Menopause Woes

As many of you know, I had a full hysterectomy.  With that surgery it sent my body into menopause.   For the most part it has been bearable.  It has been 4 months since the surgery and I feel like I am just getting my body back.

So let me take some time to answer some questions that some readers have asked me regarding menopause:

  1. How long did the pain take to manage-I would say surgery wise that took about 3 weeks to heal.  This is the initial pain that anyone who has had any uterus surgery goes through.  It took about an additional 5 weeks to be able to move about without the pain being agitated during the healing process.
  2. Hot Flashes, are they controlled-I have to say I think not.  I even with the hormone therapy replacement the flashes occur several times a week.  It is annoying since before surgery I was a really cold person.  The flashes can be overwhelming.  I find myself stripping clothes off as soon as I get home.  When I am at work, I immediately need my fan or I am in the bathroom with cold water compresses.  However I will take it over bleeding every month.
  3. Sex after the fact was extremely hard in the beginning.  I waited a little longer than I was cleared.  It was painful and different.  I think now I am doing a lot better and feel like my drive hasn’t changed from before surgery, but to say it was just so freely a great experience after surgery would be lie.  Some women experience pan, dryness, and lose their desire to even have sex altogether.  Every woman is different.  Do not compare yourself to how you are reacting to another woman.
  4. Swelly belly-this is when no matter what you do, your body has told you how much you are doing is too much.  You still at times look like a woman who has had a fresh baby.  It’s annoying to say the least.  I have come to terms that this is apart of the process.  On days where my belly is normal, I celebrate with a great outfit.
  5. Mood Swings-they do exist but in my case I feel like its less than when I had a bunch of unruly hormones guiding me.  I think the combination of self-care and the even dose of hormones through the hormone replacement therapy patch which gives me a low dose over time has helped.  I have been better off emotionally.

Do I regret the surgery?

Absolutely not.  I am 100% on board with my decision.  For one physically I feel so much better.  I do not have to be on guard about if a period is going to come or not. I do not have to carry unnecessary clothes in case of an accident.  The lack of bleeding every month has decreased my previous diagnosis of anemia.  I will get my final results by end of the month, but the test I had a few months ago was already looking great.  I had already had my tubes tied before surgery so having more kids wasn’t in the cards.  My husband supported that decision and to be honest it was the most selfish giving decision I could give myself.  Shout out to the women who have had or will have the surgery or go through menopause naturally and unfortunately can’t or won’t experience motherhood.  I do not take that gift of motherhood lightly.  I do however love the fact that my sister in love is about to give me my baby fix this upcoming Spring.

I did what was best for my body.  I do not regret it for a second even with the worst flash, or tiredness or even the feeling of being overwhelmed comes over me and sometimes at the same time, I find myself taking a deep breath and thanking God that I am on the path of healing.

To other menopausal women both young and old who may be reading this thinking how much of a negative experience you may be going through, or think I may be going through, remember that every woman experiences this change in different ways. I could have healed faster than another, doesn’t make me normal and you weird.  What works for me may not work for you.  I would say that if you are going through menopause I would applaud you to find out what self-care looks like for you both before, during and especially afterwards.  Self care will refocus your thoughts as your body changes.  It’s like going through the awkward teenage phase all over again.  For some the changes in body odor, lost of hair or increase of hair, change in libido, lack of a period, or feeling like your body is experiencing a death from lack of having children even if children was never on your radar are all real experiences. How you navigate through will depend on you.  Do not allow anyone to push what you should do.  Always trust yourself and talk to your doctors.

One last thing is that going through menopause has made me realize that I can’t take my body for granted.  This is why I try to be mindful of if I am doing the things that I need to keep my body at the best shape of my life.

Menopause is a phase of life that women go through regardless if it’s naturally or surgically induced know my fellow women I am with you and I understand.

Blackish Postpartum Episode

This is a trigger episode if you ever had or have currently postpartum depression.  I am going to be super blunt today, I cried throughout the episode and let me tell you why:

  1. I dealt with postpartum after the birth of my son.  I remember feeling like the biggest punk and failure because I couldn’t navigate through it.
  2. I felt isolated and therefore didn’t speak up to others not even my fiance at points throughout
  3. I had no support because especially in the black community black folks always talk that you gon be aight, go pray talk when real life ish is happening that takes prayer and action.
  4. I remember my mother in law being a huge trigger for me not because of her being mean but because of her personality and me not being strong enough to handle life at that time.
  5. Postpartum is real.  It should be discussed without shame
  6. I still reach out to moms and new moms in my circle because suffering in silence is unacceptable
  7. Please show love to a mom and be understanding.
  8. Phrases of get over it, you need to go somewhere and rest, it ain’t that deep, or you just need to get it together will NOT help a mom going through postpartum
  9. Sometimes medicine is necessary
  10. Postpartum is not a weakness.  Our bodies go through it during pregnancy and birth and its going to take some time to get through this new life.
  11. I do NOT allow people to make jokes of it.  It’s not funny.

 

Blackish did their thing on that episode capturing what its like.  I cursed almost exactly the same time I felt like Rainbow should have-watch it and you will see why.  Blackish definitely made sure all of the pure emotion of what it’s like to go through postpartum was like.  When I went through it, I felt like I couldn’t connect to my son.  I felt like because I had more support with my oldest that when it came to my son I was doomed.  I cried all the time. I blew up all the time.  I was in rage a lot of the time. I threatened to call the police on my fiance many times.  I had friends who saw me going through and talked about me like a dog instead of offering help.  I had family who gave me the eye when they found out, BUT I got through it all.  This very blog was created after I healed from that experience. It made me more aware of what I was capable of going through at the birth of my last daughter.  It made me stronger in the end.  It also is a good look for dads too.  They need support. They need to know how to approach the conversation and how to support themselves, their families and their ladies as they navigate through all of the emotions good and bad that pregnancy and childbirth brings.

 

Here is more information about Postpartum

This episode regardless of the title of the show (I know it offends some right off the bat) is a MUST see for all!

Weekly Recap: June 2, 2017

Happy national donut day!! I had one and I mean only one donut and couldn’t really eat much of anything else.  I forced myself to have a healthy lunch because that donut was definitely a lot of empty carbs.  Well I hope you all had a good week.  We are coming off a 4 day weekend some of us anyway from Memorial Day.  I hope you had a great holiday weekend.  We celebrated my daughter’s birthday and had a really good weekend.  No complaints.  So as far as this short week it has definitely been filled with a lot of ups and downs.  So let’s get into it.

Personal Highs/Personal Lows

This week I am going to put these two categories together.  There is a lot going on and I told you lovelies I would update you.  One we had a great time celebrating my now 8-year-old.  Time is flying when you’re having fun right?  We are also gearing up for my son’s preschool graduation. I know some people make a big deal that these types of graduations are pointless but it just gives the little people something to look forward to. I personally feel like celebrations are what makes life great.  Those who know me know I will make his day special.  That’s what I do.  I feel like life is about making memories that they can look back on.  It’s better than buying a bunch of material things.

Also this week I have been vigilant with my doctors to get me an answer.  I have been suffering with migraines for quite some time.  I am also anemic.  However with the new diet my doctor made sure I had all of the supplements that one would need and I increased all of the iron enriched foods so you would think I was good right?  Wrong.  I am not.  My doctors and I have decided that it was time to get a hysterectomy.  I know for some they get it done when they have fibroids.  I do not have them.  I am losing too much blood.  My blood volumes and levels are one step to more transfusions.  For some they would say, why not start a pill that would decrease your period. However the thing is that I have already done that.  I have been on pills off and on.  I got my tubes tied when I had my 3rd and last child.  I know some would say why put this out there?  One its MY BODY and my page.  Secondly being a woman going through women issues is not a place of shame and I refuse to hide like I did something wrong.  That is pure craziness.  Why would I keep it hush-hush when there are millions of women like me going through the same thing.

I am no wonder. I won’t be the first or the last.  Ladies my decision was about what was best for me.  I have to do what I need to do for ME.  Was my husband there? Absolutely.  I know my decision will have an affect temporarily on my home but I had to do what was best for me.  No need to lose this weight, do all of this work and still be underlying unhealthy.  That is sheer madness.  I know what I need to do and I know what can happen if I don’t.  I love me and I need to be here as well as I have little people who need to have a healthy mom.  So with that in mind in the next week that is what I will be doing.  Have I researched all of the options?  Absolutely. This has been an ongoing back and forth thing.  I am prepared for the steps after.  I do NOT claim to know it all. However I am fully aware that the steps towards self-love will help me through the down side of this procedure.  So with MY family’s support we will be fine.  I have learned to tune out some of the naysayers.  They will say don’t let them take nothing out. Meanwhile I can’t count on them to watch my kids when I am somewhere bleeding out.  I can’t slide them a bill when I am off of work and missing time off.  I can’t count on them to pick up a phone call to say how is it going.  You see that was a free nugget right?  I refuse to give folks who show you they are more concerned with their bottom line than mine make my health decisions.  Got to keep pushing towards what will work for me and the ones that have to live through all of this.

So with that in mind you may see an increase in blogs.  I will have more down time. Whenever I have downtime, I write and I read so be on the look out. I plan to blog the hell out of this situation.  Not to get sympathy. I am one strong cookie.  But to raise awareness.  My heart goes out to the women who are medically forced to make this decision and desire to have children and can’t.  I have 3 kids and already put in place the parimeters not to have more already.  There is no child birth loss for me.  So for the ladies with this loss, it is a loss.  I researched this and I find comfort in reading other blogs of women who have gone through this.  And with life we are all connected.  Keep me in prayer and stay logged on twitter (toitiemblog) and facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/toitimeladies/) as I will update.

News

  1. Kathy Griffin out here with a replica of Donald Trump being beheaded and it has set off this major storm on insensitivity.  I think for me and this is where MY opinion comes off.  It was a bit much.  However if the same ones were upset when the nooses was being shown with imagery of Obama was shown and not because he is Black alone but on the principle of right and wrong than okay.  If not than you just being extra.  What people don’t get is that your argument is more valid when it’s based on principle.  Meaning you would extend the same sympathy to another like you want it done for your favorite than you have merit.
  2. Ireland will have its first openly gay prime minister after Leo Varadkar was elected into the office.
  3. Withdraw of Paris climate agreement.
  4. Continuation of the Russian influence of the election.  Continue to stand by for breaking news of this ongoing legal battle.

So I pray you all enjoy your weekend.  There are some good movies. I saw Wonder Woman and as I thought without giving things away, I walked away feeling great about being a woman.  I may see it again if you’re looking for a quick should you go or not-there you go.  I am taking the kids to see Captain Underpants tonight.  Summer movies are really heating up.  I plan on some me time and I have to work.  So find an activity that you enjoy and make yourself feel like the beautiful gem that you are.

 

You having a boy?

Ladies, ladies, ladies, this is one of those questions that if you are expecting a bundle of joy you semi welcome.  Not when you step on the scale at the doctors and they tell you lost a total of 12 pounds and you been working hard to get it right is that question ever okay.

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For me unless it’s a woman who I know for sure is pregnant I don’t ask.  I consider it to be rude.  I don’t know what the struggle of that woman may be going through.  She could have gained weight and is struggling to conceive.  She could not want kids at all.  Another woman’s uterus is not my concern.  So today I am grabbing a few snacks and that is the question I am faced with.  IF you ever been around me you know my face speaks before my mouth does and I am sure that I gave the questioning woman the grizzly.  I said I have a son he’s 5.  She attempted to look off.  I said my youngest is 2 and I am working hard to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.  She looked off because she and I both know she looks dumb as hell right now. My issue with her is she sees me daily.  Did I get pregnant overnight? You just saw me and said I looked trim yesterday in my outfit but today I am pregnant?

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I ain’t even gonna front, I was humiliated and hurt.  Like WTF?!  Yeah I said it and I am sure you ladies who have been on the receiving end of that said it too.  Like wait I will have to wait until I am Instagram model ready to be considered snatched.  I am doing this on my own with the help of my gym and doctor.  I have no personal chef but have switched up my eating habits and choices.  I have no personal trainer either but I don’t let up and make sure I am consistent.  Even now typing I feel like I have to justify my size when actuality I have climbed out from where I was to where I am now.  I am more confident but even with confidence dripping off of me I wanted to crawl into a hole at the moment she wanted to know if I was having a boy.  Do you get what she was asking me.  Not only am I pregnant but I look pregnant enough for someone to guess the sex of this imaginary baby?! Oh Sweet Jesus what in the world?  I haven’t been a size 2 since my days at Penn State.  I have 3 kids all from c-section and no multiple births.  I am a healthy size 10 and I am okay with that.

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I really need some people to think before you speak.  Pushing things on folks that do not exist can really set them back.  Let’s be clear we all have our things we need to work on so let’s be more gentle with others around us.

“My married friends are worst than my single ones…”

I want to knock on wood, pray to baby Jesus the Black and the White one, go in a trance that I never have to know the betrayal of a husband in the form of another woman having my husband’s baby.  We have planned not to have any more children.  By we I mean I made the decision and my husband supported it.  I don’t know what would have happened if we weren’t on the same page.  For me it came down to the lack of wanting to go through the newborn phase, being pregnant in the first place and my health.

Cheating is not an option to me in marriage let alone a baby.  I feel like everyone has a right to their list of what they will or will not tolerate and for me cheating is a deal breaker.  I think you end up pouring salt in the open wound if by cheating whether male or female and a baby is formed from that sexual bond.  I can’t even begin to explain the level of disrespect and how that would send me into a fit.  Have I been cheated on before? Yes. Am I with the man who cheated?  No.  It is just not tolerable for me.  I keep seeing stories on television, and in real life of this happening.  Let’s keep it real, men and women been cheating since Jesus was a baby.  I try my best not to judge as I don’t really know what I would do if I was in the same situation.  Can people change? Absolutely they can if THEY want to.  I watched a woman go off on a man who fathered a child outside of their union. The way she was giving him the business I had to remember that it wasn’t my issue because I was on the low feeling some type of way. The type where I had to put down my own pitch fork and not attack my own husband on sight for another man’s discretion.  The hurt in her eyes and voice was enough to break me and I am not even in a relationship with the woman.

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How can a man or woman who sees this devastation continue the pattern of hurt and abuse.  I know the answer is hurt people hurt people but the reality is we have to call a spade a spade.  People once they see you will tolerate certain bad behaviors will continue to do the same as they have always done.  A baby is nothing to play games with.  Think about the couple who has been trying and then that man or woman goes and gets pregnant or impregnate another woman leaving the one in the relationship feeling hurt and empty. A baby is a lifetime bill, and lifetime responsibility.  I can’t say even with all of my knowledge I  would be able to just blend another family to mine like that?  Call me Petty Wap because I just can’t see it. Babies cost money so that means that the child fathered or mothered outside of the marriage or relationship is taking away from the central home. It’s never the child’s fault. However I have heard people jump on others for not willing to accept the child and go on like it’s all good.  Some can’t get over it to the point where they function as a unit and just simply move on.  I think every situation is different.  I mean in times where this even comes up in the back of my mind I hear whoop ass.  I would hear divorce papers.  I would hear taking the kids and rolling.  I mean you can’t tell me you wouldn’t think of at least one of those scenarios.  Its human nature.

Why do we tend to forget that especially ladies?  We judge harshly if a woman stays but often times we are dealing with our own issues and stay even when things don’t look or sound right in our own situations.  How do we forget that?  Love is simple but the repercussions of taking and engaging in love aren’t always so black and white.  When you love you take on some gray from time to time.  This is not an argument to just take whatever is dished.  I think we all have our breaking points and at some point we end things.  It may take a few frogs to get there.   For my ladies as much as we want to blame the other “heifer” remember there were two people involved.  If you are married the one to go after is your husband.  You have no idea what lies were told to her to get her in the bed.  Men will say things like I am leaving my wife. Ladies, its cheaper to keep her always remember that.  Most men aren’t going to elect to break up their home for a side piece. They just wanted to know if they still got it and for most men ain’t nothing better than some new……

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Yeah i am trying to spare the church mothers who may read this the ending of that last line.  I am not saying that if you have a friend that betrayed you and slept with your man you wouldn’t feel a certain way.  However I am saying we give men passes and go straight for the woman involved.  Why give your man a pass?  Why? So he gets off free and only sustains a few silent treatments, arguments, and a few yelling matches, and he’s good?

Marriage is respectable.  I really would rather my husband divorce me to be with someone else than to cheat on me.  I really would.  Like hey come tell me you want out and let’s get you out than for me to find out that you out here making romantic getaways, bending some woman over in a car or some sleazy hotel or even in her home while I am at home with your kids.  I can say that for me because that’s how I would feel.  I am not the built-in sitter while you go and do your thing and leaving me with the possibility of a baby or even worst a STD.  Let me warn some of my men and women who play dumb. A condom is a barrier which is not 100%.  Let me repeat that, condoms will not protect all of your sexual organs.  I want to live a healthy life so if my husband put my life in jeopardy that’s the disrespect.

I was on a social media one day and a newly single friend of mine made the comment that his married friends were “worst” than his single friends while they were out.  I believe that. It makes me nervous because in love there’s always room for betrayal.  I am not suggesting they should go hand in hand but I do believe you open yourself up to that hurt by loving someone. Married men or women to be honest feel the need to fight to be free. Why not just get out?  Oh yeah you don’t want to pay to play. You don’t want to figure out child visitation schedules.  You don’t want to have your family ripped up because your clit got hot or your penis got stimulated.  Interesting.  You would rather roll the dice and hope the love of your life is just one of the ones willing to play Russian Roulette with you?

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Let me speak on reconciliation.  Even though cheating is my deal breaker it doesn’t mean that I don’t have 5 seconds belief that people can work hard from the point of divorce and make it work.  It can happen.  Trust me it can.  However that is a lot of work. Most people will not be willing to do the work.  I spoke to a friend who I won’t mention by name but she told me that her husband cheated.  She said that in the beginning, he was all in.  They were in counseling.  He took the lock off his phone. He wined and dined her.  He brought her gifts.  Then when he felt like he had paid his debt and she should be over it, he went back to the same things that lead to the infidelity in the first place.  He no longer opened up in counseling.  He locked his phone tighter than a national bank.  He began taking calls on his cell away from her.  He went back out and coming home at 6am with no calls as to his whereabouts.  If you cheated on someone if you really mean to change you keep the change.  You don’t get to put an expiration on it.  If you do it only shows you were attempting to give a band-aid instead of the necessary surgery to provide real healing. She said it was at that moment that she filed for divorce and let it stick.  He came back with the same tactics when she filed.  He wanted to be a better man. However better wasn’t in him. You can’t get what’s not in a person to give.  Every actor has to lay their part done.  He laid his down and she left.

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IF you are a cheater and haven’ been caught please understand the old saying, nothing hidden that won’t be revealed.  It simply means what’s done in the dark will come to the light.  If you think you are above slipping you are sadly mistaken.  When you get caught if you know you have no intentions on changing with real change than say that and give that man or woman who so they can then do what is best for them.  Do not bring your mate on a journey wasting yours and their time when you know you still want to do your dirt.  Do your dirt and figure out a way to be a family under the new terms of a separate house.  If you cheat it’s not meant for you to live harmonsly like nothing happened.  You have to suffer.  For every action there is a reaction.  You can’t be looking for a loving response after that.  Both spouses need to be willing to work.  If you say you forgive but you still bring it up than you haven’t forgiven.  Let me break one thing down on the forgiveness talk, if you are the one who cheated and you are still doing questionable actions than YOU can’t use the whole forgive me response when you know you still acting suspect.  Align your actions to be honorable that way when it comes up you have an answer that is satisfactory.  You can’t still creep and tell your mate stop treating me like I cheated but your actions say you are cheating.  Accept that.  Stop trying to win the fight when you already lost the war.  Do better and knock it off or decide to part ways and then find someone if you can find them who will be okay with you having more than one sexual partner.  That is key.  You can’t just find someone who is okay with you being newly single and not committed.  They have to understand that you intend to be in other sexual relationships and be okay with it too.

We survived 7 Years of Parenting

On May 26, 2009 I was in a room with my parents and the doctors as my mom basically had to nudge me into making the decision to have a C-section.  I had my best friend, my boyfriend at the time (now husband), and family supporting the decision as well.  So at 11pm my oldest joy Naila was born.  I was told a lot of information. I was suffering from preeclampsia and my blood pressure was completely unstable.  It was at the point where I should have started to have seizures but I didn’t.  My mom kept saying to them they had to do something as the skin on my body began to get darker and darker.They warned me that Naila might have to be put on a ventilator to breath.  They warned me she would spend weeks at the NICU. However on May 26 a screaming, feisty little baby girl was born. She kept taking the nurses finger to eat, she was doing nothing of what they stated she would at 6 weeks premature.  I on the other hand had a lot of recovery to do.

After a week in NICU, I who had left after 4 days was able to take my little baby girl home. That’s when life really began.  It was an up and down struggle. Although she had surpassed the odds she still had asthma.  She also had febrile seizures. The first time she had one she went limb and turned blue.  I was by myself in the house and called 911 scared that I couldn’t keep her alive until help came. I did CPR on her myself and kept her stable. They pulled her from my arms and I clasped in the ambulance.  I didn’t know what was going to happen to her, but she made it. She had more occurrences like this one. I remember my mom crying next to me when she did it in her presence and the same with my mother in law. Both of them hadn’t seen anything like that and felt helpless. During her 1st year our little girl was in the hospital at least 10 times for several things.  It got so bad I learned to keep a suitcase in my trunk.  I could look at her and knew I wouldn’t be able to stay at work all day. She would be admitted. No parent should have the ability to diagnose a child but I knew.  I got stronger in how to deal with her. I knew what to look for and after a while I knew I could give her CPR.  It wasn’t that I dismissed my feelings but I learned how to suppress them until she got the help she needed. I didn’t fall apart because I knew the routine.  Naila being sick affected my job.  I wasn’t even there full time during her sickest days.  If I worked 30 hours that was a win.  So when they downsized of course they added me to the list.  I was devastated.  I didn’t say much to anyone.  I went home with a severance package in hand and cried before I picked up Naila from daycare.  I looked at her and said what was I going to do with no job and a sick baby.  I didn’t qualify for assistance so I literally had to fight this.  With the support of my fiance since he just popped the question the work before made the decision to move to Philadelphia.  Up until this point we were raising her from two different homes.  If you want to know how that transition was read my blog, 5 years down.

Fast forward to present time.  Naila is one of the most sweetest little girls ever. I say that because I am biased and because she is.  Naila is one of the ones that loves everyone.  I literally have to watch her more than any other of my children when we are out because she has such a soft heart for people.  She definitely didn’t get that from me.  I spend too much people watching and discerning for the both of us.  Naila is progressing well in school.  She is a joy to be around.  She has been the reason I have had to learn some of my most toughest moments.  She taught me to be stronger than I thought I could.  She taught me to get help when I need it and not only in medical situations.  She teaches me forgiveness. I’m still working on that one.  My daughter has a high tolerance for things I didn’t have at her age.  She has taught me to smile and be happy.  Everyone of my friends and family will say that about her.  She always says OKAY.  She goes with the flow and she’s very artistic.  This blog was created originally from a place of pain and an outlet because I knew I had to get it right to have the ability to parent her better.  Her attitude in life won’t allow me to be rough with her, to take life for granted, or to not accomplish my own goals.  She is my mini me but a much better version.  She has her own ways about her and I and her dad are super proud of her.  Happy Birthday to mommy and daddy’ little gummy bear, Naila!!!

So we survived 7 years of parenting this joy.  Outside of her health issues she is a good child.  She didn’t give us any issues with behavior.  She could go with anyone so having anyone willing to keep her or babysit her has never been an issue.  She is just a great little girl.  In school we have surrounded her with the things she needs as she continues to become a better student.  Naila is one of those little girls that you can just have fun with and she is happy just for spending time with you.  We survived parenting from 2 different homes. We survived parenting in inlaws’ home. We survived medical emergencies. We survived my postpartum. We survived the stay at home blues. We survived so much and so much more on the horizon and we will do the same, survive.

PS. In case you were wondering she’s healthy and strong no sign of ever being premature mentally or physically and controlled asthma and no more seizures now ain’t that something to be happy about?!  Today we plan on waking her up with nothing but the princess treatment. She will have nothing but love and happiness and all of the things that makes her smile.  She should right? 7 is major in our house, matter of fact every year is.  Birthdays are a big deal!! Birthdays for little girls named Naila is an even bigger deal!!