Some loathe pregnancy. I love it. I love all of the changes. My soft stomach grows into a round, taught ball, my thin hair multiplies to Kardashian proportions, my fair skin no longer needs highlighter because it literally takes on a glow, and the best part is what happens to my breasts. My perky little mumps grow into glorious mounds capable of cleavage! My new body is even more exciting for my husband. It’s like he’s discovering me for the first time all over again.
After our second son Jasper arrived, the breastfeeding began. It was harder than delivery. As the sole food provider, I worked round the clock, producing milk every three hours and then second-guessing if he’s getting enough. Nipples are sore, boobs get engorged, and then there are the times when an avalanche of milk spews without warning. Jasper and I eventually got into a groove, and my mounds grew into even more impressive mountains. They were all natural, firm and stood at attention like implants. Bring on the low-cut tops. My boobs were banging, and I never felt so confident. My clothes never looked better on and off, and my husband took full advantage.
After seven months of breastfeeding, work trips came calling, and it was time to wean Jasper. Within a week of drying up, my booby bubble literally burst. Everything deflated and my mountains caved in. My teardrops were so sad, they could cry. They went from milk jugs to milk duds. Gone was their playful bounce, fleshy fullness and firmness. It would be understandable/acceptable if i was left with the perky, petite cherries i started with that, while small, suited my dainty figure. Instead, my chest was like a ski slope — everything went downhill. The exclamation point was that my headlights permanently protruded. This is the aftermath of breastfeeding two kids, and it wasn’t pretty. My breasts got the life sucked from them. Rather, they got the shit kicked out of them.
This isn’t about vanity. I hardly look in the mirror. If I get a zit or a new freckle, I find out from my husband, who knows my face better than I do at this point. This is about acceptance. It hasn’t been easy becoming friends with my flat frame. I’ve never had body issues before, but this has rocked my confidence. How do you feel sexy when you can’t fill out your tops or bras for that matter? My shirts drape me like a hanger. I had to stuff my bra, something I didn’t even do when I was going through puberty, for a TV segment! And how can my husband actually be turned on when he’s cupping my droopy peas, formerly known as breasts? There’s hardly anything to grab on to any more.
I don’t regret breastfeeding. While it can make you feel like Sisyphus, for me, it was a gift. I’m awed by what our bodies are made to do. That said, now that I’m done, I don’t miss it a bit, especially those times I felt like a cow and those times (lots of times at 3am) when I wished my husband could be the one getting up and feeding Jaz. In some ways I feel badly for him that he’ll never get to know what it’s like. Those intimate moments feeding my baby, when it was just me and him doing our thing, sharing this pure connection, are rewarding memories I feel honored and lucky to have.
People always talk about what to expect when you’re expecting. But what happens after you’re done expecting is what I wasn’t expecting, and it’s thrown me for a loop.
What about you?