Before I had my son I was proud of you. We were a comfortable, on-the-small-size of a 34C. You were perky still, not touched by the long night nursing sessions. The little sleep powered sessions of nursing that brought me the realization that something so hard and challenging could be so rewarding. So life changing.
We used to shop at the sexy lingerie stores, ready to sex you up in lacey prints for a fun night with your man. The sleek, smooth pre-baby cleavage has turned into a wrinkly, overlapping ripple of some kind. Now, there’s no going back. Not after my offspring have survived by suckling on you bad boys. Foreplay becomes a formality. Libido becomes a choice. Sexiness used to be easy for you.
The hours spent pumping. Oh the pumping. I never thought something so supple could make me feel like a cow being herded to the stock yard. The pain of suction on your once pink nipples, now discolored. You used to sit straight and when you played peek-a-book through my shirt, we teased our lover. Now, my onlooker tilts his head, curious at how cock-eyed you’ve become from breastfeeding.
On the outside, life looks like it has left you. On my inside I feel like life has left you. Deflated. That’s what we are.
When I just couldn’t take it anymore on the little sleep that was needed of me to bring you out to soothe the cry of my baby, I decided to give you a break. Thank God for the bottle. Thank God for formula. Thank God someone else could feed little one so we could have a break. A break we would feel in the morning. Those deflated breasts now turned into full, prickly painful, heavy breasts screaming for release.
We had our ups and downs for a year. We had our pep talks to get through the sleepless nights. We cried from the pain of learning to help baby latch. We cried from the pain of what it felt like when that life-giving milk decided to flow through you for the first time. We forced ourselves to feel sexy again.
We also had the most eye opening experience when baby nursed for the first time. The gentle tug and swallow we felt. The release of hormones that washes over is something we will never forget. All the selfish feelings I had for you are a foggy, distant memory. The empowering and daunting feeling of knowing that you are the only one who can bring life to baby.
Now that I have you back to myself, I am honestly not sure what to do with you. Lingerie seems phony. Underwire seems like a nightmare. One thing I do know is this: the now fullness of a 34C that was once barely full brings me pride in a way I never knew existed. That is something we would never trade to be “perky” again.
I am stronger woman now than I ever was.