TMI Tuesday: Are you where you want to be in life?

I’m at this really weird age in life. 27. There’s no “umph” in 27. It simply means I’m far from 21 and I’m almost 30.

Oh, and for the record. I’m not one of those gals in her “almost 30’s” that is freaking out about turning 30. I will never lie about my age and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to live to see another year. Funny thing is, sometimes I wake up expecting to feel this grown up, age of 27 and….I don’t.

The 20’s are such a confusing time. Let’s backtrack to see how much my life has changed in just 7 years.

-I got my first credit card at 21.
-I graduated from college at 22.
-I spoke at my first conference at 25.
-I purchased my first car at 25.
-I started my own business at 25.
-I got a job in the career of my choice at 26.
-I got married at 26.
-I moved addresses, cities and states over 8 times.

I’m sure I’m missing something but those were what I would consider to be the “game changers”. The funny thing about this age is that sometimes I don’t feel like I’ve done enough. I feel like I should be further ahead in my career. I want to make more money. I want to travel more. I really want kids but at the same time I’m enjoying not having them right now. I went back and forth with deciding if I wanted to go for a Master’s degree. My 20’s has me so ambivalent about everything.

I’m still struggling with being happy with where I am in life. I keep reminding myself that I am on the road to creating a financially secure and happy life for me and my family. And while I do have things I need to work on, at least I KNOW I need to work on them. And at least I make an effort.

Which, I believe, is all you can do in life.

Anyone other 20-somethings that can relate? Or any of those who are older that can provide some advice for us?

What about you? Are you where you want to be in life?

TMI Tuesday: My weight and my insecurities

 Ugh. Calories annoy me. Seriously. Why do they have to be in EVERYTHING? Calories should really only be in things  that I can’t stand. Like pickles and olives. Yes, I’m beginning a post complaining. My bad, y’all. But what can I say? Talking about my weight kinda makes me sad. Because here’s the truth….

I will always be “watching my weight.” Yep. I am a beauty blogger and I am not ashamed to admit that I have my share of insecurities. And most of them deal with my weight.

I’ve been watching my weight for as long as I can remember. It comes in spurts. I’ll go months with being obsessed with working out and eating. Something will happen and the next thing I know, I’ve gained all of the weight I lost. It’s a tiresome cycle. But it’s one that I will be dealing with for the rest of my life. And it’s not for the shallow reasons like wanting to fit into a bikini (pshht, never happening) or trying to look “good” for someone. My health will always be an issue for me because I’ve got to keep a close eyes on my reoccurring high blood pressure. It’s stressful, y’all.

Most of last year was my “down” year. I worked out a bit but not as much as I should have. I would go weeks between running or heading to the gym. I’d tell myself that I was too busy or too tired. And because of that, I gained a whooping 20 lbs. My size 12’s got tight and I was forced into a 14. I would see a developing double chin in the mirror and that alone prevented me from doing as many YouTube videos as I should have been doing. Self-loathing ensued; an emotion that I always deal with when I notice myself gaining weight.

In the Fall of last year, I got serious about my weight loss again and so I’ve been actively going to the gym (3-6 times a week) and doing what I have to do to get back in those 12’s. I’m getting there. And I have to remember that I am human. We all backslide from time to time and I can’t always fall into these depressive slumps when I realize that I’ve gained a pound here or there.

Keeping an eye on my weight is a lifestyle for me. I can’t just eat a breadstick without knowing that I’ll HAVE to work out the next day. Yes, I’ll eat my favorite ginger snaps, but never in peace. For I know that unless I work those cookies off, the pounds will pile up. This is my life. This is the way it has to be.

I’ll never be skinny. And I’m okay with that. I don’t mind that my thighs rub together or that my DD’s require my having to wear TWO bras when I work out. I don’t hate my body. But do I want to be in optimal health so that I can be around to keep bringin’ y’all mascara reviews in 2045? Hells yah.

I know weight is a sensitive topic for most of us women. Some of us want smaller boobs. Others want bigger boobs.  Some say they’re too skinny. Others long to be skinny. Mommas feel some kind of way about their post-pregnancy bodies and many of us fall victim to the lies society tells us. Is it important to be healthy? Absolutely.

But do you have to be a size 2, 4 or 6 to be healthy and beautiful. Absolutely not.

What say you? Are you happy with you weight? Or will it always be a struggle for you too?

TMI Tuesday: Raising vegetarian children.

So I’ve been getting a lot of TMI Tuesday suggestions that involve something I have zero experience in. Raising kids. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I know how to change a diaper, hold a newborn correctly and can entertain toddlers into sugar-free naps. And while Clumps will never morph into a Mommy blog when I do have kids, I still love featuring Mommy-baby  topics because there are so mommies out there.

Plus, the more I learn from your mommies, the less of a screw up parent I will be. :D

Okay, no. I’m kidding. My kids will be freaking awesome having a beauty bloggin’ rockstar as a Mom and a musical computer geek as their Dad. But this post isn’t about my uterus and its production of bebes. This post is about a penny pinchin’ Mommy (and also one of my BFFs!) and her mission to provide her 13 month old daughter and 3-year old son with nourishing food.

Gaetane recently launched her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. Show her some love and tell her B sent you!

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On Tuesday, I finally decided to buy a few grocery items for the kids. I simply do not like grocery shopping, especially with my two handfuls of children. Now that my daughter is mobile, she has a major issue with anyone trying to hold her hand in public. Little did they know, I had a plan AND I was sticking to it.

I buckled them into the double shopping cart of Target (which I love by the way) and after 1.5 hours we accomplished our mission. Being that we are a vegetarian-based household, we are limited (surprisingly, huh?) on organic vegetarian foods. Don’t get me wrong, I do have my cravings for fatty foods like Burger King fries but we limit on what we buy in our household. Our children have a right to a healthy lifestyle. The kids are only accustomed to eating a very wide range of hearty vegetarian dishes and because they are kids, they are now asking for sweets and snacks. My son verbalizes and my daughter always simply wants what her older brother is having.

Addaeyomi and Anaiziya’s top 5 snacks:

*Archer Farm’s blue corn tortilla chips and salsa dip
*Earth’s Best baby food
*Simply Lemonade
*Honest Kids juice packs
*Archer Farms Strawberry fruit strips

You may have noticed the picture of the Ackee. Well, it was on sale and I simply love Ackee.

All these items were on sale and/or I used coupons for greater savings. Even if they were not on sale I would still purchase these items because my children love them. I do believe children should be children and enjoy eating snacks. On the other hand, I do not believe we should drown our children in unhealthy eating habits that will affect them in the future.

We as parents, care givers, aunts, uncles, and even friends should make sure that we educate our children on healthy eating habits. We cannot expect our children to eat healthy if we are not reflecting that as well. So next time you go grocery shopping, and your children are screaming at the top of their lungs for candy, look to the fruit strips as an alternate. It’s just as flavorful and is better for them.

Check out more of Gaetane’s parenting musings over at her blog Seeds of Mommy Soul. And if any of your mommies (or daddies) out there would like to submit hilarious stories, adorable pictures or shocking parenting revelations to Clumps, don’t hesitate to shoot me an email at Brittany@ClumpsOfMascara.com.

What are your thoughts on raising vegetarian or vegan kiddies?

TMI Tuesday: Why I fear birth control pills…

Birth control scares me, y’all. And by birth control, I mean birth control pills. I know, I know. I’m 27. I should be used to some form of birth control, right? The truth is – I’ve only just begun taking birth control pills for the first time ever this month. I think I am the only woman my age that I know who has never been on birth control before.

I started visited the crotch doc (thanks Kate!) as a teenager in attempts to alleviate my “die every month” menstrual cramps. At 15-years old, my doc suggested that I take birth control and I couldn’t slap him hard enough.

Okay – I’m kidding. I didn’t slap my doctor. But I wanted to. Even as a teen who wasn’t having sex, I still didn’t want to entertain the idea of birth control. For what? I wanted children. Not in the next decade, but the thought of preventing a birth (even if it meant easing my cramps) didn’t sit well with me. I had a hard time explaining this revelation to anyone because for them, birth control was great. My cramps worsened in college; an inconvenient time for me considering I was a full-time student living on campus and working several jobs. Girlfriends couldn’t empathatize with me because they were all on some form of birth control.

Every gynecologist I have ever been to has wanted to prescribe birth control for me. No one ever recommended natural or holistic options for my painful periods. I got smart and started doing my own research. For a year I tried every natural remedy in the book. My cramps continued to get worse and while I knew birth control was an option, I had made it up in my mind that I wouldn’t be popping any pills, tossing IUD’s in the nether regions, getting shots or wearing any patches.

Then this “thing” happened. I got married.

Esposo and I want nothing more than to be geeky parents to Clumps kids. But we’re newlyweds who plan to spend a life together and kids can wait. After visiting my gynecologist in November and telling him that my period had become irregular, he suggested birth control. Of course. I broke down inside. I’ve been turning down birth control for more than 10 years of my life. But here I am. A newlywed with an irregular cycle. Maybe, just maybe birth control can help.

So I’m giving it a chance. But can I be honest? I hate it. I really hate it. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how it may make me gain weight. I hate how I never remember to take it. I hate that these little pills are tampering with something that happens so naturally. That these little pills could possibly damage some things and make it so that I am unable to conceive. There are tons of side effects of yaz and other birth control pills – so many that there are serious law suits surrounding them. Sites like DrugNews.net provide information on this if you need it.

There, I said it. That’s why I hate birth control pills. I have this inherent fear that they will make me infertile. I know plenty of women have healthy pregnancies and babies being on birth control for years. I really shouldn’t have anything to fear. Yet every time I pop one of those pills, I feel like crying.

I know. I probably sound loco and overly emotional. I do believe in birth control. I would just rather it not be by way of synthetic drugs with a string of symptoms attached. Esposo has been super supportive and comforting. I’m trying to get him on board with the fertility awareness method (FAM) because that is perhaps the only form of birth control that sits well with me. Well – condoms too but how effective can those be with longterm use?

I’ll be seeing my gynecologist again soon and will talk to him about how I feel. The fact remains – I can’t do birth control pills. Or shots. Or patches or IUD’s. They aren’t for me. And if the gyno can’t be supportive and help discuss other options with me, I will find a doctor who can. I don’t want to be the black version of the Duggar’s but I don’t want to harm my body either.

Chime in, gals!

Any others out there who fear birth control?
Or maybe you’ve been taking it for years with no problems?
Either way, let me know!

 

ETA: As of 2/4/12, I have gleefully stopped taking the pills. The constant spotting and morning dizziness became far too overwhelming. Oh…and the decreased libido is so not cool. You know…with being a newlywed and all. I have a very pessimistic attitude when it comes to birth control and don’t have any interest in shopping for other brands or synthetic methods. Since my irregular cycles have only been irregular for the past few months, I am hoping diet, exercise and keeping my stress level down can help get it back on track. As far as baby preventing; hellooooo condoms and FAM. I’d rather deal with monthly cramps (as painful as they are) than deal with my paranoia over these birth control pills. Good riddance, I say!

TMI Tuesday: The Story of How I Married A Man I Met Online.

Okay class. Raise your hand if you’ve ever met a guy or gal online. Technically everyone should be raising their hands. I mean who hasn’t chit-chatted with someone in emails and then met up with them at a local event, conference or meeting? It happens allllll the time.

Sooooo what about dating online? Would you do it? Have you done it? Known someone who has? I do! I not only have gal pals who have met their husbands online but I met mine online.

Yep.

Esposo and I met on Match.com. I used to be embarrassed by it but now I have no problem with people knowing that I met the love of my life online. Does my meeting a man online mean that I’m too pathetic, lame or ugly to meet someone in real life? Hell no. Unfortunately, I think that’s the stigma that comes with dating online. People say…

-“Well, what if he turns out to be a serial killer?”
-“OMG, it’s toooo expensive to date online. Starbucks, I can justify…but dating online? No!”
-“I don’t want to tell my grandkids I met their grandfather online. That’s not romantic.”
-“What will my family say?”
-“What if everything he told me were lies?”

I was totally in agreement with the idea telling that the story of how we met wouldn’t be romantic. But that’s a lie. Everything about our story is laced with romanticism. I couldn’t see that because I was too busy caring about what other people thought. I’ve seen the light now and when people ask how we met, I tell them. With pride.

The internet holds a great chunk of my personal and professional life. I’ve gotten job opportunities, met amazing people and have developed my passions online. I even pay my bills online. With all that WE do online, is it really crazy to consider dating online? I don’t think so. I have one friend in particular who I met in a social networking site when I was 14 years old. We are STILL friends and in some ways closer than the people I went to school with (XOXO Stef!).

After a friend signed over her Match.com account to me, I innocently explored the site without any expectations. With only 3 weeks before the subscription ended, I had NO luck running across anyone interesting. While I didn’t have intentions of meeting Mr. Right, I didn’t even spot Mr. Halfway Decent.

The way Esposo tells the story, he says that I sent him a flirt. I believe it’s the other way around. Either way, after weeks of chit-chatting via email, we met.

I was all like, “Okay. If he is THIS cool electronically, he’s got to be even more awesome in person.”

Fail. He was nice but nothing clicked.

Nothing clicked on the second date either.

But like they say, “Three’s a charm.” I’ll never know what happened, but our third date was magical. We talked and laughed for hours. We fell in love that third date and almost a year and half later, we got married.

One of our wedding cakes.

I can’t remember where I read it but I saw a statistic that said couples that meet online stay together longer and eventually get married sooner than those that don’t meet online. Dude. I believe it. Considering there are so many websites that for people with all kinds of interests (religion, race, hobbies, location, etc), finding someone you may actually connect with can be so much easier. I realize that online dating isn’t for everyone. To even consider it, you have to be comfortable with yourself and you have to be extremely open-minded.

You should also be an undercover detective. Esposo didn’t know it then, but by our second date, I had run his license tag, found out his current address, date of birth and if he had ever been arrested. I didn’t spend all of those years watching Lifetime moves for nothing.

I could list a crap load of reasons why online dating can be scary. But so can dating the cutie you meet at the grocery store. Or at a party. Dating has its risks no matter how you do it. I just know when it comes to online dating, I can list list at least FOUR close friends who have met and married their online sweethearts.

Yep. He’s as silly as I am.

It’s hard not to believe that Esposo and I have lived in the same city for years and never crossed paths. Orlando is huge. We had different social circles. I don’t think I would have ever just run into someone as incredible as him by luck or chance. Maybe. Maybe not. Still. I think it’s pretty darn cool that a website matched us up and e-introduced us.

I’m sure every Match.com subscription doesn’t end in marriage. But neither does every Guy Meets Girl at a coffee shop scenario. All I know is, my experience with online dating led me to the love of my life.

Now that it’s out there. Who wants to reach out to Match.com to see if they’ll put us on a commercial?

Ha! I’m kidding. Unless they’re payin’. :cool:

Seriously though – what are your thoughts on online dating?

P.S.
If you want to read lovey-dovey stuffs, check out me and Esposo’s Eloping Story.

TMI Tuesday: Diva Cup review

So the very first TMI Tuesday was all about something us gals know too much about. Our menstrual cycles. In that post, I talked about my desire to be greener and dump the hassle that was sanitary napkins and tampons. Instead, I said I was going to use a menstrual cup. Say hello to the Diva Cup.

After that post (which was almost 2 months ago), I was anxious for my cycle to come so I could give the menstrual cup a whirl. Mind you, I am NEVER anxious for my period to come. For me, my period’s arrival means cramps from hell, lethargy, the desire to stuff my face and tummy hurtin’ gas. I have to endure all of this while keeping a smile on my face at work and during meetings. It’s the worst. Sanitary napkins didn’t make it any better because I always felt…gross and unclean. I changed them far too often and when I couldn’t, I felt….even grosser. I am happy to say that the Diva Cup has SO made my period 10x more bearable.

WARNING: I’m going to do an in-depth description and review of the Diva Cup. If you are squeamish about period talk, discussing the female anatomy or blood, you may want to leave this post.

If you’re a gangsta and still hangin’ with me, pat yourself on the back. 8) I’m going to do this review in a Q&A format for easier viewing.

How does the Diva Cup work?

Here’s how….it sits snuggly right underneath your cervix and catches your flow. Tampons can disrupt our pH balance because of the harsh cotton stuffed up there. The Diva Cup, however, is made of high quality silicone. It does not contain chlorine, dyes, colorings or additives. It is also scent-free. Give me a side eye if you want, but let’s face it….sometimes being on the rag can be smelly. Not the case with the Diva Cup.

Is it difficult to insert the Diva Cup?

Not one bit. Listen here, ladies…learn your body. Seriously. I felt like quite a noob for not knowing where my cervix was. I actually had to Google it. Sticking some fingers up there and searching for my cervix REALLY helped me work with the Diva Cup better. Some women aren’t able to reach their cervices – which is completely normal. Your best bet is to ask your gynecologist where it is. Also, because my cervix tends to sit lower before and during my cycle, reaching it is a breeze.

Is inserting the Diva Cup painful?

No. If it’s painful, that means you have inserted it incorrectly. I find inserting tampons far more painful and uncomfortable than inserting a menstrual cup. I will say this, you have to be okay with feeling inside your vagina to get the Diva Cup in place. Some women don’t like feeling their fleshy parts and may be turned off with the idea of having to do so. I didn’t find inserting, wearing or removing the Diva Cup at all painful.

What about leaking?

My first time wearing the Diva Cup was rough. Simply because I didn’t trust it or my body. Before test driving a menstrual cup, understand your flow. Are you heavy the first few days? Do you have clots? Do you tend to leak at night? Getting an understanding of your period prior to wearing the Diva Cup can REALLY help you out. The one time I leaked was at night and that was because I inserted the cup incorrectly. It felt funny after I put it in and I was too lazy to re-do it. A midnight run to the bathroom left me with Shark Week-type panties. You gals know what I’m talkin’ about. It wasn’t pretty. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL leak if it doesn’t have a snug fit. I highly recommend wearing a pad the first few times you wear the cup. Just in case…

My period is really really heavy. Will the Diva Cup hold my flow?

I consider my period to be heavy for the first few days and don’t have any problems with leaking. On the first day of my period, I change the Diva Cup more often whereas when I’m getting closer to my period ending, I only have to change it twice a day. So yes, the Diva Cup WILL hold your flow. Just be sure to check it regularly.

How is removal? It seems nasty…

A lot of women may freak out at the sight of their menstrual blood in a cup. Quite frankly, it doesn’t bother me. If anything, I find it fascinating. I know. I’m weird. The removal is actually easier than you think. Grabbing the bottom of it and gently squeezing it can relive the Diva Cup’s suction. From there, you pull down and gently tilt the Diva Cup’s bottom toward the ground. Discard, rinse and reuse! I will say this…removal can be challenging in public restrooms. But it’s still 10x easier than dealing with the unwrapping of a sanitary napkin. Before I go in the restroom, I grab a few paper towels with me. I usually carry a bottle of water to rinse the cup in the toilet. I pat it dry with the paper towels and re-insert. I hate to say it, but if I can, I go in the handicap bathrooms when I’m rockin’ the Diva Cup only because it gives me more space to move around. And I can wash my hands without touching much of anything. Keep in mind, that the outside of the cup does NOT have menstrual flow on it. You shouldn’t get blood on your fingers at all.

A quick vid I did of the removal…

 

Do you clean it daily? And how long can you wear it?

It is recommended to wear the cup for no more than 12 hours at a time. Obviously, if you have a heavy flow, you’ll want to check it more often. The first few days I wore the Diva Cup, I checked it every 2 hours or so. Just out of sheer paranoia. I recommend doing this when you first wear the Diva Cup. Just so you know what your flow is like. At the end of each day and before bed, I wash my with soap, rinse and re-insert. There is also a Diva Wash you can purchase but I’ve found my unscented homemade soap works just fine.

How can you not feel it, B? I just don’t get that…

Seriously. You DON’T feel it. The Diva Cup is not recommended to stay in for more than 12 hours but because it’s so comfortable, I have accidentally forgotten that it was in. No more having to feel that “gushing” feeling when wearing a pad. I can wear thongs, sleep through the night, work out with ease and soak in bath water without fear of creating pools of blood. Which sounds gross, but come on, gals…I know we’ve all been there before.

I’m a teenager. Should I try the Diva Cup?

I’m 27 and I can honestly say that if the Diva Cup was presented to me as a teen, I WOULD not have given it a chance. Then again, I was a teen afraid of tampons. That said, I recommend teenagers consult with their gynecologists first before considering the Diva Cup.

How much is the Diva Cup, what comes with it and where can I get it from?

I scooped up my cup from a health food store here in Orlando. I have also seen it at Whole Foods and on Amazon. I got mine for $35. Pricey? Yes. But it’s the best investment I’ve made in quite some time. And did I mention that the Diva Cup can last for years? Years, ladies. Years. Meanwhile, those bloody pads and tampons go straight to clogging up landfills. The Diva Cup comes in a girly box with the cup itself, a nice carrying bag and a DIVA pin. And plenty of instructions.

There are 2 kinds of Diva Cups. How do I know which one is for me?

There is 1 for women under 30 and one for women over 30 OR who have had children. I got Model 1.

How do I clean and store and the Diva Cup until my next period?

When your cycle is over, it is recommended to boil your Diva Cup for 5 minutes. Obviously, you’ll want to designate a pot just for your Diva Cup in this case. Afterwards, put it in its pouch and leave it somewhere dark and cool until it’s time to reuse. I leave mine in my panty drawer.

Bottom Line:

The learning curve for the Diva Cup can be challenging. My commitment to greening up my period and finding a better alternative is what motivated me to keep going. I wish that all women would give menstrual cups a try, but I know they won’t. There are way too many “factors” that can turn gals away. The price. The fact that you have to reach inside your vagina to insert it. The removal. So yeah – I get why many women won’t consider the Diva Cup. Quite frankly, I would pay $100 for this menstrual cup. It has given me a level of confidence and peace that I didn’t even know existed during my period. No more having to run out and get pads because I’ve run out. Everything about the Diva Cup is wonderful. And if you still aren’t convinced, check the reviews online. Just about everyone that uses the Diva Cup loves it. The Diva Cup is antibacterial, comfortable and rocks in every way.

Pro’s:
-Catches WAY more flow than the average tampon and pad.
-Doesn’t disturb the body’s pH balance the way a tampon does.
-Doesn’t stink the way a pad can.
-Antibacterial and reusable which means no contributing to the landfills..
-Long lasting. Some Diva Cup users have had theirs for close to a decade.
-Comfortable for active ladies. I’ve played soccer, done yoga and ran with my Diva Cup with zero problems.
-Helps you monitor your menstrual flow. This may be important for women who need to keep a closer look at their cycles every month.

Con’s:
-A costly investment (although you do see a return in that investment in a good 7-8 months).
-Can be challenging to use the first few times.
-Takes some time figuring out how to use it in public.

What do you think? Think you’d try one or are you sticking to the pads and tampons? The Diva Cup website does an amazing job about answering almost every question under the sun regarding the cup.

 

ETA: The lucky winner of the Diva Cup was Selena in California! 

 

TMI Tuesday: Infertility. When your mind says yes, but your lady parts say no

Note from B: Lots of love to my girl Kate for writing this post for Clumps of Mascara. 

Take it away, Kate!

When Brittany wrote her TMI Tuesday post on visiting the GYN, I was shocked at how many women had said they had never been.

I don’t say that to shame anyone, it just… surprised me. My mother brought me to the gyno, probably at like age 15 or so? And I have been a regular ever since. My gynocologist and I have been in each others lives a long time. Like feet in the stirrups (sands through the hourglass, get it? Not funny? Ok sorry). Moving on.

My relationship with my crotch doc has become even more important as I age, especially when I decided I was ready to have children. It never even crossed my mind that there might be any trouble for me in that area. I was a healthy person overall, I was in touch with my body, I visited the Dr. regularly. I thought when I made the choice to have a baby – I would dim the lights, have some sexy time, and bada boom bada bingo! I thought it would be easy.

I was wrong. TMI? It shouldn’t be.

I did a quick search of “infertility statistics” and the CDC gave me this:

Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired ability to have children: 7.3 million
Percent of women ages 15-44 with impaired ability to have children: 11.8%
Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant for at least 12 consecutive months): 2.1 million
Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 7.4%
Number of women ages 15-44 who have ever used infertility services: 7.3 million

Um, is it me, or is that A LOT OF WOMEN!? Why is this not talked about more often?

Unfortunately, having children is not just a given for every woman. For many, like me, it can be a struggle. I suffered two losses, and the emotional pain made me search out others who might know how I was feeling. I didn’t have to search far. Friends, relatives, neighbors…MY OWN MOTHER, shared stories of loss and struggle. I was shocked. Why was this all kept so secret? If I had a disease, such as cancer or diabetes, there would be no shame. I would seek treatment and find support in my community. But sometimes, support for women who can’t concieve is difficult to come by. It is kept hush hush, as if it is your FAULT that your body is not cooperating.

I was lucky – I had a wonderful GYN practice who immediately referred me to a Reproductive Endicronologist (RE). I was comfortable with my body and all the procedures, as I was already a gynocological regular. I had success with IVF, and now am the mother to 2 beautiful children. And I am not ashamed at all. I will tell anyone I meet I had IVF – what is there to be embarrassed about? It made me a Mom.

It is so very important that we TALK about these things, that they are NOT TMI topics. Take care of your body. Take charge of your reproductive health. VISIT YOUR GYNOCOLOGIST. Even if you are not even close to ready to have children, a good relationship with a GYN will make things so much easier when you ARE ready. And if you are struggling to conceive? You are not alone.

Did I convince anyone to take the plunge and get to the doctor? I hope so!

 

From B: Have any of you dealt with infertility or miscarriages?  And I know it sounds weird but while I’m not trying to conceive yet, I secretly have a fear of not being able to when the time is right. Anyone else have that fear? 

TMI Tuesday: Have you ever been sad? Like…REALLY sad?

Mental health is a topic that many of us don’t discuss. Which is so sad because a lot of us suffer in silence. Like taking care of our skin, our reproductive health and staying up on good eats and exercise, I am a huge believer in taking care our mental health. Because what good is a new mascara if you feel…off?

I’ll start this post off by saying I have never been diagnosed with clinical depression. I respect the seriousness of it. So much so that I don’t even like to joke around and say things like,

“I’m so depressed that Sephora sold out of that palette that I wanted.”

I know people who suffer with clinical depression and don’t like using the word so loosely.

Even though I haven’t been diagnosed, I think I can safely say that I’ve had some pretty down moments in my life.

Moments where I felt….numb. Moments where I wanted to be happy and I wanted to be positive but I just…couldn’t be. Some people think that depression is an attitude. That you can just shake it. Or pray it out. Or just…get over it.

Lies. All lies.

Depression is not an attitude. I don’t think it’s an emotion. It’s a feeling that suffocates you. It envelopes you. It’s overwhelming and underwhelming at the same time. I believe I’ve had several bouts of depression. And most people didn’t know about them. I’d move go along throughout my day and keep it to myself. Someone would ask how I’m doing and I’d say, “Fine.” Even though inside I felt like I was dying. And the saddest part is – I could not even begin to tell you why. Because life isn’t THAT bad. I have a roof over my head, a job to go to, money to pay my bills and friends and family members who love me. In theory, I have no reason to be depressed.

Depression doesn’t care.

I say all of this to say, if you are struggling with what you think may be depression, seek help. Churches, universities, community centers and clinics often offer free counseling and therapy sessions. If it’s depression, anxiety, stress, anger issues, substance abuse or addictions, know that you DON’T have to suffer alone.

I know. This is such a heavy post, uh? I wanted to shed some light on a topic that often gets ignored. And maybe some of you can share your experiences with mental health concerns and awareness.

Have you ever dealt with depression or any kind of mental illness? Do you know anyone that has?