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midlife

cancer, cervical biopsy, when cancer's on the table, waiting for biopsy results, FemiLift, vaginal lift, pap smear, cervix, xanax, miscarriage

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with FemiLift. However, all opinions are my own.

A couple weeks ago, I told you all about the FemiLift procedure and shared with you an interview I had with Dr. Ghozland who performs the FemiLift procedure. It was very informative but you know me, the proof is in the pudding and I wanted to speak with someone who actually experienced the procedure. Because who is going to give it to you more real than another mama?

I had a million, some very personal, questions and Jackie Jorge was a great sport and answered every single one of them.

All the questions about FemiLift you were too embarrassed to ask.

On a scale of 1-10, how painful was it?

I would say it’s a 2, if 10 was the worst pain ever. (Wow! Less painful than I expected.)

How invasive did it feel? I hated the early pregnancy ultrasound wands so how does it compare to that?

It’s way smaller than the ultrasound pregnancy wand, but there is definitely something going “in” you, so you can feel it. I think a pap is more invasive (and painful) than FemiLift treatment. (Good to know because my paps are pretty painful thanks to my extra deep cervix.)

How many treatments did you need?

Doctor recommended 3 FemiLift treatments.

What was your personal recovery time?

There is no recovery time. I was able to go about my day just as usual. The nurse said I shouldn’t have intercourse on the night of the treatment. (Definitely shorter than I expected.)

Can you tell a difference? How? Is it visible or strictly internal and a change in sensation? 

Yes! I can absolutely feel the difference. I had two major issues that I was trying to address. The first was stress incontinence and the other was dryness during intercourse. By the 3rd week of the first treatment, I noticed I wasn’t peeing when I laughed or sneezed.

By the second treatment, I had actually caught a cold and it was the first time I didn’t need a mini pad during my cold! Another great difference is when I take my daughters to the bathroom. I used to have to use the toilet first or I would pee myself! Now, I’m able to let them go first!

As far as intercourse… after the first treatment I noticed right away that I was able to “last longer” and I didn’t need to stop my husband to get the lube out!

What does your husband say? Has he noticed a difference?

I actually wasn’t expecting this… but he said last week that he thinks I’m tighter. He never complained before, but it was nice to know that he is enjoying the benefits too.

Has it improved your sex life? How?

OMG… 100% yes!!! After the second treatment, sex feels incredible!! It is a gift to be able to really enjoy and want sex at 40 (Something)… You have no inhibitions so you’re able to reach climaxes that you never knew existed (and in record time).

Has it made you more confident in bed?

Yes. See above statement 🙂 I’ve never really had confidence issues in bed, but I can say that after FemiLift, I am so much more excited to have sex!

Has it made it easier to achieve orgasm through penetration?

Yes. I am like totally blown away how much more sensation I have. It’s like FemiLift has re-awakened my vagina. It’s pretty amazing!

Would you recommend it to your friends? Sisters?

YES. I DO RECOMMEND FEMILIFT EVERYTIME IT’S BROUGHT UP IN CONVERSATION! I’M ACTUALLY NOT SURPRISED THAT IT COMES UP AS OFTEN AS IT DOES… MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE WITH THE SAME ISSUES. I HAVE FOUND THAT WOMEN ARE LOOKING FOR RE-ASSURANCE THAT WHAT THEY’RE DEALING WITH IS “NORMAL”…  I WOULD SAY TO ANY WOMAN WHO COMPLAINS OF DRYNESS/PAIN DURING SEX, STRESS INCONTINENCE OR THE CONSTANT URGE TO PEE… THAT YOU CAN FIX YOUR LEAKS AND URGES TO PEE AND THAT SEX CAN BE AMAZING AGAIN! MY FRIENDS AND SISTERS HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING MY PROGRESS AND I HAVE GIVEN MY DOCTOR’S NUMBER A FEW TIMES! :))

Just a side note the entire interview was in All Caps, I corrected it. I thought it was a caps lock issue however, now I realize Jackie just thinks that FemiLift is ALL CAPS AWESOME!

Hope this has been helpful to anyone who might be interested in taking action to reverse time and babies effect on your lady bits.

For more information about Femilift please check out my previous FemiLift article that goes in depth about the procedure itself.

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FemiLift, vaginal rejuvenation, the changing female body, laser vaginal tightening

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written in collaboration with FemiLift. However, all opinions are my own.

As I get older, I’ve been considering things I never considered before like what I would look like as a blonde or what if my boobs were back to where they were before I breastfeed. Time is a fickle broad and she takes us all down eventually. It’s not even really about how old I am so much as the use I’ve gotten out of my body.

I’ve had a life full of living, loving and laughing and I’m hoping for at least another 50 years or so of more. I laugh loud and smile really big. I use my parts, people. What am I going to save them for? I don’t put much stock in being a good looking corpse. I want to enjoy life to its fullest.

I liken it to your favorite dress. Some people save those dresses for special occasions that never come. Me, I say wear that sucker every day. Why not? You’ve got it and it makes you feel special; do it. And boy, have I done it all.

The only thing is, even though you are enjoying every moment of living that life, the inevitable happens and you are putting wear and tear on your body. There are things we can do to counteract the “wear and tear” like working out, eating healthy and just enjoying life. Life is too short for stressing out and worrying about everything. Sometimes you’ve just got to let stuff go but not everything.

For example, as I get older, my body is changing. Things don’t bounce back like they used to. When I broke my arm when I was 13, it healed in 6 weeks. When I broke my leg in 2015, well, it’s still healing. On rainy days, I still walk a little bit like a pirate, but I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is never being able to wear heels again, so I will be having another surgery to remove the plates in my leg. Priorities, people.

But there are a host of things, like that, that need some upkeep. I’ve always moisturized but I smile A.LOT. so I can’t fight the crows toes that are starting to form in the crease of my eyes but there are options; botox and fillers, if I ever decide I can’t take the creases. I’m one of those people that needs to know there are options even if I’ll probably never use it.

One of the things that I thought I could never get back to its original state was my vagina after giving birth. Come on, stop blushing, we’ve all thought it. Hell, I even asked the Big Guy once, “Does it feel different (*ahem) down there?”

Obviously, he said no because he’s not stupid. Of course, he swears that I did not poop on the birthing table either. I’m not sure if either of those statements is true and (lalalalala) I chose to believe his version of the story.

My point being, I think most men would agree that a slightly stretched out vagina to play with is better than no vagina at all. Am I right, ladies?

Men, can I get an AMEN?

Then I received an email from FemiLift. I had never heard of it before. Have you?

Here’s the skinny, FemiLift is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure that provides optimal results for a variety of feminine health concerns. The FemiLift procedure is performed in a doctor’s office in an outpatient setting, without surgery, anesthesia or downtime. It’s a ‘hit it and quit it’ sort of sitch.

This is the part that interested me, the procedure is performed by gently inserting a probe into the vagina with a 360-degree rotation capability allowing for select targeted treatment areas for specific feminine health conditions. Each procedure takes less than 15 minutes and three treatments are recommended at 4-6 week intervals.

But how does FemiLift work?

The FemiLift procedure uses breakthrough fractional CO2 laser technology to improve the function of the vaginal area by gently heating the vaginal tissue and stimulating the formation of new collagen.

FemiLift was the first to market among feminine health lasers in the United States and Canada and is the only procedure that provides a single use, a disposable vaginal sheath that ensures patient hygiene. I’m imagining the probe wearing a condom. Safety first.



Women who have had the FemiLift procedure report a near-immediate return to activity, including sexual intercourse, with thousands of patients around the world reporting an improved quality of life and deeply enhanced self-esteem.

You know me, I don’t believe everything I read and to be honest, it sounded a like intimidating to me. So, I got some answers from Dr. David Ghozland, a board-certified OB/GYN with over 15 years experience, M.D. Board Certified OB/GYN who performs the procedure and a patient who has had the procedure performed. You can see my interview with Dr. David Ghozland below.

Femilift Interview questions

Are you awake during the FemiLift procedure?  

Yes, the procedure is performed completely awake with zero to minimal discomfort. I have performed hundreds of these procedures and have never given out a single pain medication for the procedure itself or the aftercare.

Is there any downtime in which you cannot be sexually active? 

We typically recommend waiting till the next day to resume sexual activity.

What is the average recuperation time?  

One of the many great attributes of this procedure is the no down time aspect.  Patients return to work or to their normal activity immediately post procedure.

How many treatments does one need in order to achieve a noticeable effect?  

Most patients need a total of 3 treatments to achieve their goals.  We will offer a 4th in more complex cases in order to achieve our desired goal.

Are there any issues with urination afterward?  

There is no change in urination afterward.   Although people do feel a quick improvement in urinary stress incontinence.

Does this help with urinary stress incontinence?  

This has been a huge benefit to my patients who suffer from mild to moderate urinary stress incontinence.   I used to perform on an average 15 slings a month prior to owning the FemiLift machine.   I have taken that number down to approx. 1 -2 slings a month due to using the laser in our patients with incontinence.

How do you measure whether or not it worked? 

This is a very subjective test and therefore no grading criteria is used.  However, patients themselves feel a tremendous difference and improvement in vaginal tightening, vaginal lubrication and improvement of urinary incontinence.

Is there a visible difference? How do you quantify change?  

Again, the visible difference lies in how happy and satisfied our patients are after receiving a treatment course with the FemiLift machine.

Is the change permanent?  

Unfortunately, this is not permanent but we have seen results lasting for over a year.   Patients return for a maintenance therapy session once they feel the symptoms returning to what they were prior to commencing the therapy.   

If not, how long before you need to get the procedure done again?  

On average one to two years before someone returns for a maintenance therapy session.

Can it help make achieving an orgasm from penetration easier? (you know I had to ask this)

People do claim improved orgasms for many reasons.  Improved friction from the vaginal tightening aspect leads to improved orgasms. The improved integrity of the vaginal tissue with better lubrication leads to improved orgasms and less discomfort.  Due to all the positive effects of the machine on vaginal health we notice improved self-empowerment and therefore more comfort during intercourse leading to improved orgasms.  

How many FemiLift procedures have you performed? 

We have now performed over 300 procedures successfully with zero complications.

Does it help with vaginal dryness?  

Yes, I use this therapy in many of my menopause patients for improved lubrications and improved vaginal tissue integrity (vaginal atrophy).

What side effects can a patient expect?

NONE

What are the risks? 

NONE

Is there a risk of permanent damage? Or deadening of sensation?  

We have not experienced any complications or changes in sensation with over 300 of our patients.

Has anything ever gone wrong during a procedure? What? (As you can see, I truly believe in safety first.) 

We have never had a complication in any of our cases and truly believe that this is a safe and effective procedure.

This is my interview with Dr. David Ghozland. I hope I answered any questions you might have about the FemiLift procedure. If not, leave them in the comments section below and I will see if I can get you the answer.

Also, I did interview a patient and I know you want to hear her answers but this post is getting a bit long so I will post a separate post tomorrow with her interview.

What’s the one procedure you’ve been curious about but were afraid to pursue? Ladies, have you ever considered FemiLift or a similar procedure?

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how to explain where babies come from, where babies come from, having the talk with children, explaining sex, how to feel sexy after having a baby, new mom, marriage, pregnancy. feeling sexy after baby, vaginal dryness

Disclosure: This is a compensated post written in collaboration with Lubrigyn but all opinions about how to feel sexy after having a baby are my own.

I’ve had pregnancy and babies on the brain lately because, any day now, we are expecting a brand spanking new baby nephew. The business of making and growing babies is a miracle. It also happens to be a lot of hard work but, as all of you know, totally worth it. The thing is when you are 40 weeks pregnant, you are usually too exhausted and feeling way too much like your body is a foreign territory to feel sexy.

Sure, we all do that last round of “get this baby outta me” sex but there is nothing sexy about it for us. It is 100% functional. There is a goal, get that baby out. It’s the same reason why we walk miles and eat pineapple by the buckets in that last week. It’s us, trying to deliver an eviction notice to our beloved little miracles. Sure, we want to meet them but also, we want to see our feet. It’s all hands on deck desperate times, desperate measures. I won’t lie, by week 39 of baby girl number 2, I was ready to go full on succubus on the Big Guy.

But I had no idea of how to feel sexy after having a baby.

You promise yourself that after that baby comes, 6 weeks, and boom! It’s on like Donkey Kong. You just know that you’ll be feeling extra sexy once that giant belly is out of the way and you are still rocking those “I just had a baby” breasts but that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of that works.

Aside from the fact that it is impossible to feel sexy when you are sleeping in 2 hour increments and are hearing phantom crying, even when that newborn is asleep, you’ll find that being covered in your baby’s spit up, no matter how much you love them, does not help you get your groove back. Plus, your mind is just not that into it: when you have an adorable munchkin suckling your breasts non-stop, it’s hard to see them as sexual.

The reality is that your body went through profound changes during pregnancy. That doesn’t all just go back to normal as soon as the baby comes out. Sex is one of those things that changes. In fact, 83 percent of female participants in a recent study said they experienced sexual problems in the first 12 weeks after their first delivery.

One of the most common issues is postpartum vaginal dryness. It is very common and a natural condition. We’ve all been there. Many new moms find that vaginal dryness makes sex uncomfortable or even painful. Who wants to deal with that, right? Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ease the vaginal dryness situation and get your sex life back on track.

Vaginal dryness is opposite of how to feel sexy after having a baby.

Let me explain, I know you probably know this from 9th grade sex ed, but bear with me… The hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced in your ovaries and are what trigger puberty, breast development and menstruation. These hormones are also responsible for the buildup of lining in your uterus during your menstrual cycle. If you do not become pregnant during your cycle, estrogen and progesterone levels drop and the uterine lining is shed during your period. Life goes on as normal.

Estrogen and progesterone levels increase while you’re pregnant because instead of shedding your uterine lining, it develops into a placenta. The placenta also produces estrogen and progesterone, which is crucial to the health and development of your baby during pregnancy, so you are living in the world of estrogen and progesterone abundance.

However, estrogen and progesterone levels drop drastically almost immediately after you give birth because you just shed the mother of all linings. Hormone levels return to their pre-pregnancy levels within 24 hours of giving birth. Your body’s estrogen level can drop even further while breastfeeding because estrogen can interfere with milk production. These are all your body’s way of keeping your baby healthy, but all that missing estrogen can cause vaginal dryness.

Estrogen is absolutely vital to sexual arousal because it boosts the flow of blood to the genitals and increases vaginal lubrication. And every woman knows, that sex without arousal and lack of vaginal lubrication is pretty terrible. I like to see it similar to trying to swallow a mouth full of crackers with no water. No one wants that, right?

This lack of estrogen is also what’s responsible for many of the symptoms women have during menopause, including hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness so that’s something to look forward to, right? But seriously, it doesn’t have to be like this. You don’t have to and shouldn’t be suffering. Women deserve great sex too.

“Be mindful of your intimate health as you get older. As estrogen levels decline, so does your intimate skin become more delicate.  Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion provides rich hydration and is free from harsh, potentially irritating ingredients contained in other soaps and body washes.”  – Dr. Alyssa Dweck

There are a couple things you can do. You can power through, if you are the rub some dirt on it kind of gal, which I am not. I am not a fan of pain, in any way, shape or form. Not even in the name of sex. A little hair pulling and lip biting I can do… but sandpaper vagina? I’ll pass.

So what does all this vaginal dryness mean for you? Well, the tissue of your vagina may become thinner, less elastic and more prone to injury. Your vagina can become inflamed, which may cause burning and itching. Intercourse can be painful and can even cause vaginal bleeding. Now, I don’t know about you but when I gave birth, I felt like I had a nuclear bomb go off in my vagina, so no, I didn’t really relish the idea of further damage.

The good news is these symptoms are not permanent and should disappear when you stop breastfeeding, when your estrogen levels return to normal. But no woman should be physically punished for breastfeeding, and stopping breastfeeding should not be the answer to the problem. We shouldn’t have to choose one or the other. We deserve to feed our babies and be able to have good sex.

What can you do to figure out how to feel sexy after having a baby?

I’m here to tell you that you can have a stellar sex life, despite postpartum vaginal dryness. The following are tips to help:

  • Avoid harsh soaps and body washes in favor of a hydrating formula like Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion. Today, more women than ever are taking charge of their vaginal hygiene and comfort with Italy’s #1 choice in feminine care. pH-balanced and made with botanical ingredients, this rich, silky formula soothes, protects and moisturizes the delicate skin of the vaginal area. It’s an all-in-one intimate wash that will keep you clean, confident and comfortable all day. It contains hyaluronic acid and elastin which is an effective synergy to alleviate vaginal dryness. Lubrigyn cleanses gently with natural oils without irritating lather or harmful ingredients, it has non-lathering with deodorizing properties. Lubrigyn can also be used in the shower or simply applied with a tissue, making it convenient for use at home, while traveling or on the go.

“There are easy ways to alleviate postnatal vulvar dryness and irritation. My patients love Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion because it cleanses, moisturizes and lubricates so you feel refreshed and hydrated throughout the day.” – Dr. Michael Krychman

  • Talk to your doctor about prescription options
  • Use a lubricant when you’re having sex.
  • Drink water. Keep your body well hydrated.
  • Avoid douches and personal hygiene sprays.
  • Last, but certainly not least, increase foreplay and try different techniques and positions. Seriously, talk to your partner. He doesn’t want it to be painful for you. He wants you to enjoy it too.

If you’d like to give Lubrigyn Cleansing Lotion a try for yourself. There is a $5 off coupon on lubrigynusa.com site.

How to feel sexy after having a baby is a tricky situation, what did you do to get your groove back?

 

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midlife, change, midlife crisis, middle adulthood

What the hell is midlife anyway? I mean, isn’t it all just a matter of perspective? It’s not the actual “middle of your life” now is it? I mean, it’s no more accurate than saying you will die once you double the age you are when you get your wisdom teeth because some people don’t get them. What are they vampires? No more scientific than doubling the height of your child at 3-years-old can determine how tall they will be because if so, my girls are going to be 7-foot tall. And no more scientific than determining the sex of your baby by how high or low your belly is. It’s all just a bunch of nonsense and so is the myth of the “midlife crisis”.  You say crisis, I say opportunity for change. Hey, I hate labels and nobody puts baby (Jane) in a corner.

Also, can someone please tell me when midlife began at 35? My research quoted midlife as being 34-65-years old.  I certainly plan to live past 70 but I’m not thinking I’ll make it to 130. Is that even possible? But if we’re being honest, my midlife isn’t even allowed to think about happening until I hit 51.5 because I’ve got goals and this broad is looking to live to be 103. Don’t ask me why, it just sounds like a good, solid number for me. Look, I was mad when they called my pregnancy at 31 “geriatric” as if my uterus was on life support but midlife at 35 or 40 is too much. What am I a fucking pioneer? Am I mining coal and smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day while trying to cross the country in my covered wagon? NO, I’m not. I’m a middle-class suburban mom who has pretty damn good insurance and even better genes.

I’ve never been one to buy into the whole midlife crisis. Well, not for women anyway. I’m pretty sure most of the men that I know who are my age are smack dab in the middle of some kind of freak out over their mortality. This explains all of the divorces happening around us. I’m starting to feel like the Big Guy and I are some sort of anomaly. You know being on our first marriage and all because everyone I know is on at least number 2.

And don’t buy into all that “40 is the new 20” crap. It’s not true. My creaky knees, achy back and not so perky breasts say otherwise. But who wants to be 20 again, anyways? Not me. I was a self-absorbed moron at 20. Hell, if I wasn’t me, there is absolutely no way I could have stood being in the room with myself what with all the narcissism and arrogance. I thought I knew everything and I loved to hear myself talk, to the exclusion of everyone else. In retrospect, I was impossible. Thank God I was cute.

Anyways, I’ve always lived a life of no regrets. I don’t have any unless you count a couple of lost weekends in college or my misplaced virginity. Still not sure where I put that damn thing. Binge drinking and anorexia don’t mix. Anyways, I’m getting off topic.

The thing is I’m beginning to feel like I wish I was 10 years younger. Not because anything is lacking in my life. I love my life except for the fact that I wish I had a little more money, but who doesn’t, am I right? Kids are expensive y’all!

No, I’ve been wishing I was 10 years younger because I know so much more now than I did then and I could really rock my life ten years ago if I knew then what I know now. I finally get the saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” That’s a saying, right? I’m too lazy and tired from bitching about my misspent youth to Google it.

The thing is you can’t get wisdom without experience and experience comes with living and age. If only we could have the courage of our youth and the wisdom of years lived both at the same time. What I could do with that?

Maybe I could forge my own path? I don’t feel my age and why should I let myself be defined by the narrowmindedness of others? I want to take flight right now. I wasted my youth waiting for the right time and now, I feel like maybe there is never a wrong time to live your truth and pursue your dreams. Life is for the living; there is no age limit.

What are your dreams? If you could do it all over again (with the benefit of wisdom and the bravery and wonder of youth) what would you do?

Why can’t you still do it? Just do it. F*ck a midlife crisis, I’m not in crisis. I’m in clarity and I’m embracing it.

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sexual health, women's health, women's bodies

Sometimes as a busy wife and mom, my life can get pretty hectic. Probably a lot like yours. It’s not easy when you have to be 100 places at the same time and you have little people depending on you for survival. That’s a lot of pressure, in and of itself, add to that work, errands, husband time and the fact that I am not as young as I once was and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed pretty quickly.

The thing is that this happens quite frequently and when it does, I don’t feel like myself. Does that happen to you? I’ve noticed that whenever my life gets busy and I’m experiencing a lot of emotional stress, there are always accompanying physical ramifications. For example, when you’re stressing out over why the baby isn’t sleeping through the night and the next thing you know you get a monster pimple between your eyes or you remember in the middle of the night that you have to bake 50 cupcakes for the PTO bake sale and then you fall victim to a migraine.

I’ve had an extremely stressful few months recently. I broke my leg last fall which created a host of other issues, as you can imagine mostly because when you are confined to one place and can’t bear weight, you start to feel like a ghost in your own life. You can’t imagine the emotional stress that feeling irrelevant can put on someone. Makes you appreciate what it must feel like to be elderly.

Then this spring I started having gallbladder attacks which led to a surgery to remove a diseased gallbladder. If you’ve never had a gallbladder attack, I don’t recommend them. They feel like an induced labor with no epidural. This caused more emotional stress that manifested itself by physically wiping me out. On top of all of this, I’m pretty sure that I’ve entered perimenopause land. They say it can start anywhere from your thirties through your forties (or even earlier for some) and can last anywhere from 10 months to 10 years, so that makes it a definite possibility.

I haven’t noticed any major symptoms like hot flashes, irregular periods or lower sex drive but others like urine leakage (hello, giving birth to two babies with huge heads), fatigue (a mom’s work is never done), mood swings and trouble sleeping (well, I’m a mom and a diagnosed insomniac so this has been part of my reality since having kids) but other than that I feel like I’m 25-years-old. Well, except for the occasional vaginal dryness but I blame that on the stress. Not to be too graphic but sometimes it’s like a slip and slide down there and sometimes it’s like the Sahara. I adjust. I’m not giving up my sex life because my vagina is being bipolar. Hey, 2 pregnancies, a broken leg and wonky gallbladder didn’t stop me. I’m not about to let aging win the war. I’m not dead yet.

The thing is life slows down for no woman so we have to make time to take care of ourselves. Sometimes that means getting some extra sleep, sometimes that means taking vitamins and exercising, sometimes that means sneaking away to pee in silence and sometimes that means giving yourself a little help in the lubricant area. Hey, my mama always told me, “God helps those who help themselves.” I have no shame in helping myself to the sex life I want. If that means picking up some Vagisil ProHydrate then I will. Vagisil ProHydrate Natural Feel helps make my love life feel natural again without the dryness that comes with perimenopause.

 

Unfortunately, it quite literally, took me falling and breaking my leg and being completely bed ridden for 4 months to learn that lesson. So when your body is telling you to slow down or take care of it, do it. You only have one body and one life. Enjoy

What do you do to relieve stress that’s just for you and nobody else?

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new baby smell, wanting another baby, unexpected pregnancy, midlife

I hate to admit it but I’ve been missing that new baby smell. I thought I was done having babies but lately, I’m having some sort of parenting growing pains and amidst all of the letting go, my uterus is trying to hold on for dear life. It’s crazy that I am saying this out loud because it feels a little like something I should be keeping to myself but what they hell, I figure when I go through these difficult times, I’m not usually the only one feeling this way.

The thing is I’ve always wanted a big family. I come from six brothers and sisters and even when it was crazy, crowded and hard there was a simple peace in knowing that I had 5 built in “ride or die” bitches at my disposal. I mean, we’re the kind of deep that if one calls to tell the others that we just murdered someone, there is no asking why or questioning our morality and sanity, there is only, “where do I need to be and what do I need to do to protect you?” These are the people I would die for or at the very least murder for. I’m not afforded the luxury of dying for anyone since having children, except for them.

Anyways, the point is I kind of wanted my children to have that. They do. They have each other and I have taught them in specific what it means to be each other’s ride or die bitch and they know that’s how family works. Family is everything. They know that. They embrace it mostly except for when they are telling the other one that they wish they were an only child. That really burns my ass because I worked hard for the two I have and they should be grateful that they have one another. That new baby smell is like heroine.

When I was a little girl, I wanted at least 4 kids. It was a many as my mom or my grandmothers had but it was a nice even number of children to love. I wanted two boys and two girls. I got the two girls. But life and circumstances just didn’t provide us with the opportunity to have four. I would have settled for 3 but then I had the miscarriage and then I was just too freaking beaten down and betrayed by my own body that I gave up. I was afraid; terrified of another loss. That was 4 years ago but it hasn’t stopped the desire for holding a newborn to my chest and inhaling that new baby smell.

We waited to have babies until after we had been married for five years. In truth, I was ready after year one but the Big Guy wasn’t so convinced early on if he was sure that he wanted kids. We had fallen in love and gotten married quickly. In all that hustle, we forgot to hammer out the details like children. It was a really shitty spot to be in knowing that you absolutely loved your husband but that you would both have to make a decision whether or not the marriage could survive the sacrifice of not having children. I knew I wanted to be a mother. It wasn’t something I was willing to forgo. I knew if I did, I’d regret it later and probably end up hating him for it in the long run. It was all coming to a head when we decided to plan to plan to get pregnant. Life had other plans. We got pregnant on our five-year anniversary getaway.

The point is we got pregnant and after the shock wore off, we were both absolutely thrilled with the idea of being parents. So thrilled in fact that we immediately planned to get pregnant again. We wanted the kids to be two years apart and so that’s what we did. Again, it was amazing. The Big Guy is not only an amazing man in general, he is an outstanding father. I mean he’s the kind of dad that you see in the movies. He not only loves his girls unconditionally, he is involved in their lives and not only talks to them but listens to them; like really listens. He even hears what they don’t say. It’s kind of beautiful and every time I see it, I fall deeper in love with him. So, we planned to go for baby #3. I really wanted a boy because the thought of raising a son with my husband, molding another boy into a man like my husband; let’s just say, there need to be more men in the world like my husband. But fear tricked me into believing that I was done.

Now, here I am, past my own personal expiration date and I can’t stop thinking of that one more baby. My ovaries occasionally twitch and I my imagination conjures that new baby smell. I get glimpses of what another baby would look like in our family but it’s too late. My time has passed. But it doesn’t stop me from daydreaming about what a son raised by the Big Guy would have been like. Then I find myself sad because I feel like we missed an opportunity to do something amazing. I’m missing that new baby smell. I’m feeling a giant hole where baby #3 should be. Maybe it’s just that time of year and I know we had it in our grasp and we lost it. We had it and it’s gone, like those damn Pokémon that ghost out on you after using 10 superballs. Once your balls are gone, they’re gone. I don’t know how to fill this hole. I don’t think there is anything I can do but learn to live with it.

I can’t be the only one who’s felt this way. I imagine there are plenty of people who have decided to forgo becoming parents or put parenthood on the back burner only to feel regret later. I’m actually certain that there are people who’ve had children and wished they hadn’t. Only I know that I wish I had our third. It’s my only regret in my life. I’ve always believed that where there is a will there is a way but, in this case, there is no possible way that I can have another pregnancy or have another natural pregnancy. I have the tools and all my parts are still working but the risk just outweighs the reward and the odds of failure are much higher. I don’t want to go through that but how do you learn to live with not being able to fulfill a heart’s desire?

How do you reconcile being done having babies but missing that new baby smell?

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Lubrigyn, feminine hygiene, lubricant, cream, vaginal moisturizer

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lubrigyn, a new way to keep moisture where it belongs. All opinions are my own!

I have used special moisturizers on my face, neck, arms, legs and hands since I was 18 because I want my skin to be soft and supple. I use sunscreen on my face; wear huge Jackie O-style sunglasses, and I should own stock in giant sun hats…the bigger the better.

I take care of my skin because I want to grow old gracefully but, for some reason, I never even considered extending the courtesy to my lady bits. Who knew that you needed to moisturize your vagina? Did you know that your vagina could dry out just like the skin on your face? Not that it’s the first thing people see when they meet you, but I don’t want to look youthful in my face and feel 87 in my bits.

Apparently, vaginal dryness can happen at anytime but it gets worse as we get older, especially after menopause. Menopause can cause vaginal dryness, but so can diabetes, antidepressant drugs and birth control pills.

Really, I should have been moisturizing my vagina just as long as I’ve been moisturizing my face, but no one ever told me. No one spoke of it. It’s not like my mom gave me a bottle of Lubrigyn and instructions when I turned 18!

What is Lubrigyn, you ask? Lubrigyn Lotion is a cleanser, moisturizer and lubricant that can be used with or without water. A packet of wipes is included with the lotion for on-the-go use. Lubrigyn also comes in a cream, which is a more concentrated version of the lotion, and is especially effective for lubrication.

Lubrigyn has been successfully selling across Europe since 2004, and is now available at CVS.com and in many of their stores. The cream is FDA approved but does not require a prescription.

A creamy, lubricating, moisturizing and cleansing formula, the lotion can be used everyday, in the shower as a regular soap substitute or applied without water. Besides its soothing, softening and refreshing ingredients, sodium hyaluronate attracts and holds on to water.

Lubrigyn Lotion doesn’t foam like most feminine hygiene products; instead, it maintains the natural protective barrier of our vaginal tissue. The vaginal tissue retains moisture and protects the skin from germs and fungi. As we age, vaginal tissue dries out and loses elasticity, which can lead to itching, bleeding and pain during sex. I’d prefer supple and moist, any day of the week.

If, like me, you never thought about moisturizing your lady bits before, maybe now you realize that you should. It’s about more than vanity, it’s about being comfortable and sexually healthy at every age. I encourage you to try it today.

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ky liquibeads, couple in bed, marital relations

I am a member of collective bias and this shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and it’s advertiser. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

Warning: This is a PG-13 post in which I discuss marital relations between consulting adults but if you are easily offended by discussing adult themed topics, you are welcome to stop reading.

What do you get for that special man in your life who has everything this Christmas? There is one thing that I know the Big Guy (and every guy for that matter) always likes…you know what I’m talking about, the freedom to be spontaneous like before you became parents. A little unprovoked, unsolicited, uninterrupted (ahem) personal “attention” and he can’t buy that (well, he can but he really shouldn’t.) Since I don’t own a time machine, nor are my beloved kids refundable, I’m asking Grandma to keep the kids overnight, adding a little personal lubricant ( come on ladies, you all know what I mean, sometimes we need a little jumpstart) and letting the good times roll. Merry Christmas, baby!

The Big Guy and I have been married forever for 15 years. When we first got married, romance was easy. We were in our 20’s so attraction and having relations didn’t take any effort at all. We were breathing and we were always ready. It didn’t hurt that we were both pretty hot. We were spontaneous because we had the leisure of time, privacy and youth. There was no stress, laundry or tiny people crawling on us and promptly spitting up on one or both of us. FYI, spit up.is.not.attractive.Not even on Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. These days, we are simply spontaneous challenged.

We’re 40ish. We have kids who are just old enough to be nosier than they should be. I have insomnia. He gets up for work at 4:30 a.m. and every night is a game of musical beds, thanks to recovering co-sleepers who still think they lay claim to our bed. Sometimes we’re just too damn tired. Yes, it happens!

Don’t feel sorry for us yet. Thanks to a couple afternoons of working from home, we manage some “us” time but I miss making out on the couch (with no one under 5 foot asking, “What cha doin?”), and being able to be spontaneously whisked off to bed/floor/kitchen countertops or finish what we started because kids arguing over Barbie dolls in the next room causes everything south to go dry like the Sahara. Honestly, why does no one tell you that children are female erection killers?

Speaking of which, last week, for 48 hours straight, on 3 occasions, the Big Guy and I were trying to “have relations” when the 7-year-old burst into the room or beat at the door. It’s like she’s my mom and she has radar whenever I might be trying to do the deed. I’m a teenager all over again, except this time I’ve got a mortgage and gray hair and I’m trying not to get busted by a person who sometimes still needs me to cut up her food. Thank God for bathrooms with locks.

So forget waiting for the perfect time, I’m sick of trying to fit “couple time” in between the minute they go to sleep and the surprise hour that they have to pee/get water/ or remember they had homework. Mama needs some adult time with the Big Guy.

ky liquibeads, couple in bed, marital relations

This Saturday, I’m giving us an early Christmas present, a child-free night where we can just be Debi and the Big Guy (not mommy and daddy) and maybe channel those two college students who met 17 years ago. I’ve enlisted grandma to keep the girls overnight, made a trip to Target and bought some K-Y® LIQUIBEADS® (to make sure everything down below is ready to go at a moments notice), made reservations for dinner at a place that doesn’t serve chicken nuggets and can’t wait to see where the night leads.

ky liquibeads, couple in bed, marital relations

I’ve heard good things about the K-Y® LIQUIBEADS® and they seem easy to use.

  • Simply place the OVULE insert firmly into the top of the applicator so it will not fall out.
  • Hold the applicator containing the OVULE insert by the opposite end from where the OVULE insert is located.
  • Gently insert the applicator into the vagina as far as it will go comfortably.This can be done while standing with your feet comfortably apart and knees bent.
  • Push the plunger all the way in to place th OVULE insert as far back in the vagina as possible.
  • Throw away applicator after use.
  • Insert a bead once every few days so that your body is ready whenever the mood may strike.

ky liquibeads, couple in bed, marital relations

I know sometimes when you are pregnant, you really want to be “spontaneous” often, especially with all those “romantic” dreams but if you’re pregnant or nursing, consult a doctor before using.

 

Coupon available coupon available at coupons.com $1 off any K-Y® product –

 

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turning 40. surviving 40

When I was turning 40, I had been warned ad naseum about how my body was going to give me a great big “FUCK YOU” and I took it with a grain of salt because, let’s face it, I am a stubborn broad and you can’t tell me anything and for the love of Pete, please don’t tell me that I CAN’T do something because chances are that I will do it…JUST TO PROVE YOU WRONG. Seriously, it is a disease with me.

Anyways, bossy, stubborn bitch aside that I can be, I really didn’t believe there was a magical age at which your body just shuts down and it’s all down hill. Plus, I refuse to believe that my middle age is 40. Fuck that noise, I am living to 105. So middle age can kiss my ass until I am around 53.

Sometimes, life sneak attacks you, ninja style and that is kind of what has been happening. There was no giant weight gain. Come on, I’ve been gaining weight steadily since the great exodus of eating disorders in 1997 and the introduction of mood stabilizers in 2000. It was a combo for body disaster. Then I got pregnant and started raising babies and my life, in its entirety, became a steady, uncontrollable run away train. It’s just how I was function.

Little to no sleep, everyone’s needs put before my own, eating terribly, exercising seldomly and losing all sense of fashion and self. I essentially got to the place of overloaded, overwhelmed and barely functioning but I thought it was okay because, in the end, I was functioning. I made concessions here and there and lowered my standards. Life essentially beat the crap out of me and left me for dead…in fucking yoga pants, a ponytail and about 75 pounds overweight.

Sure, I tried to bring back the feisty broad that I once was…several times. Clear! I was putting the paddle to the sad little broad’s life but nothing. Sure, there’d be a revelation here and there and I’d start working out or watching what I ate, coloring my hair and actually treating myself like a human and then something would break, funds would get tight and there I went to the wayside again. It’s embarrassing to let yourself go, especially when you used to be proud of who you were; what you were; what you looked like and your tenacity. You begin to feel like you had it all and you let it slip through your fingers and then you feel guilty because look at what you have instead…your children. Sure, you look like a homeless fatty but damn it, you are a good mother. But are you? Really?

How great of a mom can I be if I look defeated at 41? What kind of example am I? Then on top of all of that, I noticed my hair falling out by the handfuls every time I showered (Stress is a cruel bitch), crows feet just waiting to delve even deeper, my skin is a desolate dessert, my hair is not only starting it’s own gray hair club the rest of my hair is taking on a texture that can only be described as witchy; it looks like the curls and the straight parts got into a fight and no one won. Plus, my eyelids and my boobs are a little lower and my skin looks decidedly less smooth. Plus, there is the overweight issue. The issue being that I yo-yo between starving, dieting and eating whatever the hell I want. ALL these are bad for me, especially since apparently, metabolism has taken an early retirement.

So I am doing research. I will not go gently into that good night of middle age. I want to look like I grew old gracefully but there is nothing graceful about the knock-down, drag out fight that mother nature and I are about to have.

Here are some tips that make turning 40 awesome:

Vaseline is a miracle cure for dry feet. I am not joking. Take a shower, wash your feet, get out, pat those feet well and slather them with Petroleum Jelly an then put on plain white cotton socks. Within 2 days I turned my pterodactyl talons into smooth baby feet. But you have to keep it up or the crypt keeper feet will come back.

Wen is a awesome. Yep, I saw all the infomercials but didn’t believe it. I wasn’t sure that I would feel clean without lather but let me tell you my crazy hair is getting prettier and prettier every day and more importantly I am only losing 5-10 hairs per shower versus the handfuls I was losing. Now, Wen won’t do shit for your grays so you’ll have to get a good stylist and colorist. Go on, do it. You are worth it. Make time and take care of those grays.

Moisturize like your face depends on it because it does. Sure, you need to keep your entire body moisturized because if not you’ll eventually get all ashy and itchy and that’s not cute but if you don’t moisturize your face, you will get wrinkles and look like the damn crypt keeper by the time you are 60. If that doesn’t scare you straight, I don’t know what will. Crowsfeet and laugh lines may be natural and some even tolerable but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Botox.

Get up and move. I don’t care what you do as long as you are moving. I sit on my ass all day working and my ass looks like it. It’s not being 40 that made metabolism take early retirement; it’s sitting on my ass doing nothing physical. My metabolism gave up on me. The good news is that going from sitting on your ass to any movement at all is going to be an improvement.

Get your sleep. You know people say, “I can sleep when I am dead. YOLO!” Well, as a grown woman who has terrible insomnia and a predilection for mania, I can tell you that sleep is way more valuable to your happiness than your YOLO attitude. Not saying not to live outloud but you can be a lot more lively and vivacious if you get at least 7 hours of sleep, plus you will feel better and people will like to be around you. YOLO is for 21 year olds who haven’t lived life yet. They are too stupid to know what they are saying is complete bullshit. Now, go take a fucking nap.

Wiggle it just a little bit…or a lot. Have sex with your husband, as much as you like. Look, I hear that menopause brings with it some vaginal dryness so girl, you better go get your groove on before you have to buy stock in KY lubricants just to do the deed. Besides, I don’t know about you but if I go more than a week without sex, I get grouchy. Seriously, like I want to punch people in the face grouchy. Have fun. It’s not so serious. This man loves you. Sex and giggling go together perfectly, as long as you’re not doing it anywhere near his penis. That’s grounds for divorce.

All things in moderation. Eat healthy and be happy. Look, I have been slowly but surely eating myself into not just obesity but unhealthiness. I have fallen into the terrible habit of eating processed shit and sugar and not near enough fruits and veggies. That’s all changing. I feel miserable and look terrible by my own standards. So, I am stepping out of my comfort zone and I am going to try to supplement my daily food intake with some juicing. Thanks Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for scaring the shit out of me.  Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on how all this goes. Just remember, turning 40 is not turning dead. You’ve got this. You are fucking awesome. Now, go show those damn 30 year olds what a real woman looks like:) Never you mind her pregnancy glow.

Shit, is this my midlife crisis? When do I get my sports car and start flirting with 25 year olds? Who am I kidding? A 25-year-old has nothing on the Big Guy.

What’s your best advice to anyone turning 40?

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