I’ve always had big boobs, so I’m used to it... well I thought I had big boobs anyway.
Turns out, until you are breastfeeding you have no idea just how big and annoying your boobs can get.
In my opinion and experience, the whole boob thing during my pregnancy and new mum life has been the worst bit. Before I knew I was even pregnant the boobs started to give me grief, they were what made me sure I was pregnant even after the two negative tests I took. My uterus didn’t even know I was pregnant that’s how early I was, but guess who did - my boobs. So when I got my third and positive test saying I was pregnant my boobs had already, what I felt like, doubled in size. I went from a 10DD to the most uncomfortable and painful I-don’t-even-know-what-size and it lasted for weeks (good old Kmart to the rescue, their material, crop bra things are the business for pregnancy).
In those first few months of pregnancy my boobs were so sore I couldn’t wear an underwire bra anymore and sleeping became uncomfortable, and at times quite painful. I can remember thinking 'oh no, is this what they are going to feel like when I start breastfeeding?!' (Nah girl, they get worse for that).
Around week 15 they chilled out (although never deflated) and life carried on as normal. I went out and brought a pile of new bras thinking 'yup this is me and they are obviously as big as they are going to get, milk will come out once I start feeding and that’s it, easy'.
Once my milk came in around day 4 PP the giant boobs took it up a notch. I am now currently 5ft 2 with 14F boobs - and they are not cute. I also have an oversupply, which has resulted in a huge stash of breast milk taking up our freezer (which I am currently trying to donate as there is enough here for Henry and some). It also means I’m sleeping in breast pads and more often than not, I am waking up covered in milk, sometimes needing to get changed and sleep on a towel.
I don't pump during the day (not wanting to encourage any more milk than we have) and we are feeding on demand, but the night is a different story. Henry is currently sleeping through from 8.30pm - 4am. “That’s amazing!” people will say when they hear that. Yeah that’s amazing for Henry, the dogs and my husband... However not so amazing for me and the boobs, we are still up at midnight and around 2am to pump or the pain is real. It feels like you have a bowling ball in your bra.
My first outing to the mall with my mum, I was standing in Zara trying to find something cute to fit the giant boobs, when a group of women and their young kids walk in, one which was a small baby similar age to Henry. When all of a sudden I said to my mum, “mum, my boobs are suddenly really full and super sore” and she just laughed and pointed at the crying baby with the group of women. My boobs were now thinking about that baby, and mine - so considerate.
What I’ve come to realize is so many of us struggle with breastfeeding, but it’s not for all the same reasons. While some of us struggle with low supply, some of us struggle with too much. Some women struggle for reasons I cannot even begin to comprehend and the truth is, it’s not easy, for any of us.
I will cherish this time Henry and I have together, and I am lucky to have a great supply of milk for him. However having my body back one day to myself, is something I am also going to appreciate. You never realize just how free you were before kids, 'til you have them (funny that).