Five Days and One Menstrual Cup

Since becoming a mum, I have learnt many things. Quite a few of those things are about how I as a person, have changed, mostly for the good I’d say. I’m more compassionate, I love deeper, I am more aware of the impact of my actions and I share more. A lot more.

Maybe too much.

“TMI” seems to be my middle name these days, and this post I’m afraid is going to be no exception.

If you don’t like talking about your period, vaginas, or things that go inside of your vagina, then I’m just letting you know upfront that this blog post is not for you.

Close the page now.

Okay, still with me? Let’s get to the gross stuff.

I hate having a period. I was a late bloomer – 15 or 16 from memory. Have never been regular and am horrible at predicting when I’m about to start my next cycle. Being on the pill for the best part of 15 years helped these issues and life was pretty peachy keen until I decided to start trying for a baby.

Goodbye pill, hello unpredictability!

Fast forward two pregnancies and over a year of breastfeeding each time resulting in about three glorious period-free years in my life and here we were, just a couple of months ago. My period was back and I was not happy.

Not so much with the actual period itself – I didn’t mind the blood, I just hated the inconvenience of it all. The pads – gross. The tampons – gross. The constant trips to the toilet, kids in tow, weapon of choice carefully concealed somewhere discreet – I was always a fan of a tampon in my bra…

But I digress. I had had enough!

I had seen a few posts and things on the internet about menstrual cups and while a super foreign concept, I figured I had nothing to lose and made my purchase online.

Day One

Once again my period has managed to sneak up on me and take me by surprise.

“Not this time”, I think to myself as I get my little pack out of the vanity. Thankfully, it’s a Friday afternoon and I’m not due back at work until Wednesday so the timing is perfect to give this thing a go with little fear of public embarrassment, unlike that one time at a school concert where there wasn’t a toilet close by…

I follow the instructions and fold my cup into a “C” shape and pop it into place. It’s easy enough, but takes a bit of fiddling to get it right. The internet tells me it’s going to take several cycles to nail it, so I’m not too worried.

I’m pleasantly surprised by how comfortable it is, and head off to sleep for the night.

Day Two

Overnight is a success! No leaks, and no urge to run from the bed to the loo as soon as I get upright as is the case sometimes when using tampons.

I remove the cup as instructed in the shower and pop it back into place with a bit of difficulty. I can now relax for 12 hours until I need to change it again.

Yes. 12 HOURS.

Day Three

Another night with no dramas and a trip out of the house, wearing a liner just to be safe. Still, there are no incidents and I start to get cocky. I feel like I’ve cracked the period code.

Cue 14 hours later when I’ve forgotten to change my cup and find myself with a dirty big stain on my undies. I take the cup out thinking it’s full, but it’s not. I think it’s moved a little during the course of the day and the seal has broken, creating a leak.

Lesson learnt – a little readjusting throughout the day doesn’t go astray.

Day Four

I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting the cup to fall into place properly when inserted, so I consult the internet and find a useful video on different folding methods. I try the “Punch Down” fold and immediately find it better. I’ve also decided to trim the stem which also helps with not noticing it’s there at all.

Day Five

Things are wrapping up for me this cycle and I’ve made it. five days with no tampons, no pads. A couple of liners which I consider my safety net for now.

It sounds silly, but I am proud of myself for taking a chance and trying something new and definitely not mainstream. For saving a couple of dollars a month on items I can’t stand buying. For switching to something more environmentally friendly.

So for those of you curious about menstrual cups – my advice is just give it a go. If you don’t like it, go back to what you were doing before. I’m sure they’re not everyone’s cup of tea (okay, that’s kinda gross), but I’m sure there are a lot of you out there who assume, like I used to, that there are no other options besides the sanitary items in your local supermarket.

So where do you find your perfect cup? Start here.

Good luck!

Edit* I’ll be grabbing a pair or two of Modibodi’s undies to use as my back up instead of liners to make my cycle zero waste. Go me! See the range here.

On my Way to Financial Freedom – The Day I Decided to go Barefoot

I’m a spender, no question about it. I love having new things. Pretty things. That thing I saw in that magazine that looked like it’s going to change my life. Need it! You get the idea. I love stuff.

Thankfully, I also have pretty good will-power and a basic understanding of “don’t spend more than you make” so I’ve never gone into large amounts of debt or lived well beyond my means…

But…

I admit, being on two lots of maternity leave left my credit card looking a little dire and upon my return to work, my fortnightly pay was mostly paying the bills and mortgage first, and my credit card second. No money left for pretty new things. Wahhhhhhh! Doesn’t matter! I just paid $500 off my credit card, I’ll use that! And the cycle continued. You get the idea. I was constantly chasing my tail.

I knew something had to be done, but what?

IMG_1951 2
The magic cards of the Barefoot Club

Enter dear Husband, who sat me down one day and told be about this book that his mate had read. “A finance book? Yawn! No thanks!” was my first reaction. But I’m a good wife (ha!) so I sat and listened to what Benji had to say. Saying goodbye to debt, paying off our mortgage, setting up our girls with good nest-eggs, setting ourselves up with enough super to live comfortably until the day we bid this world adieu. It all sounded pretty good. All I had to do was read a book, and if I didn’t like it, I didn’t have to go ahead with anything. Simple enough.

Enter The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape. You’ve probably heard of him before. He’s on the TV, in the paper, he’s bloody everywhere. Turns out there’s a reason why.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of the book for you here, but what I will tell you is I’m hooked. I’m in. All in.

His book is simple, easy to understand and gives you a great plan for how you’re going to set yourself up. It makes you THINK about your money more and I’m pretty sure most of us could use a little reminder to do just that. Especially those of us with a nasty internet shopping addiction…

Since reading the book, I’ve cut up my credit cards, opened new, zero-fee bank accounts and have set up my buckets of money so they are now working for me. Now I just have to stick to the programme.

I’m going to be more mindful about what I purchase now. Do I really need that 6th pair of jeans just because they are a shade lighter than the ones I have already at home? No, I almost definitely do not. Do I need that face-cream that’s going to help reduce fine-lines and stop me from looking like a dragon in the morning? Yes, yes I do. For a spender, it’s tough – not unbearable, but Benji and I are making it work. We have savings goals in mind and I tells ya what, we are going to smash them. That I’m sure of. Because like I’ve said before, I’m a stubborn thing and once I get a goal in my head, I get it done.

IMG_1879
Who knew that you could read a finance book in bed and stay awake?!

And you know what? It feels really bloody good. Knowing that I’m taking control of my money and setting my family up for financial freedom is giving me all of the feels. More feels than having all the things in the world can give me.

So if you feel like you’re a little overwhelmed with your money, take a deep breath and go find a copy of The Barefoot Investor. You might read it and think nothing of it, but for some of you, it might just change your life. What have you got to lose?

*Please note this is NOT a sponsored post – I’m just super excited to share something I’ve learned with you all!

** If you do decide to go barefoot like me and open an ING Orange everyday account before February 28 2018, email me at hellojadedmonkey@gmail.com to receive a promo code to receive $100 (conditions apply).

Feeding Made Simple – Munchkin Latch 

Flashback around 9 months ago. Breastfeeding isn’t going great the second time around, I’m desperate for a break, if only for a couple of hours and I’ve been pumping my heart out to build a stockpile so I can go out and get that alone time I so badly need.

The time has come to get those precious few hours to myself and surprisingly, Niamh doesn’t take to the three year old bottle we’ve pulled out of the back of the cupboard. I watch 150ml of breast milk get poured down the drain. A couple of days later we try again, this time with a different bottle we’ve gone out and purchased from the local supermarket. Same result. another 150ml of that precious milk, down the drain. Third time’s the charm right? No, no it’s not. More milk down the drain, along with it money from another failed bottle purchase and finally, there goes my sanity too. Glug glug glug. You know the saying, “There’s no use crying over spilt milk?” Ignore it if you’re talking about expressed breast milk. Cry away.

Next thing I know, I’m sitting in a crumpled heap, crying my eyes out proclaiming, “I’m never going to be free!”

True story. I kid you not.

I thought feeding babies was supposed to be easy?

Thankfully ,things got better after that point in time, but I’ll never forget that feeling of helplessness. Anyone who has a baby who is fussy with bottles will tell you that trying to find the right one can be one of the most stressful times in a tired, frazzled, new family’s life.

Thanks to this experience, I’m always in search for products that are going to make my life easier and the transition from breast to bottle to beyond a non-event for Niamh and for the rest of the family too! Here are a few of my new favourites;

First up – Munchkin Latch Sterilize Bags 

Wow. Just wow. For both of the girls, I had the largest monstrosity of a steriliser that took up the best part of a cupboard in my kitchen, not to mention a lot of space on the bench in those early days where EVERYTHING needed to be sterilised ALL THE TIME. Not anymore! Enter the Latch Sterilize Bags. Small, portable and re-usable for up to 30 uses. Big enough to hold two wide mouth bottles or the parts for a double breast pump and a Cool-Touch grip that ensures you won’t have to worry about burning your fingers (something I did plenty of with ol’ Bertha that I previously mentioned). These bags were a welcome change in our house. Farewell Bertha. You’re services are no longer required.

IMG_0856

Most Importantly – Munchkin Latch Bottle 

The Latch Bottle does what others claim to do and fail – mimics the breast in movement and function. Niamh took to the Latch nipple with ease. The flexibility of the Latch nipple moved with Niamh’s movements without disrupting her feeding, which for an easily distracted baby is amazing. The shape of the bottle was easy for her to hold herself (she’s a fiercely independent woman you know) and big enough to hold a full bottle without being so big that it became heavy and cumbersome. The anti-colic valve at the base of the bottle allows the milk to flow without bubbles travelling through, helping to reduce gassiness. There are a range of nipples available, ensuring that the Latch Bottle will grow with your baby from the newborn stage, up until they are ready to ditch the bottle and move to a transition cup.

IMG_0942

Lastly – Munchkin Latch Bottle and Valve Brush 

This was Avery’s favourite product in the range (no surprises there really). The size and shape of the brush ensured that she was able to clean the bottle, nipple and anti-colic valve with ease. The suction cup bottom was also a big hit for Avery (because, fun), as well as for me (because, germs). Lastly, and one of my non negotiables – it’s dishwasher safe. Hallelujah!

IMG_0830

Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the Latch range. It’s functional, easy to use and does what it promises to. It helps that it’s easy to look at and is fun for older kids to get involved in the cleaning side of things. I’ll definitely be recommending the Latch range to my new Mama friends.

You can learn more about the Latch range here or just head straight to your local Amcal Pharmacy to pick yours up!

This has been a sponsored collaboration with Munchkin, but we do not endorse or work with any products or brands we do not use and love.