The case of the missing mason jar

I cannot find the 32+ ounce mason jar that I bought specifically to collect my menstrual fluid. I have looked—at least, I think I have—everywhere in our apartment. It’s only 600+ square feet, so there aren’t too many places I could have stored a large glass mason jar!

Not finding this jar has been driving me crazy. I bought it because it was large enough for the 10:1 ratio. I have my process for my collection so not having it is throwing me off. I’m hoping I find it before my period ends because if I don’t, feeding Black Cherry will be interesting. Oh duh, I can always go to the 99 Cent Store where I bought it from. Just kidding, it’s not the end of the world!

I still hope I find that dang jar, though.

Through the help of this post, I transmit that I don’t like my processes to deviate from how I’ve set them up, and have a difficult time accepting that I may have to alter them.

Big Nugget

 

When a family member or close friend is overreacting for what seems insignificant, what do you tell them to snap them out of it? To help them accept that they have to move forward with a different option?

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Have you seen this jar? I haven’t. Ha!

 

Feeding Black Cherry

I made the decision to begin tracking my cycles using the Fertility Awareness Method and have been doing so since late February. I began my fourth chart yesterday, in other words, I started my fourth period while charting. I haven’t noticed any trends yet, but I know that it may take many charts before I understand my cycle or even get the hang of the differences between sticky, creamy, eggwhite, and watery cervical fluid, for example.

Amid all this learning about my menstrual cycle and how it relates to my body, I became very interested in the properties of menstrual blood fluid. (I read the more accurate term is “fluid” since it “contains some blood, as well as cervical mucus, vaginal secretions, and endometrial tissue.”)

My interest in menstrual fluid subconsciously began when I met Jana Roemer at an Empowered Birth Project event I attended with Z Nugget over a year ago. Jana had shared that she poured her menstrual fluid in one of her plants. I found that amazing at the time, but never looked into it. Well, now I’m more than just looking into it. I decided to experiment with a tomato plant—her name is “Black Cherry”. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to buy two plants to have something to compare the menstrual-fluid-fertilized plant to, but that’s the process of experimentation. I know what to do different next time.

Before I forget to tell you what it is that I’m doing in my experiment…

I am collecting my menstrual fluid during my period. I use a menstrual cup (The Diva Cup), which makes the collecting easy. I store my fluid in a mason jar and refrigerate it until I’m done with my period. I then dilute the fluid with water (10:1 ratio) and hydrate my plant with my nutritious food. So far, I’ve only fertilized my plant once. Again, I unfortunately don’t have anything to compare my plant to, so my data is only perception. According to me, my plant had a growth spurt within two days after being fed.

Writing about this is making me realize I need to begin documenting data, otherwise it’s all speculation.

I won’t get into the details of how menstrual fluid serves as plant fertilizer in this post, but I’ll be sure to write about it later.

Through the help of this post, I transmit that I am no longer ashamed of bleeding every month. I look forward to it knowing that Black Cherry will have food to eat.

Big Nugget

 

What is your perspective on what I shared? I’m interested in what you think. 

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The first time I fertilized Black Cherry the Black Cherry Tomato plant. April 2017.

The only forms of birth control are hormonal or to abstain altogether.

Truth is…there are other options including those that help better understand my body.

I didn’t plan to write this today, but reflecting on this area of my life was fitting being that it is International Women’s Day.

On April 20th of last year, I experienced a Fifth Vital Sign class about reproductive health. It was this class that opened my eyes to the realm of making informed choices about my body outside of pregnancy. You’d think that because I’m educated on childbirth I’d be educated on my own general reproductive health. This is false…and sad if you ask me. It still boggles my mind that I know how to have a baby but don’t know much about everything around making a baby. I mean, I know that when sperm meets egg, fertilization happens and a baby is made, but what happens before an egg is fertilized, or what happens if it isn’t? Sure, I know what menstruation looks like—some times it looks like murder—and feels like, but I didn’t know more than that. Now, I’m excited to report that I am coming up on two weeks of tracking my cycle, and already have learned so much.

After deciding that I was done growing my own children, I was forced to face the difficult decision of what birth control method I was going to use. I say it’s difficult because there are numerous options to choose from, and it is overwhelming. Without the necessary support, it is easy to make a hasty decision and choose an incompatible option.

I am grateful for the friends I have met on social media for they have been the ones who have strengthened my belief in my decision-making when it comes to my reproductive health. These amazing women have stood in solidarity with me, holding space for my being during some of my most trying times, and have been great resources as I journey this path to self-discovery.

The method I have decided to try out is Fertility Awareness. The linked blog lists a few situations why a woman might choose to use this style of birth control…

“1) You want to postpone or avoid conceiving a baby and don’t want to use hormonal, invasive, barrier, or permanent methods of birth control.
2) You DO want to have a baby and would like to plan intercourse for the optimum time to conceive.
3) You have long or irregular cycles and want to figure out what the Deuce is going on with your body.
4) You would like to gain a greater level of body awareness.
5) You are Catholic and want to use the only method of family planning approved by The Pope himself.” (Kindara.com)

Looking at the list above makes me realize that there is more than one reason why this method may be the last method I decide to try. With the exception of situation number 2, they all apply to me. (I’m partial on number 5, but that’s a post for another day.)

Basal body temperature, cervical fluid, flow of menstruation, cervix height, openness, and firmness, you bet there is a learning curve that has been frustrating and liberating at the same time. With the help of fertility awareness, I am confident that I will accomplish my goal of knowing myself better than any of my healthcare providers ever will.

These are exciting times for me. I am no longer a rookie mom (not saying that I’m experienced) and am on my way to a new level of consciousness. I invite you to travel this new journey alongside me…if you haven’t gotten tired of traveling all the others with me.

Cheers to self-awareness and being your own primary healthcare provider!