Swimwear, I try to avoid it as much as possible. I am just not a fan and have had hideous experiences with swimwear in recent years. I thought I was safe enough this Summer as with no plans to holiday abroad, I wrongly assumed I could avoid swimwear.
Last week we went on a mini break to a hotel in Ireland. I didn’t pack swimwear because I didn’t have any that fits ,the baby is too small for a swimming pool and I just assumed the husband would take the other children to the pool and I had short-term immunity from swimwear hell. So day one, all fine, the kids had a brilliant time swimming. I watched on from the side, comfortably fully dressed. All was going to plan. Then day two came around. “Mammy, please can you bring us swimming” said the boy and the other two chimed in, in agreement. As much as I detest swimwear, especially since I gave birth in May and pretty much haven’t stopped eating since, they were really adamant they wanted to go swimming with me, I couldn’t say no.
Fortunately I was staying in the shopping capital of Ireland. Westmeath. Land of many many salubrious swimwear boutiques. No that’s a lie. There were no swimwear boutiques. There was a Dunnes Stores with a really limited end of season swimwear selection. I had two choices. One a Hawaiian style number, so bright you would need to be wearing sunglasses to look at it and you would be visible from miles away when wearing that was €25 or the swimsuit equivalent of mom jeans. Plain black, unassuming, that cost €10. The problem was the Hawaiian style one was a size 16 which would have offered me some modesty and been comfortable on if hideous to look at and the black unassuming one was a size 12. Because I am fucking deluded and also cheap, I bought the black one.
I have big boobs at the best of times. I am currently breastfeeding so I currently have GINORMOUS boobs. Even if I was at my recommended weight and not breastfeeding, there is isn’t a hope of a size 12 fitting over my knockers, I don’t know what I was thinking. The Hawaiian one was really bloody hideous though.
So back to the hotel. I went into the bathroom to put on my new plain swimsuit. It fit fine as I put it on. Wasn’t too snug on my arse (the bottom half of me is half the size of the top half of me) all going well, then I pulled it up. I thought swimwear would be stretchy. Well I tested that assumption. I got my arms in, struggled and got it up and over my boobs. Immediately I felt my chest constricting but fuck it, I had got it on. It was fine. Then I turned around and looked in the mirror and all I saw was my boobs. The swimsuit had miraculously made them appear even bigger than they were. There was side boob, there was top boob, there was everything bar nipples. The swimsuit managed to cover them, just. I couldn’t leave the bathroom like this never mind go to a swimming pool where there would be innocent members of the public there. I shouted out to the kids that I was really sorry but I couldn’t go swimming with them. They gave out. They were disappointed. The four-year old even started to cry. So I was going to have to go swimming after all. I put my clothes back on over the swimsuit from hell refusing to even show the husband the state of this swimsuit and off we went to the pool.
We got to the changing room, the kids got ready, I put on swim hats and arm bands. I used every delay tactic I could come up and then I ran out of excuses and took my clothes off. I was having some trouble breathing regularly at this stage as the swimsuit from hell so was tight.
I was reminiscent of Pamela Anderson in her Baywatch days.
If Pam was carrying an extra three or four stone, hadn’t had her roots done in five months, had skin that was almost translucent in its paleness and was shuffling beside a pool in Mullingar instead of running along a beach in Malibu.
The pool was freezing. I got in as quick as possible, the cold held no fear for me, I just wanted to be hidden. So we swam, we had fun, the boy almost drowned as he didn’t realise that if you stop swimming to give a thumbs up in pride at your own swimming you will sink. All was fine and I tried to ignore the now crippling pains I was feeling in my boobs to add to the pain of my chest constriction and just kept muttering “please don’t let me pass out, please don’t let me pass out” . The pool was thankfully quiet enough but I reckoned if I kept my arms pressed to my side I could cover a lot of the side boob action. I looked around the husband was sitting outside with the baby. I couldn’t hear him but I knew he was sniggering at my discomfort. The prick. We got out. Do you know hard it is to get out of a pool without using your arms with three children? Very hard, is the answer. I Shuffled back to the changing room and I peeled the swimsuit from hell off me. THE RELIEF. I could breathe again. I had a new-found respect and appreciation for non restrictive clothing.
Unfortunately the pain didn’t stop and I had severe cramps in my boobs for about 8 hours after that actually required paracetamol. The fucking swimsuit gave me another boob injury ( not my first one sadly – see here )Thankfully I don’t seem to have any lasting boob pain side affects and the kids were happy enough to go swimming without me for the rest of our stay. Thank Christ as I would have had to go skinny dipping and I don’t that’s allowed in hotels. I have plans to burn the swimsuit because knowing my stupidity and continued delusion, this memory will fade and I will probably attempt to wear it again.