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Bridget’s First Period Story

Welcome to First Period Stories, the LOLA series where members of the LOLA community share the story of getting their first period. These accounts are funny, sweet, and sentimental, but all speak to a shared first period experience. Here is Bridget’s First Period Story: 

I got my first period when I was 11 and, actually, I wanted it a lot earlier than that. During middle school, all of the girls had their periods before, so I thought I was weird. So I actually prayed to get my period. I knew that if I got my period, then I was officially a woman. Because I was so embarrassed I didn’t have it, I kind of made up this lie that I had a red dot on my panties and I thought, “Okay, that’s your period, right? It’s a red dot. That’s a period.” So, I bragged to all my girlfriends at the time. I ended up not having it for another year and then finally when I actually did have it, I did have weird cramps. I took my pants off and I saw, obviously, the red sea of death. And I’m yelling at my mom, “Mom! Mom! I got my period!” And she is ecstatic because she is a traditional African woman, and the moment that her daughter has her period, bam, she can bring out a baby. She runs from her kitchen with her phone and she’s yelling in joy and happiness. She goes, “Alright, wait right here.” I’m literally sitting on the toilet with this blood spilling out. I’m Ghanian. So in Ghanian culture, you boil an egg for your first born daughter. It’s kind of weird, where you release an egg and then you boil one to actually eat. So, my mom boiled an egg and made me eat it. Egg in Twi is pronounced kosua. So she’s like, “You must eat this kosua! You’re finally a woman!” I eat it. My mom’s rejoicing and she’s happy. And, because my mom’s a really big woman, the only pads she has are thick maxi pads to hold the flow. To this day, I would say that I’m really upset that Bridget at the time wanted it because now, it’s like, it’s not a nuisance, but I would love to go a couple years without having to worry about my period, you know?

But back then, it was a big sort of, “I’m a woman,” kind of deal.

And that was my first period story.

Share your own first period story below!

  • My twin had hers first. I also had an older sister (7 years wiser). When I got mine, I went to them because I felt more comfortable that they’d guide me properly. They couldn’t wait to tell me what to do. 🙂

  • I lived with my grandmother. I woke up for school and saw blood in my underwear. I knew what it was, but I didn’t know how to tell her so I went downstairs, where she was watching TV, and I just showed her. She didn’t really say anything, she got up and gave me a pad. It was an incontinence pad, so it was very large. I was 11, in 6th grade, and it was earth day. I went to school and in one of my classes, I sat in the back row with my friends. This might seem silly, but it was “cool” to lean your chair back against the wall during class. My friend noticed that I was sitting properly and she gave me a look like, what’s up with you? I was so afraid if I leaned back in my chair, the pad would leak like a sponge!

  • I got my first period when I was 13. I was at boarding school and I came out of the bathroom yelling in the hallway of my dorm that there was blood on my underwear. When my RI (residential instructor) saw the blood, she confirmed what I already knew. I laughed because I was so excited to be a woman. I consider myself lucky for knowing in advance because my sister thought she was dying when she got hers because our mom never talked to us about it. I consider my period an inconvenience now.

  • I’m Ghanian as well. My mom was at work when I got mine but when she came home, she boiled the egg and also made eto which is another traditional meal to have when you have your first period. Good memories!

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