Thursday, 16 January 2014

14lb Of Boob



“Mama, I love your boobies.”

Little bean smiled up at me in her sleepy milk-daze and wrapped her arms further around my belly, squeezing just a little bit tighter than before.

“Thank you, baby girl.”

I heard these words leave my mouth, but in that moment, sitting in the rocker in our quiet and cosy bedroom, I could feel a heavy niggling at the back of my mind...a quiet but persistent voice that raced through my head whispering; “but why?”

You see, my breasts had changed quite considerably over the preceding few months...they seemed to have halved in volume and dropped southwards, as if pushed from a great height.  And with this drop, came a corresponding plummeting of self-confidence.

My breasts aren’t the kind of breasts that you might see splashed across the front pages of magazines, or set within red lace against a 10 foot billboard.  To be honest, they aren’t really the kind of breasts that you might notice at all...unless, of course, I am feeding my daughter in the indiscreet way that nature intended...because breastfeeding mothers are all exhibitionists, right?

No, for all intents and purposes, my breasts are rather modest, rather humble and rather normal.  Funnily enough, even before this drastic boob-shrinkage, my breasts were still rather modest, rather humble and rather normal...they were just 3 cup sizes bigger.

So one dreary January morning, I decided to weigh myself; to dig out the scales from the dark depths of beyond and establish the damage…

I stood on the scales and dared myself to look down...14lb lighter...And I’m thinking it was a whole 14lb of boob.

“What is it, mama?”  A little voice cut through my silent shock, as little bean peered at the numbers on the scales.  She looked up and stared me straight in the eye; “You OK mama?”

My face does not hide emotion well.  I wear whatever I am feeling in my eyes, across my brow and over my mouth.  In that moment, I felt a huge wave of panic sweep over me.

What if my breasts were no longer producing milk?  What if they weren’t producing enough milk?  What if they continue shrinking; will the milk vanish soon?  What if little bean gets poorly and increases her demand...will my breasts keep up?  Can my breasts keep up?

It had taken well over two years for me to reach the question that most breastfeeding mothers reach at one point or another; are my boobs enough?

And let’s face it, this concept of ‘enough’ isn’t solely reserved for breastfeeders.  It lies dormant in all of us, lifting it’s head above water from time to time to gnaw away at our parenting confidence; am I enough?

My child is sad; am I enough?  My child is angry; am I enough?  My child is learning; am I enough?  My child is looking for direction; am I enough?  My child is wanting; am I enough?

Yes.

Yes, mama, you are enough.

You are enough when your child reaches out her hand to you, or when she rests her head on your shoulder.  You are enough when you brush away tears and kiss scraped knees.  You are enough at 7am, at 1pm, at 7pm and at 1am.  You are enough when your hands aren’t manicured and when your mascara runs.  You are enough.

I took a deep breath.

“Mama’s ok, I was just thinking about your mama milk.  Is it still in mama’s boobies?”

“Oh yeah, mama!”  My daughter beamed at me.  She wasn’t looking at the scales anymore and nor was I thinking about them.

I took another breath; “Is there enough?”  I whispered it...I was almost too afraid of the answer.

“Enough, mama!  In here...”  She reached up to pat my right breast; “...and in here...”  She smiled as she tapped my left; “There’s LOADS!”

And just like that, my insecurities left me.  Just as my spare 14lb had vanished, my boob-doubt disappeared.  It seemed, after all, that the missing pounds of boob really didn’t hold the key to our breastfeeding journey; that the absent pounds weren't the only ones capable of milk production.

Because our breasts are simply amazing; and I’m talking about yours and mine.  Our hidden and humble breasts are amazing even though we don’t see them spilling out all over magazines or selling lipsticks/cars/underwear/shoes/fragrance/*insert ANY commercial product here*.

Whether they are big or small, up high or down low, they are capable of nourishing and nurturing life.  They are simply inspiring.

A few nights later, little bean told me again at bedtime; “Mama, I love your boobies.”

As I smiled down at her sleepy face, I truly believed the words that left my mouth...

“Me too, baby girl.  Me too.”


Like what you read?  If you'd like to receive new posts from Mama Bean Parenting straight to your inbox, just click here


You can also find Mama Bean on Twitter and Facebook

20 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! I have had that same insecurity before "is there still enough milk?" And felt the relief when my nursling assured me that there was. Glad to hear of someone else's journey down that path. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brandy, isn't nursling feedback amazing! The more that this piece is being shared, the more people I am seeing say exactly the same thing...we really aren't alone! Thank you for your comment <3

      Delete
  2. I have asked my son this several times over the past 6 months. The answer now is no, there's not much, if anything, left...but it doesn't stop ds wanting a moment to nurse and reconnect! My little guy is almost 3.5 now. I know before he turned 3, the milk was beginning to wane, but bedtime booby still lead to some gulps being taken....but those days are long gone. I am ok about that, though...and so is he.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blondie, you are the perfect example of breastfeeding being about more than nutrition alone. Boobs don't just feed the body; they feed the soul!! Your little one sounds like the picture of contentment - as do you. Much respect :-)

      Delete
  3. This brought tears to my eyes, I love how mummys milk make bedtime (among other times) all the more special, we are blessed with amazing children, and I couldnt think of a better way to filll them, than with the milk of life and love

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jd you are so right; thank you for such a beautiful comment :-)

      Delete
  4. Sitting here crying my eyes out to a beautiful story ♡ I wonder this every day ♡

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hugs, mama; you are enough! <3 Thank you so much for the support <3

      Delete
  5. I ask my 2 year old if there's enough mama milk every single day. It's hard for me to realize that yes, there's enough for both my 2 year old and my 1 year old. I still can't believe that I've been nursing 26.5 months and tandem for 12 months.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to say, I love your blog post! It is the sweetest, most adorable thing I have read for ages. I think its great that you and your daughter are still breastfeeding, and the bond you have developed between you as a result is clear from your post. We've recently started weaning and at times I feel like my milk supply is low. I only wish my little lady was old enough to talk to me and tell me (and reassure me) that I still have enough milk to nourish her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! Such kind words :-) I tell myself that breasts are factories, not warehouses ;-) Trust yourself mama <3

      Delete
  7. This made me cry (in a good way!) Gorgeously written and so very apt for me right now! Thank you Mama Bean!

    ReplyDelete
  8. What a wonderful story!! And such a wonderful blog!! So happy I found you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am a 38 year old man and I am in tears, I kind of snuck on her blog!! my boy is 3 & 1/4 . You gals are way tougher than us men, and I am a Marine. All the respect in the world for you ladies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much - this comment actually took my breath away! Your son is incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful role model in you.

      Delete
  10. What a lovely story. My 19 month old definitely loves her "boodie juu" and it's so lovely to hear how much your little one still obviously loves nursing. Power to the boobies :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Alison :-) Oh I love that - "boodie juu"! Absolutely - boobie power! (Or should that be "boodie power"... ;-) )

      Delete