The Things I Wish I’d Known: A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self

Dear Louise,

 

It’s hard being 18 isn’t it? I know you don’t think you’re very pretty now, or that your body is the way you want it to be, and I know your lovely mum tells you all the time how you should be grateful for it now whilst you still have that young body. But I’m afraid it’s true. One day in the future you will look back at old photos of yourself and think, ‘Why the hell didn’t I appreciate my long slim legs whilst I had them, or those nicely rounded and full boobs that didn’t require a padded bra forevermore, if you don’t fancy the spaniel-eared look?’. You will I swear.

Your body will change after you have a baby, and in your case after two rounds of IVF and multiple operations, but that’s okay, it will all be worth it. At some point in the not too distant future you will have to have one of your ovaries removed because you have a tumour on it (don’t worry, it’s not quite as scary as it sounds) and you will end up with a big scar across your lower abdomen. But, you’ll learn to love it because it’s a part of you and of your story. You’ll go through a lot as a young woman, but it is just a part of your story, and your path to your amazing daughter (yes, a girl!!). It will all be worth it I promise, and you’ll have amazing people around you whilst you’re going through it, as always.

All of this medical stuff though, it will get you very comfortable with your vagina and your entire womanly area, which is a good thing, as well as showing it to random strangers. Don’t worry, you won’t start flashing people in the street (that won’t happen until you’re 80 and senile), but you’ll become pretty comfortable with smear tests, and getting any irregularities checked out, and the regular internal scans you will have to have. You’ll hear people complaining about having to have a smear test (which are so important by the way) and you’ll think ‘pah, that’s nothing! try having a big wand stuck up your hooha every three months for ten years, and not for pleasures sake either’. But you’ll be fine with it all. So much so, that you usually start to whip your jeans (skinny, not bootcut anymore, thank god) down before you’ve even been asked to.

That’s a good thing, honest. It’s nice feeling comfortable with your body in that way. It’s pretty important too.

Relationship-wise, well, I don’t want to spoil lifes surprises for you, but let’s just say you already know your baby-daddy, which is pretty cool.

Only now, at 32 years old have you recently got more comfortable with talking about vaginas and sex in a more personal way, and all the other stuff associated with being a woman. Having a great group of girlfriends who are incredibly open has really helped with that. It’s important we talk about it all, and it really helps knowing you are not alone in those difficult experiences you’ll go through. Keep talking, and sharing, it really helps to know you’re not the only weirdo that that happens to.

Us women are bloody strong creatures, and we should empower ourselves so that we are informed about our bodies, and not be shy about talking about things that affect us all. We all have boobs, most likely cellulite and stretchmarks, and vaginas too – and they will change after we push a baby out of them – that’s normal and you will get used to it.

Sex will change as you get older – it will get better and better, and then it will change again along with your body changing after you birth a child. It will be scary at first, but that’s okay. Just give yourself time to recover (from the birth not the sex – it’s not that bad!).

You’ve never been a very confident girl, and I’m afraid that doesn’t change too much as you get older, especially once you’ve become a mother. You’d managed to build yourself up and become a more confident adult, but that disappeared once you became a mother. It’s such a shame, but it’s quite normal unfortunately. A lot of changes happen alongside motherhood, not just those to your body, but your entire life. But it’s important to be happy with yourself and to keep working on it, and you do. Fitness becomes important to you – for your mental state as well as for the health and body benefits.

Try to relax a little, you’re such a bloody worrier, and life is here to be enjoyed. If you learn that at a slightly younger age and not fret so much then that would be grand.

Look after yourself, and be kind to yourself always. You do give yourself a hard time sometimes. We all make mistakes, they are just a part of life, but life is good, so embrace your body – it does a lot for you, embrace your friendships and your relationships, and have a bloody good time being young and alive.

Love, me xoxo

The Things I Wish I'd Known - A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self

For over 40 years, Vagisil have been on a mission to create products that improve the intimate health of women. When women take control of their intimate health, they are more focused, productive, comfortable, and confident. This year, Vagisil is launching ‘The Things I Wish I’d Known’ campaign – a look into all the things women can learn from each other about love, life, and intimate health. They believe women sharing experiences can equip others for times ahead.

So that’s why I wanted to take part in this and write this post. I thought about saying no to writing it; I can get pretty personal on here – I’ve talked about my depression a few times, and I can be pretty honest. But I’ve never had any desire (ha!) to talk about sex or vaginas, or anything quite so personal, and I was worried about not making it ‘me’ enough.

But then I thought – you know what? Women should talk about this kind of stuff, and often we do amongst our friends, especially as we get older and more comfortable with ourselves. We all have vaginas – why not talk about them?! It’s so important to think about and pay attention to our feminine health, so why should it be such a taboo?

I have an amazing little group of female blogging friends and we talk about anything and everything on Whatsapp. Yes, that’s often food and what we’re all having for lunch, but it’s also sometimes about sex, vaginas and periods, porn, and online pictures of something rude which do not belong in those strappy sandals. And I tell you what – it’s bloody lovely being so comfortable with other women that you feel like you can share anything with them, and to constantly be reassured that “Bloody hell – that isn’t just me after all!!”. Plus, if I’m uncomfortable talking about it, then maybe I need to practice more!

Approximately 49.6% of the world’s population is female, and we all have bodies and go through the same things, so why not talk about them?

A woman’s intimate skin is delicate and sensitive, and can be affected by loads of different things – hormones, our underwear, intimacy, and more – that’s why Vagisil have created their Intimate Itch products, including wipes and creme to give fast comforting relief from itch – so we can carry on living our lives without worrying about it. The range is available from leading supermarkets and chemists nationwide.

Our va-jay-jay’s go through a lot during our lifetimes (ha! to put it lightly!), so we might as well get used to looking after them and not be embarrassed about discussing them when we need to.

Vagisil spoke to 1,000 British women to find out how equipped they feel to deal with vaginal changes – and they have created an infographic to show the results – and it’s really interesting – and shows that we really shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk about this kind of thing, because loads of us go through it.

The Things I Wish I'd Known - A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self

Are you comfortable talking vaginas and other hairy (haaa) details 0f being a woman? If not do you wish you were more comfortable with it all? I’d love to know!

This was written in collaboration with Vagisil.

2 Comments

    • 14th April 2017 / 5:31 pm

      Thanks so much lovely xxx