I had a relatively easy pregnancy. I didn’t gain too much weight, I wasn’t too uncomfortable and don’t hate me but I was wearing my normal clothes again 2 weeks after I gave birth. I will admit that I was a little bit like “Hello, my name is fabulous” about my easy, breezy, beautiful gestation, but oh…the gods of pregnancy are fair my friends, they are fair.
Do you know what I’m talking about when I say pregnancy mask? Or the technical term “melasma”? It’s when your skin gets blotchy dark patches due to hormones.
I discovered the summer after I had Caroline that my hormones had undergone some kind of unspeakable horror that was causing me to have what looked like a mustache on my face. I will never forget looking at our pictures from 4th of July and asking P. “is that what I look like? Oh my good gracious, I have a mustache!” His reply was that since I’m half Italian he just thought I was dark and hairy. Did he not realize I hadn’t had a mustache during the eight previous years he had known me?
I IMMEDIATELY headed down to the closest Eckerds to load up with every kind of bleaching cream known to man. I scrubbed, I bleached, I sunscreened and wore a hat that provided shade to anyone in a five foot radius when I was out in the sun. And thankfully, it faded.
The problem is that just like bad relatives, it comes back for a visit every summer. The lethal cocktail of the sun combined with my hormones seems to call it into being. My dermatologist told me that it would go away for good if I got off the pill, but really for the time being if the choice is having a newborn or looking like Tom Selleck three months of the year…I’ll choose to go the Magnum PI route.
At least for the other 9 months of the year, it’s barely noticeable. But the lesson I’ve learned is that it doesn’t matter how good you look in your bathing suit at the pool if you have a mustache that might cause a kid working at the grill to say “Excuse me Sir, your tater tots are ready”.