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Monday, June 14, 2010


I've been thinking about boobs a lot lately.

I've been thinking about how they vary in size and shape from woman to woman and how some women go to extremes to augment, lift and smash them together.

I know nine women that have had breast implants without ever looking back (aside from one that had a horrific experience and had them removed). I'm completely envious of the way these women's boobs look. They are always so perky and look fantastic in everything they wear, especially bikinis. I'm also envious that often times, they don't even wear bras because they don't have to.

I thought I had good boobs before I had a baby. A nice solid B+, as in the size, not the grade, but as long as I brought it up I'd give them a B+ grade too. Nowadays, they are more of C- and that's with the helpful aid of the "right" bra (is there even such a thing?)

There are no two ways about it, boobs completely transform while you are pregnant and in the year that follows. I'm amazed that their sole purpose (aside from looking fabulous in a push up bra under a little black dress) is to provide nourishment.

I have several friends working on weaning their infants off the boob right now and it makes me sad. Okay, I'm just going to say it: I tried breastfeeding and it didn't work for me.

This is my story:

I have to admit I was on the fence about it from day one and struggled with my decision up until I purchased the Cadillac of all breast pumps (the Medela Pump In Style with shoulder bag), ample storage bags, boxes of bra pads, nursing shirts and two tubes Costco-sized tubes of lanolin cream. With all the gear, there was no turning back. Plus, I was looking forward to the connection and bonding that my son and I would have, not to mention, I had heard that you can burn an extra 500 calories a day by breastfeeding. Bonus!!

Little did I know what sort of battle I was up against. Breastfeeding hurt like nothing I had ever experienced before; from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. It was more painful to me than labor and delivery and I delivered naturally without drugs.

There's just something so wrong about pulling your unsatisfied newborn off your breast only to find his mouth full of blood instead of milk and wanting to cry your eyes out from the pain.

We had lactation specialists visit us in the hospital and at home, took pictures of the pillow arrangements and bought nipple shields, which helped a little bit, but when my milk wasn't coming in and I couldn't relax and began panicking because my little tiny baby was screaming out of hunger, I resorted to pumping only. I only produced two to three ounces a day and that only lasted two months and then I, of course completely. dried. up.

Fortunately (or unfortunately), Lucas was dehydrated when he was born and took longer than the standard week to return to his birth weight, so the nurses at the hospital told us we would have to supplement with formula. Dad was feeding the synthetic stuff to our son this through a syringe while my sister was pressing on my breasts to help encourage the milk to come in and I was busy trying to relax and hold my baby in the most optimal position. As you can imagine, it wasn't a pretty picture.

I know of all the advantages of breastfed babies and I wanted them for Lucas. I thought I would have a gullet of milk gushing out of my boobs. I wanted my boobs to do what they were designed for, but instead they let me down and to this day I still feel extremely guilty that Lucas didn't get breast milk longer. I really did try and I had a lot of support around me, it just wasn't meant to be in the end.

Whether they work or not, back to boobs...and bras.

I feel like I am forever on the search for the perfect fitting, just enough lift, maximum comfort providing bra, especially now that mine have changed so much since giving birth. I think it's time for this momma to head back to Nordstrom for an "intimate" fitting.

I have had pretty good luck with the Victoria Secret Body by Victoria line, but would love to know what everyone else likes. What's your favorite everyday bra? Sports bra? Nursing bra (provided I ever give that another whirl)? Push up? T-shirt?

The best is yet to be.

This post is for the new word game, Word Up, Yo! hosted by Natalie (Mommy of a Monster), Kristin (Taming Insanity) and Liz (a belle, a bean and a chicago dog). I love words and wish I had a better vocabulary. I like the way words sound and feel sometimes rolling off my tongue. I especially enjoy words that I have to look up their meanings to. Having said all of that, you may see this button on my blog from time to time:

If you like words too, you should play along!
This week's word is gullet.

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Blogger alicia said...

I can so relate. Both of mine were difficult nursers, but my second was ubearable. Blistered, bloody nipples... UGH. After 4 months of me crying more than her it was apparent that she was not a nurser. So, we had to starve her for over 30 hrs before she would take breastmilk from a dropper. She was one stubborn chicky. And yes, boobs are never quite the same, are they?

June 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Thanks for joining in! While I didn't breastfeed for long, so I don't have much to say on that, I know what you mean about how sad your boobs get after having a baby. I had no boobs to begin with, so I was shocked at how much more sorry they became! :) How is that possible.

June 14, 2010 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

Oh, yikes! Your breastfeeding experience sounds rough! I'm so sorry!

As for the perfect bra, I really like Le Mystere. The kind I wear is sort of ugly, but ugly bras always seem to have the best support!

(Great use of 'gullet,' by the way!)

June 14, 2010 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Ms. Understood said...

I'm sorry you didn't get to feed Lucas as you wanted to. I wear either the VS Signature Cotton or Pink. I'm a C- cup (lol, can't bo a B, but can't fill a C cup) My mom apparently didn't find it necessary to pass her DDs to me.

June 14, 2010 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

I'm also a fan of the boobs. I had breast augmentation back 13 years ago. After nursing three kids, I need new ones :)

Breast feeding works for some, and not for others. You tried. You did more than most moms do. He is doing just fine. I cried when I found out that I would have to supplement formula for the twins since I wasn't making enough milk for both. I ended up pumping for 8 weeks, and then the milk was gone. So I know how disappointing it is.

I liked that you didn't use "gullet" like I did (for esophagus). I need to be more creative next time ;)

June 14, 2010 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger Hagler Happenings said...

I clicked over from Word Up! YO! As parents we want to do all the best things for our kids. You gave breastfeeding a great try.

I loved my boobs while nursing... too bad I won't have them ever again :( I was never blessed with big ones, but now it's just sad.

June 14, 2010 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Poppy said...

I think you are a rock star for delivering naturally without drugs because I screamed for street heroin when they told me I was too late for an epidural (and then they drug tested my baby). They let me take him home, so I guess it came back clean.

Your breastfeeding experience sounds horrible. I would have cried Uncle immediately. You do whats right for you and Lucas is perfect. Mothers have enough crap to feel guilty about.

June 14, 2010 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

Oh yes, that was a tough few weeks there. I have never wanted to take someone's pain away as I did while I was there helping you breast feed Lucas. And it certainly changed my opinion about the whole thing too. No one should have to suffer to feed their child. No one! I'm not sure I'll ever fully recover from that whole experience myself. Ugh! It was just awful and I can only imagine the pain you experienced.

I've never been happy with my boobs. They are just too big and always the focus of my body. While this may not sound all that bad, it can be really annoying sometimes. But it really is all about the bra.. But what about when those come off? !You know I think about a boob job but can't muster the courage to actually go and do it.. Maybe one day...

June 15, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Sophie Eschenlohr said...

You tried your best! I wouldn't have gone through all the pain myself! You're an excellent Mommy!

I had two C sections (which I wasn't expecting) and I was very sad to not experience natural birth. I was even ready to go through it without any drugs whatsoever! Anyway, I made breastfeeding my top priority and eventhough I was separated from Emma for 10 hours after her birth (I was too drugged up) and that she got a bottle of formula for her first meal (without my approval), I hung on and everthing turned out well. Emma was very sweat and gentle which made things easy. Different story for Noemi, who was handed to me two hours after her birth... I felt as though I had a shark eating my nipple away! Or an industrial vaccum cleaner sucking them away! However, I never got to a stage where I was bleeding. I think I would have stopped had it been the case. I breast-fed both of them for over a year.

However, today, I often wonder, if I would have been happier had I been able to give natural births to them or if it was more important to me that they breastfed. I'll never know...

Concerning my boobs... Well what is there to say? I didn't have big beautiful boobs before my pregnancies. I went from a B cup to a D cup while breastfeeding. Today, I don't have much left... So to make me feel better, I buy Victoria Angel bras. They are padded and they make me feel more feminin. I now have to find padded bikinis... and I can't find them here!

I would love to have bigger breasts but I don't know if I could go through the hassle of another operation. If I did, I wouldn't want something too big.

For the time-being, I'll go on with my itsy bitsy boobs ; )

June 15, 2010 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger KLZ said...

I didn't see that coming. I need to send you an email about the vfeeding bc I can't type now....but! Come to Chicago and I will take you to the best bra shop on the face of the planet. For real.

June 15, 2010 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger WTH am I Doing? said...

Ugh. My breastfeeding experience wasn't quite that bad, but it was very, very painful for the first 4-6 weeks though. I cried every time I had to nurse my son because it hurt SO bad getting him started...and they did crack & bleed a little...but the pain was bad. It finally got better, thank God, but I was still only able to keep up with him until about 6 months. Then we started supplementing with formula, & then at about 9 months he just didn't want to nurse.

I still have a generous allotment of boobs (D+), but they're certainly not as perky as they were before baby...& lord, when I was pregnant, they were HU.MONGOUS. and very perky. Instant boobjob.

Sadly I'm both broke & cheap, so my boobage is reined in by the cheapie G&O from Target. They're pretty comfy for an $15 bra & seem to do the job. When I had money, I like Victoria's Secret Body bras.

June 16, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Cori Benson said...

Kudos to you for doing all you could to nurse your son, but then being okay with admitting it wasn't working for you!! You rock!

Funny story about sister works at Victoria Secret and is MORDIFIED if myself, mom or other sister buy anything oter than VS! I purchased a dollar store bra and gave it to her for her bday....I've never seen her so discusted in her life :)

June 19, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

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