My Broken Boobs


My Broken Boobs

My boobs don’t work.

They are useless.

This is a difficult thing to admit, because before pregnancy, I've got to say, I had an unbelievably impressive rack. Every day, perky and filling up a [full] 34C, the girls did me proud. At the time, I’d heard of the lactivist mothers, those insisting that, as a society, we have over-sexualized breasts when their real role in life is pure function. They’re meant to feed babies. 

I guess I understand. But I liked my sexy boobs. And so did my husband. You know where that led: now we have a daughter.

Even before Iris was born, breastfeeding was my choice. My mom had breastfed (she was the hipster of her time, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, making her own baby food!), and I wanted to follow her example. She always talked about what a bonding experience it had been with all of her babies. Plus it just seemed practical, cheap, and easy.

My endowment was a joke through my entire pregnancy. Hyped up on hormones and weight gain, the girls swelled to an impressive 40F by the time I was in labor, and the nurses would just shake their heads and say, “Your baby’s going to be well fed!” Right there in the hospital, Iris latched immediately, sucking away like it was what she’d been made to do. The nurses were pleased, the lactation consultant was impressed, and I was beaming with pride that my daughter and I already worked so well together as a team.

But after a few days, something just didn’t seem right any more; and sure enough, at her first well baby check-up, little Iris had lost nearly 15 percent of her birth weight. While we fumbled through the unexpected practice of bottle feeding and countless hours of pumping, I also struggled with immense amounts of guilt: I had starved my child, I wasn’t healthy enough, I was doing something wrong, I’d already failed as a mother.

 

Thankfully, I had a doctor willing to talk about low supply and the effects my induction may have had on my milk. Two months later, pumping eight to ten times a day, I was still only producing an ounce a day at most. I had to make the decision to no longer exhaust myself, and that’s when I began full-time formula feeding.

And Iris is fine. She loves to eat, she is a healthy weight, and I’ve come to appreciate the convenience of bottle feeding. It wasn’t what I’d pictured initially, but then what is in motherhood?

While I noted daily the benefits of bottle feeding, charging myself along, I also anxiously awaited the return of my normal body. I was a bit impatient in this, and I soon realized the traumatic truth: without breastfeeding, my body would not so easily loose nature’s hold on stored fat. After all, breastfeeding can burn at least 500 calories a day, and between that and regularly lifting 15 pounds of pudge and drool, most mommies can expect to squeeze back into their jeans within a few months.

Not so with the bottle! And in my vanity—I possessed so much more than I’d ever realized!—what I mourned the most was the loss of my blessed bosoms. They did not deflate as quickly as I’d anticipated; six months into motherhood, and I’m still squeezing into a cup size larger than I was pre-pregnancy. And even worse, their slight decrease really was deflation. I now have two sagging stress ball balloons hanging from my chest.

And also they don’t work.

May I ask you, oh ye lactivists, what is to be done with my chest? What do you do when your boobs are neither sexual nor functional? What are they then?! 

Image Source: Trevor Noel

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Latest

Have Fun With POPSUGAR Selfie

+