In the not too distant future, we will be leaving soggy Blighty for sunnier shores. I can almost feel the warm fingers of sunshine beckoning me; willing me to lie on a sandy beach, so that they can caress my body with their gentle rays. I can’t wait. The combination of pregnancy tiredness, the hectic pace of life in the Plum household and the recent terrible weather means I’m really looking forward to this holiday.
This year I was organised when it came to buying any new items that Pip might need, purchasing them early in the season. He has now has sunhats/ sunsuits/ crocs/ suncream and pretty much anything else he might need, in all the right sizes and factors. Husband and I don’t generally waver from our default list of things to take. He always packs too little, I always pack too much. I never wear those 3 extra pairs of shoes I insist must come with us. However, this time around, I’m facing one clothing dilemma I wouldn’t normally have; what to wear on the beach. The question I keep turning over in my mind is....Should pregnant women wear bikinis?
When I hit the beach, I’ll be seventeen and a half weeks pregnant. In my non pregnant state, I would have worn a bikini on holiday without hesitation. Two months ago, when an early pregnant me considered holiday swimwear for this trip, I was dead set on wearing a bikini (albeit with good coverage on the derriere front). But as the day when I’m set to bare (nearly) all draws nearer, I’ve started wavering.
I’ve always been a believer that a pregnant woman’s body is wonderful; a sight to be marvelled at and celebrated; that one’s bump is something to be proud of, and not something that should be hidden away. However, as I tried on my swimwear choices yesterday, staring in the mirror at the reflection of my burgeoning bump, topped and tailed by bands of M&S deep blue Lycra, I started to have doubts. We’re being joined on this holiday by some friends and their pre-school daughters. We’ve known them a long time, but, whilst I may feel happy lounging like an enlarged lizard in a bikini by the pool, is it going to be a complete stomach turner for them? I don’t want to put them off their Greek salad. Equally, whilst I don’t usually worry about what other people think, I'm now wondering if there will be a throng of anonymous holiday makers made queasy by the sight of my pre-partum body. And now I'm wondering, how all this might actually make me feel; I don't want to find I have an attack of self consciousness. In short, I’m now questioning my confidence to wear my bikini with pride; to stand up and say, “pregnant and proud”. I’m wondering whether I should dash out last minute and buy a maternity tankini. Although frankly, I don’t want to, because in 32 degree heat, it’s going to be hot enough as it is, without stretching some tight Lycra over my already tight, taut, itchy skin. It’s a real dressing dilemma. Should pregnant women be more demure when it comes to beachwear? Did you wear a bikini when pregnant? If so, did you receive any negative reactions as a result?
My other packing dilemma concerns reading material. Since I became a mother, opportunities to consume a book in a couple of sittings have become rare, and a few snatched hours on a sunbed whilst on holiday now tends to be the sum total of my annual reading quota. Usually I have a book or two on my ‘to read’ list, but this year I’m really struggling to find a book that excites me enough to put it in my case. Typically, I like books with a mystery element to them, if this encapsulates historical fiction, even better. A few of books I’ve really enjoyed are: Fingersmith by Sarah Walters, The Secret History -Donna Tartt, The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett, Holy Fools - Joanne Harris, The Meaning of Night - Michael Cox and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruez Zafon. What’s your most riveting read? If you have any recommendations for a gripping blockbuster I can devour in the sunshine, I’d love to hear. (Must be available in paperback though, I find hardback is too cumbersome on a sunbed, and I don’t own a kindle.)
Once I sort out my book and bikini dilemma, I think I’m good to go. The only other thing I need to remember is my flight compression socks, which according to my GP is a must for pregnant women. I’m sure they’re going to look just great with my new 'over the bump' capri pants. Glamour personified; that’s me.