Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Blood nest

"But how?" Benjamin asked this morning. "How do you make your blood nest?"


"You know—what we were talking about last night. Every month you make a blood nest. How?"

Oh. That.

Rachel had many, many questions regarding menstruation last night (why? how? does it hurt? do all women do it at the very same time?) so I broke out the book Cycling and we discussed the whys and hows for several minutes.

I explained that when an egg is ripened and leaves the ovary it needs somewhere to go. Where do birds and reptiles put their eggs? In a nest. They just happen to have their nest be on the outside of their bodies. We also make a nest for our eggs. We just happen to do this on the inside of our bodies.

Every month while that egg is ripening, it's sending signals to our body that we need to make a nice, cozy nest of blood inside our uterus. If that egg is fertilized then it burrows into that nice, cozy "blood nest" (I guess we're calling it that now) and starts sending signals to the mother's body to continue incubating. But if that egg is not fertilized, it will stop sending incubation signals. Our body will discard the nest and start the process all over again. That's why it's a cycle. It just keeps happening.

Evidently the most fascinating part of this for Benjamin was that Mommy can make a "blood nest."*

What's your super power?

* I'm not the first to take this approach. I probably should have read this post before talking to my children about it (not that this was our first time talking about it, but this was certainly the most in-depth we've gone, which was admittedly probably a little bit much for Benjamin to comprehend) because her conversation seems to have gone a lot more gracefully than mine.


  1. My kids call it a blood pillow. Also once E and G asked, "But how does the sperm get to the egg. I explained it in the most clinical way I could. You should have seen their faces. Pure horror. I had the hardest time keeping a straight face.

  2. I was completely horrified and grossed out when my mother told me! But I overcame my revulsion, apparently...

  3. ...and I had one the most prudish mothers in the entire world. I was mostly horrified to think that SHE DID THAT. Unbelievable!

  4. Have you shown your kids that commercial for a First Moon Party? That was a great conversation-starter for us a few years ago and we still quote it all the time to each other.