When I started blogging, it was about my pregnancy and impending motherhood. Then actual in the trenches motherhood and my darling daughter (who sometimes has fangs). When I started up work again, photography posts made their way into the blog and it became a hybrid space for both. This month I decided that I want them to be somewhat divided. It’s good to have the photograhpy blog focused on photography and the family life blog focused on, well family life. Sure there is bound to be a little bit of crossover, but it feels right that these two facets of my life have a little bit of division right now. If you are looking for photography info, it’s still on here (to make things easy), or you can visit the Little Pickle Photography Blog or you can visit my pretty new website at www.littlepicklephoto.com. Happy viewing 🙂 Okay so public service announcement done. Now you know what’s going on with that stuff, sorry if I am being confusing, it’s not my intention. You’re smart, you’ll figure it out I’m sure.
The rest of this post will be dedicated to my bosom. Ta-ta’s, boobies, breasts, chesticles… there are so many names out there for your “lovely lady lumps.” I myself have always been of the well endowed group. And because I am from that group I have always wondered why the well precedes the endowed. I have always envied girls who can wear strapless dresses and tube tops or even simple spaghetti straps without having to worry about what kind of bra they are going to have to use to harness their endowments. And in turn, it is those girls who envy me in my bounty; a classic case of Billy Goats Gruff Syndrome. But I have to admit, that despite the obvious BGGS that plagues nearly every female I know regarding her breasts, I have always been fond of mine.
Before I got pregnant I had a respectable size 32 F chest and you know what, it was glorious. I used to get compliments on their firmness and fullness despite my large cup size (this is not the norm apparently). Oh and I know what you’re thinking, it was just the random-man-on-the-street, “whoop-whoop” kind of compliments, but nope it wasn’t. At weddings and parties women would approach me in the bathroom and ask me where I got my boobs done or who did my boobs; I replied proudly, “mother nature,” to which I always got an envious/amazed glance and “really, you’re lucky.” Outwardly I joked and said oh no, really, they are a lot of work, can’t wear fun tops, hard to find bras- yadda, yadda… but inwardly I did a Mr. Burns’esque “excellent” type deal and said yes, yes I know.
When I got pregnant they ballooned to a 32 J. Yes, a J for Jessica as one well meaning friend classically pointed out. If I thought buying bras before was a pain in the ass, wow, had it ever become one now! Fortunately I found a store called CHANGE and it changed my life- literally! They even made nursing bras in my size. What I loved most about this pregnancy growth was the fact that everyone had to point it out… “dude your tits are huge,” “wow, look at those knockers,” “who invited the two bald guys.” When this happened I was usually like, I know, yeah, I’m pregnant this is what happens, blah, blah (smile on my face). Sometimes I said, really, I hadn’t noticed and left it at that; this confused people and the masochist in me liked that. This “your boobs have grown” observation was always paired with- what size bra do you wear? Really, we are allowed to ask this question to a random pregnant lady in an elevator (I kid you not, someone did this to me). I usually replied my true size (again the masochist) and was always met with raised eyebrows and the comment “I didn’t even know they made that size,” yeah, me either I typically said back.
And then Everly came and my boobs became serious milk machines. I pumped along with feeding Everly to help reduce the feelings of fullness. I was even lucky enough to donate that pumped breast milk (which will come in handy later when the child who received the donations enters young adulthood, lol!). After a few months my body amazing knew just how much milk to produce and I became much more comfortable. When this happened I was so amazed at the human body. Pregnancy and breastfeeding did that to me in general though. I had never before been in awe of what a body could do. I had developed a higher level of respect for my breasts. They had gone from show ponies to field working mules and had only complained a little.
Breastfeeding for me was a great experience. Everly latched right away, my milk came in on day one, I had no chapping or anything of the sort- I was lucky. I breastfeed Everly exclusively as suggested by the WHO for her first 6 months and then continued to do so in addition to feeding her solids until I went back to work part-time after she turned one year old. In May we were down to two nursings a day on non-work days (nap and bedtime) and one nursing a day on workdays. Is it weird that I was sad? When nursing began I said I was in it until she turned one year old. As that milestone came and went I made a new date… October 2010, when I will be going to Las Vegas for my cousin’s wedding. Everly will not be coming along for the trip so it seems to me that this would be the most natural time to stop. And again, I am sad about this. Yes there are many other ways that she and I can have that connection in our day, but it’s just not the same. I am ready to stop, but it won’t be without some sadness. I remember the time before I had a baby and I thought people like me were weird. I was like oh, that kid can talk and ask for the breast, that’s weird… hello North American culture upbringing and it’s sexualizing of the breast. I later learned that the average age for weaning around the world is four years old!
When I was in the throes of breastfeeding I didn’t pay much attention to my breasts other than to pop them into Everly’s mouth. Last week when I was drying off in the shower I caught notice of my breasts in the mirror. I nearly lost my balance and fell over. WHATTHEHELLARETHOSE! ran through my head. I stopped what I was doing and took a proper look. My shoulders fell, I realized that didn’t help the issue and corrected my posture immediately… hmmm, still didn’t help the issue. I raised my arms above my head… okay that was almost more like it, but still no dice. I resorted to grabbing each boob, one in each hand and held them to where they used to be, which to be honest felt like miles above where they currently, um, hung- yes hung. I had this moment where time stood still. Where had I been when this had happened, why hadn’t I done anything, what, what, what- arghhhhh! I became bitter. I was not impressed. The 13 year old in me wanted to revolt and rebel. The 28 year old in me still hadn’t realized this was futile.
I approached my husband. He had that deer in the headlights look- like oh God what did I do. I said, did you notice that my boobs have turned into shapeless pancakes? He replied no, they look smaller but they still look good to me; all the deities bless this man for a- knowing what to say in this situation or b- actually meaning what he said in this situation. I shrugged my shoulders and said, well I don’t think so, I think they have gone to shit and I am mad. He kind of looked like he was going to laugh (and I likely would have too if the situation we reversed as I was acting like an idiot), but he kindly said, I wouldn’t worry about it Jess, you’re probably overreacting. Overreacting hey, hmph, I’ll show him.
I complained to anyone who would listen for the next few days. I was not met with sympathy, much to my complete and utter soul crushing dismay. I was met with “well this is what happens” and “yep, happened to me” and “but yours are still big” and “dude, you didn’t get stretch marks shut up about it” and finally the very, very logical friend I have said, “you did loose 25 extra pounds in addition to your baby weight, what did you think would happen.” Hmmm, yes there was that. I currently weigh 30 pounds less than I did before I got pregnant, that would have probably done it on it’s own. And suddenly the view shifts. I think of all the clothes I now fit into. I remember how the last time I went shopping I didn’t have to worry as much about squeezing my boobs into things, they just fit. All my bras are way too big… I can even entertain the idea of a strapless dress or a tube top, as I can now find a strapless bra that fits and does it’s job. I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too. After presented with these comments, while I was looking for “poor yous” I went back to being 28 and realized I was being a ninny. It was time to move on, time to let it go. Time to stop being a silly superficial girl, who can’t see past her, um, boobs.
So yes, I mourn the once glorious bosom that I once had. I mourn those boobs that defied gravity. I wish that I had celebrated them more, maybe I should have taken more pictures or something, I don’t know. But I only mourn them for as long as I will allow myself to dwell on the superficial (usually no more than 3 minutes) and then I turn my focus to what they and my body in general has accomplished. I need only to look at my daughter and know that the pancake boobs were worth it. And maybe they are fluffy pancakes, the kind my friend Jackie makes… mmmm Jackie’s pancakes… and my mind has officially wandered.