I remember my first period like it was yesterday. I was outside with my sisters and all of the neighborhood kids, and we were swinging out over a creek on an old tire swing that had been there for ages. Sometimes we’d get brave and jump in, and other times we’d just swing to be swinging. On the day of my first cycle, I got off the swing and noticed blood running down on my legs when I bent down to wipe the dirt off my bottom from the tire. I was not prepared for my first cycle, I didn’t even know what it was. After running home screaming, that I was bleeding, and about to pass out from looking at the blood, my mom finally sat me down and had “the talk.” She said she had hoped to have more time to prepare me before my first period came.
I was embarrassed, to say the least, because there were guys there, and boy did I get teased about my screaming episode a lot. They finally quit teasing me but it made me feel like I should have been told that this would happen to me one day. I would have been mentally prepared for what was going to happen. I decided before I became a parent that I would do things differently, and I did.
I chose to inform my daughters as soon as they were old enough to understand. I didn’t want them to be as uninformed and as I was. I purchased products like leakproof bikini underwear from Knixteen ahead of time so we’d be prepared when they had their first period. I bought pads, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers for cramps, informative books on the subject, and other feminine products that I used myself and thought they’d need. Although I don’t blame my mom for wanting to keep me young and innocent for as long as she could, I like to plan ahead and be prepared for anything and that includes first periods.
Do you have any first-period disaster stories you’d like to share? If so I’d love to read about them in a comment.