Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Chronicles of Boobzilla

Woooo! This is gonna be a long one. I have issues.

I am Hell-bent on nursing Zachary. It has zilch to do with being au naturale, and more to do with it being better for him. But I must say that this has to be the greatest source of my anxiety about becoming a mother...again.

Let's start this explanation with E. They tell you it is impossible, but E just...didn't fit. So I tried anyway, and after a grueling pregnancy, a c-section, and more, I was exhausted. I wanted to nurse. But in the recovery room, neither of us had our hearts in it. I tried again later, and still, he wanted nothing to do with it. So I gave him the dreaded formula. His reflux he had as a baby was undiagnosed at the time, so the kid would puke like a fountain, and we made endless trips back and forth to a pediatrician trying to find a formula that would work for him. He ended up on the expensive hypoallergenic formula finally. The powder, to be exact. If that wasn't expensive enough, I discovered that he threw less up when we gave him the ready-to-feed variety. It just had a thicker consistency. But is more expensive. Let's just say that by the time he was 6 months old, it took about $600 per month to feed my beautiful baby boy.

I would be completely lying to you if I didn't say that has something to do with my desire to nurse Z. $600 a month is a big deal, even now with my far-greater earning potential. I don't want to do that again. I don't think anyone in my shoes would...ever.

But I have some misgivings about breastfeeding. And here they are:
(Warning: Personal issues coming right up!)

J calls me Boobzilla. Really. He has for years. As in I outgrew a DD in the 9th grade. I've worn an F cup for years. And I have wanted a breast reduction for years. I don't know why I haven't done it yet. I have the upper back pain and notches in my shoulders, so insurance would pay. I just have never done it. The day may come, but it hasn't yet. As a matter of fact, my boobs were so big when I was preggers with E that they didn't even get the teensiest bigger. I went through the entire pregnancy wearing the same bra size. But with Z? Somewhere around the fourth month, I had to go bra shopping. Have you ever tried to find bras that big in a store where you can try them on? It isn't for the faint of heart. My only outlet of relief was a lingerie store for plus-sized women, so I went. And I reached for the F cups, like always. I was wearing a form-fitting tee at the time, and the sales lady tried to help. I must have looked bewildered, and obviously had the four-boob syndrome. (If you don't know, the four-boob syndrome is when you are spilling over the tops of the bra cups, making it look like you have four boobs.) It is near impossible to find an F, let alone anything bigger, so I thought I could just get a bigger band size and that may work. But the sales lady was so helpful. She asked me what size I was in then, and looked at the bras I had in my hand to take with me to the fitting room,and just muttered one sentence: "Oh, honey, NOOOO!"

But there was nothing bigger on the racks and I knew I needed new bras, pronto! So Bra Saleslady literally takes me by the hand to the back part of the store, and starts rummaging through secret stashes, emerging brandishing the most enormous bra I have ever seen in my life. She tells me not to even look at the size, but to go and try it on. I do. No spillage on the sides or tops of the cups. The band isn't binding, and I can see no boobage slipping out underneath, either. Could it be? It fits! Yeah, Bra Saleslady! Way to go! I tell her it fits and I want one in every color she has. Well, unlike the vast sea of DD's filling the center of the sales floor in every color of the rainbow, this bra only comes in 4 colors. She starts rummaging again, and comes up with one in each color. They're expensive, about $70 per bra, but I don't care. Then I look at the size.

38G. Seriously. And what's even better yet? She tells me that it also comes in an H, so when I get bigger as the pregnancy progresses....Well, I don't know what she told me beyond that point because that is when I started crying. I mean really crying. Bigger????? I started having boob flashbacks.

I was about the age E is now when I first needed a bra. I didn't want to need one, so I thought that hunching my shoulders forward and rounding my upper back made my shirt hang loosely enough in the front that you couldn't see. As a result, in all of the pictures of me at that age, I look like a hunchback. It took years to get out of the habit after I finally started wearing bras. For the record, my training bra size? A B cup.

Being 13 years old and going into a Mickey D's with my friends and having some gross old man exclaim to his grandpa friend, "Look at the set on that one!" Obviously, I didn't look 13, in his defense, but still, that does something to you when you are just a kid.

Trying on prom dresses with mom. I was a sophomore, and my little boyfriend was a senior, so I was thrilled that I got to go to his prom. The dresses either fit me in the bust or in the waist, but never both. I couldn't get the dress I wanted because the cost of the alterations needed to make it wearable added about 300% onto the cost. And the spaghetti or strapless styles made me look like a prostitute.

Swim team, senior year. For the first meet of the year, our team suits were late. They got there right before the meet, and our coach just thrust them at us, telling us to put them on. They were the high-necked, high-backed speedos, with a zipper up the back like a wetsuit. Very cool looking. If you've never worn a competition swimsuit, I can tell you, they are TIGHT. They whittle the waist and smash down your boobs, and the high cut in the leg makes it look like you have legs for days. Looking back now, I would kill to look like I did then: big boobs, small waist, toned, firm, lean. I had a bigger frame, but nothing jiggled. Well I didn't appreciate what I had then. But anyhow...Swimming wasn't a big sport in my school, and the different coaches tried to encourage other teams to go out in support of their classmates. That was day the football team came to my meet. I always wore a loose hoodie over my suit until my events came up. As a matter of fact, I have always worn baggy clothing, period. But when my first event came up, I had to shed my clothes, revealing me in the suit underneath. And all of those teenaged boys saw my body. And made noises and catcalls. And I was mortified. But I had to swim the 50 Free, a fast race that is over in the blink of an eye. I got up on the block, waited for the loud beep that signals the start, and off I went. Errrr, tried to go. As soon as my torso hit the water, my left boob popped out af the side as the fabric of the new cool suit slid over in between my girls. So I swam that 50 Free with one arm while using the other arm to try to put lefty back in her cage, the whole time thinking "thank GOD this isn't the backstroke!" The swim team at my old high school still has the policy that they will not use new suits without a trial run first, because of me.

So back to breatfeeding. I seriously have this image in my head of one of the Ginormo twins inadvertantly crushing my sweet baby boy. Seriously. What if I fall asleep nursing him? Now I want to google "Mother's breast crushes baby", and see what comes up. Or "boob asphixiation".

And don't even get me started about nursing in public. I would not be able to do it. At all. There is no such thing as discreetly slipping free a nipple when you have my problem.
I could see myself doing a striptease in the mall to try to nurse. Not gonna happen!

So the plan? I want to breastfeed exclusively, but I will only nurse at home. If it works out, Zachary will eat breastmilk from a bottle eventually. I've already bought my pump. I've already contacted my hospital's lactation consultant. As of right now, on maternity leave, I plan on alternating feeding Z with milking myself to get the supply up. We'll see if it works. I hope it does. I realize I will be nothing more than a pair of boobs for a while, but I think it will be worth it to feed the baby breastmilk.

I googled. See for yourself! I guess my fears aren't irrational after all!
And again:


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. This post was so hilarious and descriptive, it could be a short story! You totally had me hooked from just the title!

    I read the articles and I really think you have nothing to fear. It seems to be a rare occurrence (although I was surprised that you actually found something on it!). Not one of them said it was because of the size of the breasts - did they? I'd have to read through them again. I think breastfeeding pillows also come in handy to support the baby. My friend is also big breasted and she has never had an issue like that breastfeeding her baby.

  3. Well, maybe TOO descriptive. LOL.