Seeing changes on my body was not funny. It was so strange; I couldn’t imagine that I was beginning to really look like my mummy. The features I saw on mummy were beginning to show on me too. I felt so embarrassed. I couldn’t even tell mummy about it. What in the world was happening to me? Was this how it happened to mum? My goodness! I was so scared and confused. Little did I know that I was on the path to puberty.
What puberty is?
Puberty is when you start making the change from being a child to being an adult. What is responsible for these changes? How do they come about? At puberty, a girl’s ovaries start to produce hormones; Oestrogen and progesterone. The effects of these hormones are seen on the body as well as on the womb (uterus). So the changes are preparation for motherhood; that sounds scary right? Don’t worry. They cause breasts and hair growth, body change to that of a typical female, menstruation and also mood changes.
Handling the Changes
How do I handle this? I asked myself, I asked my friends in school to know if they were going through similar changes. Then I found out I was not the only one. Sigh of relief. So what do I do? I need to take care of these changes. By now I was more sensitive to boys around me. I wanted to appear attractive to them. Of course is all part of puberty. So I knew I needed to bath every day and keep clean, wash my underwear every day to avoid bad odours and to be confident.
The Pain of Menstruation
What about those mood swings? At a moment I felt like laughing, at the next I felt like crying. I wanted to be stable. Hmm, these changes must have really come to stay. Menstrual pain made me sick. I never looked forward to the experience. Could this be what the senior girls and the female teachers in my school talked about? Oh no! What do I do? So I started studying myself. I learnt that exercise relieves the pain. Hot water therapy (drinking hot water coffee or using hot water bottle on the tummy) also helps. Drugs can be used too but the drugs have side effects which I didn’t want to experience. So I would rather do exercises.
I became so conscious of the presence of boys around me. I started growing emotional feelings for them. But I had heard mum and some other elderly women say that if a girl comes close to a boy, she will get pregnant. Ha! I don’t want to get pregnant. I want to study; I want to become a professional whom everyone in the society respects. But does that mean I won’t talk to them? I want to talk to them. I want them to be my friends. I learnt that I can talk to them, they can even be my friends but I must be careful not to allow them touch my body anyhow. I must not be sexually involved with them. If not, my dream could get dashed.
Entering into the stage of puberty can be strange and embarrassing. However, it is a reality you must accept. You need to handle it properly so that you don’t look back at that stage and regret you did the things you did. Talk to mummy about the changes you see. Remember mum has passed through the stage. You can talk to aunties too. But make sure they are goodly ones. You will be helped.
As I grew, I learnt that I can talk to God about everything and anything. So I would tell God every month that I don’t want pain during my period he will answer me. Funny right? It works. Tell God about everything and he will help you.