I was a "late bloomer", so by the time my 13th birthday came and went and my first period had yet to arrive, my older sister was already away at college, and my mother was pregnant with my youngest brother. No one had ever had "he talk" with me, and from what I had heard from my girlfiends I had decided I was better off without it!
As the time drew closer to my 14th brithday and still no monthly visitor, I became worried... What is wrong with me? Why wasn't everyting happening as they said it would in health class? I began to search on my own. There wasn't any Google or Ask.com back then, so I sought answers in Judy Blume novels, encyclopedias and thick health text books, until I stumbled across a weathered copy of Ina May Gaskin's "Spiritual Midwifery" on my moms bookshelf.
I fell in love with that book and the beautiful stories that were woven into each page with respect and admiration. That book showed me myself. It opened my eyes to the beautiful vessels of life that we women are. That summer, a month and a half shy of my 14th birthday, on a humid night adorned with a full moon, my cycle started. I was elated, not apprehensive. Proud, not petrified.
My mother showed indiference when I told her my exciting news, but I could not be dismayed... I knew the power and the purpose behind this blood, and what it would mean for my future.
When I gave birth to my first child, my only daughter, I made a promise when I looked into her eyes; I will arm you with knowledge and information so that you may know yourself, know what to expect, and embrace and love who you are.
Her 10th birthday is next month and we have already had "the talk:, it is a part of our regular conversations. I am a childbirth educator, doula and an aspiring midwife, and the facts of life are everyday occurences that I don't hide from my daughter, I share with her openly and honestly, so that she may know the wisdom that we women carry in our abilities to bring forth life!