You know what I worked out the other day? Of the past four years, I have been pregnant or breastfeeding for all but four months of it. I just finished breastfeeding Little Red before Christmas and it’s taken a few weeks for things to settle down in the bra department and for everything to get to a point of calm.
It felt big to me this time – bigger than with the other two. Partly because Little Red fed for longer than the others (15 months – not as long as some, I know, but still a fair whack), and partly because I knew this was the last time in my life I would be doing it. So what I have been left with, after everything has abated and gone down and settled, is the boobs I will have for the rest of my life.
I should tell you, at this point, that before I had children, I had FANTASTIC boobs. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet or anything, but they were great. Once when I was in my late-20s, I went swimming with a female work colleague who said to me, after a few drinks were had, “I hope you’re not offended but can I ask you, are those things real?” Yep, they were so good they seemed unreal.
After so long, I knew this was no longer the case, and made peace with that fact. But I wondered what they might look like now. Would they be heavy and pendulous? Or light and perky? (Yeah, I didn’t really expect that.) I am lucky in that I come from pretty good boob stock. (There’s one of those sentences you never knew you’d say – don’t you love those?) Both my mother and my grandmother have managed to make some kind of respectful arrangement with gravity where nobody loses too badly.
And so, there I was a few days ago, studying my boobs in the bathroom mirror – and them staring back at me. Sure beats them staring at the floor, right? And I realised I’m okay with what I am left with now the baby tide has gone out. Do they look 20? No. But they’re okay – and more importantly, they haven’t tried to kill me yet.
Breast cancer runs in my family, and it’s something that I am not yet scared of, but am definitely aware of. I turn 40 next month and I am keeping an eye on those suckers, because I know incidences of breast cancer go up astronomically after 40. It is the most common cancer affecting women, and Breast Cancer Network Australia estimates 14,940 women were diagnosed last year alone.
So I’m checking in for my first mammogram (after childbirth, does anyone really find the process that uncomfortable?). BreastScreen Australia specifically targets women without symptoms between the ages of 50 and 69, but women from the age of 40 are eligible for free mammograms, so why not? What is there to lose? I love free shit!
I’m checking for lumps and other anomalies every month, of course. And I’m grateful every day that I have uncomplicated boobs that have fed three children and made my shirts look pretty for a long time now.
Thanks, boobs, it’s been a fun ride. Long may our relationship continue to flourish.
How do you feel about your boobs? Are they friend or foe?
I’m still in my 20s and never had a great relationship with my boobs! They’re a fine shape but just seem too small for my frame. Then they failed me in feeding first baby. Naughty boobs! Now they’re in my good books though because they are successfully feeding my new giant baby and are looking pretty milky and perky! Long may it continue 🙂
Indeed Amy! I read somewhere just today that the average age a woman is before she is happy with her body is 45, so you sound like you are well ahead!
So glad you are happy with your boobies! So many women aren’t. From what I can gather, menfolk are just happy with boobs full-stop!
I was on Facebook last night and came across a thread for a plastic surgeon. There were before and after pics of breast surgeries. I was shocked to see that so many of the women had gorgeous boobs before surgery and the after pics were ugly! (Scars, abnormal shapes, nipples in strange forward positions etc).
Breasts are meant to droop a little and nipples should point outwards a bit so that babies can feed from them – which after all, is what they are for!
I am still breastfeeding at present so I cannot provide a verdict on the state of my boobers! I am pretty happy with them though. I am certainly never opting for those disgusting surgeries! (Naturally surgery for serious medical reasons is always fine in my book)!
I’m of the never say never camp – but I can’t imagine doing it at the moment unless I had to undergo surgery. But who knows… So true though that there seems to be so many botched jobs out there – it’s enough to scare me off!
You just reminded me… I’m due for a mammogram. Even though I detest them they’re a necessity none of us should put off. A very responsible (and amusing) post.
So glad it had the desired effect, Pinky! Hope all goes well. xx
I’ve just posted on my blog today about my efforts to support a breast cancer charity, and yet I’ve never had a mammogram myself. Luckily it’s not something that runs in my family, but even still, early detection is absolutely the best way to give yourself a fighting chance. I’m putting it on my to do list today.
Great, Lara! And well done on your fundraising – I’m off to check out your post now.
Yay! Good for you. A good reminder to have regular checks too. My boobs changed dramatically after breastfeeding, but I’ve come to terms with mine too.
Yeah, we’re all right, aren’t we, Renee. That old cliché about getting more comfortable in your own (saggy) skin as you age is so true.
I like my boobs..what I don’t like is how clothes shops don’t accommodate them. I’m a DD so not massive but I often have to go up a size in dresses to fit them in!
Oh Tegan, I have a friend like that who has such trouble. Everything makes her look bigger than she is because nothing accommodates her up top. There’s a big gap in the market for some savvy designer!
What a great post! At the moment I’m having a great relationship with my boobs, they are still feeding my baby boy after almost 8 months (they only made it to 5 mths with his big brother). I admit they certainly aren’t as perky and ‘pretty’ as they were pre babies, but neither is the rest of my body!
Oh yes, Lauren, ditto here too!
I’m not sure how I feel about my boobs as I am currently in the midst of 3 years of being pregnant and/or breastfeeding with at least another 6 months to go so I have no idea what my boobs are like now. I did have pretty fantastic boobs in my early 20s, but after putting on 20kg, then losing 25kgs and now putting on another 30 over these baby making years, I’m prepared for the fact it’s most likely not going to be a pretty sight. But I’m fine with that, that’s what a boob lift is for right. I don’t need them bigger, just a little higher than my belly button would be nice! Lol!
Ha ha ha! Yeah, that’s my preference too. Tucking them into our pants just doesn’t seem all that awesome.
Hmm, how do I feel about my boobs? Well, I think they’re just right for me and my smallish frame. I remember when I breastfed my first, how uncomfortable I felt because they were huge and I just was not used to that, I just wanted to hide them. I was only able to breastfeed for a few months and I worry about what will happen to them with the next baby if I was to breastfeed for much longer, I’m sure they’ll be non existent. But until them, I’ll appreciate them, who knows, it may not be that bad.
I hate these ugly lumps of fat that hang off my chest.
I got all hot and sweaty under them and they are a bloody nuisance.
I hate that I am more than a 20DD and that my bra is so damn uncomfortable.
I’ve just turned 40 so apparently I can have a mammogram.
Well as far as I am concerned they can take the bloody things off.
I needed this reminder to check my boobs, it is something I have been forgetting to do. I too am breastfeeding and think what will they be like when all mamas milk is gone. You are right though we must be happy with me they have nurtured our babies. Saying that I cannot wait to get back into some decent bras!
I wrote a post not dissimilar to this, but more about loving oneself than the mourning of the nurturing function of them, isn’t it funny the things we get sentimental about. I hope your relationship continues to flourish too 🙂
My boobs got massive when I was pregnant and breastfeeding but seem to have all but disappeared after breastfeeding 2 hungry chubby bubbies 🙁 I’m still coming to terms with it. I’m glad you are still happy with yours but I think there are a lot of women who aren’t.