In third grade all the girls in my class were sent home with a permission slip. But this "trip" didn't involve a big yellow bus and the boys weren't invited (at least, not yet). No, this trip was different. This was a trip through the glorious female reproductive system!
One afternoon after school we all shuffled down to the school library and sat cross-legged on the floor among the copies of Corduroy and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. The school nurse, who had previously only been seen for headaches and lice checks (and possibly that time I’d forgotten to wear underwear beneath my skirt and someone had noticed as we climbed the stairs…), stood in front of us with charts, posters and an assortment of “feminine products” and explained to us about our bodies and the beautiful changes they were to go through. I don’t recall the metaphors she used – although it undoubtedly involved butterflies – but I will never forget The Pad. The giant, diaper-like hunk of cotton with a series of sinister looking clips or buckles connecting it to a belt. A belt! I couldn’t imagine how I could squeeze that belt beneath my clothes (clearly I wasn’t sure I could even fit panties under them) and was certain that everyone would know when Auntie Flo came to visit. I wondered that afternoon if I would know when I got my period. And I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to find out.
20 years later and I’m still not sure if I know when I get my period.
In addition to the rest of our cornucopia of fertility issues, I have a wicked LPD. The spotting is random and plentiful. The month I got pregnant with my twins I started bleeding at 2dpo. A fun fact: in four pregnancies I have NEVER had a BFP before I started bleeding (and we wonder why I always assume I’m pregnant). I even had what amounted to a full period from 10-15dpo that month. So while bleeding is no mystery to me, AF is.
Imagine, at 29 years old, explaining to a nurse that you don’t know if you have your period. You might, but is it red enough? Does it “flow”? How can you start meds on CD3 when you have no idea what CD3 is?
I started spotting last Saturday. On Sunday I thought AF might’ve made her official appearance…but then she tapered off. Monday there were moments of the illusive “red flow” but they were sandwiched between hours of dry pantyliners. And today, Thursday, I still don’t know if I have my period. I’m just about to give up on trying to find it.
I deserve a medal for not POAS already.