By Lisa Davis
Often when my period arrives I remember the line from the movie Clueless, when Cher says, “Mr. Hall, I was surfing the crimson wave. I had to haul *** to the ladies'.” This is probably because the movie came out the year I got my period, and that was one of the famous lines from it. Still to this day, my friends and I often joke and say, “I’m surfing the crimson wave.” as our way of notifying each other that ‘it’ has arrived. I also use it with my boyfriend, who is now my husband and the father of our sweet and beautiful two year-old daughter.
Anyway, I remember that moment very well when it finally arrived. I was twelve, and had been expecting it for a year. My mother got her period when she was eleven, my older sister also got her period when she was eleven, and my friends had started getting their periods. So naturally I expected mine would arrive on time at age eleven. But, by age twelve I was still waiting for it. I was convinced there was something wrong with my body. That it was broken, and I would never get my period.
I grew up in one of those families that put a lot of emphasis on family. Particularly that girls grow up, become women, get married, and then make babies. What was I to do if I never got my period? How could I make babies without it!? Even though my mother had assured me it would come, I decided it was time to talk with her doctor. My mother obligingly took me to see her, even after telling me that it was normal, and that I would definitely get it. The doctor said basically the same thing my mom had said, but I wasn’t convinced. I knew my body was faulty.
As it turns out they were right, and a few months after my twelfth birthday I finally got my period. The thing I hadn’t thought about was the fact that it would be with me for the next 40-50 years until menopause [editor’s note: menopause begins about age 51, with a range of 30-60 years of age.] If I had considered this, maybe I would have relaxed and have tried to enjoy my time before puberty a little bit more.
Now, at the age of twenty-eight, my periods are on a twenty-eight day cycle. I bleed for four days, and experience mild cramping sometimes, but mostly I just bleed. So, my period is on the mild side, I don’t experience PMS [editor’s note: PMS or premenstrual syndrome are symptoms associated with the menstrual period, i.e. cramping, fatigue, nausea, food cravings, and irritability.]. I exercise regularly and eat a well balanced diet, and I think that has a lot to do with my period health. When I started out I used tampons, but have moved onto the Diva Cup, which I have found to be more physically comfortable, and better for the environment. Of course the decisions are for you to make J.
I look forward to the time my daughter is grown, and the time arrives when she will start her period. I plan to keep the lines of communication open between us, and let her know she can come to me with anything, and count on me to be there for her; and, mainly to help her to make the right choices for herself. We live in a wonderful time when there are a lot of options available, you can choose what you want to use, whether it’s disposable pads or tampons, or cloth pads, or a cup. The choice really is yours to make. So, make the most of it!
About the author: Lisa Davis is a wife and stay-at-home-mom, who spends her time scrapbooking, cuddling with her daughter and reading her daughters favorite books to her. She and her husband enjoy spending time together as a family, visiting parks, relatives, and visiting their local museums.