La Grotte

Wow where do I begin? Ok I'll introduce the subject so you can escape now if you're a little squeamish...I'm going to talk about the subject we British are quite prudish about - re-education de periné or re-education of your girlie parts or as my sage femme calls it - La Grotte. What a lovely name, conjurs up all sorts of pleasant images, non?

So I rocks up on Tuesday - with entourage (hubby & 3 girls) - I couldn't drive as we have a hire car which meant everyone had to accompany me into town. I was hoping he'd take them for a walk or to a cafe but no - he wanted to wait in the waiting room - would be easier that way. Yeah right well certainly not for me.

I enter le bureau, SF asks me lots of questions about the parts in question, most of it I understood but not being fluent in the french female anatomy, she occasionally had to spell it out which was hilarious for me, but tres serious pour Madame.

Anyway I'm wondering if the whole electric shock thing I've been expecting isn't going to happen, then we move into the cabine. A retro looking piece of equipment resembling a 1980's bbc computer whirrs away in the corner - surely that isn't le truc?

Nope, no time for that just yet, whip off your best pants & l'examen is under way followed by a grading. Not telling my score but lets just say I won't be pulling candles from down below aka les dames de Amsterdam for some time. If I'd never had a pregnancy in France I wouldn't be expecting this type of examen, it's not something we typically do in Britain except for the odd smear. But having had 3 pregnancies in France I am more than familiar with the 'hands on' technique so it doesn't bother me too much now though as one of my friends said recently and I completely understand...I don't mind doing the exercises but please can you keep your hands out of it. (it being la grotte of course)

So what were the exercises? No electrical probes I'm afraid to say, just a few breathing exercises to heighten la vessie which has apparently dropped (along with other things no doubt). Now you'd think this would be easy - breathing, well it wasn't for me. I could hear waaa, mummeee help, Daddy Izzy just hit me, Put that back, waaaa, bang (as the wall wobbled) oh yes la cabine was right next door to the waiting room and the walls were seemingly made of paper mache. I couldn't focus on Madame Sage Femme as my ears were attuned to the commotion outside.

Souffle Madame Fitzgerald, contracte, relache, non non Madame (much shaking of head) apparently I don't know how to souffle properly & I've been told I'd been working out my abdo's rather than the perinee. Damn all that good work from the baby books was a waste of time then.

Bang whallop waaaa, Daddy I dunna poo.... ok Madame les devoirs - yes I have homework. I have to find time to do these exercises each day.

Relieved, I left, but not before Madame Sage Femme had booked in another 10 sessions. Oh and the faces of the poor couple who were expecting their precious first born any day soon were a picture. My 3 had scared the heck out of them. Big Smile as I quickly gathered them up - stressed out hubby included and shoved them out of the antique door.

Thursday - I TELL hubby to take kids to a cafe & stay away or else I'm not doing these sessions anymore, I think he understands it's in his interest and he will no doubt be grateful in the future ;) I take Maisy (4m) in with me as I noticed they had a Winnie The Pooh baby bouncer chair.

So today - no questions straight in with the exercises (note to self - buy more 'best pants'). First imagine La Grotte is an ascenseur, er what? I visioned an escalator - what is this woman on about. Nope here come the actions, she means a lift. OK my Grotte is a lift? The doors are closing...ok (eyebrows raised..puzzled look), "oui", I say meekly. Right close the doors. I squeeze somewhere below my tummy and above mes fesses hoping that gets the right signal of approval. Except I did it on the 'in' breath not the souffle. Oops. Try again, ok parfait. I have no idea what I did but the lift is in service. Phew.

Next imagine something is inside and you need to get it out, force it out - ok I'm good at this one - had 3 babies remember...just at this point Madame cries out with a rather loud "OOH la la" as Maisy has tried to flip out of the chair and is lying on her head - piglet, pooh & tigger are nowhere to be seen. Maisy giggles as Madame sits her back up, then does a few more abdo crunches to show off. "What is this baby doing? At 4m she is very strong and has la force" says Madame. Sage Femme number 2 is brought in to babysit. So now we have like a whole mother's meeting in la cabine along with me and my Grotte. Embarrassed, non, hell that went out of the window in 2009!

Final exercise I can't remember, something to do with squeezing buttocks but by now Maisy was in full on escape mode & concentration had been shot. Still no electrical shock...and I'll have to wait till I go back in July now to find out whether the BBC computer does electro shocks and if I can play hopit at the same time.

Oh, I just go to read Jodes experience..... am still laughing! Thanks to you both!

Thanks Suzanne, I have not laughed this hard in a very long time!

ha Jodes, that sounds so much worse than my experience! Mind you I've only just got started.

I'm probably not going to be able to continue this year as my OH is still working in London so I can't get to the clinic so I'll have to wait till next year to see if she plans on electrocuting my insides or not!

Oh boy, does this bring back memories! I also went to see one of these Grotte specialists (I'm not sure if she ever gave a fancy name for mine), after I had my son in 2004. Not immediatly straight after, mind you. Nothing was going to come anywhere near me, not after what my son put my poor parts through.

I remember, in my first session, she told me to get comfortable on her stretcher and then she pointed 2 fingers up in the air and rolled a condom over them. What the hell is she doing?? I kept on having flashes of horror movies....luvly, luuuuuvly. I ask her what the hell she's got planned with me, and she grins, and explains to me that she used to use some kind of electro-rod (ok, so she likes playing "Masters of the Universe" in her free time...noted.), but that during storms, her patients were getting electrocuted! Now I really felt like I was in Dr. Frankenstein's lab. Making a quick run for it was out of the question though. The fear of running around in the streets à la naturelle was far greater.

The muscle/breathing exercises were definatly quite unusual. Imagining: opening and closing shutters, shutters going up and down, the "grotte" taking photos (???), the "grotte" swallowing a pearl that travels all the way up the spine where it then formates into a crown, the "grotte" attached to a rope that comes out of the top of your head and you've got to pull tight on it, etc

Yes, in France there are definatly some extrodinairy things to discover, LOL.