I wrote a blog post, many lifetimes ago, for The Cranky Pumpkin. That was not my first blog. My first blog was Wendy the Cactus, the adventures of a neurotic, self-absorbed cactus, navigating the dating world of Los Angeles. Then The Cranky Pumpkin became my place to vent. But I digress!
In this blog post, I listed things that never get discussed in Jane Austen novels. Things like yeast infections and menstrual cycles. But now it is nearly 2018 and shit, people still rarely talk about those things. I still hide my tampons while walking to a public restroom.
I’m sick of it.
If we are going to have a world where women have all the information they need about maternal mood disorders, and dads understand that they can get postpartum depression as well, then we need to be open about all things feminine. Including the messy bits.
Oh man, my period has become an incredibly messy bit.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or because I made two babies, but my periods have gotten much worse the past few years. They definitely got worse after I had Pippa, but they stopped it up to an all new level since I had Julian.
I don’t know if this is my body’s way of telling me that something is wrong or if this is just life. I’m not worried that I have a serious illness, but I have no idea if intense periods indicate a nutritional deficiency that I could easily correct. I feel like this is something I should have learned in junior high school. It would have been much more helpful than learning how to calculate the hypotenuse of a triangle (which did not even make sense at the time I was learning it).
Day 2 has always, always, always been the worst day of my period. My friends can relate. They all know what I mean when I say it’s Day 2. But pre-pregnancy, even at its worst, I could still venture outside on that dreaded now.
That is no longer the case.
The past couple of months, Day 2 happened on a Sunday, so I just huddled at home, changing my tampons every hour – sometimes more – and still ruining multiple pairs of undies. This month, though, Day 2 falls on a Wednesday. I have to take Pippa to school, and then Julian and I have a toddler class that is celebrating the holiday season with a potluck. I really don’t want to miss the potluck. I love the ladies in that class, and we won’t be gathering again until January.
But I’m also less than thrilled to attend a potluck when my vagina is doing its best imitation of a medieval battlefield.
I’m not supposed to publish this post because, gasp!, a man might read it and then, horror of horrors, he might be offended. But this is a big part of my life. Every twenty-eight to thirty days, my ability to engage in regular activities is restricted because all the blood is rushing out of my lady bits and I am yet to find a tampon — super, industrial, mega, magical — that can handle the flow.
Just as I feel compelled to talk about postpartum depression in case it helps one mama, I also feel compelled to talk about my monthly “issue.” Maybe I’ll help one mama who is suffering from unnecessary because secrecy begets shame. But also, I’m doing this for me, because damnit, it just feels better to write things and hit ye merry olde Publish button.