A funny thing happens when you have a baby. Your breasts take on a life of their own and become tools with a cut-and-dry separation from any form of sex appeal.
Not that they can’t take on both roles. They just can’t do it at the same time.
The first time I got pregnant I was looking forward to the big-boob stage. I’m a petite woman and my breasts follow suit. Not exactly Dolly-condition, you know what I mean? Little did I know, your breasts don’t actually have to get bigger to be able to nurse a baby. In fact, my first midwife told me she’d seen mothers who were virtually flat-chested but still effectively nursed their newborns. I was annoyed at the prospect.
Needless to say, throughout my pregnancy with Caden, my breasts kept their original size. Same was true after Caden was born—all my old bras still fit. Again, I was annoyed. Not that it mattered hugely. Just would have been nice to know what cleavage was like.
But then came Chloe. Like so many other things about our sweet baby #2, my breasts are different this time around. They’re huge, to put it simply. Maybe it’s because Chloe has been an avid feeder from the start. Maybe it’s because my breasts know what to do this time around. At any rate, none of my old nursing bras fit once we got back from the hospital. I had to go buy some new mega-mommy ones.
This means my husband gets the pleasure of enjoying my unexpectedly-large breasts. Although, I’m not sure he’s enjoying them in the sense you might expect. Sure, I usually have a boob hanging out of my shirt at any given moment throughout the day. But it either has a baby latched onto it or milk dripping from it, and apparently that doesn’t rate highly in terms of sex appeal.
Then there are the nursing pads. This was something I never knew about before having babies: your breasts can leak milk even when your baby isn’t nursing. It’s most common when you start baby on one breast and the other breast tries to join in on the fun (in other words, your letdown is triggered in both nipples when baby first starts to nurse). It can also happen when you hear your baby cry—a nice response by nature. Thankfully, nursing pads were invented to save you the embarrassment of wet spots on your shirt.
Here’s a weird breast thing: when Caden cries (he’s almost two, remember), it sometimes triggers my milk to start. It’s odd. Needless to say, it also happens when Chloe cries. Thank goodness it doesn’t happen when the dogs start yowling. That would be awkward!
Oh, and one more new-boob observation: cleavage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So far, the only thing it’s useful for is to catch Caden’s crumbs when he’s eating a cracker while I hold him. And the other day, when he was eating a popsicle that broke off its stick over my chest and an icy piece slithered on down between my milk-makers … well, let’s just say it wasn’t cool.