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Anu’s First Period Day Turned Out to Be Sweet

HR professional Dhivya has her own business where she coaches people on soft skills and communication which are essential skills required to succeed professionally in today’s world. She’s busy in the mornings and evenings with her coaching. The job suits her since the office is a floor below her house so she can take care of her company – Confidence Learning and her daughter Anupama who has just gone into the 6th Standard.

Two years ago when Anupama was turning 9, Dhivya prepared her daughter who would enter her pre-teens stage for the uncertain time when she enters puberty. Being a communication specialist this new age Mom was upto this important task of preparing her daughter for her first period. That preparation came in useful for Anupama now as she has got her first period after lunch break suddenly at school. It was fortunate that the now ready to blossom young lady had her period kit in hand with her, it read ‘Be Calm and use Me’ .

The period kit had all the products Anupama required at this time to manage her periods. This was packed for her neatly by her mom, just like she packs her daughter’s lunch box with love, care and concern along with Mom’s blessings.

Anupama was calm, she knew that she has got her period and there was no reason for her to panic as she knew what to do and what to expect.

Her period kit had a underwear, few cloth panty liners,few cloth pads, a pouch and 1 zip lock bag( that would hold the foldable soiled pads), toilet tissue paper, instruction manual, calender card that had her favorite sports personality Geetha the Dangal wrestling girl in the background and Anupama’s favorite Chocolate.

She changed into a fresh underwear and placed the cloth pad appropriately so that it covers the region completely(top, middle and down) to ensure that there won’t be a leak until it gets full. She packed her changed underwear into the pouch and breathed easy. Then she relaxed eating her Amul Dark chocolate and paced a bit as she drank some more water.

Anupama was uncertain about her flow intensity, she was also worried about leaks, she would not know about it as she did not have eyes at the back, so she checked how her cloth pad held her period. It held well, it was comfortable and soft on her skin, it’s been 20 minutes since she put it on. She should do good till 2 hours at least, she would check every 45 minutes on her period.

Dhivya is a member of the Sustainable Menstruation Community . she
uses only sustainable products during menstruation – Menstrual cups, cloth pads and panty
liners so it’s natural that for her daughter she’s kept sustainable products that can all be
washed and reused.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Od0FZkfZrik&w=560&h=315]

Anupama ignored the discomforting uneasiness she felt in her abdomen and attended her maths class without bothering about her period, “it’s no big deal, I am a strong person”, she told herself. After her class got over, she checked on how her period was progressing.

Her period still held well, she felt clean and dry still. There was no sticking, and her skin was rash free.This was a relief for Anu. However, she felt drained and uneasy with anxiety and confusion on pad changing, her mind after every half hour wanted to check about the period in fear of leaks. She was sure it was better for her to go home. She informed her Mom and told her not to hurry, she would rest at school. As she waited for her Mom on the corridor shade she ticked the date of her first period, she
must keep track of her period every month and be equipped for it.

She informed her class teacher Hema that she’s going home because she was having a
uneasy time with periods and it did not appear that she can concentrate on classes right now. Hema maam was impressed with the maturity the 11 year old girl displayed in being so open about periods.

“My Mom said it’s a woman’s phenomenon and I need not be ashamed, scared or shy about it and every woman would understand this and support me when this time of my first period arrives even if it’s uncomfortable”, explained Anupama smartly when maam told her she’s
happy the girl has coped well in this situation.

“Soon I would get adjusted to this cycle because I have to”, Anupama continued as Hema
gave the girl the permission to go home patting the girl to relieve a little stress from the
period strain the young girl was experiencing.

There was a comic strip for Anupama in the kit as well, the moral of the comic strip story was
that it’s going to be ok even if cramps and discomfort trouble her during her periods. She was also told to keep a hand on her heart and say to her mind that “All izz well” and echo the lyrics from the 3 idiots song.

“Jab Life Ho Out Of Control, Honto Ko Karke Gol
Honto Ko Karke Gol, Siti Bajaake Bol…
Aal Izz Wel”

This brought a smile on Anupama’s face because she could see how much efforts her Mom
had put to ensure that her daughter has a fine, stress free first period day experience. Also her Mom uses “3 idiots” movie for teaching wisdom to students in her coaching sessions.

Dhivya arrived, though she wanted to arrive immediately that time she was counselling one of her students on how to face her first job interview tomorrow. She knew her daughter would be fine, she even put a painkiller ibrufin zipped in the kit so should her daughter get painful cramps, she can manage it.

She looked worried nevertheless, it’s her little daughter after all and even for mature woman periods can give a tough time. “My daughter has just got her period”, she expressed this to her student Latha after she finished attending her daughter’s phone call, “I am so proud of her that she did not panic!! Now similarly you don’t panic in your interveiw, be confident, show the positive attitude that you would learn and adapt to the job your going to do. Just enjoy and learn from these interviews. You don’t need to prepare like sick now, it’s not an exam. Also negotiate the salary for the job, show your value!!. All the best.”

Latha nodded her head and asked her coach in a concerned tone, she is very fond of
Anupama and it’s a shock for her only that the little girl has grown up, so she imagined it
would be a bigger feeling for a mom. “She knows what to do na?, she has no worry about
staining?”

“No, I have designed a period kit and she has good products that is most comfortable to use
on periods, unlike those burning, sticky and environment unfriendly plastic disposables.
Now, Latha, I would leave to pick my daughter, I am going to make her day happy. Good luck for the interview. You would do well in life weather you get through this interview or some other interview.”

When Dhivya reached  the school she hugged her daughter, “Your good Anu dear?”. Anupama nodded her head looking unhappy, she was feeling so uneasy and for a long time this period is going to be part of her life.

“Those ovaries have matured”, Anupama commented very disappointedly.

“Yup, yup, it’s a first milestone, you should be congratulated”, told her Mom in contrast cheerfully which did not lift Anu’s spirits. Noticing this, Dhivya said,

“Darling, it won’t feel so bad trust me, it’s just part of growing up. You would appreciate about this period’s biological significance when you want to become a mom”

“Mother!!”, Anupama was angry.

“Well…” she stammered and hugged her daughter again she was getting tears but did not want to show it to her daughter. For a mother also it takes a while to accept that her daughter is not a small child anymore but on the brighter side she is excited to be a mother to a adolescent girl to be soon. She is going to prepare her daughter for her adolescence from this day.

Dhivya put on a cheerful tone and announced, “Well, then first an ice cream because you deserve it.” Anupama told that she prefers to go home but her Mom told her it would not take a lot of time. Anupama changed her pad which held well but had lots of period discharge by now. She packed the soiled pad into her cloth pouch and went for her ice cream outing feeling much refreshed.

Dhivya played the “Don’t worry be Happy” song by Bobby Mcferrin during the car ride to make things light and happy.

Anupama wanted to sleep and yawned but she walked up to the Polar Bear ice-cream shop with Dhivya. There her sweet mother ordered for her mint-chocolate fudge ice cream and banana cake. Anupama understood that for some reason her mom wanted to make this day special though it was not her birthday.

“Will you do this next month when I get my next period”, Anupama asked for the first time enthusiastically.

“Nah, only now”

“Ohh”

“First period is only once, if you do something great, would give you treats and you would give me a big treat with your first salary, promise me that!!”

“Sure would”

Anupama’s mood grew light and she was enjoying her time. She already knew that when she’s irritated with periods she would do what entertains her besides resting. She would today prepare a song playlist for lightening up her mood with the 2 songs played today already in that list.

Dhivya ordered for a period panty for her daughter of the current right size. So on her next period Anupama won’t be so worried about staining as period panty was leak proof, it would absorb any leak in case the cloth pad got more flow than it can hold. This really made the coming period days worry free for Anu that she could wholeheartedly agree with the song “Don’t worry, Be Happy” by Bobby Mcferrin which goes –

“In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy

Because when you worry your face will frown and
that would bring everybody down
Don’t worry, be happy”

In times ahead at times Anupama felt that boys had things easier, what with breast development, wearing bras, experiencing period discomfort and premenstrual syndromes along with being careful in managing periods. However, her Mom is a cool woman who has managed all those issues successfully since years so inspired by her Anu was all set to be growing up as a smart, confident, strong proud young lady.

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