The time was 15:00hrs and the sun was high. It was a welcome warmth from the moody weather that had been prevalent all day. I was walking with my girlfriend in town and everyone was staring at us we laughed loud with reckless abandon. Money was tight from the festivities and January bills, still is. It’s just how every year begins for spendthrifts.

We walked into a hotel to use the washroom. You don’t have to pay for a washroom in this city. Hold your head high and strut your stuff into a sweet scented washroom. As I settled to do my business I noticed I had a guest. That sucked as I don’t like surprises. Nevertheless I was planned so I unwrapped a tampon and went on as if nothing had changed.

After like two hours doing things women do (window shopping), we hugged and said our goodbyes. A few minutes later as I walked to the bus station my legs felt heavy, my lower abdomen ached and my back was on fire. At least that’s how I felt at that moment. I had to pass through the supermarket. I digress, Fresha Dairy Milk what were you trying to do blinding us with an extra 50ml for the same cost. Yes that’s really great and all but the milk went bad after just two days, even in the fridge. I boiled some one morning and water and cream divorced because they couldn’t take the heat. Get a pastor to bless your union Fresha. As I got into the bus the music was too loud it gave me an instant headache.

I alighted and walked into the supermarket. I picked 6 packets of milk, 2 liters of juice, 4 cupcakes, 8 pack tissues, drinking chocolate, a 50gms jar of jam and four samosas. This cost me ksh 1,200 that’s so much money for such few items our economy has gone to the dogs. Did you notice my four samosa’s?  I ate them all and still ate dinner. At the supermarket my abdominal pain had intensified seven times but I still stood there like the woman that I am. I stumbled out to buy some fruits and vegetables. A quarter a watermelon went for ksh 250, damn! After the damage to my wallet I walked into the chemist and bought ibuprofen as the last item and got into a taxi.

When I got home the pain had intensified ten times and all I wanted to do was lie on my bed and wake up after 24 hours. I couldn’t do that as I had guests staying over. I quickly unpacked and put some water to boil. As the water boiled I swallowed an ibuprofen, it looked like a horse pill and its sheer size scared me. I made a mental note to never buy them again. Thank God for whoever discovered ugali. I made some ugali, greens and beef. In about 30 minutes I was done. I cooked through the pain if you must know.

I took a hot shower to help ease the pain and alleviate my exhaustion. The shower and the horse pill worked wonders. As I grow older my menstrual pains seem to get more intense or I get no pain at all. I have seen a gynecologist on the same don’t worry, I care about my health.I watched an episode of “How to Get Away with Murder” and retired to bed.

At around 23:30hrs intense stomach cramps woke me up. I went to the washroom and sat on the toilet for about 20 minutes. Nothing was coming out really but I just sat there anyways. I crawled back to bed with the same stomach cramps. I stared at the ceiling for a little over an hour willing the pain away. I didn’t want to abuse painkillers so I waited the pain out. I gave up and swallowed another horse pill. In about two hours I was up again with the pain. It had never happened that way before as I was up two more times before morning. At 5:00 am, my alarm went off and I groggily crawled out of bed. I took a quick shower, made breakfast and faced another day like a soldier.

I had no pain the following day so I didn’t swallow any pill but I had them with me. I remembered how my friend once described gall stones. He said, the closest thing a man can ever get to understanding labor pains is gall stones. My father’s phone call interrupted my thought process and he handed my mother his phone just after saying hello. Do your parents do this or it’s just mine? We chatted a bit and I was left with a feeling of so much love and gratitude for my mother. I flashed back at the straight talk magazines I read growing up. My mother would religiously bring me a stack every Friday as she left work. These magazines taught me all about womanhood. School, society and my mum all played a huge role but I still remember how detailed straight talk magazines were. I read them even before I started my periods, my mother was covering her bases well I must add.

Period pains might be nothing to you but as scattered as they are, when I get them they remind me of the woman I am. They are a sign that my MINI ME’s aren’t filling any football team slots yet but when I am ready I will be on the bleachers cheering them on. All mother’s out there I respect you, you have endured period pain and more. Every day I know there are so many other women like me who don’t know whether this month the guest will come with pain or not. If she comes with pains what will be the intensity?

When I have this guest there are certain things I can’t do even if the state threatened to hang me. I can’t wear whites and I can’t swim. A week or so before she arrives sometimes I get as moody as an HR officer, other times I am a ray of sunshine I feel like I pee and shit rainbows. I never know what to expect most times. She is a guest who brings nothing, she just comes to bore a hole in your wallet. You must part with at least Ksh 300 every month for pads or tampons. She is the most welcome unwelcome guest and every woman has a place in her heart and home for her. We all love to hate her.

My friend Kenny Kaburu runs a foundation that gives sanitary towels to high school students every term. It’s called Straight Talk Foundation. Yes that’s right, the straight talk my mother used to get me. Do you see the coincidence? They do this so that the girls don’t have to miss school during their periods. They are working on setting the dates and organizing the whole thing. They just don’t dish out pads and walk away. There are talks also involved to educate girls just like the way I learnt from the magazines. You and I can help them reach more girls. Once everything is set I will let you of how you can help.

Happy New Year good people, it’s still okay to say that right?                     DSC_0036[1]