I've been swimsuit shopping. It's rough. Always has been rough, but now it is rougher. It went from a fine grit sandpaper to the coarsest of the coarse. My stomach dictates a one piece. Almost 8 months after baby, it is still covered in bright purple stretch marks. It also is the shape and texture of ziploc filled with uncooked chitlins. And it moves of its own volition. I fear it is moments away from gaining sentience.
However. The rest of my body dictates a two piece. My torso is long, so most suits ride right up my butt and then some. But what's worse? Well, my top and my bottom don't really belong together. According to the sizing charts, that is. You see... my butt? Well, my butt's about as voluminous as a tough skirt steak sewn onto my hip bones. My boobs? They're channeling a couple of XXL pork butt roasts or something. Prepregnancy, I could hardly contain them. Post pregnancy? I'll need the finest Renaissance era corset, a pair of strong arms, and some heavy working load string to corral them in.
According to the size charts, my butt is a size ten. That, I can handle. I'm a big girl, and a ten is doable for me. But then I scroll down to the bust size and I do a double take - size 20?! What!? How is such a discrepancy possible? You'd think I'd topple over from the top heaviness of it all. It must be a small miracle that I can even walk.
How am I supposed to find a suit that fits all of that? The only swimsuits for people with a chest like mine are made for porn stars, I'm pretty sure. And I think it goes without saying, but that really isn't my style. And since my boobs don't defy gravity with a certain silicone weightless... well... you get where I'm going.
I ordered a size 18 swimsuit to test it out. It was still too small on top, and way too big on the bottom. I contemplated special ordering a swimsuit, but I can't justify the $200+. Maybe I won't be swimming this summer after all.
My friend and I were talking about all of this: my stretch marks, my nifty stomach pouch, and my paucity of properly fitting clothing. She sent me to Shape of A Mother, and wow what an interesting site. It is pictures of naked ladies. In specific, naked mothers.
They write in to the blog, show some pictures of their sometimes mangled and gnarly post-child bodies, and write a snippet about their lives. Then, other moms write in encouraging words. It is uplifting in a way I normally wouldn't consider.
It might sound kind of perverted, but flipping through all of their pages almost makes my stretch marks seem honourable. It is good to know I'm not the only one. Maybe I should suck it up and go swimming this summer after all.