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I can’t count how many times I have asked somebody, or somebody has asked me “Women ovulate on day 14 right?” I can’t count how many times I said “yup, I think so. around there.” Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. There is a learning curve to life, of course, that’s nothing new or shocking. We’re always on it, and I feel like with each experience we endeavour on, that curve just keeps getting curvier and curvier. It’s sorta like the beauty of life, as frustrating as it is sometimes. Human beings are know it alls, we want to grasp information, take a hold of it by its reigns, and run with it. We like the tangible, and the intangible, we question and ponder and philosophize over. We love the intangible, as crazy as it can make us.
questionable ovulation the desire to further the connection to my body and my soul, and this guest post over at The Feminist Breeder inspired me to give my own readership a dose of Fertility Awareness Method. An emotional crash course, if you will. And then I stumbled across these amazing once in a lifetime (probably) photographs of ovulation actually TAKING PLACE. Unbelievable. A sign from somewhere, somebody, something, that this long overdue post had to be written.
After our lovely boy was born and I had healed well enough, physically and spiritually, to even begin thinking about the process of birth control and all it entails, I knew I didn’t want to go the hormone route. I was done da-done-done with that one, but as for my other options, I was clear on them, but not certain at all which would be right for us. I had done the birth control pill thing, and was not at all satisfied with it, despite being on it for about three years. A social work course regarding human sexuality, and an incredibly inspiring and empowering instructor to boot, motivated me to look at other options. I wanted to run far away from hormones, but I wasn’t quite sure to what else. I did a lot of Google’ing about IUD’s, because it seemed like an appropriate option for us. After a couple freak-outs about the process of having it “installed” (I use that term satirically, now) and reading about all the backlash against it, Kyle and I decided together that that would be a good choice for us. Ha. But really, I read a lot of good too, but I mostly just chose to hyperfocus on the bad. I had that sucker chillin’ out in my uterus for about two and a half years… until it decided to gently fall out of my uterus, which resulted in unknown zero protection, which resulted in our beautiful son. Yup, I was one of those who got preggers while having an IUD in. So fast forward throughout the pregnancy, and the post-partum period until it became a reality that we aren’t necessarily into abstinence and we aren’t necessarily into hormonal or mechanical birth control. There had to be another option.
Hence where FAM (we’ll shorten it up) comes into the picture. Some might say I don’t have a filter, and some might say I’m just really open about things that some people aren’t comfortable talking about, but obviously birth control is a huge topic of discussion among most of my friends and myself, especially given that a lot of my friends were in the same boat – not feeling satisfied with their chosen method of birth control. A couple of my friends had read Toni Weschler’s book, or just practiced something similar in the past, and so of course I had to check it out. Another option? You’re kidding me, I’m sold. I borrowed the book from a close friend, and off reading I went. I was fascinated from page one, and a sarcastic comic suggesting that the only form of birth control you need is to wear Birkenstocks? SOLD.
There’s SO much to the FAM but I obviously am not going to get into it all, mostly because I can’t do Toni justice, and because you really just need to read it. First and foremost, this book should be required reading for everybody, and especially every female. It’s important, critical information that we need to know. The title of the book can be misleading to some, but that’s only because when we think of fertility, too often we think of it in such a narrow scope, when really, the essence of our cycle is generally based on some sense of fertility, whether we think of it like that or not. But it’s so much more than that.
So I present to you The Nutshell FAM and How it Changed My Life
- FAM relies on charting your fertility signs – the primary ones being basal body (waking) temperature, cervical mucus and the variations throughout your cycle, and cervical position (which is optional).
- Don’t let the charting thing overwhelm you! It takes a bit of figuring out, but not long, and it’s so fascinating and empowering that you don’t think of it as work. After a short time, it just becomes routine. And if you get the Fertility Friend app for iPhone or Android, it’s that much easier and it does the “analyzing” for you, for the most part. The electronic stuff anyway, and then you assess on your own and go from there.
- It is NOT the Rhythm Method!
- My basic routine is: wake up, take my temperature with a digital basal body thermometer before I get out of bed (I keep it on my night stand so I always have it handy), and throughout the day I keep mental tabs on my cervical fluid as well as other feelings within my body, including but not limited to my moods, energy levels, irritability, fatigue, any sort of cramping or other pains.
- To check your cervical fluid, you can either do it with your fingers or with toilet paper. Egg-white cervical fluid is the noteworthy stuff, for the most part. If you’re charting to avoid, this is when you want to be REALLY careful (use protection or avoid intercourse all together), and if you’re charting to achieve, well, go at ‘er! Sperm needs an “agent” to stick to and travel to meet its bestie, the egg, and so this particular consistency of cervical fluid creates the perfect little journey-carrier.
- You can use this method as a way to avoid pregnancy, achieve pregnancy, to include your partner in your fertility and overall health, and to gain an empowering level of control over your gynecological and sexual health.
- It is incredible, amazing and (I keep using this word) empowering to be so on top of and connected with your body, to know what is happening nearly at any given time, and to be able to share this information with all of your loved ones, so they too can realize the benefits in charting their own fertility.
- I have charted, every cycle for the past 5-6 cycles, a very unique twinge of pain that happens at approximately the same time every month. Prior to charting, I never even noticed this, let alone knew what it was. But now that I’ve been writing it down every single month, I can go back and realize that yep, this happened last month too. Mittelschmerz? Potentially, actually… likely.
- I have NEVER felt SO connected to my body as I have within the last year. Bringing my son into this world, and recognizing the absolute intense need for me to be a strong, spiritual and healthy mother for this tiny little precious being motivated me to do anything I could to create that bond within myself, so that I could share it with him. FAM has helped me to do that significantly. And while this is another post for another day – I have had a tumultuous relationship with my body. Ups and downs like ca-razy and certainly not always healthy, in mind, body or spirit. But we are on a new path now. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but gosh damn, we’re doing it. I can’t believe I am charting my body and my cycle. It seems so primitive and natural. So common-place. But it’s not. I feel overjoyed, excited, and blessed by the notion that I can go with what my body needs, put my trust in it, and for now, avoid ‘external’ birth control methods. They’re just not for us, and if they are for you, that’s okay too. My whole motive is doing what works, but even more complicated than that, branching out – learning – putting trust in your womanhood, in your body, and in your brain. We’re more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. Women are in-friggin-credible, for reals.
- Kyle is 100% into this too, as much as he can be without actually charting. He’ll remind me to take my temperature if I am about to forget, we’ll talk about my fertility signs and what they mean, and we’ll, err, accommodate if need be.
- To reduce the pregnancy risk to below 1% per year (if trying to avoid pregnancy), a couple must abstain from intercourse during a potential 13 day fertile period, which could be a disadvantage to some. If that is not desirable, then a barrier method must be used during the fertile window (which is determined after charting a few cycles and recognizing your typical patterns), at which point the effectiveness of the method would essentially be as effective as your barrier method of choice.
- I know I’ve said it before, but this is what we should be teaching our young girls rather than some of the other garbage that is mainstream. Now hold on a second, I’m not saying it’s all garbage, but this stuff is important. If we ever have a girl, she will be getting gifted this book very early on, and we will be going through it together. Toni Weschler also wrote a book for younger girls that is just more health/cycle-focused rather than pregnancy achievement/avoidance focused, called “Cycle Savvy.” I’ve yet to read it, but it’s definitely on my list.
- The book has a LOT of great information in it. I have merely skimmed the surface. There is information on using the method while breastfeeding, while on the Pill, for couples with fertility issues (she talks about how so often there isn’t an issue, but merely, the misconceived notion that ovulation is on day 14 doesn’t happen for a lot of people and this results in a medical “problem”), and women who have PCOS issues.
- I would love to talk FAM with anyone that is curious. I’m still learning, but would love to help others learn as well It is phenomenal and a really powerful way to learn more about our bodies, and become more intimate with a very important person – ourselves.
Well well I did it. Thirty days and a month of a blog a day. Granted not every post was totally significant let alone engaging and interesting. But I did it and it felt good. I feel connected to my little blogging community and I was able to get my inner creative juices to start flowing. I knew they were in there somewhere. Now the trick will be to staying consistent and regular. And I ain’t talking about my bowels.
I think if I aim for even three times a week that wil be lovely. Also the content would hopefully be a bit more substantial too. Doesn’t hurt. For now though, I need a bit of a nap. And a breather. It’s been a good run and my friends, you are wonderful and I’ll see you in a couple days. <3
Tired. Drained. The season is changing and so my mind is in constant over-drive, needing a shift, wanting a shift, but still being entirely satisfied, not even just content, but happy with my life and the turns it has taken.
These sorts of great feelings though, are obstacles to blogging. At least blogging late at night.
And those sorts of feelings, are exactly what has inspired this post.
And then I found this on Erin’s pinterest and things just came together nicely, and I thought, you know, this image is all that is really needed:
What are some things you have thought or said recently, or pretty consistently, that would qualify?
For starters: WHITE WINE.
White Whine: A Collection of First World Problems
I totally had one of these moments tonight, when hangin’ with a friend and talking about wanting to get an iPhone.
I’m sure I’ve had a lot of white whines. So sad, isn’t it?
Anyway, this one was absolutely a white whine that stood out.
So iPhone. I explained that financially speaking, I would be better off to just get an iPod Touch, get a basic cell phone, and that way I have one lump sum expensive of the iPod, rather than upping my cell phone bill by about $20 each month to get a data plan.
But my qualm about that was…
But then I’d have to carry around my cell phone AND my iPod Touch.
It totally ain’t the best time to be blogging. And guess what, it’s 2:49am and I changed the time to Published at 11:48PM because I wanted it to show the date as September 17 so it proves I blogged everyday thus far! Woop.
We just got home from a fabulous wedding (D & M, great part-ay) and we are in bed and I am doing a catch-up filler blog with a couple personal notes to myself about things I have to blog about. NOTE: If I forget to follow-up, can some of y’all please remind me?
- Got my personal health/maternity records from Cade’s birth. Interesting stuff. Feels like I am reading a diary and it is my own. I ought to process some stuff a bit more and reflect. Very important & healing stuff I ought to do.
- I need to talk about induction & birth because there’s so much to know and I feel like I need to share it with people because this information sadly and unfortunately isn’t widely available. I ain’t going to preach. I’m actually going to give you resources and articles to reference. I was induced. I’m extremely passionate about it, and I don’t really want to be induced ever again if I can avoid it.
- I’m feeling very nostalgic as we are nearing 2 days away from our 2nd wedding anniversary. Seriously, that day was so fun. And the few days that preceded and followed it were too. The days before were filled with awesome anxiety, excitement, and adrenaline. The days after were filled with relaxation, flirting, love and care-free awesomeness in the mountains. And fabulous hotel rooms.
- We have, officially, though it’s always been known but is now official officla OFFICIAL the best little boy in the world. I know right, we all say that, but I am so happy with my peanut. He had an incredibly busy day with the wedding and all, but was so fantabulous. Such a little trooper. He is observant and loves to be a part of things and be involved in events, and gosh, did he prove that point today and tonight. He was all over the wedding, and taste-testing all the food, watching the slideshow, and flirting with all the guests. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. I am hoping this little pointer is sending really good, positive, sleep-inducing energy to him right now so he sleeps in until 9.. ish? Oh c’mon dear Cadester, do this for mama. Do this for your daddy. Love love love. You are sweet, precious angel.
Two completely different things for this lonesome, tiring Thursday night
This? This is perfect. And cute. And romantic. And hilarious. I. LOVE. IT.
And this (post linked below), well… let’s just say, I needed this today. Like, really bad. I’m a sucker for uplifting posts. I’m a sucker for posts that make me think, hey, you ARE really a pretty cool parent. You love your son like no other, even though he might drive you up the wall somedays, the love, luuuurve, is still there, full-force, never fading never ending. And you’re doing everything right and how it NEEDS to be done for you and your family. Don’t worry ’bout the naysayers or the others.
And apparently my blog isn’t either, what with some of these crazy search terms which directed people to this here blog. Seriously you guys, what does this say about me? And my character? I feel like my dignity is just sinking by the second, so please don’t let this tarnish your image of ME. I did not type these words ever, I simply am on the receiving end of someone typing them into a search engine, presumably Google (what else do people use these days?), and winding up at tristadawn.wordpress.com. So strange. So bizarre. So… disturbing. But yet… so entertaining, SO SO SO SO.
And so I present to you my dear dear readers, some of you who may have searched something nasty to get here, and some of you who are lovely friends, pretty wicked family, or just random Internet drones, a lovely compiled list of
How To Find My Blog: The Nasty Edition
- maxi pad on my pussy – This was the newest one! I’m guessing because of the post yesterday, but still, c’mon now, so funny. I am wondering what the intentions were here? I mean, I always wonder what the intentions are, but this one just leaves me baffled…
- realnipples [dot] com (searched 3 times!) - It may come as a shocker, but I have zero affiliation with this site or any pornographic/sexually-explicit site on the Interweb. Shocking, I know.
- going pooping and a boys girl (searched 2 times!) - Looking at the list of Search Engine Terms, I totally realized that I must talk about poop a LOT. Seriously. This is not something to be proud of. Or is it?
- falling asleep with barbie – Aww. I’m guessing a parent is concerned about this? I don’t really think this is a biggie, but what do I know? The closest I can think to anything I’ve posted that would come up as this in a search engine would be:
- pictures and photos of nude girls peeing in the showers (whole body showing) – Ok, I don’t even want to go there. However, I do realize that by re-typing this out, my search results are probably going to get even WORSE. Aiy. Might have to do a part II. The worst part about this is, I know people Google weird, nasty stuff, and THIS probably isn’t even the half of it. Guh.
- pictures of nurse holding a syringe – My only guess is that someone is trying to do some Cognitive Behavioural work and get over their fear of needles. If that’s the case, I commend you for taking your healing on.
- insane crazy stupid people – Yup, pretty much sums it up. No no, you’re not stupid, I love y’all. Are some people stupid? Yes, yes of course.
- girl letting dog sex vagina – And there is where they start to get even weirder. Thankfully, my blog only came up once via these search terms, and unfortunately, I’m willing to be Google has seen it’s fair share of these types of searches. Different strokes for different folks? Ugh.
- grandmothers that are dumb – Hahaha. This one is just funny. Mom, I promise, I have not written anything that would lead someone here with those search terms. For real. Don’t go combing through everything, because I can guarantee you won’t find anything. <3 xo.
- suck my milk tube – I guess everyone can have different nicknames for their special parts, right? Milk tube, eh. Hmm. HMM. I just… can’t see the sexy in this? I can’t.
- poop stories – Hahahaha. Again, a funny. Again, poop. I ought to evaluate what I’m writing.
- “granny panties” – Even in quotations. I get it. We’re going for comfort over class. I get it, I do.
- ,bark bark bark bark bark bark bark bark – This is one of my favourites! It’s just SO weird, SO weird. And so funny. I can’t imagine what they were trying to stumble on?
- two separate ones but very similar – leggins poop and leggins child – What? Did your child poop in their leggings and you’re attempting to figure out the most convenient and practical way to take care of business? Again, I don’t get it.
There’s also been a TON of search engine terms that have led people here that are merely people looking for support or information. A LOT to do with breastfeeding and a fair amount having to do with being induced, which totally leads me to go want to do posts on these. I mean, I have before, but in a more concise fashion. I don’t think I’ve talked a lot about induction, and well, we all know birth and all things birth is a bit of a passion of mine (that would be an understatement) so I mean it’s only fitting that I write about it. I need to get my crap together and go for the gold and just DO. IT. For now though, enjoy the nasty, and expect a “cute” version of the same.
And tonight because I am mostly uninspired and extra tired and on my way to watch an episode of Drop Dead Diva Season 2 on the almighty Netflix, I present to you, an excerpt from this super funny and inspiring book by Wendy Shanker, “The Fat Girl’s Guide to Life”:
DISCLAIMER: I get that some might prefer the product Wendy is talkin’ about. That’ s cool. Seriously, do what you’ve got to do. I mostly just find this funny, rings a truth and it captures the humorous tone of the book quite well.
You can imagine my delight the first time I saw a commercial for the Always Maximum Protection Maxipad. I was pumping up and down on the elliptical trainer at the gym when I first caught it. A big beautiful blond woman cooed about Always Maximum Protection with Flexi-Wings, a maxipad designed especially for women sizes 14 and up. She wondered if I knew that most maxipads are designed for a size 6 or below.
I stopped pumping and started thinking. First: “Cool! Finally a company understands that I belong to a special market with special needs!”
Then: “Do my special needs really include a plus-size maxipad?”
There’s no biological connection between the size of my body and the heaviness of my menstrual flow. So I have to think that Always Maximum Protection must not be designed for a heavier flow, but for a wider diameter of protection. In other words, Always is selling me an extra-large pad for my extra-large underwear. Ah.
It definitely looks different than the other pads. You know the Always Maximum Protection when you see it in the drugstore. You’ll find the pantiliners, and the minipads, and the maxipads, and then you’ll wonder why someone left a box of Huggies on the shelf. Hon, those aren’t Huggies. That’s the Always Maximum Protection Maxipad.
Can you say offensive? Just because I wear a size 14 or up, I don’t run around in a giant pair of granny panties. That lame image has been the punchline of one too many adolescent comedy flicks. I wear sexy, fitted panties in a wide variety of colors and styles. Sure, my skivvies have a wider waistband than that of the size 6 girl, but the strip of cloth that is pad-coverable is pretty much the same minimal width in any pair of panties (except the thong – but that’s a different torture for a different day). It doesn’t matter if you wear a size 2 or a size 22; the strip is the strip. There ain’t a lot of give there.
A press rep at Procter & Gamble, the parent company of Always, assured me that the product was created in response to demand from a plus-size consumer website. It has sold so well that other companies are going to knock it off. So maybe there are some of you out there who want or need a wider product like this one. But can you say uncomfortable? I felt like I had a throw pillow stuffed down my pants when I walked around wearing the Maximum Protection Maxipad in a road test.
I’m curious: if Always assumes that a bigger girl needs a bigger pad, what about petite women? Like Sarah Jessica Parker’s size 0 body? Will Always be creating some little Q-tip looking minipad that she can delicately stick in her ultra-narrow panty strip to accommodate her teeny-weeny vageeny?
I don’t mean to knock the great strides that have been made in pantiliner technology. For example, you can now buy black pantiliners. But they are made for black underwear, not for black women.
There’s no correlation between dress size/body size and genitalia size. You’d never assume that all plus-size men need plus-size condoms for their plus-size penises – though I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you did.
Putting the general size issue side, I’m insulted by the very creation of this product because it screams, “Hey, you Fat Girl! Here’s a plus-size pad for your plus-size vagina!”
The truth is, while I am a definitely a plus-size woman, I do not have a plus-size vagina. I have a regular-size vagina. I may wear bigger pants than other women do, but our internal organs are all pretty much the same size.
It’s not like you gain and lose weight in your vagina. Like, some women carry weight in their thighs, and others carry weight in their butts, and some women carry their weight in their vaginas? No. Do you think Carnie Wilson had some great big Grand Canyon-like vagina, and now, after gastric bypass surgery, she’s got some itty-bitty little slice of vagina? Nuh-uh.
See, I have enough problems without Procter & Gamble implying that I’ve got some sort of big, fat, crazy vagina down there that’s going to swallow you up if you get too close. Fat Girls have worked too hard to get beautiful, sexy clothes designed to fit our beautiful, sexy bodies. When we dress stylishly, and walk proudly, and speak loudly, we affirm that we wear a bigger size. But sexually, we’re just like other women. We have the same parts, pleasures, concerns, and needs. So please, don’t sell me an extra-large spoon, because I don’t have an extra-large mouth. Don’t invent an extra-thick stick of deodorant, because my armpit acreage is perfectly average. I don’t need extra-wide Charmin to wipe my extra-fat ass. And I won’t buy an extra-wide maxipad, because I have a perfectly normal vagina. Don’t get me wrong, my vagina is fabulous. It does cool stuff. But size-wise, it’s just a regular, old, standard-issue vagina.
Thanks, but no thanks.