The Dad Factor

IMG_6770.JPGThis next post was not an easy one to write. In fact, I thought this would be the easiest post to write about my period experience. This period post is dealing with Dad. I have a loving father who has always been supportive of me. But, I will say it was kind of odd having to admit that he found out I had menstruated for the first time.

I remember it was a couple of days after I had received my first period. I had to take a shower in the morning and he came in to remind me to take one. After he told me that my mother had informed him of me receiving my period. I shot up out of bed asking him how he found out. It was early in the morning and he told me that my mom had told him.

IMG_9645I do admit it was a little embarrassing. I mean, my mom is a woman and my dad is a man. I didn’t tell him at all that I had menstruated for the first time. My mom is the one who had told me what a period is. I never had the talk with my dad. But, never the less my dad had found out.

You see, the problem I had with my dad finding out about my period is that he never had one (biology I know). I didn’t know how to talk to him about it. I was told it was a “women thing.” When I traveled with him, I didn’t want to tell him about it. When it comes down to buying sanitary products, I depended on my mom to get them. I never looked to my dad. I never depended on my dad for a product like this.

IMG_6633.JPGBut, never the less there have been times when my dad has realized that I am menstruating. When he notices he doesn’t judge me. He doesn’t look at me funny or weird. He just doesn’t bring it up. Ultimately, I was worried about my dad finding out about my period because of these feelings I had.

While I am thankful to have a dad who is supportive and understanding during “my time of the month,” but there are problems I still remember encountering. How do I tell my dad I need to take an extra long shower? How do I let him know that I need Advil? How do I tell him I need “products” when we were on vacation together? When I was a teenager, these were the questions that I would have to ask myself.

The only way I was able to overcome this was by learning to trust my dad. I had to learn to trust that he would be understanding. Now that I am an adult, I don’t need to depend on my dad for such things. But, when I was younger in high school and middle school I had to learn to trust my dad for help in those situations. I was able to confidently confide in my dad when when I needed something for my period. It didn’t happen often, that much I will admit. But, trust was the main factor.

The moment my dad told me that he knew that I had my period it felt off. I didn’t understand why my mom had told my dad about this. But, I did learn why, quickly, when I was in a situation and my mom was not home. You see, there is no real easy way to deal with dad. In fact, that one of the reasons this post is coming later than I expected. I never talked with my dad about my period. But having a dad who had no problem telling me he knew about me menstruating for the first time helped break the ice.

IMG_6771There is no easy way to close out this blog post. My dad and I do have a close relationship. I do understand there may be confusion and awkwardness for letting your dad know that you are menstruating. I went through it and I am pretty sure every girl has gone through it. There is no easy way to say how to deal with your dad on your period. Everyone is different when it comes down to letting a man know about your period, even if it is your dad.

Period End of Sentence Documentary Review

This past Sunday the Oscars were on television. The coveted award that so many dream about winning had graced across our screens. But, the one part of the Oscars this year that grabbed my attention was the winner for Short Documentary. The winner was Period. End of Sentence on Netflix took home the golden statue.

I had heard about this documentary a couple of weeks ago from a friend who knows that I am blogging about my period experiences. She encouraged me to watch the quick twenty-five minute film on Netflix telling me that I wouldn’t be disappointed. Lets just say I wasn’t, the whole reason why I am blogging about my period is based on research I had read about in India.

The movie starts off asking young girls about menstruation in a small town in India. When the men are asked about menstruation they talk about it like it is a disease. There are stories from young girls and women who leave school because they are ashamed of bleeding. These women did not have the proper access to sanitary products until a man came in making pads for them.

When the women were introduced to pads for the first time they were completely entranced. They went into the factory to see how they are made. They asked questions about pads and their function for periods. The look of shock and awe came across some of their faces as they realized that they could use something that wasn’t just a rag.

Before the movie had ended several of these young women had mentioned the new access to period products had given them a new sense of independence. The filmmakers then went into Delhi to discuss the production of pads for young women who are just starting to bleed for the first time. The message they have across the men and women featured is hope that the usage of pads will encourage young women and girls to do what want during their period.

Watching Period End of Sentence reminded me of why I am blogging about my period. I have received some backlash regarding writing about it after noticing a woman being harassed. The more I think about it, I realize that this particular happened a little over a year ago. Since then I have been reading stories from women around the world who have similar stories to the young girls and women in this documentary. Period End of Sentence justified my reason for continuing to blog about my menstrual cycle.

Photo link: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6939026/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

 

The Tampon Terror

IMG_8974.JPGFirst off, this is not a post about how bad tampons are. This is a post about the first time I used a tampon. The usage of a tampon is one that was nerve racking to me. I had thoughts flutter through my mind whether or not it will be able to keep all the blood in. I was hoping that it would not leak and stain my pants. I remember wearing a pad for safety.

So, here is the story, I was fourteen years old and I told my mom I wanted to try tampons. It was summer with one of my favorite activities being swimming. A tampon is one option I wanted to use because I did not want to use a pad as it would fill up with water. In preparation for my period coming in the summer my mom went out and bought tampons.

IMG_8976.JPGWhen I got my period I got it at night, therefore I could not use a tampon then. The next morning my mom and I went into the bathroom to use the tampon. I remember being nervous and scared because of how tampons work. I actually got cold feet and chickened out that day.

The rest of the day I would sit outside by the pool wearing a bathing suit and shorts. I began to think to myself what would the harm be in trying a tampon out? My friends had used tampons before and they like them. I talked with my mom later that night and decided the next morning to go for it.

IMG_8971.JPGAfter a restless night filled with anxiety and cramps morning came. I met my mom in the bathroom with the tampons ready to try. I was nervous, but decided to go with it. I asked my mom to leave the room for privacy. After telling me that she would be right out the door in case I needed her. She left, and I read the instructions on the box a couple of times. My mom had knocked on the door to check on how I was doing.

IMG_8973.JPGIt was then that I put in my first tampon. I remember feeling strange because it didn’t hurt once it was inside. Before I walked out of the bathroom, I put a pad on for safety as this was my first experience. The rest of the day I jumped in between going swimming and not swimming.

I had a timer set to remind me when it was time to take the tampon out. I remember reading the instructions multiple times about when to take the tampon out. I put a piece of tape on the end of the little white string to remind me it was there for when I used the bathroom. I know the timer part sounds a little weird, but it was my first time using one and I didn’t want to get sick.

The usage of a tampon for the first time was a nerve racking and strange right of passage to me. After I got comfortable within my period and using tampons I stopped using the pad for safety, although the first couple days when it is heavy I tend to rely on pads. The first tampon experience was a bit terrifying, but once I got used to using them they were not so bad.

The First Period Experience

IMG_9004.JPGThe next piece about the menstrual experience will be focusing on the first period I had. The day that my body decided it was time to transition from childhood to adulthood. I remember the details and the day exactly as it was my sister’s 10th birthday. I remember the doctor telling me the week before that I would most likely not get my first period until summer. Well, my sister’s birthday is in February, so I was a little taken off guard when I got it. So, here is the story.

IMG_7251.JPGI woke up the morning on a cold February day in 2002. I had a weird feeling in my stomach and didn’t feel like eating breakfast, but I ate anyway and felt better. My dad dropped me off at a friends house to catch the bus. The rest of the morning I was feeling odd and sick. I didn’t know what was going on at the time.

It was not until I was heading to gym class and used the bathroom. There it was all over my purple Limited Two underwear. My period! I had looked at it confused and thought is this my period. But, then I thought back to my annual physical where my doctor had told me that I would most likely get my period in the summer.

IMG_9518.JPGThe rest of the day I sat through my classes wondering if this was my period or something else. I knew what a period was, but I honestly thought it would come in a few months. I remember my mom telling me you will have your period when your body is ready. The rest of the day was like a blur until the day had ended.

My mom is a school teacher, so at the end of the day the bus driver dropped me off there. Feeling a little sick and uneasy I went to my mom who was talking with another teacher. I asked her to step aside and told her I thought I had received my first period. When I showed her my period she told me it was really my period.

IMG_9617.JPGA sense of relief had broken over me as I was expecting mother nature to make her first appearance in June, not February. I felt happy and sad at the same time. I felt embarrassed that this had happened. I didn’t tell anyone else except my mom that I had menstruated for the first time.

That night I went home to celebrate my sister’s birthday with my family. I went to bed after taking Advil for cramps (which were the small stomach aches) with my period for the first time.

The Reason to “Period” Blog

img_8475Here it is, my first post about the menstrual experience. There is a reason that i am doing this to write about my period. There are many woman, including myself, who have experienced a sense of period shaming at one point or another.

A couple of months ago I was out shopping and noticed two men snickering and laughing at a woman who was buying tampons. I do not know if she noticed them, but I sure did. In the past, when I have been out shopping for tampons and pads I have experienced the stares, glares, and laughter from others. This does not happen all the time, but there tends to be a stigma surrounding woman when they are spotted buying something for a “problem” that is completely natural.

IMG_9603.JPGYes, that is right a problem. There are parts of the world where a period is viewed as a problem. I had a friend who had worked overseas in Uganda where young girls stayed home while they were menstruating. There are countries in Asia, like Indonesia and Taiwan where women are recommended to go on an unpaid medical leave. Imagine being told you can’t come to work for a full week because of something completely natural.

A period is a sign of womanhood. It is something that cannot be controlled. There tends to be a stigma that comes down to women and their period. In television shows there are jokes when a period is mentioned by name and tiptoeing around when in dialogue to avoid saying it. Ultimately, the “problem” that happens once a month for women should be accepted, not mocked and/or shamed.

Three Kings Day

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January 6th is the twelfth and final day of Christmas. On this day the Three Wise Men reached the manger where Jesus lay with Mary and Joseph. Today is the day of the Epiphany! A day for rejoicing as the three gifts were given to the Son of God and the Prince of Peace.

Being a Mermaid

IMG_1496.jpgWinter is a very cold season for us all. It leads to us staying inside not wanting to leave the house because of the snow and ice. There are many who don’t get fresh air and choose to binge watch Netflix and HBO. Ultimately, winter is a season that, for me, can be depressing.

A new way I found to be warm and feel better during this cold season is using a new mermaid blanket. When I put this blanket on I forget some of the problems I had. There are fins for both my feet in this pink sparkly blanket.

IMG_1495.jpgI know it sounds like playing dress up, but I recently just got the mermaid blanket. The warmth and joy it provides during this dreary season is something that I love. It puts a smile on my face even though I am just pretending to be something I am not. It sounds like dress up, but when you can’t go outside and Netflix or HBO doesn’t cooperate with you becoming a mermaid, for me, is the perfect fit.

Cheers to 2019

IMG_9466.JPGA couple of days ago a new year started. Many people are going out there claiming new year new me. They are making resolutions about losing weight, making new friends and learning new skills. For me I don’t have really a resolution for 2019. I don’t view a new year as a new start to anything. But, I do plan on making changes and switching things up a bit with my blog.

Something new I am planning on blogging about is my period. Over the last couple of years I have heard about period shaming around the world. There are countries like Nepal and India where women are encouraged, sometimes forced, to leave their home for the duration of their menstrual cycle. There are stories of girls as young as twelve being sexually assaulted as they are being forced to sleep out in the open away from the comfort of their home. A friend of mine introduced to me to this problem world wide telling me that she was brought to tears by their stories. There is no reason for a woman to be shamed because her body is doing something completely natural.

I do hope to do some blogging more as in 2018 I took some time away. This year I hope to reconnect and expand on my blog through commenting and taking the courses offered by WordPress. Cheers to 2019! Hopefully, it is a great one for all.

New Year’s Eve

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Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! Out with the old and in with the new as a whole new year starts. I hope you all stay safe tonight. I will be staying home to watch the ball drop at midnight.

Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas!!! I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends. The season of giving is almost over in the cold of December. A day to finally relax and enjoy each other.

However, I hope you don’t forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. Remember today is the day we honor the birth of Christ. Away in a manger in Bethlehem He was born to Mary. All who was there to celebrate were farm animals and Joseph. The Three Kings had begun their trek to see the baby in the manger. The Star in the sky shown bright to announce the birth of Gods son in a most humble birth.

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“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:10-2:14