Holy Embarrassing Batman
I write a lot on here about my shame struggle and journey. Really, it is the only thing I write about currently. While I think it is important, I also don’t think it is all I have to talk about. So today I am gifting you with my most EMBARRASSING story of all time, and it happens to feature Pope Francis.
**Disclaimer** If you are a male reading this and you are not married and/or have many sisters you may not want to read any further as my mortification involves something that happens to women monthly. If you continue reading do so at your own risk.
Being married to a Catholic Worship Artist provides for many interesting opportunities. Many of them are incredible. One such opportunity was getting to go with an amazing group of people to have a private audience with the Pope in Rome.
As it turns out the day we have an audience with the Pope is the same day I have an audience with one of my most epic periods. I was expecting it to be heavy, my period after my third child had been crazy, but let me do a slight spoiler here and say my expectations did not meet reality. But hindsight is 20/20 and back then I thought I had a plan.
Right before we were told we were going to be loading up on the bus I used not only a Super Plus Tampon, but a Maxi Pad and a large wad of toilet paper, because I wanted to be prepared. We get on the bus, but as in any large group, not everyone was on time. When we finally started rolling I was a little nervous but I figured I could dash into the bathroom once we got to the Vatican before we met with Pope Francis just to check on things.
When we got to the Vatican we were ushered down a private hallway with security, and there was no bathroom in sight. I certainly did not want to annoy the security detail or miss the Pope so I just sat in my seat and hoped for the best. The crazy thing was we got to go to a private reception room and sit in a circle and listen to Pope Francis for like an hour. We were in a small room in two rows of chairs in a circular shape with Pope Francis, his secretary and his translator. It was beautiful. We ended by singing together and of course a photo-op.
As we got up to take the photo I asked Matt if he could see anything. I knew I was bleeding pretty profusely at this point and I REALLY did not want to meet the Pope with a giant period stain on my dress. He told me I was fine and we got this amazing photo. It was wonderful. I found Pope Francis to be funny and kind. He exuded peace and was quite simply incredible.
After we left the room I KNEW I had to go to the bathroom. This was not a drill it need to happen.But, we were ushered onto the bus and so I had to hope we were close to the restaurant. We weren’t. When we pulled up I looked at Matt and said- “We have to be first off.” He nodded, not knowing what was happening, and got up and off immediately. I got up looked down at my seat and saw a giant pool of blood.
I start trying to wipe up blood with my new scarf, crying quietly while also trying to hide the fact that I have a huge period stain on my light pink dress. Two women helped me try and clean up and sent their husbands to find Matt. A sweet lady, bless her heart, whispered to me as she passed- “Dear I think you bled through your dress.” She did not see what I was mopping up on the seat, but I just said thank you and carried on.
Finally Matt got back to me, and let me use his suit jacket to cover the back of my dress as we exited the bus. We made it home without any further disasters and as soon as I got to the hotel I called my mom in tears. She mercifully saved her laughing for after our phone call and commiserated with me. Like Matt she pointed out that if this was going to happen it could not have happened with a more understanding group of people. I calmed down, rinsed out my dress and Matt and I set off on our own for a lovely dinner.
We actually had an amazing dinner and I had finally calmed down by the time we started our walk back to the hotel. I figured I could go to bed and try and forget about this day. OF COURSE, as we were walking up to the hotel lobby the two buses of our group pulled up to the doors. Someone spotted us and shouted over the crowd, “Matt! Kristin! Where did you guys go? You weren’t at dinner.” I had yet to find the funny in my situation so I quietly excused myself and let Matt handle all the apologies.
It took about a month for it to be funny to me. I think it is a good story to have for when my daughter has to go through her first bleed-through experience. “Oh Gym Class? Cool cool. Mine was at the Vatican.” Hopefully if she can laugh at my story she will be able to laugh at her own. There is always a silver lining right?
Next blog post we will go back to our regular scheduled shame talk. Thanks for sharing in my embarrassment.