What's your first period story? Tell us in a comment below! The following post is part of the My 1st Period Story Blog Hop hosted by Eco-Crazy Mom and Lunapads retailers Be Prepared Period. Hannah Murray is a Romance Author living in the Pacific Northwest. Her first book was published in 2003. Her first period came when she was 11.
The story of my first period is one I've told many times, mainly because it's funny. It's also slightly traumatic, but not in the way you'd expect. I should preface this by saying that my mother had given me the talk on this - I knew all about what a period was, why I would get it, and what to expect, but it was the last thing on my mind the summer I was eleven.
I was attending Girl Scout day camp that summer, and my days were filled with activities like arts & crafts, horseback riding, and swimming. I don't remember exactly what day that week the signs first appeared, but I know it was a day when we were swimming because I was wearing my bathing suit all day. I still had it on when we got home, and my mother told me to go change out of it and take a shower.
When I stripped out of the suit, I noticed something staining the crotch. It was brown, and had dried, and there didn't seem to be very much of it - I checked to make sure nothing had soaked through the layers of the suit to be visible from the outside. I was a little freaked out, because to my eleven year old mind, brown stuff in my underwear could only mean one thing. I didn't remember having an "accident", but really, what else could it be?
I was only eleven, and sufficiently embarrassed at the idea that I might have unknowingly pooped my pants that I just couldn’t bear the thought of telling anyone. So even though I knew my mom would help me, I rinsed out the suit in the shower so she wouldn’t see, and didn't mention it.
I spent the rest of the week hiding my underwear every night, because the stains appeared every day. Sometimes there was only a little, sometimes a lot, but it was always there, and I was starting to really worry. I still didn’t tell anyone, hoping it would go away and I wouldn't have to.
On the last day of camp all the girls got to camp overnight, just like the big girls did, and we were all so excited. We roasted marshmallows around the campfire and sang songs and told secrets, the way girls do, and I had a great time until it was time to crawl into my sleeping bag and go to sleep. In a tent with half a dozen other girls, I laid awake worrying I might have an “accident” in the middle of the night and somehow everyone would know. It was, frankly, a miserable night.
The next day when I got home, the stains were in my panties again, and I decided I had to tell my mother. Obviously there was something really wrong with me if I was having all these accidents and didn't even know it was happening, and the thought that I might truly be sick was scary enough to overcome my embarrassment. I took my panties and went in search of my mother.
I tracked her down in her room, where She's an amazing mom, and I hope someday I can do half as good a job as she did.she was putting fresh sheets on the bed. "Mom, I think I'm sick."
She looked up at me as she tucked in the sheet. "Does your stomach hurt?"
I shook my head. "No, but look." I held out my underwear. "There's brown stuff in my panties. It’s been happening all week at camp. I think I must be pooping, but I can't feel it happening.”
She frowned at the undies (which had an African safari scene on them, with elephants - I don't know why that sticks in my mind). "I don't think that's what this is."
My initial relief at being able to share the secret had faded; now my head was filled with all the things that could possibly be wrong with me, and panic made me a little shrill. "Well then, what is it?!"
She smiled at me. "I think you're having your first period."
Startled, I blinked at her. "Oh.”
She put her hand on my shoulder, her smile getting bigger and just a little misty. "How does that make you feel?"
"Relieved!" I blurted out. "I thought I was crapping my pants!"
I wrote at the beginning of this piece that I like telling this story because it’s funny, and it is. But I also like telling it because it reminds me what kind of mother I have. She knew that information is power, so she always told me the truth, and made sure I had all the information I needed to understand my body. If it ever embarrassed her or made her feel uncomfortable, she never let on, and I always knew I could ask her anything. I didn’t fully appreciate that when I was eleven, but now I realize how incredible she was. How incredible she still is.
Okay, I gotta go call my mom and tell her I love her.