You know you can throw every ounce of vanity you have out the window when you become pregnant. I mean, if you have self esteem and body image issues beforehand, you better buckle your seatbelt! Pregnancy does a number on your body folks, you mommas out there know what I'm talking about. Sometimes it's easier to embrace than others.
For the most part, you just get used to it, you accept that you will never look the same for as long as you live, and you actually embrace the idea of your new body because you have a physical reminder of why it looks that way. I wouldn't trade my new body for the world, I wear my motherhood battle scars with honor.
You would think that your belly is the thing that sees the most change from having a baby. Well, I hate to burst the bubbles of those kidless ladies out there. Your BOOBS will see just as much change, and that change is all over the radar, sometimes a good change sometimes a bad bad bad change.
I was about a 34C prior to getting pregnant. About midway through my nine months, the dreaded strech marks started to appear, not on my belly but on my poor boobs. I couldn't understand why, my boobs didn't appear to me to be any larger, I was still wearing the same bra. Well I then crawled out of the denial cave and headed in to get a new bra ... the new size ... a whopping 34D. I was a D cup, and I chuckled, because I was now one of the girls with "big" boobs. Go me!! Hubbs sure wasn't complaining, and I wore my D bra with pride throughout the pregnancy. Unfortunately, those stretch marks kept growing and growing until the girls looked like they were ravaged by tigers (see this post). See, God has a sense of humor, he heard my cries as a 13-year-old teenager so desperately wanting a nice rack, and he said, "OK, I'll give it you." But he delivered my nice big boobies with hideous stretch marks. I guess you can't win them all eh?
And then magically a little babe is born ... now those big boobies have a job, time to start up the milk bar! I tell you what, the morning my milk came in was like an experiment straight off of the Sci Fi channel. I woke up looked down and went "What in the hell!? Someone abducted my body last night and gave me breast implants!" It was like a scene from the Stepford Wives, hit a button and schoooom the boobs inflate. I side eyed the hubbs looking for his remote. But alas, no remote, it was just this crazy phenomena, your body exhibiting its superpower -- the ability to produce food for a human. Well, if hubbs was excited before he surely almost fainted when he looked over and saw my ridonkulous knockers, like a kid in the candy store he wanted to play with them. But again, God has a great sense of humor, there is no such thing as "playing" with boobs that have just turned on the milk juice, oh no ... they hurt so bad that you beg him not to even LOOK at them for fear that they may spontaneously combust. Those babies are quite the sight to see, and you could probably knock someone out with them, no literally, they are as hard as concrete! It was all a very odd experience.
And then the milk bar dries up like the Sahara unexpectedly. Surprise -- no milkie equals no breastfeeding. So then you get to watch your plump rock hard lady lumps shrink to oblivion. They diminsh before your eyes, and then they turn to mush, complete squish ... eeew! You look in the mirror, puzzled again, because you still fill out your bra, but yet they seem to have vanished. And then you notice that they sag ... SAG ... I'm in my twenties, and I have saggy boobs, what kind of a sick trick is this?! You spend your time in the shower yelling at the hubbs in the bedroom that your boobs have shrunk, that you're probably down to an A cup, that you're a hideous scarred monster, and you want to punch him when he tells you that you're fine, you're beautiful. I'm sorry, but if you look up beautiful in the dictionary you most certainly will NOT find a picture of my new mommy boobies in there ... just sayin' ...
If the sagging and mush weren't bad enough, your areolas take on a life of their own. What kind of a weird biological thing is this? Supposedly they get larger and darker when you're pregnant so that the baby has an easier time locating them to breastfeed. Apparently biology hasn't caught up with evolution, last time I checked baby doesn't need a roadmap to find the boob, you shove it in their mouth! So what is this all about?! And the books will tell you that the areolas will shrink back down, I'm still waiting for that to happen. I can't wear most of my beloved swimsuits anymore because they have too much of a v-cut and you can see my nipples trying to peek out and introduce themselves.
It's a complete mystery what size your boobs are while you're pregnant, and it gets even more confusing afterward. In between pumping sessions you could go up and down 2 cup sizes, you could wake up with full boobs as a D cup and then feed the babe and go down to a B. It's like a circus freak show. And I'm pretty sure that there is no such thing as a "magic bra" that grows and shrinks right along with you, so what's a girl to do? Own three different sized bras and change them throughout the day?? Well when HL was about three months old, I found myself at specialty bra store with a friend, and just for kicks I asked the bra lady to measure me. Let's take the mystery out of my post partum boobs, what size have they morphed into now? All the while, I was thinking I was probably down to about a B cup after all of the boobie trauma of growing and birthing a babe. She whipped out her tape measurer, gave me the once over, and said "I'd probably start you at a 34E," all matter-of-fact-like. WHAA??? I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you right, I thought you said an E cup ... yes, that's exactly what she said! I immediately started laughing like a hyena, what happened to a D cup, or maybe a double D, or a triple D, somehow we jumped all the way over to an E!!! Are you serious?? Victoria's Secret doesn't even make bras that big! This was quite possibly the craziest thing I've ever heard. So much for my tiny deflated girls, apparently they aren't as tiny as they seem ... so therefore it must be the sagging that's skewing my perception. How lovely! Isn't this fun!!
Like I said, the boob situation becomes a complete mystery when you decide to have a child ... you just have to sit back and embrace your body's science experiment. And remember that as freaky as you think your belly may get before, during, and after pregnancy, your boobs will put that to shame. What you end up with are weirdly shaped, tiny yet huge, saggy, scarred, mushy, areola-covered boobs ... oh yea, and one ridiculously cute babe to remind you of why, after all of that, you don't give a shit what they look like anymore! Talk about a lesson in self-acceptance!!
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