I was holding my baby nephew close to my chest. He liked my singing, I believed it calmed his stormy zeal down at times. As he clutched into my neck, a poke of nausea got to me.
Quickly I handed him over to the closest person to me in the room, my mother, and ran upstairs, away from the crowd, to the bathroom.
Swiftly I pulled my hair back and threw up into the toilet. I hadn’t eaten much that day, just a donut, because I knew better to not eat on the first day of period. Then again, I was tempted by a donut and had it.
I grabbed a mouthwash and wiped away my tears. This will pass, I told myself, as it does every month, it will end. However, we women know the ugly truth to that comforting statement, that yes, it will end and start again in a few weeks time.
My T-shirt was drenched in cold sweats. My arms felt sore as I undressed myself and grabbed a towel, wrapping it around my hurting body.
Then I walked to the bed, crouching like the old witch of an evil queen from Snow White, except that I wasn’t, and lied down in my towel. Curled up like a cat.
The pain was excruciating, and I hugged myself in hopes that the warm embrace could help. Tears kept streaming down my face, and I was drenched in cold sweats and tears all over.
My mother called out to me from downstairs, and I told her I was fine. I wasn’t sure if she believed it and was just checking up on me, but she ran upstairs and found me naked and in pain.
So she rushed to my side and started massaging my back and my legs. It was a known method to massage a woman in pain during period. It should help.
And I lied there, waiting for the pain to go away, crying a little bit now that I unintentionally inconvenienced my mother.
“I am sorry.”
My mom repeated those words a few times and I thought I knew what she’d meant.
One thing I had always known since I was young, was that this painful period condition had been something my mother also had when she was my age. Like mother like daughter, I suppose. And perhaps she felt bad because if she’d inherited such pain to me monthly, what could she do to stop it?
I wanted to tell her it was okay, that I was alright, but words got stuck. I could barely say anything, but I hoped she understood.
But I just cried and cried because my uterus was twisting and squeezing me tight. And there was my mother, massaging and praying, calming the torment I was enduring.
After awhile, the pain stopped. It took some time, and when it was over, I lied there for a bit longer, then got up and got dressed.
Mother left me to go back to the family, and I took a nap for an hour.
When I returned, my nephew was still up and going, and he crawled to my side so that I could pick him up and sing him more songs.