We have booked a family holiday to Mexico for two weeks from now. At that time I will be nine months post-partum with my second child. While I feel mostly great about the shape I’m in, I realize that I am still coming to terms with my body so soon after my second baby. Don’t worry, this is not a post about how I love my body because it gave life to others. Far from it.
My weight is down to what it was 12 months post baby-one, which is a wee bit higher than it was before pregnancy…I can barely remember that long ago. Stretch marks are real and I have them. For those who said they moisturized everyday and didn’t get them, I shake my fists at you. I did this and I still got them. They are fading, but not overnight. I felt great after baby-one, but now after baby-two it’s more of a meh. My skin is different and my boobs, which are still feeding my babe, could be the subject of a heart wrenching ballad by Adele. May I suggest ‘When we were young’ or perhaps ‘Skyfall’. You get the picture. It’s all there, just feels foreign, and a little lower. And I’m tired AF, so that doesn’t help.
So, I have the daunting task of finding a new bathing suit that is functional for a family vacation yet makes me feel like a total babe. I’ve brought this on myself. Maybe we should have hit the slopes instead?
I went to the mall as soon as it opened yesterday and hit up the bathing suit shop and told them what I needed: one-piece for a beach vacation with my kids. They asked my size and a few questions about colour went to work pulling options. I didn’t look for a single thing on the shelves. Just stood back with my stroller and let the two women working pull whatever they wanted. The result was about 12 different suits that ticked the boxes of what I said I wanted.
When I had the first suit on she insisted on seeing it to help with sizing. I felt embarrassed at first… but hadn’t I given birth to a roomful of people, completely naked, twice? Not the same!!! Trying on bathing suits is way worse than being naked while pushing out a baby in front of a room full of people. The reason for that, is that during labour you are not concerned with anything other than the work that you have to do. The hormones that are released give you this beautiful euphoric sense as you cradle your new baby while doctors stitch you up and nurses paw at your breasts. When trying on bathing suits, you are acutely aware of every lump, hair, and sagging breast while in the back of your mind wishing that you hadn’t eaten that donut the day before. Yeah, because that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Moving on, the woman helping me was older and had worked there a long time. She was pushy, but in a way that forced me to try on things that I wouldn’t normally have given a second look at, which is what I needed. She was honest about what worked and what didn’t and made me feel very comfortable all while tugging at the suit I was wearing.
A few change-room selfies later sent to my best friend and my husband, I had narrowed things down to two, even tried on a bikini, which was a hard pass….for practical reasons *cough*. Some of the bathing suits were total misses and one I didn’t even try on as the only vibe it gave off was seniors-aquarobics and I’m not ready for that.
At the end of this experience I left the store feeling good about myself and with a bathing suit that ticked all the boxes. What I learned was that the best chance of finding something right was to trust the experts and be open. Be honest and give specific feedback – you owe it to the people helping you as it gives them direction. You’re not always going to find someone who has the time or the desire to be helpful and do their job, and if you don’t, move on. You owe it to yourself to feel like a total babe and not get lost in the experience along the way.