An Ode To My Boobs
You are big, saggy, leaky and I love you.
Here we are, halfway through nursing the second baby and I have to say, I’m impressed. Frankly, I never thought you’d be up to it. You were always on the small side. When all my friends were getting training bras, I was praying to God every night for you to grow. A couple of times, I borrowed my sister’s old training bras so I wouldn’t be embarrassed at sleepovers. That was just the beginning of our love-hate relationship.
I’ve endured endless amounts of teasing on your behalf. Jokes about me being a boy and the member of the “Itty Bitty Titty Committee” hurt a lot in high school. It all seems so dumb now, but I was honestly jealous of how much better Jenny in biology looked in that Gap shirt than me.
After high school, we made a tenuous peace. Mostly because I ignored you and you stayed out of my way. And then, when I started running, I begrudgingly accepted your size as not such a bad thing. I’m not going to lie and say things were good, but I didn’t spend hours looking in the mirror hating you. Probably, because I graduated and got a job and I lost a lot of free time.
I got pregnant and you took on a life of your own. You became sentient those first few months of pregnancy. I went through bras faster than a toddler goes through Kleenex in February. Then, the baby was born. Whatever tenuous peace we brokered in my 20s went right out the window when you started trying to leak milk over everything in a five-foot squirting radius. You’d become monsters. Huge, heavy monsters that were stapled to my chest. In the span of nine months, you’d gone from an A to an E. I didn’t know how to walk. I didn’t know how to move my arms or sit in a chair. My back hurt constantly. And not only your size, but your function. For the first five months, I had to double pad whenever I went out because you tried to jump across the room and feed every baby who even thought about crying.
I have to apologize to you for those early days of the first baby. It felt like trying to drive down a highway at midnight without headlights. It felt like being buried alive. I was buzzing with exhaustion. I was sobbing with hormones. When the latches were bad. When there was bleeding. When I cried from the pain, I blamed you. I should have asked for help. I should have just been honest about my struggles. But instead, I gave up on you and started pumping. But you ladies were champs. I pumped so much milk from you, I could have fed a village of infants. You made my baby girl so chubby and happy. I was in awe.
When baby number two came along, I was determined to give you a chance to prove yourselves. And you were up to the task. Despite a little mastitis and some excruciating pain those first two weeks, we all hung in there. Now, you are machines. You feed this baby whenever and however he wants. You make so much milk that I had to quit pumping because you were drowning the baby. He too is fat and happy.
Look, boobs, I think I know where I erred. I mistook your function. I thought you were there for my vanity. I thought you were there for superficial reasons only and I held you up to standards that didn’t reflect my reality. For all of this, I’m sorry. I look at these two happy healthy kids and I would high five you if you had hands. I mean, I guess you do have hands, but they are my hands. Let’s move on. I know all this work is going to make you droopy. I know you may never get back to the small size that you once were (and that I now have learned to love). That’s okay. Whatever comes next for us, ladies, you’ve done your job.
The Talking Head Attached to the Neck
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