i have always been a little proud of the fact that i tan easily. i was blessed with my mother's olive skin tone, which requires only a little time in the sun before turning a nice, golden brown. so far this summer, i've been too busy to be outside much, and my skin has remained canadian-looking white. so, when my cousin jennifer and her husband marc and their two kids carmyn and rowan came down from oregon to san diego for a visit, i was very ready to show off our lovely beaches. not only am i proud of the fact that i tan easily, i also have been known to say such things as, "oh, i really never burn. i've only burned once and that was when i snorkeled all day in hawaii without any sunscreen on my back." oh heidi, heidi. yes, my pride came before very large fall.
yesterday was gorgous; we couldn't have asked for a better beach day. the sky was clear, the breeze was cool, the parking lot at la jolla beach was nearly empty when we arrived. we quickly found a spot on the sand and spread out our beach towels while carmyn and rowan went chasing after sea gulls and dancing in the waves. i diligently spread my spf 9 sunscreen all over my body, and gave a long contented sigh as i lay back in the warmth of the rays. pure heaven. we were there for a few hours and i kept peeking under my straps to see what kind of color i was getting. i wasn't too impressed actually, as it seemed that dang spf 9 was keeping my skin the same shade of white. after the last sand castle had been built and decorated with sea shells, we traipsed our sandy bodies out to the car for the ride back home.
fast forward to about 5 hours later. i asked josh to apply the cold "green goop" as we called it to my tender skin. i took off my shirt and he just gasped. "WHAT DID YOUD DO TO YOURSELF??!!"oh yes, i was (am) quite the lovely shade of lobster. really REALLY bright and EXTREMELY painful. my forehead, nose, left ear, neck, chest, stomach and thighs are all very rosy and glowing and it feels as if someone has taken a paring knife and peeled off my skin in very thin layers. i could hardly sleep last night for the pain and this morning it felt even worse. and yet stronger than the pain of my burn, deeper than my wounded pride was my fear and guilt: what have i done to my baby? is baby stew now little more than a hard boiled egg? did those nasty uv rays penetrate deeper than my epidermis and give my unborn child skin cancer? oh heidi, heidi. why were you too proud to apply the spf 50 that jennifer so kindly offered?
i got to work this morning and tried to ignore the fact that every step i took caused my rather scratchy pants to rub against my burn. i walked rather robotically for about 2 hours and then, as i was putting cute little bookmarks on a display, i began to feel rather odd. peculiar was actually the word that came to my mind at the moment. i felt nauseated, but not the same kind of nauseated that i've been feeling for the past 4 weeks. i walked to the bathroom, locked the door, and promptly collapsed onto the ground as my head spun in a sea of stars. i came to just in time to start heaving the entire contents of my stomach into the toilet. all i could think of that entire time was "my poor baby" and "why didn't i use the spf 50?"
i called my doctor who confirmed that i am suffering from heat exhaustion and drove home (a little concerned about passing out again in the car) and am now drinking a LOT of water and eating grapes and peeing about once every 5 minutes. but i feel much better. oh, and my doctor also told me that the baby will not be harmed by all of this, but that i should take this as "a lesson learned." yes i shall. no more bragging coming from this mouth of mine. the next time i'm at the grocery store i will eat my humble pie while purchasing a large bottle of spf 50.