Requiem For A Boob

May 28, 2009

When I was a kid, my mom used to joke about her boobs. “They’re tube socks!” she’d hoot. “I have to roll them up to get them in my bra.”

I would cringe and recoil. “Mom,” I’d hiss. “You’re embarrassing me.”

“Why are you so red, honey?”

“Because you’re embarrassing me.”

“I’m just talking about tube socks.”

“You’re talking about your boobs.”

“Sweetie, my boobs are tube socks because I bore and birthed you and your sister, so if hearing about it embarrasses you, well, tough.”

Then she’d cross her eyes and stick out her tongue at me. I’d run to my room at that point and discreetly peer down the front of my shirt and wonder whether I’d ever have any kind boobs, let alone the tube sock kind. Although I’d have preferred not the tube sock kind, at that point in my adolescence I’d have been happy with just about anything.

Ah, the deluded innocence of youth.

I grew boobs, eventually. They were never all that impressive – I was always skinny, with the type of cleavage that, in nature, attends skinny bodies – but they were there, and they were kind of cute. Perky. The kind of breasts that you never called tits or gazongas or hooters or even just boobs. You referred to them to them in the diminutive – boobies – or in the unsexed abstract – chest. So it was that when I got pregnant and, later, began lactating and those puppies grew – like, seriously, epically grew, like frightened puffer fish – I was both alarmed and thrilled. I had hooters. I had gazongas. I had BOOBS.

For a few uncomfortable but nonetheless thrilling years, I had a rack, and it was spectacular.

And now it’s gone.

Gone, disappeared, deflated, defunct. It’s as if, after watching me wean Jasper and my husband get his parts snipped, Nature herself gave my body the once-over and said well, you won’t be needing those any more, will you? and unceremoniously removed them from my person.

They’re gone now, and I miss them. I miss them, not only because they really were kind of epic – and what girl doesn’t fantasize, occasionally, secretly, about what it would be like to have epic boobs? – but because Nature, in all of her douchey wisdom, did not restore my chest to its modest but nonetheless entirely presentable profile. Nature, being the stone-cold bitch-goddess that she is (the very same one who gave us menstrual cycles and the pain of childbirth and the indignity of random chin hairs), turned my boobs into tube socks. Just like my mother’s.

Except smaller. Small tube socks. The tube socks of an adolescent boy with irregularly-sized feet. Because, yes, one is actually – oh, god – smaller than the other.

Which is why, when I found myself, yesterday, in the fitting room of the lingerie department, desperately trying to find a bra into which my breasts would not just disappear like a pathetic wad of crumpled tissue, I lasted all of three minutes before bursting into tears.

It’s not that I want – what are the kids calling it these days? – a bangin’ bod. I’d be happy with a bod that just pinged a little. I just want to not to not look in the mirror and cringe. Which I know goes against everything that I said a few months ago, but a few months ago I had boobs. Muffin-tops and extra ass-padding are one thing when you have the upper curves to balance everything out. They’re quite another when your upper body looks like a deflated pool toy.

I’m straining to accept this new incarnation of me, to learn to love it as I’ve learned to love all the other incarnations. But I am finding, now, as summer approaches and I wrap my head and heart around the fact (is it fact? is it? I am still struggling with this) that I will have no more children, that I am still, in my way, vain, and that I want my beauty back. Maybe not the same beauty, the same body, the same sweet boobs of youth, but something, anything, that makes me swell with just a little bit of pride when I look in the mirror.

Or maybe just a tit-inflater. Anybody got one of those?

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    { 97 comments }

    Her Bad Mother May 28, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Just to be perfectly clear – I don’t want the puppies to be bigger – bigger had its drawbacks – I just want them to not swing down to my navel.

    witchypoo May 28, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Hell, I have to lift mine in order to wash my knees. Plus nerve irritation in the neck and shoulder makes wearing a bra mighty uncomfy.
    I’m done with the mourning. I wouldn’t mind that chafing going away though.

    Amber May 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I do not relish the post-baby boobs. Not at all. I remember when they pointed in a direction approximating up. Those were good times, I wish I’d appreciated them more.

    jenn May 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    So basically we’re talking crew socks? Yeah, welcome to my world.

    Her Bad Mother May 28, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    jenn – yes, but without the stripes.

    rnwoolf May 28, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Do your boobs hang low?
    Do they wobble to and fro?
    Can you tie them in a knot?
    Can you tie them in a bow?
    Can you throw them o’er your shoulder like a continental soldier?
    Do your boobs hang low?

    Anonymous May 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I walked around with 38DDD for many years; those things were heavy. “Yup,” said the surgeon, hefting them, “We can get rid of about 5-6 pounds there.” Breast reduction is major surgery but now that it’s over, I’m glad I did it.
    ((The numb nipples are a bit of a problem though…))

    Heather May 28, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve always had a healthy handful, (any more than a handful or a mouthful is waste anyway…or so I’ve been told) but pregnant and nursing they get way out of hand. (ha ha) Now that my third and last child will probably be weaning soon, I expect the girls to travel even further south. Yeah, when they’re big, they droop even more. But you knew that I suspect.

    I do wish I still had that body I had in high school and college that for whatever reason I disliked at the time. But then I wouldn’t have my kids so I’m definitely not trading to go back.

    Moobs May 28, 2009 at 8:44 pm

    My Y chromosome is telling me to run away.

    AlyGatr May 28, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    I keep telling The Man I would love to just have a lift (not that I’m dying for surgery of any kind). I could care less if that makes them smaller…I just want perky without a bra. He tells me “after two kids you have the extra skin for at least some nice size C’s”. Great…just what I had in mind. In the end…I’d rather fork out for a tummy tuck. The flat tummy will make my boobs look bigger.

    Brigid May 28, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    I haven’t lost all the baby tummy by any means, (he’s only 2 1/2 after all) but after weaning, my boobs are now smaller than my gut. Which makes me look pregnant again. Which I am not. Maybe the fact that I’m wearing a bra from Walgreen’s is adding to my nightmare.

    Frugal Rock May 28, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Hah! My mother had tube socks too but I called them long johns. I used to just marvel at them.

    Sadly, my breasts stayed the exact same size during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and after weaning. I got no inflation whatsoever. Or deflation, for that matter. Still the same old B, almost C cups.

    QuJaBaKa May 28, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    hehehe, well keep them, rehash them, shove them in a better bra, whatever you do I’m jealous, I’m gonna be stuck in breast pads and maternity bra’s for potentially the next three years, I weaned my oldest at one and when I got pg with her sister when she was three I was still lactating. This time around I’m still lactating and I weaned my son nigh on 8 months ago, I’d like my non leaky ones back but that doesn’t seem to be an option. I have grown to strongly dislike the sound of a crying baby on the tv or in real life.
    Good luck with finding a way to feel sexy, oh and I agree with redneck mommy about the bling thing!! lol.
    K

    Amo May 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    After nursing two for a year each and the subsequent refusal to remove my shirt in front of my husband, I bought a new set. They are not obnoxious, the fit my frame.

    They are perfect and I love them.

    I have no regrets.

    I am not saying they are for everyone, but I am much happier with myself now.

    Bitchy Mom May 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    Wow, you just took the words right out of my mouth… that was seriously the blog post I have been working on in my head for about a month now…

    Nursing for 2 years, even very carefully, does suck the perkiness right out of boobs. Even the smallest of boobies aren’t spared from tube-sock-itis and unevenness.

    Sammanthia May 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Still jealous. Mine aren’t even big enough to sag. They’re practically non-boobs.

    TheFeministBreeder May 28, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    First, I just have to say, this:

    “MAH BEWBS, THEYR TOOB SOX”

    made my husband laugh his ass off for five straight minutes.

    Second, I feel your pain. I too had itty-bitty-titties before these kids came. Then the swelled up, and turned into a C (a C!) while nursing. We’re on the path to weaning now, and I can already see they’re going to end up flat and dangling toward my midriff.

    Ah well. Doesn’t matter to me. I’ve already had one cesarean surgery, and that was enough surgery to last me a lifetime, so No Thank You to any plastic surgery for me. I also wouldn’t want my kids thinking that their bodies require surgery to be “put back together”. I think we’re beautiful the way we are. Tube Sock Bewbies and all. But I get how you feel.

    :: wife mom maniac :: May 28, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    It seems for lots of women, they reinflate big time during menopause, fatty tissues just build up there, then. So we can have big lucious knockers again when we’re dried up old ladies ;)

    Loukia May 28, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Great post. I too had what I considered GREAT BOOBS. I loved them so. I was a 36C. Now I’m not sure WTF I am. I was a 38C after having my kids, and I’m sort of still that, but not really in a good way. I never ever ever ever ever believed it when other people who had kids would tell me ‘your body will change, your boobs will droop, etc.” I was like, “Whatever, you have no idea – I’ll lose the weight in a week, my boobs will be the same, etc.” HAHAAHAHA was their response… “Okay, Loukia, suuuure,” they would say. Damn it, they were SO right. SUCKS. I miss my boobs too. But really – at the end of the day – just because I do not look as good in a bikini anymore, I don’t care all that much. I don’t even have the energy to think about getting any work done to lift them. Who cares. Can I get a good night’s sleep? That’s my primary concern right now. Are my kids happy and healthy? Then whatever, I can totally love the boobs I have now. I did breastfeed, after all…

    Sarah@Momalom May 28, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    I think I just wrote that post. Hey, I just wrote that! Did you steal it? Because seriously, herbadmother, it was ME who was saying everything that I just read. I look in the mirror and my boobs scream back at me, wondering what I have do to them. They were never anything but modest boobs on a modest girl, and now they are empty sacks, flapjacks flopping against my chest and even INSIDE MY BRA (which ISN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN).

    If I could say that I were done with kids I might actually just have a consultation with a plastic surgeon just to see what it all would mean. I want nothing more than an inflation. Though I fear that with all the stretching of the skin there, and inflation would make them bigger than I really want or need them. Universe, just give me something back! It’s not that much to ask! It might be vain, but is it fair that every glance in a mirror is a sour cringe? No No No.

    Thanks for the boob talk. I so totally had to get all of that (what you wrote) off my chest.

    Katy May 28, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    I TOTALLY love your Mom!!! Here I was thinking I was the only one with that particular sense of humor…

    Poor poor daughter…

    Jessica May 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    I SERIOUSLY just bought a bra from the teens department because mine have shrunk so. How humiliating.

    You might find some solace in my post on a similar topic: http://jessicabhowell.blogspot.com/search/label/body%20image

    Julie @ The Mom Slant May 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Deflated pool toy – that’s classic. And painfully accurate.

    Anonymous May 29, 2009 at 9:17 am

    When I woke up one morning, 80 pounds and 14, I had a freaking C cup. I HATED THEM, forever. I got to a DD, then just kinda stayed there-5’2, no booty, 100 pounds- I thought I looked awkward, and it made me uncomfortable. Now? The boobies (note, boobies) are C cups again, which, YAY! and all, but I wish they weren’t so FLAT. Hangy. COVERED in nursing related stretch marks. UGH. I want one more kid, then I am going to get these things put back where they belong, ya know, on my CHEST.

    Bill May 29, 2009 at 11:59 am

    I never would have believed it. Women talk more about boobs than men do. Wow.

    FYI – the average view of the average man of your boobs is summerized here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf80jYNg8Og

    (I risk banning for this, I’m sure . . .)

    Bill

    maya May 29, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    I have tube sock boobs. Sadly, they have been that way since I was a teen. I gained, and lost weight. then i had twins. Now they are down to the floor and I have to throw them over my shoulder to leave the house.

    I told my husband that i am so getting a boob job when I am done shooting out kids.

    Parent Club May 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    you blog the truth…mom’s lament for the ever deflating boob…could be a book there…

    Anonymous May 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Thank you, again.
    I just got out of the shower looked at myself naked in front of the mirror and cried. Your post was talking about me!!!
    I don’t think i can ever accept the fact that one of my breasts is gone. Yes, one. The other one is still here just in mini.
    I’m a 21year old mama and i just don’t want to look like that. I don’t look like a woman anymore. Is my husband supposed to like that?! I wouldn’t. And why are this surgery so expensive?!
    Thanks for hearing me out.
    The crazy german chick

    Shawna May 29, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’m still nursing, though not as much at this point, and I’m already finding that before I go out I have to check the mirror to see if my nipples are in the right place, i.e., not totally wall-eyed. Rather than wish I could re-inflate them though, I’d be just as happy with no boobs at all once I for sure won’t need them to nourish a small being again. I never really cared much for having boobs in the first place.

    Hammie May 30, 2009 at 5:19 am

    I have the best of both worlds, the loveliest most inflatiest cream/water insert bras with push up power that give my small frame a mighty rack,

    And at the end of the day an ironing board chest that allows me to run up and down the stairs in just a teeshirt with both hands free for carrying washing – instead of boobs.

    As long as there is enough to push up, and they are healthy. Smile.
    xx

    Sarah May 30, 2009 at 8:12 am

    My boobs hang to my belly button… I hate it. I use to have the most perfect breast in the world and I was very proud to show them off. Now they are just there and in the way if I don’t wear a bra at all times. I also second the water bra. That thing can do miracles with saggy boobs. It gives a great illusion but can cause some major disappointment when you take it off each evening so make sure you don’t undress in front of a mirror!

    Sarah May 30, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Oh and they do have a tit inflator…. I saw one on some sex toy site. It claims to increase breast size if used daily. comes with large heavy duty plastic cups (in three sizes to fit all breast) and connects to a heavy duty metal hand pump.

    Hapi May 30, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    hello… hapi blogging… have a nice day! just visiting here….

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    Wendy May 30, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I was really hoping someone would invent a way to do a transplant because I have enough to supply one person and possibly TWO if they aren’t too greedy. (Oh, and that is definitely a complaint, not a brag.)

    Katherine May 30, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I have the opposite problem. 36DDD. I’d love to have a small set. The grass really is always greener I guess. After I’m sure I’m done with babies and breastfeeding, I think a breast reduction is in order. Too bad I can’t just magically transfer the extra to someone who wants it.

    Merrily Down the Stream May 30, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    I remember calling my sister after I weaned the twinkies to ask her ‘what fresh hell is this?’ She said it was like putting a golf ball in each of the feet in a pair of pantyhose. And me, who had NEVER considered plastic surgery – I was ready for a boob job..She told me to wait one year – it worked – I don’t know if they actually got better or I just adjusted to them. One could never cal them spectacular.

    gretchen May 30, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I have two words for you, honey. FOUNDATIONAL UNDERGARMENTS. It doesn’t matter what shape they are, if you strap them into a properly uplifting and oomphing brassiere(as my mother would have said). Of course, you don’t want anybody watching when you take the aforementioned bra off and the boobs reconfigure themselves into their natural shape and position!

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    Blues May 31, 2009 at 11:41 am

    I really loved this post as it echoes what I feel and have always felt about my own boobs. Well, I haven’t had kids, but I know what’s in store for me. The fact that my mother has a boob job speaks volumes about what I can expect over the years.

    I feel like now that I’m finally getting around to accepting my small boobs (it’s taken me a good 15 years to accept that they ain’t growin anymore), they are going to wither away once I turn my milk pump off.

    My sister, who has the exact same boobs as I do said it best after she stopped nursing, “I didn’t think our boobs could get any smaller. Well, they can.”

    Mary@Holy Mackerel May 31, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Yeah, I know all about deflated boobs. Mine were non-existent before kids, wondrous and luscious during pregnancy and lactation, and then…soggy old loaves of bread…

    heather June 1, 2009 at 1:27 am

    Wow! I thought I was the only one dealt the bad boobs. Of course, it’s not enough that they have always looked funny, they barely worked for their god-given purpose and gave me months of feeling like a failure.

    Just weaning too, so now the “mummy tummy” sticks out so much more. yet another reason to never stand naked in front of a mirror.
    Glad to see from all of the comments that I’m not alone. I can only imagine what another kid might do to the poor girls.

    mommymae June 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

    i, for one, have never wanted boobs. i'm quite happy with my size A. i can wear strapless dresses & tanks without feeling like i'm showing too much. that said, they are still like pancakes (albeit dollar-sized) after nursing 4 kids.

    The Peach Tart June 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    can you say wonderbra….that's the only thing making me feel somewhat like a sexy wanna be

    Anonymous June 4, 2009 at 1:52 am

    You make me laugh! The same thing happened to me – I actually found a bra called the 'thank goodness it fits' bra (a padded training type number) which has since been discontinued….argh! I dread the day the two threadbare ones I have left finally give up on me and I have to go shopping again…pretty sad…but so is bra shopping :) Colleen

    Anonymous June 9, 2009 at 1:54 am

    It's amazing…the boobs thing. It works both ways. I had a relative tell me to pull up my shirt at a family function recently. My shirt was firmly in where it was supposed to be…shoulder seams straight! Yet Miss not even an A cup was offended that I might be not hiding my "still perky at almost forty J cups". Sorry, born with them, like them, and passed them on to my much thinner than I'll ever be daughter. You know what else? They're non functional. Not a drop of milk through two kids. Big, small, it's just like motherhood, somebody else is always telling you what to do with them. Do whatever you want. Make yourself happy.

    Betsey Booms June 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    This. Exact. Story. Is why I did the thing I said I'd never do.

    I called the surgeon.

    He even sent me flowers afterward. You know, kind of like the best date ever…

    Well… I got there early, left sick, felt kind of lousy for days, he sent flowers.

    In the end, I had an epic rack. So it was just like every other date other than the rack.

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