Why Is It So F*ck’n Hard To Find Decent Healthcare For Our Lady Parts?!

Until recently, I never bothered with finding a good OB. All I’ve ever needed in my adult life from them is birth control, so why worry about who’s supplying it? Planned Parenthood was as good as any doc covered by insurance, as far as I was concerned. As long as I was protected and having normal paps, I was worry-free.

But now that I’m engaged, and my fiancé and I are planning on starting a family within a year or so after we get married, I really actually care about who my doctor is. I’m actually thinking about who’s going to be my hand-holder during pregnancy, reassuring me every step of the way [aside from my fiancé, who will likely be rolling his eyes and telling me I’m fine #truelifeihaveanxiety].

Prior to our family trip to Europe, I really didn’t have time to research any doctors. I was scrambling at work and also trying to get wedding details together, and I figured there wasn’t any reason to start that process when I would be taking off and leaving the country for two weeks. But when I returned, I put my feelers out into the Facebook world and asked my fellow females for some OB recs. It was amazing how many women responded and loved and highly recommended their doctors. Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cross all borders, and, like everyone else, I am limited to a number of doctors who take my insurance.

So I took people’s recommendations and starting researching the docs who took my insurance. Honestly, there are hundreds of OBs out there, but I didn’t want to just throw a dart at a map and pick one. I wanted to know that who I chose would be my medical support system before, during and after pregnancy. Some websites will give you a bio on the doctor – what they specialize in, where they studied, things like that, which I love. And since several women on my mom’s side of the family have Endometriosis and PCOS [see end of post to read more about these], I wanted to be sure I found a doc that was knowledgeable in those two diseases in the higher than normal case that I may be affected by one or both of them.

As a woman, I have always been hesitant to have a male doctor examining my lady bits. That may be feminist or close minded, but regardless of how much education you have under your belt as a man, you will never actually know or experience what we ladies go through on a day-to-day basis because we were blessed [or cursed, pick your poison] with ovaries and a uterus. The free clinics like Planned Parenthood only staff women, and since I’ve frequented those since I was 18, it’s sort of been a non-issue since I’ve had lady docs by default. But so many women who responded to my Facebook post recommended male OBs. And I’m at a time in my life where my health, the health of my future children, and the safety of any and all pregnancies and childbirths ahead are more important to me than whether the person examining me has a uterus. So, after a week of researching doctors and comparing several different ones [all of which ended up being men, by the way], I finally narrowed it down and made an appointment with a man who had an extensive list of specialties [including abnormal bleeding, Endo, PCOS, and many other “issues” that us females are lucky enough to deal with].

Yesterday I had my appointment with this doctor [just a consultation], and despite my nerves that he was a man, I was feeling confident that I’d finally found a reliable and educated doctor that I could trust. I was armed with a list of things I’ve been dealing with for the past several years, and was prepared to feel like the man understood me and could guide me through the next few years of my life.

To say I was let down is an understatement. The man essentially steamrolled me. Oh, he was very nice and very friendly, but he wrote off all my abnormalities as being on the wrong birth control. The ten days of debilitating cramps and abdominal pain I recently dealt with? In which everything I ate literally went right through me? The stabbing, cramping pain in the site of my right ovary last week? Bleeding every single day, all month long for the last several years? Oh yeah, that’s all normal symptoms of a birth control not strong enough for my body. WHAT?!

You guys, I wanted to scream at this man. I know these things aren’t normal. I know they aren’t because of birth control because I’ve tried 85 different kinds over the course of the last 11 years I’ve been on it and I sure as hell don’t feel normal nor do the symptoms ever change. Oh, and when I voiced my concerns about Endo, he told me I had nothing to worry about because my weight was healthy for my height and since I’ve never had an abnormal pap I am a fine 30-year-old female specimen. And even if I ended up having Endo, the best way to deal with it was to keep on birth control and take pain meds. Had I not known so much about the disease since I personally know SEVEN women effected by it, I probably would have believed him. However, Endo is an estrogen dominant disease. It is worsened by the presence of estrogen, which, if you know anything about birth control pills, they’re packed full of estrogen. So basically, if you have endometriosis, you’re aggravating it by being on a birth control that is estrogen heavy [ie: contraceptive pills]. And nobody wants to be on painkillers that do jack sh*t for that kind of pain.

You know what’s even worse about this whole scenario? This guy was the best doctor I could find out of all of the ones that were recommended to me and of all the lists of local docs that I went through. So this man, who claims to have an extensive knowledge of all sorts of female reproductive issues, completely shredded his credibility to me within a 30 minute conversation. If this guy is the best there is for me, am I just doomed? Do I trust this guy to get me to the finish line when I’m super pregnant? Will he reassure me and give me peace of mind if or when I feel like something’s off during pregnancy? Sure doesn’t seem like it.

And you know what else is frustrating? I’ve never had this issue with any other type of doctor. My GP, dermatologist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopathic [yup, I’ve even seen one of those].. All of them listen intently and don’t interject or tell me I’m crazy when I question the health of my own body. And not to say that your general day-to-day health isn’t important, but why, why when it’s the one doctor that’s supposed to watch over your reproductive system and the process of building another life is it treated so haphazardly? This seems completely backwards to me.

This turned into a lengthy, venting post which I apologize for. I’ve just truly never been so frustrated with our healthcare system and doctors and how little they educate themselves after med school. And after taking Otis to our vet the evening before, who had just attended not one, but TWO, new seminars on new veterinary studies, I found myself wishing that she was my doctor. At least I know my dogs are getting the best possible care. As obsessed as I am with them, that definitely counts for something.

If any of you are local Sac ladies and have an OB recommendation for me, I am all ears! I am not going to just settle because this guy was the “best” I could find. There may have been someone I glanced over or missed, and I am willing to take the time and steps to find the absolute best doctor I possibly can! My future babies depend on it!

For those wondering, Endometriosis and PCOS [Polycystic Ovary Syndrome] are two reproductive disorders that can greatly hinder your chances at getting pregnant and/or carrying a baby full term. Endometriosis is a condition where your uterine tissue grows outside of your uterus. And when the female period happens once a month and that lining naturally sheds.. Yup, you guessed it! It sheds elsewhere inside the body, too, causing internal bleeding that has no chance of escape. If it sounds painful, it’s because it is. Endo effects at least 1 in 10 women, but the fact that I personally know 7 ladies who suffer from it leads me to believe it’s more common than we even know. If you want to read more about either or both, you can definitely Google them. I also recommend reading the two blogs I’ve listed below. One of them is my best friend who was diagnosed with Endo 11 years ago. Her blog is all about her journey and how she’s found her source of recovery [Endo is not curable, by the way]. The other blog is by another close friend of mine who developed Endo after she gave birth to her child via C-section. She was recently diagnosed within this last year. I’ll also list their Instagram profiles as well – they are both very open about their disease and their struggles and are more than willing to talk to anyone who has it or thinks they do. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and is definitely, sadly, more common than we think!

Holistic Merbabe [IG: @holisticmerbabe]
Seashells and Sit-Ups [IG: @saltysweetseasons]

Selfies That Aren’t Really Selfies

As a woman in today’s society, I am all for female empowerment. I love that more and more women are holding high ranking positions in companies across the nation. I think it’s so great that ladies are making a name for themselves through social media with style and lifestyle blogs and fitness careers. I even think it’s great that a gal can snag a modeling career through Instagram. What I can’t get on board with, though, are the selfies that aren’t selfies.

What are selfies that aren’t selfies? They are photos that women take where it’s heavy on the cleavage and light to nonexistent on anything else [I know you know what photos I’m talking about]. It’s always the same women who post them – an abundance of fake [occasionally real] breasts which take up 3/4 of the photo, and a smidgen of face, clothes [if any] and other paraphernalia that are smashed into the remaining quarter.

And don’t say it’s a “fake boob thing” because it’s not. I know several women with implants who don’t flaunt them a single bit.

I truly don’t understand why certain women do this. Is it an insecurity thing? Do they need the validation that they look good because 85 men [horny, noncommittal men] commented on a photo of their breasts? Maybe it’s a cry for attention? Whatever it is, it’s not attracting anything positive.

When I was going through my rough patch in life when I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do with my life, I thought I could be friends with and become one of those women. But, every time I’d even try taking a booby selfie, I’d get extremely uncomfortable and just give up. Clearly a sign that it wasn’t the type of attention I wanted to draw to myself.

I actually used to be really good friends with a girl who was [and still is] just like this. She posts at least one cleavage selfie every day. Usually there’s a coffee mug or some sort of alcohol involved. And on top of the selfies, she posts dirty, inappropriate quotes, and occasionally intermixes a family photo in which she is wearing something extremely revealing and not at all family friendly. She gets hundreds of likes and comments on her photos, tons of private/direct messages – mostly friend men, but some from women who are like her, too. I used to get so jealous before I realized that not a single one of the people contacting her respected her nor wanted to commit to her. The men want one thing: sex. And the women validate her because they are exactly the same.

I understand that most humans go through a time in our lives where we fall off track a little. We lose our way. We waver from what we do know to what we don’t know. But most of the time we get back on the straight and narrow. We find ourselves again. We settle into a comfortable, healthy lifestyle and find happiness. My fiancé didn’t fall in love with me because of my looks. While I’m sure that was part of it, it wasn’t the entirety of the reason. He was attracted to me for my brain; for my ability to hold a lengthy and intelligent conversation. He loves that I’m not fake in anyway; that I dress my age and act and look classy. It makes me sad for these showy women to know that they are not happy. That even at 30+ years old, women can still have major insecurities and not enough self-love.

While this is obviously a female-specific habit, I think it’s a responsibility for women and men to start lifting females up in a different light. Idolizing inappropriate photos is not helping these ladies feel better about themselves. We need to show them that just because they have a body, doesn’t mean they are only physical. We all have brains, we each have personality traits, talents, likes and dislikes – let’s encourage one another to dig a little deeper and find out what’s beyond the outside. Everyone deserves to be happy and a fair chance to find it.

…And the bonus of it all will be the beautiful woman on the outside, too :)

I am WOMAN: Ten Things I Think Every [Adult] Woman Needs to Incorporate Into Her Life

Let’s define “adult” in this instance. Adult, for the purpose of this post, is a lady who’s got her ish together. Who’s got a steady income, has her head on straight, knows who she is, and goes after what she wants. NOT to be confused with a freshly eighteen-year-old who “thinks” she’s an adult because, legally speaking, she technically is.

In terms of life, I was a bit of a late bloomer. Not hormonally speaking, but I am a bit of an introvert. So as a child, tween/teen, I was shy and not at all a social butterfly. I didn’t start wearing make-up until 8th grade [clear mascara ONLY], I didn’t start wearing my hair down until sophomore year of high school [holla atcha tomboy! ponytails were my THING], didn’t get my hair highlighted until around the same time, and probably didn’t start caring about my clothes until senior-ish year of high school [if that – was probably later, if I’m being totally honest]. It’s safe to say that pampering myself was never high on my list of priorities in my youth [this might explain why I didn’t get my first kiss until I was EIGHTEEN (insert embarrassed emoji here)].

And, until recently, I still never really cared much for shopping or putting myself together. My style is always changing, and I consistently find [and wear the heck out of] the same outfits. It wasn’t until the last year or so that I actually started to enjoy all of the aspects of being a woman. This is probably due to the fact that I acted rather childish up until about a year ago. So, there you go.

About six months ago, I was hanging out with some [older] gal-pal colleagues at a local wine bar [House of Oliver – if you haven’t been here yet, you should! it’s got a fun vibe and it’s quaint, which I love]. They were all talking casually about monthly facials and massages, another was chatting about her recent two week trip to Italy “Just for fun.” I had absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation. Know why? Because I’ve never just INDULGED. I’ve never just booked myself a massage, or decided to take a trip out of the country on a whim. Know why? Because I’d never been able to afford it until now. Well, that’s not entirely true. I probably could have afforded it, but my money was leaping out of my bank account and into other places [read: bar tabs, wine bottles, driving all over kingdom come because FOMO].

Now, I realize it’s only been six months [ish] since I’ve started to delve into the finer things in life, but BELIEVE ME, it doesn’t take long to become adventurous. And so, the ten things I believe us females should be doing on the REG [in no particular order]:

1 – Treat yoself, girl! I’m talking facials, massages, spa days – whatever it is that you need to just take a step back in life. Modern day life can be stressful AF. Even on our days off we are trying to cram a thousand things in that we can’t get done during the week. Whether it’s being a working girl or being a mom, it’s important to take at least an hour or two to yourself to reset and recharge.
2 – Try holistic healthcare. I know, I know, I know. This seems like just a fad people are going through. Like the South Beach Diet that was all the rage just a few years ago. But, in all honesty, there is something to be said for trying to heal your body without using pharmaceuticals. Several months ago, I decided to try acupuncture to see if it could help to minimize my sudden migraines and the unmanageable stress levels I was trying unsuccessfully to suppress. I have been consistent with my visits, and I have honestly never felt better. I know this isn’t a category for everyone, but I highly encourage you to try it just once. The word “holistic” can make you think hippie, earthy, etc. I promise you, not everybody who practices holistic healing is like that.
3 – Splurge on some fancy clothing items. This is one of my favorite things about having a bank account that can support my shopping habits. And truth be told, I hardly ever purchase anything all that expensive [Target is for sure my go-to]. But every once in a while I like to buy myself something nice. And not because I need it, but because it makes me feel GOOD. Whether it be a handbag or workout clothes or a fancy jacket that you’ve had your eye on for months, it’s about knowing that you worked hard enough to earn yourself something special.
4 – Do research on things that you’re passionate about. Our whole entire youth is devoted to studying and learning things that others have chosen to teach us. That isn’t nearly as enjoyable as having a hunger to learn something that you genuinely take interest in. For me, I am constantly reading and experimenting with Bella’s food [she eats raw, for anyone who’s just now jumping in on my blog]. The raw food diet for dogs is constantly evolving – there are always new theories on what to add or take away from their diet. And every single dog is different, just like humans. It’s a fun challenge for me to see what does and doesn’t help Bella’s health [Bella loves it either way because she constantly gets to try new food items].
5 – Get up early! Waaaaaaaitttt.. WTF?? No, guys, I’m serious. Getting up early has way more benefits than you’d think. I get up at 5:45 every weekday to run. Yes, it can be grueling, but once I’m out of bed and the blood is flowing, I feel pretty good. Plus, I feel so much more productive having gotten my workout in before work. That way, if anything comes up after work, I don’t have to stress about not getting a workout in. I don’t even sleep in on the weekends [unless you count 7:30 sleeping in]. I only get two days off a week, and sleeping half the day seems extremely wasteful, in my mind.
6 – Do something that you’ve been secretly wanting to do or try for a long time, but haven’t had the guts [or money] to do it. Yes, ladies. I’m talking botox, boob job, things of that nature. It sounds silly, but I know ALL of you at some point have thought about having bigger [or smaller] breasts, or smoother skin – whatever the case may be! Or, if you still don’t know if you want to try it, it doesn’t hurt [or cost anything] to sit down with a specialist and have a consultation. The true professionals will be 100% honest with you about procedures and whether or not you need one – these ones won’t be after your money. It helps to talk to people who have actually used these doctors and can give you feedback.
7 – Try new things – pick up a new hobby or take a workout class. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was younger, I could never understand how people could afford to keep memberships at so many different gyms and clinics. My eyeballs just about popped out of my head when I started researching all of the local places I could go to work out [the cost to have a workout coach is steep!]. Recently, though, I’m starting to understand that the people that go to The Orange Theory and Pure Barre actually get their money’s worth. They go every day [sometimes multiple times a day]. It’s just about finding your motivation and your niche and what’s right for you.
8 – Prepare a home cooked meal every night. Or as often as you can. This one can be more difficult if you don’t plan ahead. There’s a method to the madness of grocery shopping and meal-prepping on Sundays [now I know why the grocery store is always super crowded on Sunday afternoons]. I love to use Pinterest to find ideas – it is the true cornucopia of recipes. And not all of my recipes turn out great – some of them look nothing like the photos and have hardly any flavor. Others turn out pretty dang good. But the reason I encourage this is because it builds confidence – and not just in the kitchen! [Bonus points: men love it when a gal cooks for them].
9 – Invest in a Roomba. Especially if you have a pet. Seriously, it will change your life. I FINALLY bit the bullet and bought one and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. I love to clean, but sweeping and mopping my floors every single day was back breaking. Literally every night it looked like I hadn’t even cleaned [and even more disgusting: walking into your kitchen in your bare feet right after a shower,] and feeling dirt and grime all over the floor – FOUL].
10 – Get a pet. It is so rewarding. When you’re down, they lift you up. They keep you motivated. They [hopefully] make you a cleaner, more organized person. I mean, let’s face it, pets are messy. Whether it be a dog tracking dirt in the house, a bird spraying birdseed everywhere, or cats shedding all over the place – it can be downright exhausting! But it’s worth every second of their uncleanliness to have their company. Just make sure you do your research and know how much work it actually is before you commit.

If you guys have anything you think should be added to the list [or removed], let me know! I love feedback, and those are just ten biased things from my own personal life and experience – obviously not everybody feels the same and/or has the same experiences.

BUT, at the end of the day, and what I always try and leave you with – DO YOU. Make time for yourself. YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and it’s important to take care of yourself. Don’t let the stresses of work and daily reality keep you from enjoying the finer [and also the little] things in life.

Miss Independent

I’m going to pre-apologize right now because this is going to be a MAJOR venting post.


I found this quote a couple of months ago while I was browsing around on Pinterest. I immediately pinned it to my own board, saved it to my phone, and proceeded to post it on Instagram. I wish I could just post this quote in every women’s locker room, dance studio, grocery store – I know it’s cliche, but places that women frequent the most. Because women are the ones who do this most often. I felt like sharing this quote because I think it’s something that we, as women, really need to pay attention to. It wasn’t that long ago that our female ancestors fought so hard for women’s rights and women’s liberation. And here we are, in modern-day society, revolving around men like planets revolve around the sun.

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Bailing out on your friends, blowing up a guy’s phone around the clock, obsessively checking his Facebook to see if he’s been posting anything, because you haven’t heard from him yet today and you’re wondering what the f**k you did – I mean, usually he sends you a cute wake up text with a little wink face on it.

C’mon. We are all guilty of this. Thank you, technology.

And what’s the deal with breaking up with someone one day, and then having a new guy literally the next day? Quite frankly, I am completely mind-blown at how this is accomplished. Do you constantly have men on the back-burner, just in case things don’t work out with number one? Are you really so afraid to be alone with yourself? No offense, ladies, but this is borderline drug addiction. People drink and do drugs to escape reality. Isn’t that what being alone is? Reality? And isn’t that the same thing as jumping around from man to man, never able to settle because you’re so lost and so unaware of who you are that you just keep trying different men (aka different drugs), getting more and more addicted to the cycle of trying to find “love”?

I can’t tell you how many women I’ve known in my life that fit this profile to a “T”. Raise your hand if you’ve had three or more relationships this year. I’ve had three relationships in 26 years. Three relationships in my whole entire life. That’s not to say that I didn’t want more, but I was so shy in my youth that boys were as foreign to me as being dropped out of a helicopter in a third world country where they speak a language you’ve never even heard of.

BUT, the complete and total upside to my lack of boyfriends in my younger years was my ability to get to know ME. I’ve spent more time with myself in this life than any man, and I’m better off for it. I don’t come out of a relationship and immediately look for the next one. I take that time to get to know myself again (every relationship changes us, whether we like it or not, and we must learn to redefine ourselves as the person we are NOW).

And, yes, I AM in a relationship now, and I love him and I love spending time with him. But I also love the little moments I get to myself. The two hours I spend every day exercising my dogs and being alone with them. Reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine. Painting my nails, watching a movie. The simplest pleasures in life that pass us by when we get too preoccupied with other things.

Don’t get me wrong, relationships are wonderful – whether good or bad they teach us something about ourselves and what we want (or don’t want) out of life. But the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. After all, if YOU don’t want to be alone with you, then why the hell would anyone else want to?