My First Menstrual Cup

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Photo by Danilla

In December, as my youngest child turned 20 months old, I was met by the return of my menses. Being pregnant and/or lactating for almost ten years (my oldest child is 9 years old), I’ve only had a handful of periods during that time.

I can’t say I have missed dealing with it. I hate pads; they leave me feeling wet and rashy and as though everyone can see the outline. Remember when disposable pads used to be really thick? I do. I resorted to using tampons pre-motherhood (and in those rare instances since). They didn’t have the same issues as the pads, but they came with their own. They tend to leave one feeling dry, and there is always the thought in the back of my mind about toxic shock syndrome. Both disposable pads and tampons create a lot of waste, both during production and in land fills.

When I had children, and subsequently began using cloth diapers, I was introduced to the idea of cloth pads. It seemed like a better idea than disposables, but it didn’t address the other problems I had with disposable pads: the wetness, rashiness, or bulkiness. I really didn’t want to switch to pads, so I told myself that with as infrequently as I had a period, it really didn’t warrant storing a bunch of cloth pads in the interims.

A few months ago, I began taking a closer look at my options, as we may not have more children, and I knew I would eventually reach a point where my daughter’s nursing (despite nursing through day and night) wasn’t enough to keep my cycle away. I knew I wanted to try a menstrual cup. I asked around about different ones, read reviews, and ultimately ordered one to put away. I then proceeded to forget about it.

So, when my period decided to show, I was a little bummed. Honestly, I was hoping that it would stay away for a while longer. I was a bit mopey. Here I was having to deal with menstruation and the struggle we’ve been having about whether or not to have another child seemed to dangle closer, as my fertility began to return.

Then I remembered my menstrual cup packed away in my drawer. I wouldn’t say that it was like opening up a gift, but it did make my day a little brighter. So, I tried a menstrual cup for the very first time.

I took out the cup, washed it, and then looked at it. It seemed a bit intimidating. I then compared it to the size of something else and decided that I would be just fine. It was much easier than I thought it would be. It had all of the benefits of tampons without the drawbacks. I did have some leakage in the first couple of days, but I don’t know if that was because it was my first time using it, my first menses in a long time, the fact that I was having to dump it every 1-2 hours in the first days, or a combination thereof. When menses moseys back around in a month or two, I’ll gladly try it again. I much preferred it to tampons, but I think I’ll make some cloth panty liners for back up on those first days.

The next challenge? Emptying the menstrual cup in a public bathroom with my entourage in tow.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Families Create! Call for August Submissions

Please join us for a monthly blog carnival focusing on families and creativity. Families, Create! is a blog carnival with a purpose: we want your family to get creative and have fun! Read below for details on the August carnival, and check out the main carnival page for upcoming themes in 2011. (Check out January, February, March, April, and June if you missed them.)

Your co-hosts are Dionna at Code Name: Mama and Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Here are the submission details for August 2011:

Photo by Patti Haskin

Theme: Weird and Wonderful: Childhood holds a wonder that abounds, prompting questions and curiosity at every turn. As parents, we are privy to the insight and creativity inherent in childhood and are reminded ourselves what is really important to us. While our children learn from us, we, too, learn from them.

Looking for some books to share the wonder of creativity with your children? Check some of these out:

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Five Children and It by E Nesbitt

The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where in the Wild? By David Schwartz

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

If you do use a book for inspiration, please mention it in your post so that we can read it too!

What will your post consist of? Each month we will have a theme, things like “Heroes and Heroines,” “Fantasy,” and “Weird and Wonderful.” You will craft a post (or 2 or 3) around one of those themes. You are only limited by your imagination! You can create a handmade craft that embodies the qualities of the post (publish pictures and/or a tutorial!). You can write a story using the theme as inspiration. Your family can act out a story (we will have a handy list of on-topic books for you each month that you can use or ignore, as you desire).
All we ask is that 1) you and your family create something that goes along with the theme; and 2) you post about it sometime during the month.

Deadline: Wednesday, August 31. Your post(s) must be published on or before Wednesday, August 31. Fill out the webform (at the link) for each post you publish for inclusion in July’s carnival. (If you publish three different posts for the carnival, you will fill out the webform three different times, each will include different carnival URLs and titles.)

Link-up date: Saturday, August 6. After we have compiled all of your links, we will send you an email with an html blurb to paste into your (previously published) submission(s) that will include all carnival links. Please edit your posts to include the links no later than Saturday, August 6. You’ll get lots of link love for your site and post(s), and you can check out all of the other creative ideas generated by this month’s theme! Please also help us spread the word about the carnival on your Facebook and Twitter feeds.

Please submit your details into our web form: This will help us as we compile the links list. Please enter your information on the form: Families, Create! August’s Make & Play Carnival

Please do: Write well. Write on topic. Write a brand new post for the carnival. Post great pictures and/or video. Please feel free to be creative within the gentle confines of the carnival theme. If your family is feeling so inspired, you could write a poem or children’s story, put on a one act play, craft a photo essay, or create a handmade craft tutorial instead of a regular blog post (though those are welcomed, too!), as long as what you write is respectful of the carnival’s intent. If you want help determining that ahead of time, please talk with us.

Please don’t: Please don’t use profanity of the sort that might be offensive to more sensitive readers or their children. Please don’t submit irrelevant posts or posts that are purely marketing for products you sell.

Editors’ rights: We reserve the right to edit your piece or suggest edits to you. We reserve the right to courteously reject any submissions that are inappropriate for the carnival. Please also note that since there are two co-hosts on different schedules and conferring over email, our personal response to your submission might seem delayed. Don’t be alarmed. We also reserve the right to impose consequences if the responsibilities of the carnival are not fulfilled by the participants.

If you don’t have a blog: Contact us (CodeNameMama {at} gmail.com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com) about potentially finding you a host blog to guest post. Please write your piece well in advance of the deadline in that case, so we can match you up with someone suitable. But if you really have something amazing to write — why not start your own blog? If you want advice, we find Scribbit’s free Blogging in Pink ebook to be a very helpful and down-to-earth guide, for beginners on up.

If you have questions: Please leave a comment or contact us: Dionna {at} CodeNameMama {dot} com and LivingPeacefullyWithChildren {at} gmail.com

Stay in touch:

Our Family Creates! from Code Name: Mama and Living Naturally With ChildrenShow off: If you are a participant or supporter and want our button to put in your sidebar, grab this code and proclaim to the blogosphere that your family creates!
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