It’s not like periods were something that were evil in my household. It had been brought up, but my mom and I never really sat down to talk about it – she preferred to give me those little puberty books (remember those?), which I read cover to cover a million times, so when it first came, I knew what was happening. Plus, I was fourteen years old! So I had the benefit of seeing all my friends get it and how they dealt with it.
My first period came November 20, 2002. My father was driving me home from school and I just suddenly really felt like I had to pee. When I got home, I didn’t have to pee but instead saw my time had finally come. When my mom saw, she smiled, sighed “Aww!!”, and hugged me. Later, I heard her talking – and I was the only other one in the house. I thought, “She is NOT -” then I picked up the other house phone. She was. I heard her talking to my aunt, who was saying, “Aww, hopefully she doesn’t get any pain!!!”
Half an hour later, my aunt showed up at my house with flowers for me. I appreciated it, but didn’t know why she’d brought them – I had only heard everyone in my life talk about how horrible periods were. The next day at school, my best friend hugged me, “Congratulations, you’re a woman!” (This turned out to be almost the extent of positive feedback.) My other classmates would hug me and just say, “Tampons are so much better.” That afternoon, my aunt took me shopping for girl products. We went to Target’s feminine hygiene aisle and she showed me the different kinds of girl stuff – pads, tampons. She showed me the accessories, like sanitary wipes (always handy!).
For the next eight or nine years, I alternated between pads and tampons. But mostly I used pads because tampons were just so much work to me! Just the task of inserting them was so daunting, and ever since the first time I used a tampon, the sight of it when I took it out made me want to cry.
Not even a year ago, I saw some representatives from Instead Softcup giving out samples at my college. I’d read about menstrual cups before and always wanted to try them. I took one of the little packets they handed me and read everything in it a few times over, then went on the site and watched the videos (it helps to be well-educated)! The next time I got my period, I pushed aside the pads and tampons and instead took out the little SoftCup sample bag.
It’s going to sound like they’re paying me (they’re not), but it was the best decision I ever made! I barely even felt like I had my period. I was able to wear everything I usually wear (no more “period panties”!). Nothing is coming out and hits the air, so you don’t get the menstrual smell. And it’s completely safe. There’s absolutely no risk of TSS because the cup collects, not absorbs. And they’re so convenient – the long wear-time ends up saving you money in the long run.
Ever since that first time I used a Softcup, I have used nothing else. I threw out all the tampons and pads. I’ve told every woman in my life about it, and even converted some!
Not so long ago, after reading this poem called “Imagine A Woman”, I decided to be a woman who loves her body and everything it does. (And you be comfortable with those most intimate parts of you in order to use these things because they require you to touch yourself!) And when you think about it, there is nothing horrible about our cycles. Consider what it’s in preparation for – our bodies do so many incredible things when making a miracle, and because we see our bodies change every month, we know when it’s coming!
And I am so glad girls and women today have You ARE Loved. It’s amazing in bringing awareness to alternative products, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned from this site about my body, TSS, and my safety when it comes to my own body.
Menstruation is a beautiful and amazing thing, ladies. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise.