After you have a baby your body might lose a few other things besides just the "baby weight." You'll probably lose that "glow" everyone was talking about during those months of baby growing, as well as all those feel-good pregnancy hormones that are leaving your body instantly. Another thing you might lose? Your gorgeous pregnancy boobs. I know I've had quite a few silent conversations with my postpartum boobs as a result of that "loss" (and because motherhood is weird AF).
If you're like me, those conversations are with enormous, oversized milk jugs that you might decide to nurse with. That decision (and, hopefully, capability, as not everyone who chooses to breastfeed actually can breastfeed) might change your breasts forever. So, yeah, a lot of the choice words I had for my postpartum boobs had to do with those freakin' changes because, well, come on ladies. You threw me for a loop.
I'll admit that the majority of those postpartum conversations with my life-sustaining breasts were anything but kind. In fact, I'm kind of a bully when it comes to my postpartum boobs. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that these girls just are not what they used to be. It's strange, getting used to a body for 30 years and then, over the course of just two years, that body changing in such a drastic and unrecognizable way. I'm working towards being cool with it, though. In the meantime, me and my boobs? Yeah, we're talking it out.
"People Warned Me About You, But I Just Never Listened"
While I was smugly nursing away with my full, round, beautiful milk-filled breasts, friends and relatives who had children warned me about the dreaded postpartum boob sagging and shrinkage that would await me. "Oh, yeah. Sure. Whatever." I said to them. I never thought this would happen to me, what with my pre-pregnancy perky little B cups and my sensible sized C/D nursing breasts. I thought for sure that after pregnancy and nursing (for nearly two years) I would settle somewhere between a B and a C because #karma and I thought I deserved it.
Yeah, that wasn't the case. Like, at all. My postpartum boobs are just as promised: sad sacks resembling withered balloons cast aside after a raucous toddler birthday party.
"You Two Used To Be So Much More Fun To Hang Out With"
In the good old days, I used to confidently be able to bend over in a low cut shirt and imagine that if a cute guy caught a glance, he might blush. Now when I bend over, my breasts look more like a Japanese eggplant — somewhat elongated and scrawny but without the benefit of being considered fancy because they're in season or from a local farmer's market.
"I Don't Really Like Being In Public With You Guys Anymore"
Going out at night and dressing up used to be fun. As a small-breasted gal, I could go braless basically any time, or I could wear tops with sensible side-boob. Even bikini season had its moments, because I could throw on one of those nothing triangle bras with no support and call it a day.
My postpartum boobs are not only small, they're small plus empty inside. So picture two lumps of skin being held up by a bra and you're basically looking at wrinkled skin flaps pressed against my chest cavity. It is almost grotesque. And my sideboob? Well, my boobs don't have a sense of direction or gravity anymore, so they just veer whichever way the wind blows. In other words, side-boob could be up-boob, down-boob, to-the-other-side-boob and, well, you get the picture.
"Why Are You Two Such Flakes?"
For a while, after I'd stopped breastfeeding, my postpartum boobs couldn't figure out which one was bigger or what size they wanted to be. It was so frustrating having to keep an entire drawer full of bras of every possible size I could be, depending on how my boobs felt that morning.
Sometimes I'd wake up with a leak, too. You know, when your boobs still think that they might have to nurse someone and start leaking breast milk for no reason other than that our bodies are really insane.
"Ugh, Can't You Perk Up Just A Little?"
How I longed for the days when I had perky boobs. In high school my friends used to tease me for how my boobs seemed to start, like, right under my neck. That's how perky and cute they used to be.
I know the grass isn't always greener and I could have saggy, large, and unwieldy breasts that are painful to maneuver. However, this is my moment and my soap box so allow me to indulge. My mother keeps urging me to wear a push up but I can't stand the feeling of wires and padding, so I'm just going to continue to complain and maybe try some chest compresses.
"And You Always Look So Deflated"
My postpartum boobs are your friends at the party who walked in determined to have a bad time. You offer to do shots with them at the bar even though you're sufficiently buzzed and you know that a shot is going to really make tomorrow a rough one (especially with your early morning wake up call from your toddler, asking you for a bottle of milk). You want to tell them to get over themselves and put some pep in their step and rise to the occasion. Maybe just once? For your sake?
"Why Do You Still Tingle When I Hear A Baby Cry?"
This is a cruel trick that I really do not enjoy. I call it "phantom nursing syndrome," and it's what happens when my boobs start to feel that itchy, tingly, hardening feeling that I used to get when my baby cried (or when another baby cried) when I was still nursing. Which, by the way, was over a year ago. There is, I am almost positive, not an ounce of milk left in my boobs anymore, so I am sure this is just a weird AF motherhood thing.
"I Guess I Should Try A Little Harder To Accept The New You. Oh, And You Too."
But here's the truth: my postpartum boobs aren't going anywhere anytime soon. I consider myself very, very lucky for the nearly four years of nursing that my breasts gave to me to feed and nourish my two boys. That's a lot of work and, I guess, the least I could do is accept the undeniable fact that hard work like that takes a toll. In the end, having a pair of less buoyant looking boobs is a small price to pay. OK, deflated, slightly inverted, empty husks that resemble eggplants (on their best day), but whatever.
This is me and these are my boobs and we will hopefully be living together for a long time. So to you, and you: I'm going to work a little harder on some acceptance over here. If you could just try not to disappear into my body altogether, I'd appreciate it.