During all this living of my life, friends I graduated from high school and college with have started celebrating their fortieth birthdays, with grand weekends away, raging parties, and quiet retreats at spas. I've been thinking about how I'd like to celebrate mine, sneaking up on me in just six months. I've also been thinking about how scary it sounds to be 40. How middle of my life I am. Is it really half over? Maybe. But we're all dying, every day. I'm not super afraid of my mortality for my sake, but for my childrens' sake. I have to be around as long as possible for them. There's also this nagging part of my brain that I can't shake: I still feel seventeen. I'm not alone in this notion - one of my dearest gal pals from high school, Mandilyn, feels just the same way. So much so, in fact, that we've been hashtagging each other in all sorts of posts on social media about buying jewelry at Claire's in the mall and loving Taylor Swift and our affinity for the high school TV drama Friday Night Lights as #stillseventeen.
As life would have it, Mother Nature has added insult to injury by officially setting into motion PERIMENOPAUSE. Like, seriously, I went to the doctor because my body has gone HAYWIRE and here's the documented proof because THIS CAN'T BE HAPPENING I'M STILL 39 AND I JUST HAD A BABY FOR CHRISSAKE:
- Mittelschmerz like you can't believe, but the cramping and back pain doesn't just last a week, it's constant!
- Menstruation for three weeks straight! Heavy and filling the toilet with lots of internal tissue and clots.
- Moodiness and tearfulness! And not just during PMS or menstruation, but all the time.
- Moments of sudden rage! Like maybe you are making scrambled eggs and talking with your husband and it turns into an argument and you slam the plastic spatula on the stovetop to make a point and it breaks and he's like WTF ARE YOU CRAZY?! and in turn you pick up the entire pan of eggs and throw it on the floor BECAUSE YES.
- Bloating! Again, not just during PMS or menstruation, but a permanently puffed out belly.
- Gingivitis! Swollen, bleeding gums that make it so painful to eat.
- Lack of appetite! Everything tastes off and weird like it did when you were pregnant (hello again, crazy hormones!) which is probably fine anyhow because GINGIVITIS.
- Hair loss! My hair is falling out in huge clumps, just like it does a few months after I give birth. At least it's growing back; I've got a head full of baby gray hairs to prove it.
- Acne! I keep breaking out. ON MY BACK. Which hasn't happened since I was in high school (the irony of #stillseventeen is not lost on me here).
- Weird muscle and joint aches! I threw my back out for the first time in my entire life last week. Ain't got no time for ice when you're crawling after a toddler on the floor. Also, picking up a 25 lb. baby in this condition SUCKS.
- Sudden dark spots appear on your face! The technical term is melasma, or hyperpigmentation of the skin due to extreme changes in hormones. Sometimes it happens during pregnancy, or sometimes you just wake up one day when you're 39 AND LEAST EXPECTING IT and your upper lip is strangely dark brown.
- Itchy dry skin! I feel like bugs are crawling on me and my EARS ARE PEELING. Thank goodness for bulk jars of coconut oil from Costco.
- Breast swelling and tingling! This actually ain't that bad. Except it feels like I'm pregnant but my body is actually doing the exact opposite of making a baby (sob).
- Heart palpitations! This happened when I was pregnant as well, it's something due to hormones and thinning of blood, but it is also a version of hot flashes, I guess. Anyhow, my heart will flutter and race for a few seconds several times a day and it's real off-putting.
So I bought myself a blue polka dot bikini.
Because I deserve it.
Swim Sexy blue polka dot bikini from Swimsuits For All, size 18 top and size 20 bottom. It might be the best plus sized swimsuit shop in all the world, because of the high quality and ability to order different sized tops and bottoms. It was recommended in a Facebook group I'm part of called the Curvy Girl Guide, and the suit has become such a tour de force we've christened it with it's own hashtags. #polkawhaaaaaaat #thesuit