Quitting cold-turkey (TMI warning)

Four weeks later, I’ve finally figured out what I should have given up for Lent.  And I never would have believed I’d be writing an entire post on this subject, but here we are.

I was talking to a friend last night, who mentioned that she can’t wear red or pink underwear, due to too many instances of having glanced down and thought she was spotting.  (Oh, the things we “see” when we’re obsessed with our lady parts.)  And I, being equally obsessed with my lady parts, told her that was perfectly understandable, but that I don’t have that problem with my red and pink underwear, because since my pregnancy and miscarriage, I have not gone one day without wearing panty liners.*

“Really?” my friend asked.  “You always wear one?”

“Yes, always.”

Then I realized that maybe this is weird.  I mean, I already knew that wearing panty liners isn’t exactly sexy.  I already knew that, despite the benefits of wearing them during/before/after one’s period, they don’t have to be an everyday accessory.

And that’s what I used to do, before I got pregnant – only wear them on days when I actually needed to.  Then I got pregnant, and I was spotting constantly.  Then I miscarried, and I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons for two weeks afterward, but still had random bouts of bleeding/spotting.  Then I got the IUD, and was told to expect to be spotting pretty regularly for at least the first month or three – and even after that, had occasional spotting, I think, in lieu of actual periods.

So I have literally been wearing panty liners, daily, for the past 32 months.  Do you know how much trash that means I’ve created?  How much money I’ve spent?

It has to stop.  I mean, it cannot continue.

I’m no longer pregnant or miscarrying or incubating an IUD.  The daily panty liner thing, at this point, is wasteful and stupid, and just out of habit.  The worst-case scenario is that I get my period unexpectedly and lose a pair of underwear because of it.  And I have some cute underwear, but they can be replaced, and I’ll get over it.

In fact, I bought some of that cute underwear just a few weeks ago, when another friend and I went shopping specifically to update our knicker collections.  At the time, I’d expressed my concern to her that some of the pairs I’d selected had lace running all the way around the leg-holes, including across the crotch.  (Another word I don’t like.)  My friend told me she’d worn similar styles and found them comfortable, so I decided to give them a try on her recommendation.

This afternoon, she asked me how I was liking those lacy bikinis I’d been so concerned about.

“I’m actually wearing one right now,” I said.  Then I said something asinine, like, “They’re okay, except that my panty liner hangs over the edge of the lace and is sticking to the inside of my leg.  But I’ll get used to it.”

My friend looked at me like I was crazy, and then I knew: she doesn’t wear this style of underwear with panty liners.  Because she doesn’t wear panty liners every day.  Because only crazy women who are obsessed with what might someday come out of their lady parts do that.  Just another little way my miscarriage permanently affected me – and I wasn’t even really aware of it until now.

I immediately walked into the bathroom, removed my mini pad, and did not replace it.  I am sitting here now, having showered and put on a different, less lacy, pair of underwear, still not wearing one.

From now on, I will be wearing panty liners only as needed.  I am quitting cold-turkey, giving them up for Lent, and forever after.

*I usually call them “mini pads.”  I hate the word “panty liner” because I hate the word “panties.”  The British “knickers” sounds so much better – how is it we haven’t stolen this word from them yet?!

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9 Responses to Quitting cold-turkey (TMI warning)

  1. Josey says:

    I just laughed my way through this entire post. Panty liners are an EXCELLENT item to give up for Lent (and maybe for always).

    That being said, I’m in that awesome 2ww place where 2x/daily prometrium vaginal suppositories eh… ya, that’s enough info. Suffice it to say that I’m wearing one. UGH. Unlike you, I have no problem quitting wearing them immediately after the oozing has stopped though. 🙂

    TMI. TMI. Ha. That is the theme of my life since IF.

  2. Elphaba says:

    This was a great post. And that was my thought too, about how much money that must cost!

    Congrats on being panty liner free today.

    • Marie says:

      It’s like 8 bucks for a box of 240 at Costco. So I’m really more concerned about the trash than the money. But thanks for calling my idiocy to my attention in the first place, and I’m glad you liked the post.

  3. Kira says:

    I had to laugh. For most of my menstruating life, I used pads. (Panty liners seems awkward to say, er, type) Part of this was that I could not wear tampons. Couldn’t get them in. When I tried, it hurt. A lot. Even once I started having sex, it took a while before I could use tampons. (Turns out I had vaginismus, but it went undiagnosed for a long time because all my OBGYN were stupid men who didn’t believe me when I said that tampons/sex hurt) But now I only have tampons under my sink. I can’t even imagine going back to having pads sticking to the inside of my leg! I’m glad you’ve decided to allow yourself not to wear them constantly anymore 🙂

    • Marie says:

      Oh no. I’m not talking about pads, I’m talking about actual panty liners: the super thin deals that you can’t even really feel in there. Pads are like phone books, and I have worn them twice in my entire life: the first day of my first period in ninth grade (then I insisted on learning to insert a tampon), and during my miscarriage.

      Male OBGYN = oxymoron. Just say no.

  4. Christina says:

    Hahahaha, this is so funny. Even if it’s not supposed to be, it has me laughing. 🙂 I will suggest you take them up again, the mini-pads that is, once you get pregnant, because, to quote Jenny McCarthy, you will likely have “niagrara in your pants”. Check out chapter 4 of “Belly Laughs” for more details. Just some friendly advice. 🙂

    • Marie says:

      I think it was supposed to be funny. I also think it ended up being even funnier than it was supposed to be.

      And I’ve read the entirety of Belly Laughs sometime during the four days I was pregnant, so I already knew about Niagara. I plan on keeping the mini-pads around for their intended use: first and last days of period, middle days of period as tampon backup/insurance, and eventual pregnancy. After all, I did just buy a ginormous box of them from Costco.

  5. Christina says:

    I went through a phase (way way way before TTC) in High school were I wore liners everyday because I had “weird discharge” all cycle long (which I realize it totally normal. now.) and I never really paid attention to when my period was due to arrive.

    This is a great thing to give up for lent. Not only are you breaking a habit, you’re saving money to-boot! Good luck and know you can turn to the ALI community if you feel like your about to fall off the wagon!

  6. C says:

    I had to find this funny. I just had to, I’m sorry. I resented every second of pad and pantyliner wearing I’ve had to subject myself to in the past few years. I hate them so.

    And I hate the word “panties” too. I have a friend who only uses that word for them – as in, she calls her 5-year old daughter’s underwear “panties” which totally skeeves me out.

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