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Changing relationships with your body

Wednesday, 15 March 2017  | 

 

#6 The ever changing relationship with my boobs.

Pregnancy does some weird things to your body. I mean really weird, and they seem to come from no where. Popping up overnight, they spring from nowhere. One thing I have found with this my second pregnancy is the affect it has had on my boobs! They no longer resemble what they did 5 months ago, and they are changing on an almost daily basis. It led me to think about the relationship I have had with my boobs, and over the years how much this has changed. Very much like my ever expanding bust/waist right now. They are with us for life, a sign of femininity, feeders of babies, so why was my relationship with them so difficult?

As a teenage girl, the harsh reality is at that age, body image is everything. Especially when you get to high school, you will have your insecurities examined and magnified by other girls or even the boys. One comment will suddenly throw you into a downward spiral and will stay with you for years. For me it was always to do with my boobs. Always.

I had been flirting with an eating disorder before I got to high school, but then things did ramp up a notch. The other girls were prettier, had bigger boobs and the boys were interested in them and not me (in hindsight it was likely the really dodgy haircut I had and not the size of my chest that was the problem). Therefore I used to skip meals, obviously this did not help and my body delayed my period later that most others. Even when I did finally start, I was very flat chested. I dreamed of having a boob job, and can remember every crushing comment anyone ever made about my boobs. I didn't realise then that actually I was completely in proportion to my frame and genetics also play a huge role.

Always comparing myself to others, I was never happy or confident and this didn't really improve with age. Not even after I met my partner of 9 years Greg. I guess I had just come to accept I would never love my boobs. They were there, I didn't like them. In terms of our relationship we just didn't get on. I couldn't see I was good enough, they were good enough and to be content. I think this is something over time you learn but at the time it is hard to accept.

Then, I got pregnant the first time with my son. For the first few months there was no difference really. I did have to start wearing a sports bra to bed, but other than that things were normal. Until one day when I was about 17 weeks, and I woke up with a completely wet shirt.This began the many weeks of leaking and my new love affair with the breast pad! I am reminded about one fateful day at work when I forgot them, and was worried I would leak through so folded up a sanitary towel instead! This went on for some time before I gave birth. I hadn't planned on breastfeeding but when Elijah went into NICU, I did ask but was advised against it due to ill health. My milk never came in, and I guess I then resented them further for letting me down.

Elijah had a stay in NICU, and then needed corrective heart surgery at 6 months. This took a toll and physically I didn't look after my body. Old habits crept in and it wasn't until perhaps a year after he was born I realised I had lost a lot of weight. My boobs hadn't really changed since I was pregnant so, on went our disagreeable relationship. Until now, where I am now pregnant with my second and my boobs seemed to have got a memo that I was not privy too. They have taken over, they are more bigger, droopier, leakier than ever before. But, after all these years, I am fine with it, hell I am even finding it funny that my boobs can rest on my bump when I sit down! I am quite enjoying their transformation and also looking forward to hopefully trying to breastfeed if I am able.

I think with the changes my body has gone through from puberty, to pregnancy, to post partem and pregnancy again it has made me realise hay, does it really matter? Deep down though we can try to be confident with our own body image, to portray we are happy but, you will always want something someone else has, her boobs, her butt, that stomach. For me I am just content, I don't think I will ever be happy and that is a shame but self esteem is easy to knock down and hard to build up. Breast cancer is also present in my family. My Aunt had a mastectomy and although I was young at the time, I can see now how hard that must have been to loose that part of her. We just take it for granted that these things will not affect us, but they can and the changes are life changing. She never let on to anyone how this made her feel and I saw this as a sign of her bravery. It has taken a while for me to get there, but after many years of disgust I wouldn't be without them.

For now though, me and my boobs are at a happy place in our relationship and I am grateful for them.

Leaky nips and all.

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