“Don’t come in, it looks like a crime scene in here!"
This was a statement that a friend of mine made talking about one of her last periods. She was in the bathroom for a while, when her husband knocked on the door and asked if he could help her in any way because she had been taking so long. Her response to him was “do not come in here, it looks like a crime scene”. She said there was so much blood she didn’t know what to do with it all. With every wipe, more blood came. She was legitimately nervous the bleeding wouldn’t stop.
"Is this normal? Am I normal?"
These were questions she asked herself.
And so many of us women go through something similar to this situation. But do many talk about it? Some might, but there certainly aren't enough women talking about their period experiences.
Only recently did some of my friends start opening up about the horrors and frustrations they experience during their periods since giving birth. And I don’t know why now has been the time I’ve been hearing about so many of my friends' periods, but I do know I have been experiencing much of the same as what they are going through. So I was happy that not only one, but a few of my friends, have felt confident and safe enough to talk about what is happening to them during their periods. The stigma on speaking about periods is one that needs to be shattered. This is part of a normal process that women's body's experience monthly and should be something that more feel comfortable to talk about. And something that is more widely accepted to be spoken about.
“How could I be losing THIS much blood and still be okay?” This was something another friend of mine had said to me a couple weeks ago. I had no idea, but she also experiences extremely heavy flows.
“I didn’t even know what an Ultra was until a few months ago”. And yet another friend describing to me how heavy her period flows are and that she was leaking through her tampons. When one day, she was desperate for better coverage and discovered the Ultra size of tampons.
One of my friends witnessed the amount of blood she was losing during one of her periods and he was shocked! He reacted by asking "how are you still alive after losing that much blood?"
Women, are bodies are pretty miraculous, aren't they?! And we should be in awe of how powerful and wonderful they are. Not ashamed of the very thing that makes us the strong, beautiful beings that we are. I am trying to break down the stigma of periods being talked about it because I think it is something to stop being shy or embarrassed of. We should celebrate our monthly visitor. Okay, maybe not celebrate, because it can be a real bitch of a thing to deal with ... but you see what I'm saying!
Before I had my daughter, my period was consistent for 11 years. The birth control I was on for 11 years gave me regularity, consistently, and routine. I always knew what day my period was going to start, how heavy or light my flow was going to be and how long it would last. Every single month for 11 years, I knew!
Then I had my daughter.
Things seemed “normal” at first. And even once I finally got my period back, it seemed regular enough. Until one day, it wasn’t. Then the next month, it was different. And then the month after that, still different again.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had extremely heavy flow periods, to the point that I felt I needed to call my doctor to make sure everything was okay. I have leaked when I have been certain I have given myself enough “protection” to prevent a leak from happening. I have soaked through Ultra tampons in less than an hour. I have watched multiple clumps come out of me as I'm using the restroom. Some days, I have spent more time in the bathroom than anywhere else. On top of the heavy flows, I have no idea when my period is coming, how heavy or light it will be and for how long it will last.
I have reached out to my doctors so many times. They have run so many tests. But it is always worth it in the end to get the “all clear”. I will do it as many more times as I need moving forward as well. You should do the same if you feel it is necessary or something that will help bring you peace of mind.
My last period came 1 week after my previous period. It was extremely heavy for 5 days (I needed an Ultra all day every day of those 5 days) and it lasted a total of 10 days. I have no idea what or when is coming next. It can be very disconcerting. But when I talk about it with my friends, my "hood of moms", I feel better. I feel like I have the strength to go through another round of unpredictability. Because I know I am not alone. And I know I can rely on the support of other women who are going through the same thing.
It isn’t necessarily a comfortable topic to discuss. But I do feel it is something more women need to be open about. So that others don’t feel so alone. And so that others don't feel like something is “wrong” with them because their period flow is so heavy.
But do know that you are not alone. And keep up with your periods. Track and monitor them. And if something doesn’t feel or look right, please consult a medical professional.
Like I’ve said before, we are women ... we are warriors! And when all else fails, fall back on your hood of moms … because we should be sharing, supporting and encouraging each other always. We are momHOOD!!