Photo by Annie Kruyer.
You might be thinking these are 3 weird subjects to put together. But hear me out. So before I had a baby I loved my boobs. When I fell pregnant, I loved my boobs even more. 2 extra cup sizes? Yes please! I freaking rocked my pregnancy boobs. Little did I know what their future would be.
When pregnant, I used to think C-sections were for Moms who were too posh to push. Moms who think that “it will never be the same down there again” if they have to push out a baby. Give me a break… I mean as if our bodies weren’t designed to do this? It’s not like our cervix doesn’t dilate to 10cms first, and then our body releases all these crazy hormones that allow our lady bits to turn to elastic playdough and stretch to the size of a newborn head (average newborn head is 35cms… aha… that’s right!) – I mean… seriously – obvs everything goes back to normal… right?
41 weeks comes and goes… 42 weeks… my gynae thinks I’m crazy. I’m still like, so chilled. I did hypnobirthing, I’ve got this shit. First contraction hits. W. T. F. Okay. Put on my Marie Mongan CD. Two. Days. Later…
Posh white chick who’s been in labour for 2 days with a hot shot hospital plan walks into a public hospital demanding a c-section, well at least that’s what they saw. Because her gynae has now gone on holiday and no other private hospitals are willing to support her at 16 days overdue… they think she’s crazy too and give her a really, really hard time. They want her to labour longer, because you can’t just walk in and demand a c-section. This is literally the worst day of her life. Eventually, hours later, an angel doctor comes on shift and agrees that a c-section is necessary. Her baby boy is finally in her arms. She is happy.
3 months later:
Life is not what she imagined it to be. She failed at her natural birth. She failed at breastfeeding. Her body still aches. Her boobs are empty. And saggy. She can feel every single one of her ribs through her breasts, where once, there was breast tissue. Every single time she sees or feels her breasts, she remembers how her body failed her. She feels like the worst mother in the world. Unworthy to even be a mother to her precious baby. He deserves way better than this. What’s the point of anything anymore?
Sex is different. Even though natural birth was not achieved, everything ‘down there’ feels different. Nothing is where it was before. Her internal organs feel like they’ve been put back in the wrong place. When her lover attempts to caress her stomach, she squirms with disgust. It’s numb from the c-section and feels like dead skin. What a failure she is. When he touches her breasts, she is reminded of what a shitty mother she is. He tells her, over and over again, that he loves her, and he loves her ‘new’ boobs too. But this is not about how he feels about her. It’s about how she feels about herself. She wishes she could have her ‘old’ boobs back. Coz then she would feel like herself again.
She calls it. She decides she wants her old boobs back. She can’t deal with the fact that these things drooping on her chest keep dragging her back to a depressing time when she failed her baby. A whole bunch of money and pain later… she has her boobs. And damn do they look good. Although… she now feels a bit strange. These aren’t actually hers. She can’t feel her ribs through her breasts anymore. Why does she miss that? Why does she miss her empty sagging breasts? She starts to feel remorse. Remorse for judging herself so badly. For going to such lengths to make herself look and feel better. Why does how she look affect how she feels? Does it make her a better mother if she looks better?
Coming to terms with her story:
Almost 3 years later, she realizes: she did well. Her boobs did well, they nourished her baby for 4 whole weeks. They kept him ALIVE. Her body did well, it nourished her baby for 9 whole months, it kept him ALIVE. The boob job? She’s glad she did it. It gave her perspective, it helped her heal. In fact, she loves her story now. It’s helped her understand the stories of others, to be compassionate and understanding and less judgemental. We all do what we’ve got to do to get over the trauma of birth, and that’s okay. For her, it was her boobs.
At this point in time, her story actually doesn’t feel like her story anymore. Which is probably why she has written this whole blog post in the third person. (I just realized that I’m doing that right now, haha!) Her son is almost 3 years old. That’s huge. In height, he is half her size. He says “I love you mommy” and he means it. He says “I die you mommy” when he’s mad, which she thinks is hilarious.
So why does she tell this story?
I share this story with you, because time and time again, I hear Moms telling me how much they hate their boobs now. How much they hate how saggy and droopy they are after breastfeeding and how much they wish they could have their old boobs back. That’s what I used to say too. As women, we are so caught up in how we should look in order to fit in with society. When honestly, it’s all bullshit. Before you judge yourself so harshly, stop for a minute and think how well you’ve actually done. Yes! You did good girl! You’re doing great! You’re honestly and truly amazing and in time, you will come to believe that too.
So I suppose the big question is would I do it again if I had the choice? Get my boobs done. Yes, I definitely would. My boobs took me on a rollercoaster ride, the joy of breastfeeding, the pain of breastfeeding, the sorrow of not breastfeeding, the excitement of getting them back, the physical pain of the surgery (which by the way is sucky) and the journey of realizing why I actually did it in the first place. This all taught me a lot about who I am and why I had to go on this journey.
So I share this with you to let you know that you are enough. As you are, right now.
Love your boobs, love your body, and let your partner love them too.
Kisses, Shannon xx
PS: I’m not saying don’t have the boob job, I’m just saying do what feels good for you, for the right reasons. I’ll leave you with India.Arie – she says it best ;)