People, this is your warning. This post is all about menstruation, in gory, graphic detail. Feel free to click away now…

we’ll wait…..

Alright, moving on.

At almost 9 months postpartum last month, I got the first period I’ve experienced in 18 months, nearly exactly as long as it took to get it back after having Kendall. However, unlike last time, there was no “nice” period to welcome me back to the world of menstruation.

No, I just went straight to the horrific murder scene in my toilet bowl as I soaked through a super plus tampon and super plus maxi pad every hour.

Only now, after looking through my archives for period related posts, do I recall describing the ordeal in such fantastic detail last time.

I did a little research last month on the Diva Cup because, just by looking at it, I could tell it would hold a hell of a lot more… stuff than a super plus tampon. Lots of my readers on Facebook had fantastic things to say about it, but everyone kept warning about a “learning curve.” I had every intention of getting one to try out before I got my period again. But, well, you know… time and chaos and life and excuses.

Whatever the reason, when my period showed up last week for the 2nd time since having Leyna, I was utterly unprepared. Sure, I had a handful of tampons left over from last time. I had a couple pads. But, I’d planned on getting a Diva Cup, and didn’t bother stocking up on other supplies because, well, it’s easy to forget to do that when you haven’t had to for 18 months.

As I mentioned earlier, it started like a full on tidal wave of menses. By the time Scott got home from work, I was down to my last tampon. I’d soaked through every pad.

I was doing that thing where you roll up toilet paper and shove it in your panties, and then you do the Super Soaker Shuffle back to the bathroom to replace it every 15 minutes because WHAT THE HELL KIND OF SUBSTITUTE FOR A MAXI PAD IS TOILET PAPER?!

I couldn’t go to Target with toilet paper in my panties. My God, what if it fell out? Suddenly, I remembered the kind folks at Luna Pads sent me some cloth pads to try out after I had Leyna, but by the time I got them in the mail, I was pretty much done with bleeding, so I never used them.

They sent me several types. Some that doubled up, some that went in a special pair of undies. I didn’t quite understand how they all worked, but I Β got resourceful, stacked all those bad boys on top of each other, shoved them in the special undies, and shimmied into that. I was sporting quite the package.

I never intended to use them on such… er… messy days, but I have to say, it was nice to have a backup stashed away in my underwear drawer.

As I was trying to escape to Target, Scott (who was leaving to take the kids to the park) kept rattling off other things for me to get.

“Scott, I have to go. Right. Now.” Β I said while glaring at him with my very serious eyes as Kendall tugged at my pants, begging to go with me.

Meanwhile, Leyna started crying… and I started lactating. Oh, but guess what? I was out of breastpads, too. So I had to change out of my shirt, Β and shove a couple cloth breastpads in my bra (which I normally can’t use for a great amount of time because, in case it hasn’t already been established, I was a dairy cow in another life, and make milk like it’s my fucking job).

Now, I still want to try the Diva Cup, but this was not the time to a. search for it at a local retailer or b. get elbow deep all up in myself, trying to overcome some sort of “learning curve.” So I was on the hunt for more super plus tampons and super plus pads (because, yes, I absolutely needed both if I ever wanted to leave the house anytime in the next 6 days).

I can’t imagine how hard it was for the hipster male Target cashier to keep a straight face as he scanned the items in my cart:

Halloween Oreos (What? They were on the end cap across from the tampons.)
Super plus tampons
Chocolate ice cream (I’m on my period. It was a necessity.)
Super plus maxi pads
Breastpads

I couldn’t have been more clear that I was hormonal and could leak and/or spray bodily fluids at any moment if I screamed it over the intercom.

Honestly, I was happy to make it out of there without hearing, “Clean up on aisle 9. Bring the biohazard kit.”

Kendall is 3 1/2 years, Leyna is 9 months, and I am 3 days away from needing a blood transfusion.

73 thoughts on “Because Nothing Says Welcome Back To Fertility Like Toilet Paper In Your Undies”

  1. Oh my gaaawwwwd! This was TOO funny! I had a similar thing happen when I had my first period after K-man, except, my experience happened publicly at a child’s birthday party. I’m waiting to hear how this Diva Cup works. I’m dying (ok not dying, begrudgingly awaiting the special occasion when I can stick a silicone cup in my cooch) to get one too. My friends steered me to a site that goes over the pros & cons of a lot of menstrual cups, and I’m just trying to sift through all the info. I actually saw disposable ones at the grocery store, but they looked a bit shady, so I moved on. Maybe your local grocer has something similar? Good luck on your quest and may the flood gates close kindly and soon!

  2. i was right there with you a month ago – only i hadn’t had a period since May of 2009!!! i had a teaser period 2 months ago – 2 1/2 days of light spotting – a month later i was practically hemorrhaging through my vagina! like you, i’ve been meaning to order the Diva Cup (it’s $10-15 more at Central Market than through Amazon) but never got around to it – i ended up with the Instead Softcup thinking it had to be a better option than changing tampons/pads every hour on the hour – learning curve be damned! fortunately i didn’t bleed out in my bathroom and i lived to tell the tale!

  3. Laughing so hard. Sorry! After seeing your post on Facebook and reading all the comments I decided I needed a Diva cup. Of course i kept putting it off until last Tuesday when aunt flow decided to pay me a visit. I immediately pulled up the diva cup website and luckily was able to find a local store near me that sold them. I went home and tried it out and it was WONDERFUL! There was no learning curve here. I did not have one single leak. The directions are way easy to follow, and I was so happy to leave the tampons and pads behind after that first day (I needed them to survive my trip to and from the store.) Although that was my 1st experience with the diva cup, I would recommend it (something my younger self would just cringe at.) I would just recommend purchasing it off the Internet, as I know you can find a way better deal. I paid nearly $40 at the local store, but to me the extra $ was worth it to not have to deal with pads and tampons for another period.

  4. Mens Depends Pads (not the underwear version) — seriously. Hubby picked them up when I sent him to get “granny maxi pads” after my daughter was born. He came home with all sorts of feminine products including the Men’s Depends. They turned out to be the best ever.

  5. OH, bless your heart. BLESS YOUR HEART.

    I have quite a little stash of cloth pads that I keep around for back-up, especially some postpartum ones that are amazing. I’ve been meaning to try the Diva Cup for a long time, but even though I’m like four YEARS postpartum, I’m still a little concerned about “getting all up in myself.” And the learning curve. I don’t know.

    If you do ever give the Diva Cup a try, I”m hoping you’ll report back with as much gory detail as possible. I need to know this stuff before I drop $40 on one!

  6. Oh bless your honesty!

    I’m just shy of a year post partum with number 4 and still living in that happy land where you cam convince yourself you’ll never have a bleed again (tandem feeding FTW!).

    The downside of which is of course I am also completely unprepared for that eventuality, and firmly in denial as well so unlikely to do anything about it until I’m in your shoes.

  7. LOVE my Diva Cup. Amazon is the best place to get it, but Whole Foods usually carries it, too. Not only is it now obvious that my flow is not nearly as heavy as I perceived it to be with disposable products, but my initial cramping & discomfort doesn’t last as long, and I’m “back to normal” a day earlier than with tampons.

  8. Thanks for making a not so fun thing absolutely hysterical!! I have not had period for 21 months because of breastfeeding and of course pregnancy! When it starts I will have the super plus tampon, the super long pad and the adult diaper too, just in case! Thanks to Tena for sending me samples of their adult diapers! Last time I stopped nursing, I could not walk 10 feet without going through a tampon! Ugh, here’s to fertility and all it’s glory! >’<

  9. OMG funniest post ever!!!!! On a more serious note, target now carries something called “Lilly padz”. Amazing substitute for breast pads. I used to pay 25 bucks for one pair (they’re reuseable for quite a while) because they’re just THAT good. But now target has them for $5!!!

  10. Life lessons! Your mess and misery will one day help someone else.

    Now I know not to throw away the mile long pads the hospital gives you. I have a whole package that’s just wasting space.

    I never got over my Diva Cup learning curve. It’s works great until I’m elbow deep trying to get it out since it decided to shimmy up as far as possible. One day I’ll try again;)

  11. Bwhaaaaa! Oh Jill. Please please write the funny parenthood book you plan to write. I will read it with tissues for the tears I will cry laughing and diapers for my sucky bladder control after having two kids!

  12. Oh, I’m laughing way harder than I should be.

    I’ve been thinking about the Diva Cup, too. Note to self: get it before there’s a murder scene in my house.

  13. I love how you can have a sense of humor about things that are SO not funny at the time. Laughter really is good medicine. πŸ˜‰

    You also made me happy I had a uterine ablation earlier this year. Now, I barely notice my period. It’s awesome. I’m much older than you, and done having babies, though. I had the essure procedure as well, and don’t have to worry about contraception ever again. Ahh…

    Of course, the next fun thing for me will be menopause. Which will likely arrive around the same time my daughter hits puberty. Should be a good time! Hoping I will be able to retain some sense of humor…

  14. Ohhh, okay, maybe THIS is why I was filling up the DivaCup every two hours. People kept telling me that you can go all day without changing it, but I was like “WhAAAAA?!? Not me!” Every time I went to the bathroom (which was often) the cup was at least half full. I’m told we normally only lose 1-4 oz of menstrual fluid over the course of the entire period, but I was losing 4 oz a day, at least.

    Come to think of it, we should probably weigh ourselves. We might be a few pounds lighter after this!

    (But seriously, very little learning curve with the DivaCup for me. Totes glad I got it – even if I feel like it’s going to fall out of my vag every time I sneeze.)

  15. I bled like a murder victim with my second until I stopped breast feeding. Now it’s super light and done in two days. TWO DAYS!!!!!!!!!

  16. Oh you so made my day. Once you get your diva cup having some cloth pads to wear with will probably be great. Have you ever tried lilypads? I loved mine as a fellow dairy cow in a former life they were a life saver for me plus great to not have to buy box after box of breastpads plus they dont bunch n shift and itch. I got 2 sets of lilypads and they lasted til I didnt leak anymore you wash them each day and leave them to air dry so i had 2 sets to wear a pair to sleep at night. I wish I could try the diva cup but I have an IUD and don’t want to dislodge. *knock on wood* Just had my first period 15 months PP and it wasnt that bad we’ll see how it changes. LOL

    1. See, I have some Lilypadz, but they don’t seem to work for me. I end up leaking into them anyway, and then the suction comes undone and I have a giant mess to deal with.

  17. Just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. Menstrual cups are wonderful. You NEVER have to buy that disposable stuff or count your pads and tampons before you leave the house to make sure that you have enough. Traveling is a breeze, bring your cup with you and you do not have to try and track down a 24 hour store in a strange town for tampons again. There are a couple of brands of cups on the market and the Diva Cup seems to be the most popular in this discussion. My friends and I prefer the The Keeper or the Moon Cup made by GladRags. There really was no learning curve just follow the printed directions, if you have been thinking about getting a menstrual cup do it, you will be so happy that you did.

  18. I wanted to make a comment on the LilyPadz nursing pads. If you are prone to plugged ducts and/or mastitis you may want to avoid or limit your use of the LilyPadz. They are made from silicone and they work by putting pressure on your nipples to stop your let-downs and leaking from happening. Our breasts do not leak just to annoy us, they are leaking to relieve the extra milk in our breasts and by stopping this action your breasts are more at risk for getting plugged ducts and/or mastitis. The silicone nursing pads can be used for short periods of time like “I am in a wedding and do not want to leak all over the bridesmaids gown” but caution should be used in wearing them everyday.

    1. Because my husband was on his way out to the park with the kids who’d been stuck in the house all day with me, and I’d much rather deal with a trip to Target at that point than a trip to the park with 2 kids.

  19. I had my first baby 6 months ago and when I had my first period it seemed heavier than before I had him. Idk if it’s were I haven’t had a period in 9 months or what but I kept bleeding all over myself, and everytime I thought I stopped, I would bleed all over myself.

  20. Guess where I got my first post-partum period? NEW ZEALAND. We were traveling with my 18 month old (yep, more than 2 years without a period was awesome), and we were driving around the north island in an RV. Yeah. So TP in my undies + having to figure out what Kiwi women use for that. Thank God it’s all in English. The weirdest part is how much more cheeky the tampon and maxi pads were — lots of hearts and brightly colored wrappers.

    I’ve used the diva cup for one cycle now, and it’s okay. I had to empty it an awful lot during the first heavy flow part of my period, and I gave up and used a super tampon for one night and it worked better. But then by the end of the period I had it figured out and it was awesome for the lighter flow days because you can leave it in for 12 hours.

        1. Yeah, that’s what they say. I got the size 2 a month ago and it seems fine. Though I have a friend who still uses her size 1 that she had pre-baby and it still works for her. But I’m also 30, so it seemed safer to go with the 2. Maybe this will help some of your readers, though?

        1. LOL. This weekend, Kendall was going potty in our bathroom, and I heard my husband tell him, “Kendall, STOP playing with the tampons.”

  21. Sorry to laugh at your bloody ordeal, but that’s hilarious. However, now I’m dreading the return of my period even more than before. My daughter’s 11 months old, I hope mother nature is kind to me after all this time.

  22. You are too funny, Jill! I got my period back 8 weeks after I had Sawyer, so I am in total envy that you got this long! However, I agree…. as soon as it comes back, it comes back HARD. My first few periods were so awful, I actually went to the doctor because I thought there was something wrong with me. Now, they have eased up and are actually BETTER than before I had my son. I use PIMP pads (Party in my Pants) and a Diva Cup. I have noticed considerably less cramping since I started using them. Also, cloth pads are very thin, so you think you need to double (or triple!)up with them, but you rarely do. They are super absorbent. And since you CD anyway, they aren’t at all hard to wash. I just wash mine with the diapers.

    1. Really??? I was wondering what the standard procedure was for washing them. So do they go in a wetbag or something until you’re ready to wash?

      1. Yep. I have a mini wet bag that i keep in my purse, too, for when i’m out. I usually use the pads on light days, and on heavy days I use the pads and the diva cup in tandem, so my pads aren’t too messy, thank goodness!

  23. Another (albeit childless) vote for the Diva Cup. I’ve been using one for about 5 years now, and I will never go back. On the heavy days (the 1st 2) I have to take it out and dump when I get home from work, but usually I just empty/clean it while I’m showering.

  24. “could leak and/or spray bodily fluids at any moment”… Holy hell I just about died laughing at that!! Wow am I sorry you’re enduring such a mess, but come on – that imagery is awesomely hilarious! And I certainly hope you were able to get the products *ahem* used in time so as not to destroy any more undies. πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh, don’t be sorry. I laugh at myself all the time. Life’s too short to get upset about ruining underwear, right? Might as well laugh it off and blog it.

  25. I’m with you! Mine didn’t return for nearly 20 months. I was feeling all smug about that, and have been duly punished for its long absence. The first 4-6 periods were staggering. I was burning through supertampons every 45 minutes. The Diva Cup was my only shot at ever leaving the bathroom! No learning curve to a cup.

    Since you’re DFW area, both Central Markets and Whole Foods carry them as regular stock.

  26. oh. my. hell. that was funny.

    and really, i thought I was the only one who did the TP wad when I was un-prepared.

    I got the Diva Cup and need to practice before AF visits again…can’t wait to hear your review once you try it.

  27. I laughed so hard it’s a wonder I didn’t pee in my pants. I have totally been there, but would never have the guts to blog about it. I’m glad you do because I needed that laugh!!

  28. I am in starbucks reading this and can’t stop laughing. People are starting to look at me like I’m crazy. I have been without a period for 19 months (first kid) and i am dreading it coming back. I am planning to get a diva cup and cloth pads. You have motivated me to order it….like this week!

  29. This was funny to read, yes… but also so uncomfortable at the same time. Because after having my surrogate triplets this happened to me, only worse… the bleeding wouldn’t stop for 6-8 weeks at a time. So when you ended with being three days out from needing a blood transfusion… I wanted to ask you to please be careful. I was overlooked and told my cycle would get better, I was pushed aside and told I was “worrying too much” and when I finally got the courage to see a new doctor a YEAR after the bleeding started (nearly nonstop) the labs came back to show I was actually bleeding to death. Hemoglobin should be between 11-15 and mine was 6… anything under 8 is life threatening. Had to have an emergency blood transfusion as my body was shutting down on me and emergency hysterectomy after they couldn’t get things to stop… at 30 years old.

    Sorry to take this in a whole new direction, it just really scares me now. Hope the bleeding ends and levels out soon!!
    Janae

    1. Ooh! Eek! That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear that. My bleeding tapered off a lot the day after I posted this. I think mine truly was “normal” but I’ll fir sure bring it up at my next appointment. I’m glad you’re ok!

  30. Thanks for the laugh….got my period back pretty much 28 days after birth…AND I was exclusively BF…thank you, thank you very much. 4 week old poopy new born, had to call my mother-in=law to bring me some pads, she got there while I was on the toilet. Sweet day. πŸ™‚

  31. You never cease to CRACK. ME. UP. The oreos, the leak and/or spurt bodily fluids.. and of course, sporting quite the package. Is nothing sacred anymore? hehehe

  32. Hahaha, this must have been horrific for you but sure is hilarious for us to read, so thank you for that! And I loved your recaps of how old your kids are at the end of each post! When going back to read your old post it really helps set the scene πŸ˜‰

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