I’ve had my share of embarrassing stories when it comes to, uh, women things. I never thought I’d top my first period story, but then yesterday happened.

I got my period for the one billionth (third) time since Annabel was born. I don’t know what the deal is, but this time has been especially rough. Cramps so bad that I was breaking into my c-section stash of ibuprofen and it was barely making a dent. Unfortunately, I had a lot to do so I couldn’t just curl up on the couch with a heating pad.

Mike’s mom is in town, so we met up with her for dinner. We had a leisurely meal, talking and passing Annie around. After we were done, his mom walked the two blocks back to her hotel, and Mike, Annie and I walked through the outdoor mall back to our car. We were about halfway down the block when I suddenly realized I was literally three seconds away from a massive tampon fail.

At this point, I knew I could do only one of two things. I could turn around and walk the half block back to the restaurant and use their bathroom, allowing the entire mall to see that I had my period, or I could improvise.

I chose the latter, and before Mike even knew what was happening, I pulled him and Annie into the nearest store. I quickly fashioned a barrier of a clothes rack, Annie’s stroller, and Mike, and then I reached into my bag, pulled out one of Annabel’s diapers…and shoved. it. down. my. pants.

Mike saw what I was doing and said, “are you PEEING? In the ADIDAS STORE?!?!”

Luckily, when I explained what happened he was sympathetic. And also completely grossed out.

As for me, I’m traumatized. But at least I can now curl up with my heating pad without Mike giving me a hard time.