Mumsnut blog of the day
BIRTH STORIES! I love hearing them, I love reading them and I love telling mine! What is it about birth that does this to us? The empowering feeling of bringing forth life? Suddenly, discussing the intimacies of your nether regions is a walk in the park, stitches, blood, cervix dilation the lot. Fascinating stuff……eh?
I’d never give a blow by blow (flow by flow?) account of my period, the pesky blighter that appears every frikkin month determined to ruin my life. But imagine, imagine if we took this perfectly normal bodily function and made it a spectacle, I mean it is fairly impressive and it’s all thanks to them that we can have babies anyway…..so what if periods were told like birth stories…..
Why, for the love of God, why would you write about this? Well, pregnancy birth etc, incites sympathy, drama, awe and inspiration….. Yet, twelve times a year, us women go through something else that is all these things too, albeit on a lesser scale. Now, I’m not saying we need a ‘congratulations on the expellment of your womb lining’ card every month but, let’s normalise this shit too….. If you’ve got this far, you’re doing well (even more so if you’re a bloke) so, let’s get the cringe factor out the way and say a few words now, before I delve into the topic…. Blood, tampon…… (Whispers) vagina…..
Bet you’re glad this is a non featured image post?!
Anticipation and signs
Now, some women know the date, maybe they even have an app?! These are what I like to think of as the p-section troop….. Slightly more clinical, decidedly more organised…. All prepped and ready. Products purchased, period pants awaiting….there’s a lot to be said for knowing the date….. But, you don’t get that ‘will I, won’t I make it’ feeling, that, ‘I have a white dress to wear on Saturday night… Please let me get through the weekend’ anticipation….. Of course this isn’t me, not least because I don’t go out on a Saturday night, but, I also never know when Aunt Flow is gonna show….. In fact I’ve only had three since Nerg was born!!!
So, do I walk around with a nappy like devise strapped to my undies just in case? Can’t wear Tampons in anticipation…… But pretty sure I won’t be getting any action if my husband sees I’ve got my sexy ‘period pants’ on. Which is cool, doable for a couple of days…..But seriously, I don’t wanna sport those bad boys all month long (VPL CRISIS) on the off-chance ….. Plus I’m terrified people can hear the rustling…..Do I take my handbag to the loo with me from the desk, or at the meeting, baby group, wherever….. Will people think I’m some paranoid, distrustful person…… Will they know straight away…… Can i get away with carrying it up my sleeve…….It’s a massive dilemma….. Like the whole water breaking before labour…. Except this is every frikkin month!
So you look out for the signs….. The pregnancy mucus plugs of the period world, the contractions….. The cramps and the ‘kill everyone’ mood swings. These buy you a couple of days notice, not a science, but it’s a start. You’re relieved to have a heads up on proceedings (heads down if you’re going for the baby analogy to make this post more palatable), but dear god, at least pregnancy has a baby at the end of it, these cramps and mood swings hold only the promise of no sex for a week, fear, paranoia and handbag issues….plus ‘why the fuck isn’t there a bin in this stall’ dilemmas…….and plenty more cramps…leakage worries to make you cry ……arghh.
You’re starting to wonder if you should just take your pill and skip this one. Although you have done that way more times this year than you think would be advisable by a health care professional…….so you dutifully stock up…. Preparation is key…… Paraphernalia without the baby cuteness, it’s all birds and flowers, like that makes it any moreÂ manageable…… It implies light and airy? You know, a volcano, for example, would be a far more realistic graphic…… Mental image!
The day arrives:
Perhaps you were ready, perhaps not, but none the less here you are. It’s a day of mixed emotions… Disappointment, if you’re trying to conceive, relief if you’re not….. Because even if you double lock… Pills, condoms…..abstinence, there is still that irrational fear of immaculate conception until flow pops up to say hi…. And even then you spend the first few hours googling ‘periods but pregnant’ just to be sure.
Like labour, those first few hours can be so deceiving. You’re all set you can handle it. Maybe even a day goes by and you’re feeling confident. Then you wake up on day two and get out of bed…..
The curses start, the well meaning comments from the other half of, ‘it can’t be that bad’, while you’re shouting to him to grab the extra super absorbents while you’re sat on the loo wondering just how much blood you can lose during a period without having to call 999….. Of course men don’t get it! Women every day have periods…… You’re not special….. But you’re pretty sure it’s different this time……I mean you only had 300 or so in your life…(yep I just calculated that and scared myself) You talk about your concerns as couples should……..then he throws inÂ the hormone card and you’re about ready to whack hI’mÂ over the head with your doorstop sanitary product but the cramps have kicked in again and you really need MrÂ to be there for you, so you hint about chocolate and giant cups of tea instead.
Of course things ease up, around day 4ish you wonder what you were fussing about…. once the worst is over your only issue is when to switch down a colour band….. You’re onto a winner when you get down to yellow….. Although now your ‘mixed box’ has a colour ratio discrepancy and you gotta stock up again. EVEN SO….. you’re out the other side, yay to no more worrying when you sneeze!!!! Husband, who’s been been avoiding the topic feeling helpless and a little disgusted from the sidelines, finally plucks up the courage to ask if it’s all over yet…. And you know you really should regroup, take stock, but you’re over the hump and you don’t Intend to think about what just happened for a while at least. You toy with the idea of an app….. But it’s pointless cos you dunno when she’s coming back….. Of course you can’t talk about it…. Hush hush eh?! All that blood and gore and lady garden horror…..
Don’t mention the war!!!!!
That is until she doesn’t come at all…..for nine whole months….. Then suddenly it’s ok, you can mention the slimy, squirmy painful mess, cos it was followed by something cute and new and exciting….. Not a trip around the house to empty all the bins of that copper/hygiene product stench.