Before you got pregnant, how did you feel about your boobs?
I was obsessed with my boobs. Ironically, I have been a little boob obsessed my whole life. When I was in middle school, I tortured myself daily wondering when my boobs would grow. I prayed for my period because I thought getting a period meant getting boobs (it didn’t). I had one dirty little training bra that I refused to let my mom wash because I only had one and I refused to take it off.
In high school, I had nice little B cups, but my nipples pointed down and I was ashamed of that. They weren’t perky like the boobs I saw…well in porno.
In college I gained the freshman 15, which turned into the college 30 and my boobs came in full force. Always looking down at the ground. But, I could hitch them up and put them on display. They were a wonderful distraction from my soft tummy and they earned me a lot of attention. But I still hated them. I hated my body. I hated myself.
I had MAJOR body image issues from age 13-23. I was obsessed. I was really mean to me. When I got pregnant I had all of my eggs in one basket- I would birth at The Birth Center with no drugs. I would breastfeed. This is it. I was giving my body one chance to redeem itself. And it pulled through. Me and my body, we called a truce and I haven’t looked back.
But, I was lucky. Really lucky. What if something had gone wrong? What if I hadn’t been able to deliver at The Birth Center? What if I didn’t make enough milk or Lucy hadn’t latched on? Where would I be? It would have been bad. I guarantee you.
Some of you are in that exact place.
Your body let you down. Again.
After years of trying to get pregnant, carrying baby to full term, delivering naturally, you struggled to breastfeed. “Figures” you said, “my body has never been able to do anything right.”
After years of hating the odd shape of your breasts, wondering why your areola are so big, wondering why one breast is so much smaller than the other, you struggled to breastfeed. “Figures,” you said. “They were always ugly and worthless.”
After a long labor without an epidural, your birth ended in a C/S and you struggled to breastfeed. “Figures,” you said. “Nothing about my birth went right. Why would breastfeeding be any different?”
But to all of you who have heard this voice in your head confirming what you always “knew” to be true of your breasts and your body, I ask you this:
If your child is dyslexic and he comes home with a C on his math test, do you say to him “Figures. Your brain never worked right anyway.”
Why would he ever strive for better?
If your child doesn’t get into the college of his choice. Would you say “Figures. You have never been worth much and now this just proves it.”
How could he recover from that?
If your child falls at the playground and skins her knee, would you say to her “Figures. You fall every time we come here and you will fall every time you ever go to a playground.”
Why should she ever go to a playground again?
I hope this hurts your heart to read. It hurts my heart to write. You would need to be mean and evil and hateful to say this to your child. Someone you grew. Someone for whom you are responsible for nurturing.
If your child is dyslexic and comes home with a C on his test…
You love him and praise him for his successes and ensure him he is capable of this and so much more.
If your body finally conceived and birthed a baby and is now struggling to produce enough milk…
You love your body and praise if for its successes and ensure it that it is capable of this and so much more.
If your child falls at the playground and skins her knee,
You love her. You pick her up and kiss her on the head and tell her that her body is strong and beautiful. You tell her than she will trip and fall, but she must always get back up and trust that her body will carry her wherever she wants to go.
If you have never liked your breasts and you are trying really hard to breastfeed, but you have had set back after set back,
Love your breasts. Tell them that they are beautiful and bountiful. Praise them for the milk that they make. Thank them for the emotional bond they have allowed you to have with your baby. Tell them that no matter what happens in life, the 3 of you are in this together, so no matter what the set back, you will carry them wherever you go.
If your child doesn’t get into college of his choice
You love him and tell him that although this feels devastating in this moment, there is so much more life to live. There is so much more to life than what we have planned.