We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we? Ups and downs (literally), love and hate, respect and resentment. Come to think of it, now that I’ve finally weaned my second child and stopped breastfeeding, you’ve changed so much. But then so have I, and that’s OK.
I’ll admit it. I wasn’t exactly a good friend to you in the early years. I felt like you took forever to arrive – I was in such a rush to be grown up that I’d impatiently stuff tissues down my top to create lady lumps in your absence. Then, when you did eventually show up to the puberty party, I resented you for not being bigger, rather than loving you for you.
As I got a little older and wiser though, I accepted you as perky 32B wonders. My twenties saw me love you for the just-enough handful you were – a nifty little size I could fit into spaghetti-strapped, flimsy-fabricked tops and not feel like I was fighting a losing battle against gravity. Not having to strap you down and contain you in bras was liberating, so we’d often bob along, boob-loose and fancy free. I could run for the bus and not feel like you were trying to escape off my chest in different directions.
The carefree twenties ended and my thirties dawned, the child-rearing years. And it was you who first made me reach for the pregnancy test, after you just wanted to be left alone, screaming blue murder at me if I brushed an arm against you or slept on my side. Pregnancy saw you bloom, literally: you tripled in size as if you were auditioning for a Victoria’s Secret catalogue. I kitted you out in soft, non-wired 34D maternity bras that looked like parachutes compared to your previous attire.
Then pregnancy was over and motherhood began and you, dear boobs, gave life to my daughter. You were her lifeline, her comfort, her sole source of sustenance. And you were wondrous. I was in awe of how you knew how much milk to create, of how you could settle her to sleep like no lullaby ever could. Of the mornings when I’d wake up and you were so rock hard that it felt like I’d had a couple of halved coconut shells implanted under my skin overnight. It felt frustrating at times always having to worry about what to wear so that I had easy access to you, but all the same it was a sad day to stop breastfeeding. Not to worry – a second pregnancy came around soon after and, nine months later, a son.
You slotted back into your role as nurturer as perfectly as ever, and my boy loved you for it. I was so grateful for how you helped me form a close bond with him, how I’d bubble with adoration looking down at him while he nestled into you, or fell asleep feeling your warmth.
Then, before I knew it, my son turned one and it was time for me to return to work. I couldn’t face juggling meetings with ‘dairy duty’; pumping you wasn’t an option. So weaning it was. I eased my son away from you and, believe me, it was harder for me than it was for him. I missed our special moments when it was just the three of us, and worried our mother-son bond would fade like an old photograph when he didn’t need you anymore. And it’s been hard on you as well. All the highs and lows, stretching and relaxing, fullness and emptiness has finally taken its toll on you. You’re an older, sadder version of your younger selves; a bit droopy, a bit lop-sided and even smaller than before. My kids have eaten you alive!
But here’s the thing – we’re in this crazy little thing called life together. Yes, you’re no longer my perky twenty-something gal pals, but that’s ok. I’m not that girl either. I’m a mum. I’ve changed, you’ve changed, but it’s a good change. You’ve played such a huge role in my motherhood journey and, for that, I thank you.
Love, Amy x
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