As I sit here writing this, the house is quiet except for the cricket on the TV. The children are in bed. I should shut this computer down and head for the wine fridge.
But, just for you, and because sharing is caring, here is my thought for this evening…
The other day, my kids were listening to a CD in the car and one of the songs had me in a fit of the giggles. This is how it went:
“Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow? Can you throw them over your shoulder like a Continental Soldier? Do your ears hang low?”
You may be asking yourself what part of the song had me giggling like a school girl. Well, in my head, I had substituted the word ‘ear’ for ‘boob’ and my answer to all of those questions was an unequivocal YES.
I have breastfed all three of my children. In the beginning I had all sorts of trouble (so much so that it was my inspiration to begin writing a book about the trials and tribulations of motherhood, cryptically entitled It’s Hard) and in hindsight, if I had have given into my tears (and the blisters and the mastitis and the engorgement) and decided to go for the bottle, I may not have had this issue.
However, 18 months of breastfeeding later (I fed all of mine until they were 9 months old), my boobs are hanging lower than Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball.
The Bra Test
I have to admit that I was never the owner of perky boobs. I developed really early and so, I suppose, gravity had a few extra years to work its magic.
As a teenager, I remember the Bra Test (ie the test to see if you should wear a bra or not). It went like this: Put a pencil under your boob. If it fell down, you were able to go braless and if it stayed in place, you really needed to put a bra on. At the time, I was definitely in the latter category (hell, I could probably have held 2 pencils). But now, I think I could actually hold the pencil case itself.
It still amazes me how deflated they become after feeding.
When my milk had finally arrived, I had two large grapefruits sitting on my chest (no exaggeration).
It would have been my husband’s dreams come true if it weren’t for all of the veins and the fact that he wasn’t allowed to come in arms reach of them. And if it wasn’t for the sheer weight of them, I would have finally been able to go braless (a la the Bra Test) because I couldn’t even hold a crayon underneath them they were that hard and tight.
The bra fitting
After I finished feeding my second daughter, I went for a bra fitting (I hadn’t had one since I was 12 so I thought it was about time) and the sales assistant asked me what size I thought I was.
I told her that pre-pregnancy I was switching between a 10C and 12C and during pregnancy/breastfeeding I fit into a 14D. I then looked down at my chest and said, “Now, I liken them to frogs in socks”.
I could literally pinch the skin at the top of my boob between my thumb and forefinger, lift it up and watch all of the weight of the breast tissue dangle unceremoniously underneath.
In hindsight, I should have been happy with the set that I had when I was 31 because at least the frogs were only in ankle socks.
Now, after feeding my third daughter, they have stretched out to a sport’s sock. I suppose if I have a fourth baby, I’ll be heading towards the support stockings they gave me to prevent blood clots when I went in for my C-section (luckily, I kept a pair).
Finding the right bra isn’t even the funniest part of my post-breast feeding boobs. The funniest part is when I am lying in bed on a Sunday morning and the girls run into our room and jump onto our bed. They put their hands on either side of my body to lean in for a kiss and I have to say, “Oops, that’s my boob.”
They had slidden off my chest like freshly cooked, fried eggs and come to rest on their own part of the mattress. When the tickling games ensue between husband and daughters, my husband tries to poke me in the ribs as well and I say, “Missed me. That was my boob.”
It was always a joke in our household that after I finished having kids; we would save up for a boob job.
Unfortunately for my husband, his vision of a pair of DDs coming home after surgery is not quite the same as mine. I don’t want big boobs, I just want them lifted and put back in place. I want to be able to put away the soup ladle that I use to scoop up the flesh before stuffing it into a bra (just kidding – I don’t use a soup ladle). I want to be able to wear pyjamas without my nipple being mistaken for my bellybutton.
Having said all of this though, I suppose I should wear them like a badge of honour. They did provide all of the nourishment required by my children in their early months. Maybe I’ll let them hang like pendulums, swinging freely. After all of the dramas my breasts went through in the beginning, it is the least they deserve (my legs on the other hand have been nothing but trouble since I was pre-pubescent so maybe they could suffer the punishment of the knife).
So, there you are boobs. You are now free to hang low, to wobble to and fro, to tie yourselves in a knot, to tie yourselves in a bow, to throw yourselves over my should like a Continental Soldier. To just hang low.
In all seriousness, I want to make sure that this article is received in the light-hearted manner for which it is intended. Every mother has her own story of feeding her baby whether it is by breast or bottle. In no way, am I trying to say that breast is the only way to go. A baby needs food. You do what you need to do to feed your baby. Let’s not judge other people’s decisions.