My IUD is gone

You might remember that a few months ago I wrote about my experience having my IUD inserted.  Well, I now have another chapter to add to that story, to close the book on my experience with the Mirena IUD.

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I had the Mirena inserted in September, 2017.  I had very few side effects and was extremely pleased with it.  I felt very safe in the knowledge that it was in my uterus, just hanging out and zapping any sperm that swam into the vicinity.  Well OK, the IUD doesn’t literally “zap” sperm.  It just disorients them and thins the uterine lining so that if one of those little buggers does manage to fertilize my egg, the egg can’t implant into the uterine wall and turn into a baby.  At any rate, things were going well and I felt very confident that the IUD was working as it should be.

 

Then in January this year I saw my doctor because I was having some abdominal pains.  My doctor sent me for a bunch of tests, which included an ultrasound and a pregnancy test.  The pregnancy test came back negative, which was a massive relief.  Even when I know that I’ve been practising safer sex, there is still a feeling of monumental reassurance when I see that single blue line show up on a pregnancy test.  My ultrasound was a little bit more alarming.

 

As the technician was preparing me for my pelvic ultrasound, she asked me a bunch of questions about my sexual history and what contraceptives I was using.  I told her that I had the Mirena IUD and that I was having regular sex with a monogamous partner.  She then did two ultrasounds- one externally over my abdomen and back (to check my kidneys) and another trans-vaginal ultrasound which is internal.  After she was finished, the technician instructed me to clean off the ultrasound goo, get dressed and then wait for her to return so she could talk to me.  I was a bit nervous because I’ve never been asked to stay behind after an ultrasound and I was worried that some very bad news was in the offing.

 

The technician was quick to tell me that she hadn’t seen anything abnormal, and although my doctor would give me my full results, she hadn’t seen anything to indicate that there was anything wrong.  Everything was where it should be….except one thing.  “I can’t locate your IUD anywhere on the scans” the tech told me.  I was taken aback and asked her if she was sure.  She replied that she’d done a really extensive scan of my entire pelvis, and that the IUD was nowhere to be seen.  So it was likely that the IUD had been expelled from my body.  She warned me that I needed to use barrier contraceptives until I’d sorted out other birth control and then showed me to the door.

 

I spent the entire walk home feeling disoriented and puzzled.  How could the IUD be gone? I knew that there was a possibility that IUDs could be expelled but this didn’t make sense to me.  It took so long and hurt a lot to get it in my uterus in the first place, how could it possibly have dropped out of there without me knowing? Surely, expelling an IUD would hurt, at least a little, right?  And even if it didn’t hurt, if it did come out of my body, surely it would have turned up in my underwear or something.   I was completely baffled.

 

After denial over losing the IUD came anger.  I was furious.  I’d spent a fair chunk of money on doctors appointments and the unit itself, I’d gone through the pain of having it inserted and the stupid thing hadn’t even had the decency to stick around and do it’s job?  I was mad at the doctor who had put the IUD in, worried that maybe she didn’t do it properly, and frustrated with my own body for rejecting it.

 

And then an icy wall of realisation slapped me across the face.  If I didn’t know when the IUD was expelled….it might have been missing for months.  Which means that I’d been having unprotected sex for months.  I knew I wasn’t pregnant because I’d just taken a pregnancy test, but holy crap, I’d been playing Russian Roulette with my uterus.  That thought was the thing that frightened me most of all.  I don’t want kids.  Ever.  And the idea that I was unknowingly at risk of becoming pregnant was enough to nearly make me lose my lunch.  I felt like I’d dodged a bullet, because it really was only by sheer dumb luck that I hadn’t fallen pregnant.

 

I had a follow-up appointment with my doctor to discuss the results of the ultrasound. She confirmed that there was no trace of the Mirena anywhere in my body.  It’s gone.  She believes that the abdominal pain I experienced was related to my uterus expelling the IUD.  As to where the actual unit has gone, it’s possible that it was flushed down the toilet or washed down the drain in the shower without me knowing.  Either way, it’s not in my body anymore.

 

It turns out that expulsion is actually not that uncommon with IUD’s.  Around 5% of people who have a Mirena implanted will expel the device.  Expulsion usually happens in the first three months of having an IUD, but it can happen later on.  Expulsion can be painless, and it’s possible for it to happen without you knowing.  And that’s pretty scary, because it means that you might think you’re protected from unwanted pregnancy, when actually you’re still fertile.

 

I’m not telling you this to frighten you, or to put you off getting an IUD.  IUDs are a very effective form of birth control and work for lots of people.  But they do come with risks and they can fail.  That’s why it’s incredibly important to consider all the different contraceptive options available and also to listen to the messages your body is sending you.  If I hadn’t had that abdominal pain, I might not have had the ultrasound and wouldn’t have known that my IUD wasn’t in position.  I am glad that I listened to my body telling me that something wasn’t right, and got it checked out.

 

So this has been a very frightening and confusing experience.  I’m still feeling upset but relieved that things weren’t as bad as they could be.  I’m back to square one with contraception, and I’ll be getting an Implanon rod inserted soon.  If you’re interested, I’ll chronicle my experience with the Implanon, and also answer any questions you might have about it and the Mirena IUD.  Fingers crossed I have more success this time.

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New Years Resolutions 2018

The start of a new year always feels like a blank sheet of paper to me.  It’s clean and fresh, ready to be written upon.  Although I set goals and challenges throughout the year, new years resolutions always feel more charged and purposeful to me.  Today I wanted to take some time to review my 2017 goals as well as setting some new goals for the year ahead.

 

2017 goals in review

  1. Journal once per week

There was only one week this year that I missed journalling, and it was because I was ill with the flu and couldn’t even hold my head up.  I did a mixture of traditional day-to-day records, stream of consciousness work and journal prompts.  I really enjoyed taking that time for myself to put my thoughts down on paper.

 

2. Read all the books in my to-read pile

I didn’t even come close to achieving this goal.  Although I read a lot this year, I also got two bookstore giftcards, which inevitably led to the addition of about ten new books to the pile.  If I’m going to have any chance of working through my to-read pile, I need to concentrate on not acquiring new books just as much as reading the ones on the shelf.

Rocking my me-made cardigan to work. #outfit #workwear #cardigan #knits

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3. Knit a whole garment

I knitted not one, but three jumpers for myself this year (and made good progress on a fourth).

First time wearing my me-made jumper. #crafts #knits #TARDIS #blue #outfit

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4. Continue transitioning to a vegan-ish diet

I rocked this one and went full vegan this year.  I cooked loads of new recipes, tried foods I never expected to like and ate out at some fantastic vegan restaurants.

 

5. Declutter my flat

I got rid of approximately one quarter of all my possessions this year.  I was extremely ruthless and cleaned out every cupboard and drawer.  I was very honest about things that I was hanging onto out of guilt, or because it represented the kind of person I wished I were, rather than the person I am.  It was incredibly freeing.

 

6. Buy fewer things

I drastically reduced the number of “just because” purchases I made this year.  Although I did a fair amount of shopping still, I tried hard to be mindful of what I was spending money on and only bought things that were necessary or which brought me joy (and I went a bit nuts at Kinkfest and Sexpo….my bad!)

 

7. Write more sex positive posts

I’m really proud of the number of sex positive posts I published in 2017.  I completed my series on the ABC’s of BDsM, wrote about sex on Game of Thrones, reviewed some awesome toys including my glass tentacle wand, the Tantus Destiny and the Bootie plug and considered the performance of pleasure. I got a lot more comfortable writing about sex and talking about difficult topics.  I also attended Sexpo and Oz Kinkfest and met loads of incredible people at both events.

 

8. Build an aftercare kit

I had long wanted to build an aftercare kit for my BDsM needs.  I put together an awesome little bag filled with all the essentials I need to take care of myself after a scene.  It’s been super useful and it was truly therapeutic to consider closely the type of aftercare I need after a scene.

 

2018 resolutions

  • Close the gap on my long distance relationship

I’ve been dating my partner for almost two years now and we live three hours away from each other.  Long distance relationships are rewarding, but difficult.  By this time next year, I’d really like for my love and I to be living closer to one another.

 

  • Be able to do a forward split

My yoga practice has stalled a little this year, and I’ve noticed that my hips and hamstrings are especially tight.  I have still been practising but I’ve slacked off a bit.  So in 2018 I want to put more effort into regular yoga workouts and incorporating loads of flexibility training to allow myself to achieve a King Monkey Pose (or forward split) by the end of the year.

  • Learn colourwork knitting

It’s my dream to eventually learn how to make my own ugly Christmas sweaters.  But before I can do that, I need to learn how to do colourwork properly.  2018 will be the year of colourwork knitting for me.

  • 100 days of no spending

I’m trying hard to cut down my spending this year.  There are a lot of days when I will pop into the shops aimlessly during my lunch break or call into the supermarket on my way home without a clear idea of what I’m going to buy.  So this year I want to rack up 100 days where I don’t spend any money.  I think this goal will help me to cut down on those little “just because” purchases.

  • Publish one toy review per month

I have a stack of toys that are waiting to be reviewed.  I’d really like to get the ball rolling on more reviews and post one per month.

 

  • Catch up with one friend per month

I haven’t been terribly social this past year.  I realised towards Christmas that there are some people I adore that I didn’t see at all in 2017.  This year I want to make a huge effort to catch up with my friends more often, and arranging at least one friend-date per month will help with that.

 

So that’s my goals for 2018.  Cross your fingers and lend me your support as I work towards them.  And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss any of my adventures and reviews.

 

What are your resolutions for 2018?

Wall to Wall Festival 2017

Art and culture aren’t things that one typically associates with country towns.  But that couldn’t be further from reality when one considers my hometown of Benalla, Victoria.  Benalla not only has an awesome art gallery and a stellar performing arts centre, but it is the home to the annual Wall to Wall street art festival.

 

Now in it’s third year, Wall to Wall is responsible for some incredible pieces of artwork that are dotted around the town.  Last week, artists began staking out their spots and sketching.  On Saturday I took my camera for a walk to take a look at the works in progress.

 

This year’s offerings are varied and colourful, with a number of amazing 3D pieces included in the mix.  If you have the means to travel to Benalla one weekend, I suggest you do so and take a long walk and gaze upon the amazing works of art that are dotted around the walls and pavements of this town.

 

As part of the festival, The Wall to Wall committee organized a giant community paint-by-numbers.  Everyone was invited to come along and join in to create an amazing painting.  Sadly, I’d forgotten that this was taking place and I was a tad too dressed up to muck in with the painters.  I wish that I’d worn jeans instead so that I could have joined in the fun.

 

 

Do you have a favourite piece?

 

 

 

Going braless

The end of each work day always looked pretty much the same.  I’d come home, feed the kitties, then race to my room to kick of my shoes and peel off my bra.  Removing my bra was the most relief-infused moment of my day.  It occurred to me that every day I put on an item that causes me so much discomfort that I can’t wait to tear it off the moment I walk through the door.  And I wondered, is it possible for me to forgo that feeling of discomfort by not wearing a bra at all?

 

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My relationship with bras is kind of complicated. I have small boobs, and I always have.  I started wearing training bras when I was eleven, not because I actually needed one, but because I thought wearing a bra was “grown up”.  When I was fourteen I purchased my first padded bra and it was a revelation for me.  I’ve felt self conscious of their small size since I started puberty, and padded bras were a way for me to enhance the size and shape of my breasts.

 

It was this relationship with bras and boobs that really gave me the push to try going braless.  When I started to consider the idea of ditching my bra, there were a number of worries that surfaced.  But the vast majority of them had to do with me feeling concerned about how my breasts would look without a bra.  In the past few years I have started feeling more confident about my boobs, but I’ve come to see that what I’m comfortable with is the way my boobs look in a bra.  A padded bra, with a tonne of underwire to push them up and make them look impossibly round and perky.  I wanted to give myself a chance to get used to my boobs without  a mound of padding on them, and get comfortable seeing them as they are.

 

So I went cold turkey, ditching my bra at lunchtime on a work day.  I went back to work sweating with anxiety, positive that everyone would be able to tell that I wasn’t wearing a bra, worried that I’d be called into my boss’s office for a dressing down about my decision to dress down.  And y’know what, I survived.

 

The first thing I noticed is that my boobs don’t behave very differently when they aren’t harnessed in a bra.  As I mentioned earlier, I have tiny tits.  Also, I’m fairly fit with strong pectoral muscles.  My boobs don’t really bounce even when they aren’t restrained, so their movement alone isn’t enough to give away the fact that I’m free-boobing.

 

One thing that did act as a bit of a red flag were my nipples.  I have very reactive nipples that go hard as marbles the second there is a cool breeze.  Add to this my cold-blooded body temperature and you’ve got a recipe for some stares and self consciousness.  I tried a variety of methods to combat my blueberry-smuggling boobs.  I bought a set of those silicone nipple covers, thinking that they would be great for wearing under white tops.  But unfortunately, they are light in colour but still not as light as my skin.  So somehow, they make my nipples look huge and more noticeable.  I bought a few bralettes which were a godsend under tops where I needed a little coverage.  Camisoles and singlet tops were another valuable go-to for my nip slips.

 

A month has passed since that first day of going braless, and I have only worn a bra once in that time. I have no intention of going back to bras in the foreseeable future.  Not only is it a million times cooler and more comfortable without one, but I’m starting to appreciate my breasts as they are.  I’ve noticed that bras make all boobs look the same.  But when breasts get to go au naturel, they have so much more personality.  My little boobs are cute and perky and I’m learning to love them.

 

Do you wear a bra?  Would you consider going braless?  Do you have any questions about ditching the bra you’d like me to answer?

Oz Kink Fest haul

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Oz Kink Fest Expo at the Fitzroy town hall.  It was like a cornucopia of amazing sex toys, bondage gear, lingerie and sex positivity.  Needless to say, I had an absolute blast and bought a stack of new goodies.  I thought I would make a video to share my sexy treasure trove with you.

 

 

As I mention at the close of the video, I was completely blown away by how inclusive and open the expo was.  There were people in various states of dress, some in full fetish gear and some in street clothes.  There were a myriad of gender expressions, body shapes, relationship types and kinks represented and I didn’t hear a single nasty or creepy remark.  Every person I spoke to was incredibly open and respectful and it was truly fantastic.  I felt so proud and happy to be in such a sex positive space.

 

I bought a lot of toys at the expo.  Online shopping good and all, but there’s nothing like shopping in person for sex toys.  It’s wonderful to be able to touch the toys. to decide if you like the feel and weight of them.  You’re able to press buttons and you’ll know right away if a toy is horribly buzzy or emits a noise that sets your teeth on edge. Best of all, you can talk to people who know exactly what they’re talking about and get lots of great advice when choosing your toys.  The prices at OzKink Fest were insane, and I got a lot of things super cheap.  There were toys in my haul that have been on my wish list for years, but this weekend I saw prices that I just couldn’t pass up.  I’m very pleased with everything I got and I can’t wait to review them for you.

 

I hope you enjoy checking out what I bought.  If you have any questions, please feel free to leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

 

Celebrating my 30th birthday.

This year, one of my resolutions was to celebrate my 30th birthday in style, and I feel as though I can tick that off my list.  I had agonized for ages over how to ring in the beginning of my 30th year, and in the end I decided that the best way would be with some awesome food, my favourite people and plenty of down time.

 

I ended up taking the week of my birthday off work.  I wanted to have a chance to relax and recharge as well as loads of time to plan fun celebrations with my family and friends.  Having a whole week where I didn’t have to get up and go to the office has been amazing.

 

My 30th birthday fell on the 9th of June, 2016.  I started the day by cuddling in bed with the cats before getting up and slipping into a vintage Pendleton wool skirt and this adorable cat jumper that I bought from Nerd Burger’s  closet clear-out sale.  I accessorised with my favourite black cat earrings, my grandmother’s eternity ring and this rad Deadpool necklace that my boyfriend David gave me.

 

My parents had very kindly purchased tickets for the three of us to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibit at Bendigo Art Gallery.  So we all traveled to Bendigo by car to check it out.

 

I’ve admired Marilyn Monroe for as long as I can remember.  My first memory of her is a black-and-white portrait that hung in our local pizza cafe.  The portrait is the ever-famous shot of Marilyn standing over the subway grate in The Seven Year Itch, with her skirts billowing in the updraft.  So it seemed fitting that we were greeted by this seven-metre sculpture of that exact moment as we pulled into the Bendigo CBD.

 

The exhibit itself was incredible.  It featured a wealth of personal items of Marilyn’s, including the beauty products from her dresser, her personal camera, her collection of gossip magazines and some jewellery.  There was also a huge collection of costumes and items from her personal wardrobe.  For me, these items were the highlight of the exhibit.  I am so inspired by Marilyn’s personal style, and to see her clothing in person was just amazing.  I was quite shocked by how small her clothes were.  She always appears so voluptuous, and yet some of these items were absolutely teensy.  The beading and detail on the costume pieces was breathtaking.  I was also struck by how ordinary many of her day-to-day outfits were.  Although there were many furs and gowns, the display cases featured twice as many plain day dresses, knit sweaters and simple shirts.  It really brought home the fact that although she is known as one of the most glamorous women in the world, Marilyn was also just a woman, who wore regular clothes in her downtime.  I spent a great deal of time looking at those simple day-to-day items, trying to imagine how she might have worn them.

 

I was utterly spoiled with presents.  I got a stack of new books, including a colouring-in storybook version of The Wizard of Oz. I’ve gotten really into colouring lately and I’m so enjoying working my way through this book.


My parents also got me a gorgeous set of Derwent pencils, something that I’ve wanted since I was a child.  These are just wonderful for colouring, and I expect I’ll get a lot of use out of them

 

My brother showered me with awesome gifts, but my favourite was this tee shirt, which I expect I will wear often.

The day after my birthday I travelled down to Melbourne to catch up with my friends.  I had booked myself a room at The Hotel Windsor as a very special treat.  This was my first time staying in a five-star hotel, and it was an incredible experience.  Upon arrival, my bags were whisked away and taken to my room.  The room itself was utterly luxurious, with a king-sized bed, a stunning bathroom and a kitchenette.

 

I was also delighted to discover that the staff had placed a birthday cake in my room as a special surprise.

 

I had organized a dinner at one of my favourite Japanese restaurants.  It was a great night, eating delicious food with my friends and my brother. By the time David and I got back to the hotel, I was ready for a bath and bed.

I think I definitely celebrated in style, and I’m extremely excited to see what my 30’s will bring.  My 20’s was a massive decade, and I know that I’m much happier with myself and my life than I was on my 20th birthday.  Fingers crossed that my 30’s will be filled with awesome opportunities and fantastic adventures.

New year’s resolutions 2016

Regular readers of my blog might recall that I didn’t make new year’s resolutions this year.  I started a new job in January and I figured I had enough to worry about without heaping a bunch of new goals onto my plate.  So now that I’m settled into work I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a few resolutions for the year ahead.

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Get my to-read list down to seven pages

My to-be-read list is out of control.  It’s currently eight pages long and threatening to spill over onto another page.  In the past year I haven’t made a lot of time for reading, but I’d like to change that in 2016.  I would really like to carve out a bit of time a few times a week to lose myself in a book and really chip away at this list.  If I could whittle it down to seven pages, that would be great.

Finish off a few niggling spring-cleaning jobs

I have a couple of spring-cleaning jobs that have been hanging over my head seemingly forever.  These include fixing my reading lamp which has been broken for the better part of a year, picking up some prints that I took to the framers six months ago and taking all the bags of clothing that I’ve cleared out of my closets to the donation bin.  This year I’d love to stop procrastinating and just get these things done.

Visit a teppanyaki restaurant

I think this goal was on my resolutions list a few years back and I never ticked it off.  But this year I want to book in and eat a fabulous Japanese meal that’s cooked right in front of me by a talented chef.

Make at least three vlogs this year

I really enjoy vlogging, but it’s been such a long time since I made a new video.  I have plenty of ideas, but I just never get around to actually making the vids.  In 2016, I want to put at least three new videos up on my channel. If you have any ideas or requests, please let me know!

Buy less

My spending habits went a bit feral in 2015.  Working full time meant having more fun money, and as a result I went a bit silly buying lots of things I didn’t need.  Now that I’ve gotten over the novelty of earning a full-time wage, I’d like to spend more of my time enjoying the things I have rather than acquiring more, and being more discerning about what I spend my cash on.

Review some products for my blog

It feels like forever since I last reviewed a product on my blog.  And I’ve found some sensational things that I want to share with you all.  Hopefully by the time the year grows to a close, I’ll have had a chance to tell you about some of my favourite beauty products, some sensational gadgets and (if I’m feeling brave) maybe even some sex toys. And, as always, I’m open to requests.

Try one new recipe a week

The top of my fridge is currently littered with recipes that I’ve torn from magazines and newspapers.  My Pinterest is overflowing with things I want to make.  I will occasionally try something new but mostly I’ve just been sticking to the old favourites.  This year I want to really make a big effort to try some of those mouth-watering recipes, and if I could manage to do one a week, that would be sensational.

Get my eyes tested and possibly get some new glasses

I am woefully aware that my eyesight has deteriorated, and it’s been at least four years since I last got my peepers checked.  This year I vow to make an appointment with the optometrist and get some new glasses and contacts.

Start planning an overseas trip

I have never been overseas, but with many of my friends making trips to far-flung lands this year I’m feeling inspired to change that.  I don’t see myself actually having a chance to go overseas this year, but I’d like to at least begin planning in earnest.  I’m thinking either the US or England for my inaugural trip.  What do you think?

Celebrate my birthday in style

I turn *gasp* 30 in 2016 and I want to make sure that I celebrate it properly.  I’m not really sure what I want to do for my birthday, but I know that I want it to be fun and memorable.

 

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress with these goals as the year goes on.  I don’t really expect to do every one of them, but it sure would be nice if I could tick most of these things off my list.

 

Are you making resolutions this year?  What are some of the things that you’d like to achieve in 2016?