I was 28 when my daughter was born. With a typical pregnancy you will gain 35 (or so) pounds. I gained a few more than 70. No, it’s not a typo, I was a chili cheese fry eating machine (I also jammed a few pounds of cotton candy down my throat each week).
Giving birth was easy, suckling was natural and we sent the lactation consultant out of the room. Jane and I knew what to do. Parenting an infant was the easiest thing in the world to me. I was a little surprised that I still looked pregnant after giving birth (no one tells you that) but there was one remarkably stunning moment in my adult life that I’ve shared with no one until today.
The first day of milk boobs.
Oh. My. Goodness. The morning I woke up and my milk had come in was one of the most humiliating/funny/sad/empowering mornings of my adult life. I woke up with a sore chest, to be sure. I walked into the bathroom, turned on the light and caught a glimpse of what had to be a stranger in the mirror.
My tits were huge! Not like your Granny’s weird boob huge, but holy crap what are they watermelons? Huge. So I sat down and cried a little. I instantly mourned the end of my young body. Looking in the mirror I could see before and after.
Before was everything from the breasts down. I was fat and gooey, bloated and lumpy. I was wearing a fat suit that I’d never wanted to own. Oh but up top was another story, there were grotesque inflated and lumpy breasts swollen with milk and looking like plastic surgery gone awry, my breasts were the after photo for plastic surgery. After was ugly too.
Once I got done feeling sorry for myself I did have a good chuckle. It’s funny what our bodies can do. Frankly, the breastfeeding did a lot to get my humor back. Those hormones are soothing not just for Mom but for baby too.
Jane and I continued our nursing for 18 months. It was the right amount of time for us. I never read a breastfeeding book because I was lucky enough to have a few good girlfriends and a mother to guide me. My story with my son is quite different and laden with difficulties but I can tell you this with certainty. You need to do what’s right for you. Bottles are much more complicated in the middle of the night (uh, if you’re not up in the middle of the night you probably aren’t my friend), infinitely more expensive, easier to lose and they only soothe the baby, not the mother. But the boobs… they’re the complete package and funny to look at too.
Amy Jussel says
Okay, I’ve gotta know…where the heck did you get that photo?
Jennifer Lance says
I gained 55 with my first and 45 with my second. Breastfeeding caused those pounds to just melt away!
Margaret Andrews says
It hurts just to look at the picture!
Can you say “tits” on this website?
Jessica Gottlieb says
Should I say teat Margaret?
Darlin’ once you’ve nursed your baby in front of your grandfather you can call them anything you want, from Mammaries to fun bags….
Amy, I’ll never tell… it might be me.
Jennifer, I adored you until you told me that you’d lost the weight. It’s okay to have the last 5 postpartum pounds on after 7 years, right?
I did not breastfeed. I never knew what a controversial subject breastfeeding was until a woman in my now-defunct bunco (Yes. I played Bunco) group screamed at me about how horrible I was for choosing to not do it. But the bottle was the right thing for our family at the time.
Oh, but my BOOBS! Wow! They were absolutely ginormous for a brief while.
Don’t hate me for choosing the bottle… Some do. 😉
Jessica Gottlieb says
I think you’ll find that breastfeeding is only controversial in retrospect. Our parenting decisions are deeply personal and my son’s bottle use had me feeling like a failure but at the time it was the best I could do.
I can, however, be smug and superior and tell you that I have never played Bunco. I will reserve the right to taunt you for that.
Binary Blonde says
Yet another wonderful event to look forward to. I thought my boobs got huge in the first and second trimester.. I’m assuming that they grow even bigger after milk comes in. Guess that’ll be another “pity party” post where I miss my old body.
Oh, and I know for sure that I’ll be up in the middle of the night. This little guy sleeps all day and is up all night. I doubt it’ll change that drastically when he’s out of the womb.