family.

For the last two years, at the same time, we have gotten quite ill. And by “we” I mean me and someone else, usually but not limited to Thing 2.

Last year at this time she and I had whooping cough (oh yes, we did.) This year, Thing 1 and I (so far) have pneumonia. Next year I am hoping for something a little lighter, like say The Sniffles, but at the rate we are going it could very well be the Black Plague, so you may want to give us a wide berth next March.

These illnesses have brought a side effect that is unique to me. You see, I have children. 3. Two of whom I acquired through the traditional means of gestating and birthing them out. And while I did not birth them through traditional means (they were c-sections), the damage was done nevertheless.

And both of these illnesses involve a lot of coughing. I am certain that you could have guessed that about whooping cough, but were you aware that when you have pneumonia your body tries to expel your lungs out through your mouth with significant force? No? Well now you are. And as someone who has carried a couple of babies around for months who felt it necessary to rest their tiny little asses on my bladder there is one side effect that gets me, and only me, every time.
I cough and then–

I pee my pants.

Look, whooping cough lasts for 12 weeks. 12 FREAKING weeks. I am so practiced up on coughing and peeing my pants that you would think that I would have some sort of fool proof avoidance plan in place, but no. Because there isn’t one. There is nothing that can be done to stop it. Oh sure, I make something like 42 trips to the bathroom every day in an attempt to keep my bladder empty, but seriously, that’s a losing battle when the mantra of every single Dr. you see is “be sure to stay hydrated.”

I try to hold it, but imagine that you are coughing so hard you are dry heaving,

sometimes vomiting,

that you cannot get in a single gasping breath to steady yourself,

that your head feels like it is about to explode,

and all of a sudden not peeing your pants takes a backseat to not dying.

I know there are ways this could be, *ahem*, delicately handled, like pads or pantyliners or what the hell ever that thing is they advertise with the slogan “Get in my Pants SAM” but I steadfastly REFUSE to give up and start wearing diapers. FFS, I’m 48 years old and that is the slippery slope straight to hell. And honestly, the last thing I need to complete my misery is a yeast infection. Just sayin.

So instead I cough, I pee and then I change my clothes. That’s is it. All day, every day until I am better.

Cough, pee, change

Cough, pee, change

Cough, pee, change


Cough, pee, change
Thing 2 finds this endlessly amusing. However, she wants to have five kids. I can bide my time….paybacks are a bitch.


Melissa Coble is a mom living in Phoenix, Arizona just trying to survive the teenage years with a lot of laughs, an occasional rant, and copious amounts of wine. You can find her counting the days until her nest is empty on her blog An Unfit Parent and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


  1. Hi Melissa, thank you for sharing… you are not alone. Around one third of mums experience incontinence. However, although it might be common, it does not have to be your normal. Can I suggest you seek out a women’s health physio and get some help. I’m based in Melbourne, but I am happy to find someone for you.
    Your pelvic floor is asking you kindly for help. H oping it will certainly lessen your risk of prolapse which affects around 50% of women over 50
    I wrote a blog about who is at risk of prolapse here
    Mish x

    • Agreed. I did two months of physical therapy after my third child was born and it fixed SO MUCH stuff that I thought I was going to have to live with forever. It’s nothing short of amazing.

      • Our laser clinic offers a great option in The FemTouch Vaginal Rejuvenation treatment and it has helped me not to have this issue. Look around in your area I am sure you will find a clinic that offers some form of Vaginal Rejuvenation. It doesn’t hurt and makes a world of difference.
        However your very funny and relateable love the blog.

  2. One word- CONTIFORM!

    I too suffer and Contiform ironically found me because i own a company that sells a product for men’s incontinence, so when the manufacturer saw what I was doing for Afex in Canada he asked if I was interested in bringing Contiform from Australia to Canada. My response “hell ya hook me up now!”

    It works as long as you don’t have any class 3-4 prolapse and so simple to insert and forget. Zero side affects 🙂

  3. Personally, appreciate your information. I will bookmark this so that I can share it with someone who needs to hear this. Thanks!!!

  4. I can totally relate. I started getting this after my second child and dreaded the idea of using any sort of protection. One of my friends told me about always discreet pads and, after I got fed up with the “cough, pee” for the bajillionth time, I gave them a go. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner!
    You legit feel completely dry – even after multiple leaks – And they look like regular period pads so hubby doesn’t even know! (I’ve even used them a few times camping when i didn’t want to get out of the tent in the middle of the night – I know, tmi but it really wasn’t that bad, there was no smell, and nobody suspected a thing!)
    I’m only 38 and having one less thing to worry about is a lifesaver – especially with a bunch of little ones constantly wanting my attention. Go ahead and treat yourself!

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