Today my inspiration is all about boobs and my boob journey. I just got into bed and had an epiphany about life (as you do), so I began to type it out. It may be useful for breast feeding mums, but actually I’m hoping you’ll see it’s not about boobs at all.
When I was twenty-two years old I remember walking out of the doors of our local shopping centre with my Mum and I began the sentence with ‘when my boobs stop growing…’ she then interrupted and broke the news that they were done growing and what I had was all that was coming my way. I obviously knew this deep down but I guess the Disney princess in me was hoping for a extra handful, plus my Mum has more than her fare share so I was clutching on for some of her genes. Turns out I’m my Dads daughter and match his moob size.
Life went on and I learned about wonder bras and perfected scaffolding techniques that meant I now have a back up industry should I ever need a new career.
Then just when I was at my lowest they let me down by being amazing. After we came home from the hospital without our new bundle I was told that due to my emergency caesarean, stress and how long it had been I was unlikely to get any breast milk through. Mr F took me ‘home’ not to our house (too many baby items ready and waiting that I couldn’t bare to look at) but to my Parents. He surrounded us with love and my bestie came to stay over night. In the morning I woke and cried at the realisation that the nightmare we was living wasn’t a dream but our new reality. It was during this emotional outpour that my boobs exploded with milk. Useless milk that was too late, that meant my body didn’t know what my mind did…the baby had died, it didn’t need to be fed and I certainly didn’t need reminding. It was another stab and firm reminder that my body wasn’t my own. Luckily, it soon dried up and I have to say months after I was pretty proud that my fried eggs had it in them to produce milk. They worked.
Four years later we decided to ‘not try to try’ and have a baby. During this pregnancy it was worse, denial was my only hope of sanity as any interaction with the reality of ‘this could happen again’ was too much for my heart to cope with. I read nothing, I only went to appointments that I absolutely needed to and I worked as close to my due date as possible. Then I had my planned Caesarian (I already had the sunroof , why not use it?) and with a tug and a pull a healthy baby boy. With this came a new game plan: Get him home. In the UK this means approximately 3 days of monitoring and a lot of wee to produce for midwives that like to measure it by the pint. I have never drunk so much water in my life to satisfy there wee desires. My milk didn’t kick in straight away so we fed him with a little cup and some formula, I also breast fed – it began straight after he was placed on me for skin to skin contact and he literally sniffed by breast and attached himself; his Dad always gets good value at an all you can eat buffet, so I wasn’t that surprised. Did I know what I was doing? Hadn’t a fucking clue. If it hurt – I pulled him away, if it felt nice I let him stay until he had got bored. Now before we get into breast feeding Vs bottle formula, I couldn’t give a scooby doo, I had mission ‘Get him home’ everything else was irrelevant. I kept Midwife’s away by telling them what they wanted to hear, I kept my curtains closed and counting the sleeps down one by one. I even gave the scary cow machines a go (keep the Midwife’s happy) and expressed pretty much nothing. We continued to cup feed and I knew my boobs could do it.
We managed to get little dude home and then the next mission began: Keep him healthy for the next eighty odd years. Generally I breast fed and Daddy gave him one bottle a day. I kept the formula because it served three purposes – bonding for Daddy, a break for me and it also released some new mum guilt that I was producing by the bucket load of ‘if I’m not producing enough then at least he is getting something’, this is where the breast feeding journey should end but life’s a b*tch and just when you figure things out a new born likes to screw things up – he rejected my right breast. Apparently this is to do with me being left handed and how I was holding him, I then expressed the right, fed from the left and Daddy did his one evening formula…until I lost my sanity, expressing wasn’t for me, it felt totally unnatural and dull. It took over lives as I had to be near the express machine for every other feed which meant our house became my prison.
I then read an article about mums of twins who feed each baby on each breast (not sure how triplets do this?) and thought ‘screw you right express boob, I’ll just feed from the left’. And so until we introduced food this is what I did. The right boob dried up, he only drank from the left side of the bar and had one Daddy formula before bed.
Now to relate my boobs to life. I think if you over complicate things (breast feeding) then you’re likely to fail. I honestly didn’t know how to attach a child to my nipple – he did it himself. I went with the flow and made it work for me. I also scaffold those bad boys like Amazon packaging – the gift inside isn’t always as big as the box it comes it, so don’t be fooled by how people package their life, social media tells a lot of ‘amazon boxes’ and people like to post only the best of themselves, it doesn’t mean they are better than you or have anything worked out. I truly believe we are just winging it, day by day.
The human body is amazing. Seriously I made 2 tiny humans with 2 basic ingredients and a shed load of percentages against me. I’ve probabaly insulted my boobs more times than reality TV stars have told the truth and they fed my son regardless. I think we need to start loving ourselves and especially what we perceive as our flaws way more to be happy, healthy humans. Life (much like a new born) likes to throw a curve ball every now and then and we like to get stressed, frustrated and angry – when really we need to take a step back, breathe and may be a little like Dory and look for another direction to swim in.
So a toast, to boobs, moobs and the miracle of life! We can make it work, overcome anything thats put in our path, which I think its something seriously worth toasting. Stay blessed and if like me you have low fat boobs be grateful they are healthy.