Photo: Getty Images My boobs were famous in high school. When the boys made a list of girls’ be...
How Breastfeeding Ruined My Body
My boobs were famous in high school. When the boys made a list of girls’ best body parts, I always won best breasts. An ample size C, they were perfectly round and buoyant, always staying put when I removed my bra. For me, bras were optional and decorative, not a necessity. I could wear any type of top-spaghetti strap, backless, halter, sleeveless. The world was my oyster.
And as I aged, the magic of my breasts stayed with me. In my early thirties, while on vacation with friends, they finally blurted out the question they had always wanted to ask: “Are they real?” Yes, of course, and fabulous.
Then I got pregnant. I’m going to fast forward through those nine months when my breasts grew gargantuan-mesmerizing, even. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I needed a whole new breast wardrobe. Giant bras. Bras you could wear as hats. I was even bestowed the term “fun bags.” My giant boobs were so giant they wanted to lie down at the end of the day and rest; they needed their own pillow. I could pick one up and hit my husband in the face with it. It was fun.
I am also going to fast forward through the first year of my son’s life, except to say that I breastfed. Yes, for the whole year. What’s more, I loved it. I was one of those lucky women: my boobs worked. The milk came. The baby latched. The hormones hit. The weight vanished. I found every single other part of being a mom impossibly difficult. But biologically, I nailed it.
And then I stopped breastfeeding and the magic disappeared-deflated. My perfectly round, perfectly perky breasts dropped, and then drooped, and then settled into a U-shape. They looked as sad as I felt. Perhaps I was naive, but I really thought they’d reshape. I kept waiting for them to tighten back up. It has been four years.
I’ve since purchased my third round of bras. They’re not the globe-size hats of my pregnancy days, nor the slinky, lacy options of yore. They are lifter-uppers. And even with these new bras on, clothes don’t hang on me in the same way. Here’s what I should feel, according the internet: joy, love, appreciation of my body and all the many gifts it has given me. Pride that I fed and nursed and nourished my mewling infant into a healthy boy. Respect and admiration for the strength and wonder of the female form. Here’s what I actually feel: fucking pissed.