Cups of blood

I know I’ve been absent for a while, and the main thing my huge fan base has been wondering is how my next period went, was my search for the perfect menstrual cup fruitful?

I’ll say now this article may be way too TMI for some readers. It’s all vag and blood so skip on if that’s not your thing.

So! For for those of you that missed my terribly exciting last period post I was looking for advice on the perfect menstrual cup for me.

Got my cup stuck

I had a little dabble in menstrual cup usage pre baby. I bought a moon up in the smaller size (which is for under 30s who haven’t had a baby). But I found my vagina was terribly possessive of the little thing and I couldn’t get the bugger out. It’s a clear cup with a ribbed end to grip onto to pull out, only I get couldn’t get it out! So after much much googling, tugging, some squatting and finally a poo beforehand it was released in a big messy blood explosion all over the toilet. Never had I been more relieved to get something out of my vagina. It did get easier with more usage (and more ‘bearing down’) but it was always an effort.

As it was clear it eventually turned a little less clear (as obvs…blood). And you need to rinse it between each emptying and then sterilise in boiling water, or in the dishwasher (🤢) after each period. I kept a dedicated mini pan to sterilise in, but I didn’t really want to keep a period pan in my house.

So I wasn’t in love with my moon cup and reluctantly reverted back to tampons.

Oh Hello Aunt Flo

After a significant menstruation break of 18 months following a pregnancy and breastfeeding I got my menses back. I went old school and used pads, which I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. But pads are a bit gross in my opinion, I get paranoid you can see them, what if there is a rustle? A smell? So much paranoia. And then you have a bin full of discarded uterus blood. No thanks.

Luna Luna Luna Luna

So after much thought (my friend told me which to buy) I got the Me Luna. I like it because

– it’s black

– it has a little ring pull thingy

– it is the most popular with Scandinavian women (who we all know are superior human beings)

However there are other pull options and sizes:

So it was easy to insert (as was the moon cup tbh). You just fold the upper section, pinch with your finger tips and up she goes. However as I walked away I could feel the ring pull slipping out 😱. I had all kinds of horror about the state of my enormous vagina. So I took it out and tried again and it was fine, I think I hadn’t put it I far enough the first time.

Extraction was easy, maybe because of the ring pull…maybe because I pushed a nearly 9lb baby out of my vagina with sheer ‘bearing down’ force so a moon cup with a ring pull was ZERO challenge for my new found skills. (here I am pretending this is a wonderful skills to have, when in reality it’s probably that I don’t have a super tight twenty – something non mother’s vagina 😔).

As removal was easier there was no dramatic explosion as I could take it out in a rather civilised manner (after the first try anyway).

And I found this menstrual cup steriliser which just goes in the microwave with a bit of water when you’re done for the month. Easy peasy.

I think it was £27 for the cup and steriliser. But I never have to buy tampons again. Hurrah.

I also think it’s better for your vagina. It’s not drying, it hasn’t been bleached.

And you don’t have to flush tampons (ps don’t flush tampons, I know they say you can but I know a plumber who gets called out to sort tampon issues. You don’t want that.) and you don’t have to fill your bin with uterus blood soaked bits of fibre. Gross.

And it’s better for the environment.

So buy yourself a menstrual cup. Do it.

Love your bump

Have I ever told you about that time I got naked with Clare and nearly did a poo on her floor? If you know me in real life then probably, I tell everyone as it’s a good excuse to show off photos of my near naked body. I feel there aren’t many times in life when it is socially acceptable to take your clothes off and show people photos. Technically in this social media world I could do that daily, but so far haven’t.

Anyway, as you may know from another post I did the Daisy Foundation antenatal classes. Our class leader has created a little community for mums and other businesses which connected us to a maternity and baby photographer Clare at Austhorpe Photography in Garforth. I heard about the maternity shoots and didn’t think it was my thing, I thought I’d look awkward and not know how to pose. It was hot, I was tired and pregnant. Then a few of my friends did the shoots and started sharing the photos, jealous monster that I am I wanted to look gorgeous too.

I got booked in and was told to arrive ‘glam’. I am not glam. I went to the Bobbi Brown counter at Brown’s in York for new lipstick and blusher. The morning of the shoot I was booked in to get my hair cut and put into big bouncy curls. I even painted my nails and I neved do that so I was clearly taking things seriously.

The morning of the shoot I woke up and had horrendous diarrhoea. Being eight months pregnant I thought I’d better eat (you may / may not know that this can be a sign of early labour and I didn’t want to give birth hangry) so I had a banana. It did not stay inside long. Then the hairdresser phoned to cancel and I had to rush around to rebook. I’ll add that it was the hottest summer in 30 something years and I felt like shit.

I somehow arrived on time and ready. But I was all in a fluster. I didn’t want to eat nothing but I was quite worried about doing a poo on Clare’s floor so all I trusted myself with was little sips of lucozade. Anyway with lots of assistance from Clare she managed to get me into all kinds of drapey fabric and long sweepy dresses. My fear of looking awkward wasn’t an issue, I was of course standing like an awkward half naked almost pooing woman would stand but thankfully Clare redirected me.

But after a few outfit changes and poses we were done. I’m unsure how much photoshop it took to get me looking like this (I assume a lot), but I was pretty pleased with the result.

Just to mention that the packages now include all the hair / make up / coffee and pre photography chill time you want so you no longer have to rush around Garforth bribing hair dressers to take you in like a sweating fainty elephant. Excellent. Also you are all allowed to wear underwear under the fabric, I didn’t actually get naked.

I would encourage any pregnant women to get lots of photos while you can. You might feel a but rubbish while you’re pregnant but it’s great to have them to look back on and show off to your children and grand children.

Here is a link to Clare’s site: she also has a blog on there and is on all the usual social media for all kinds of gorgeous newborn photos 😍

Battle of the (Hot Cross) Buns

Twenty six hot cross buns were purchased in the name of this study, not one bun was wasted in the making of this. The research project was thorough.

I’m not a traditional hot cross bun eater so this is a guide to the alternative Easter buns, however it’s worth noting that Cooplands have hot cross buns that taste like Christmas (4 for £1) so if that’s your thing then go for it.

Aldi Rhubarb & Custard 89p for four

Surprisingly good, I had low hopes as it’s a bit weird. But there are some satisfyingly large chunks of rhubarb. I’m not sure what the ‘custard’ is made out of but I like it.

8 / 10 – could have bumped up to a nine with more rhubarb chunks

Marks and Spencer Blueberry £1.60 for four

*consumed before a photo opportunity was possible*

I was into these, they reminded me of a blueberry muffin. Some of the blueberries hadn’t quite exploded in the baking so popped in your mouth which was a lovely experience. The best hot cross bun breakfast choice.

9 / 10

Aldi Salted Caramel and Chocolate 89p for four

I had such high hopes, I love Aldi, chocolate and caramel. The chocolate has a nice strong flavour which I enjoyed but I wasn’t getting much salted caramel out of it so I’m going to have to mark it down on that basis.

7 / 10

Marks and Spencer Apple £1.60 for four

Not just any apple, but Marks and Spencer Kentish Bramley Apple. In fairness the apple bits are rather tasty. It is nice but doesn’t have the excitement of the others. If you are a traditionalist who wants something a bit different but not too crazy then this is a good option. I however like a more exotic hot cross bun.

7 / 10

Sainsburys Chocolate and Caramel (and I can’t remember how much)

Good but the caramel bits were a bit too pasty and not quite as melty as I’d like. As you can see they were irregularly sized which made toasting a pain, I had to slice one into three bits as it was too tall to go in half. Not ideal for a hot cross bun. But still, wouldn’t say no.

6 / 10

Marks and Spencer Salted Caramel and Chocolate £1.60 for four

*consumed before a photo opportunity was possible*

I remember them being the ultimate in hot cross buns. Plenty of chocolate, sufficiently salty caramel and just the right level of stickiness. But the thing is that I now can’t find the little buggers anywhere. The three stores nearest me never have them in stock so they should get full marks but I can only give them 9 / 10 due to difficulty of purchasing. However they are the clear winner.