Blood and it was more that a few drops. I was certain that I was dying. There was no other explanation. I was nine years old and no reason why blood was on my underwear. I was visiting my friend Lana on the farm. Lana was still sleeping because we had been up late. I retrieved a clean pair from my suitcase. I layered toilet paper on the undies in case I bled some more. I washed out the soiled skivvies and decided to go to the kitchen.
Mrs. D was alone when I asked to call my parents. She queried why and I was evasive. Since it was long distance phone service she kept pestering me. I finally admitted that I was bleeding. As a former nurse she was concerned and asked where. I wouldn’t tell her. I was embarrassed to admit that my private parts were bleeding. She frowned and was a bit irritated. Then, she figured it out, and her eyes lit up. Grinning widely she chuckled, gave me permission, and requested to speak with my mom after I was done talking.
I called my mom and stretched the phone cord into the living room to explain that I was bleeding between my legs. She said that I was now a young lady. How could that be? I was too young. My older sisters didn’t start their menses until they were 13 or 14. I was crushed. I slumped at the kitchen table and handed the phone to Mrs. D. She smiled and laughed as she spoke to my mom and said that she would take care of the situation. I was scared that I’d be sent home early.
Instead, I was given a pad and safety pins. In the 1970s we used menstruation pads that were about a half an inch thick and were pinned to your underwear. It felt like you were walking with a deck of cards between your legs. The safety pins always tore the undies and the pads leaked. I had cramps and was not a happy camper. Mrs. D gave me a couple aspirin and a supply of pads. Her oldest daughter, Laura, hadn’t even started her period, yet. Of course, Lana’s whole family found out and the school upon our return to class. I was mortified and the first girl in my class to start puberty. Not a positive distinction. The mean kids taunted me with cries of Bloody Mary whenever I was near.
A couple months earlier I journeyed to another school and was ushered into a gym filled with older girls. The junior high health teacher talked to us about blossoming into young ladies. We watched a slide show which explained that puberty would make us grow taller, our voices become higher, hair protrude, and we would bleed. I had three older siblings who had already made the transition. I knew that the “monthly friend” was neither welcome nor friendly. I was in fourth grade but my mom wanted me to attend the slide show because I kept asking about my hormonal moody sisters. The slide show stated that girls don’t start their period until after the age of 12 so I had many years to wait. Ha-ha-ha.
Well, its 30+ years later and I’m still bleeding. Approximately 420 irritating cycles. The only exception was when I was pregnant for a few months. I miscarried during the first trimester. A few months ago I experienced my normal 5-day period and then it started again. Two weeks of yuck. This month is was normal except for a one day extra bleed. I guess that menopause has begun. Sad not to have experienced a full-term pregnancy and childbirth. I never met anyone that I wanted to have kids with and I refuse to be a single parent. Kids deserve two caring adults or a single adult with a supportive network. I have a network of friends but I don’t think that they would do well with kids.
Peruse other farm adventures posted February 8th. This is Part V of Dairy Farm Tails.
Men All Pause?
© 2012 Ima B. Musing