Double A

July 21, 2010

Have I told you about my crazy breasts? They are vastly different sizes. I am so lopsided that when I catch a glimpse of myself just out of the shower, I have to call Ben Blair to come witness the insanity (Ben! Come see! You will not believe this!!).

Why are they so lopsided? Well, it’s a boring story. Sometime after baby number two (I was approximately 26 years old), I found a large and painful lump in my right breast. When I consulted with doctors, the consensus was that it should be removed. So I had surgery. And happily, the lump wasn’t cancerous. But, during the surgery, my milk ducts on half my right breast were sliced through and they’ve never drained properly since. (In case you’re wondering, there’s no blame here. When making the cut, the doctor was doing his best to hide the scar and it is hidden beautifully. If I flashed you, you would never know I had breast surgery.)

So basically, this is what has happened with babies 3 through 6:

1) I get pregnant. My very flat chest swells to a B-cup. I take every opportunity to admire my new chest in the mirror.

2) Then the baby is born and starts to nurse. My milk comes in after a few days and I am temporarily transformed into an Amazon Woman with a rock hard rack. No one is allowed within 3 feet of me to prevent any accidental bumping of my super sore chest.

3) The baby nurses equally on both sides for about a week. At which point, the baby starts favoring my left side. After two weeks, you couldn’t pay the baby to nurse on my right side. So I use a pump to remove the milk from the right side for a few more weeks until my right side completely dries up. (Yes, I keep the pumped milk in the freezer. I use it to bake cookies for the neighbors. Kidding!)

4) For about a year — from 2 weeks after the birth until I stop nursing — I walk around with crazy lopsided breasts. Lopsided as in one is a C or D cup (depending on if the baby has eaten or not), and one is a double A. For those of you that aren’t flat-chested, I feel I should point out that double A sizing does not work the same way as double D. Double A is smaller than A. It’s like almost A. It’s that small. I am not kidding you. When I’m not nursing, I have to shop for bras in the training bra section.

Times when it’s problematic to have one size D breast and one size A breast:

1) During swim season. Like the month of July, for example.

2) When you’re bra shopping.


Actually, it’s not that bad. I have this fake boob (pictured here, because I know blog readers are a curious bunch) that I wear in my right side bra cup and it does a pretty good job of even-ing things out. It’s not perfect, but I’m hoping no one is staring that closely at my chest.

Also, I know that as soon as I wean, the left side will drop down to a double A again and Ill be back to my totally flat-chested self. Even then, they’ll never be a perfectly matched set, but they’re close enough. So this is a temporary craziness.

Anything else I want to add? Why yes. Three things:

1) Pretty much immediately after the surgery, my lump came back. Bigger and badder than ever. I get it checked regularly and it seems to be harmless enough. Although it does act as a reliable weather forecaster. Whenever I notice my lump aching, I know it’s going to rain. I’m totally serious. My breast predicts the weather. It’s a great party trick.

2) Doesn’t it seem like the reward for growing up with a flat chest in a society that values big boobs above all else would be perfect breast health? Me too. It’s unfair people. I call a redo.

3) If you meet me in person, don’t be afraid to check out my chest. I would do the same thing.

And that’s the story. So. What about you? When you want to share TMI on your blog, what’s your favorite topic. : ) Any other crazy nursing stories out there?

P.S. — I know this isn’t typical Design Mom fare, but it’s on my mind, and I thought you might indulge me. Also. My breast surgery left major bruising for weeks and weeks across my whole chest and had crazy after-affects as described above. My advice: don’t take any surgery lightly.

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{ 208 comments… read them below or add one }

1 maya July 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

wow. i’m not sure this should be as interesting to me as it is. but it is. the body is an amazing & wondrous thing.


2 Jenny July 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

Love this.

I’m a card carrying member of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.

I’m only joking by the way; we don’t really have cards.


3 Jacinta July 23, 2010 at 12:54 am

LOL! That is hilarious…. I read it, went to cook dinner and kept chuckling every time I thought of it. :)


4 Kelly h. July 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

Thanks for this post. Sometimes you master bloggers/women/mothers seem more like perfectly designed superheroes with immaculate taste and immeasurable talents. It’s nice to hear that you’re just “normal” superheroes like myself, shopping for bras in the training bra section ;)


5 Erin July 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I agree, Kelly! It’s nice to find that Gabby has parts of her she doesn’t like, well, just like us. Lopsided in one way or another.


6 Jenna {Jenna Sais Quois} July 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I completely agree, Jenny and Kelly! It is sometimes just nice to remember that bloggers, who’s taste, lifestyle, and design sensibility we so admire are just normal people with normal lives and normal idiosyncrasies.


7 Kayla July 21, 2010 at 9:51 am

I, too, shop in the training bra section. Its’ nice to know I am in such lovely company.

Except I recently got to shop in the big girl bra section since nursing finally worked out with my second baby and I have boobs. Yaaaay! I’m reveling in them while they last.


8 Bridget July 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

Yay! I shop in the girl’s section too! Thank goodness for polka-dotted bras, that’s what I have to say!


9 dearjoeloverosie July 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

i have a similar proportion problem, but without any rhyme or reason. thanks for sharing…the 3 final thoughts especially made me smile :)


10 Marianne July 21, 2010 at 9:52 am

I sympathize, as Lulu gets ever closer to weaning she has decided that only my right breast is worth her time.

I want to know wabout your top–super cute!


11 Kate F. July 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

I’m now totally distracted because I got to the weather-prediction part and all I can think of is Amanda Seyfried’s character in Mean Girls, who claims that her breasts can predict the weather. “There’s a 30% chance that it’s already raining…”


12 Angie July 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

Kate – I thought the EXACT SAME THING! Hah! And got distracted as well trying to remember which movie it was!

So great!


13 Emily Price July 21, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I thought the exact same thing and chuckled to myself…


14 Rachel @ Pencil Shavings July 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm

This made me think of the same thing! I just cracked up! Hilarious!


15 Bec July 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

Love this post. You crack me up. Sorry about “the ladies.” :) Have a good one… and enjoy that rain!


16 Michelle July 21, 2010 at 10:04 am

My sister has some weird condition where both boobs let down milk simultaneously, so if she nurses on one side, the other side is squirting milk full force. So she’s always had to pump (or find another baby to nurse on the other boob).

Also, I always loved my small A-cup breasts. Until I had two kids. My small but super PERKY breasts are now sagging. Nooooooo! Totally unfair I say.


17 Summer July 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Wait a second, is it not normal to let down on both sides at the same time? My first baby is a year old now and I’ve always let down on both sides simultaneously and never thought anything of it…


18 Erin July 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

It’s normal for both sides to let down. But all-out squirting, that’s another story. Most of the rest of us just experience dripping while the other breast is being fed from.


19 Heather August 31, 2010 at 8:32 pm

I had all out squirting from my other breast when I nursed my babies. I called it my fountain. I could seriously spray 3ft out. but that only lasted for the first month or two. Letting down on both sides is completely normal…at least for me.


20 Melissa L. March 4, 2011 at 6:25 am

Me too. Small and perky, OK – small and droopy, boo hoo.


21 Missy July 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

have you been able to exclusively breastfeed using just your left side?


22 Erin July 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm

I was wondering that, too. There are so many things that you can encounter with breastfeeding that beat the books I’ve read. Thank goodness for reliable lactation consultants–and support!


23 Design Mom July 21, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Yes, I’ve been able to produce enough milk with my left side to exclusively breast feed. But if couldn’t produce enough milk, I would supplement with formula and I wouldn’t feel one ounce of guilt or regret about it.

Just wanted to say that, because I know nursing doesn’t work out for everybody.


24 Erin July 26, 2010 at 10:52 am

It’s true, Gabby. Breastfeeding is the best food our new babies can get–that’s been covered beyond argument. But we all need slack, support, and credit. Momming is hard work, no matter what. It’s good to keep in mind that ideal isn’t always reality, that’s okay.

How great, though, that you’ve still been able to exclusively breastfeed of one side.


25 shari July 21, 2010 at 10:06 am

isn’t there a movie where one of the characters predicts the weather with her breasts? I swear there is…a teeny bopper movie…if I remember it later, I’ll comment again!

glad it’s not cancerous, and good for you to be able to nurse with only 1 breast…amazing what our bodies can do, right? That breast must produce a ton of milk to compensate for the other. At least you don’t have to remember which one you finished up on last time you nursed…alternating can be a pain… :) there’s always a bright side, right?

TMI can be very funny…and insightful…and helps me feel like I know you just a little bit more intimately… you are a REAL person…dealing with REAL stuff… thanks for sharing and being fabulous!


26 shari July 21, 2010 at 10:08 am

ohh, oohhhh! It’s MEAN GIRLS… Amanda Seyfried plays the dumb blonde, and she thinks her breasts predict the weather… hilarious!


27 Shannon July 21, 2010 at 10:09 am

I never had a lump or any kind of breast surgery and I had similar nursing problems. For some reason my right side makes about 5 times more milk than the left (I know this because when I pumped that was the approximate difference). I even sweat a lot more from my right underarm than my left. With both my kids, after the first couple of months I eventually gave up nursing on both sides and nursed exclusively on one side as the left side supply got worse and worse, despite my attempts to always start on that side and make sure the kids spent lots of time nursing on that side. And also suffered the different-sized boobs, although not to as dramatic an extent as you have! Isn’t the human body bizarre?


28 liz July 21, 2010 at 10:10 am

this is the most wonderful, hilarious, honest, fantastic blog post ever. thank you so much for sharing your imperfection with us :)


29 Anna July 21, 2010 at 10:13 am

I can sypmathize! I was an almost A until after college (weight gain… not that I was EVER skinny) and then I made it into the “real” A. :) I feel like I was always slightly lopsided, but now that I’m nursing, I’m much more lopsided. I think when I wear a bra it’s not as obvious – and patterns help. I wonder if it will even out when I’m done nursing? The smaller side produces less milk, so I always nurse on that side first to stimulate it to make more.

Also, breastmilk in cookies? Funny. But have you heard of the REAL LIFE guy who made CHEESE from his wife’s bmilk? Sorry for the caps. It’s that weird, though.


30 Erin July 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Anna, I’m speechless. My state’s fair is about the biggest thing since the Mall of America was built here, and I’m praying that this never, ever, ever appears there.


31 tasterspoon July 21, 2010 at 4:32 pm

The twelve year old in me snickers that he served the breast milk cheese at his restaurant, which is a brasserie. “Brasserie” has always made me titter. I said titter!


32 grace July 21, 2010 at 10:14 am

This is an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing.
I am normally a 32B. ( when not nursing, or pregnant Which I have been for the past 5 years) And a 32D while I’m nursing. And like Michelle says, both let down milk at the same time.
The magic of the female body.


33 Allie July 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

Thanks so much for sharing! Even though I’ve never had breast surgery and there’s nothing wrong with my right breast, my first baby always preferred my left breast and completely gave up my right one eventually. I was lopsided for a long time. I can already tell that my 3 week old is preferring the left one too. I should probably look into one of those false breasts.


34 camilla July 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

I was so happy to read this! After the birth of my second baby, I had to have a huge lump removed too. Mine wasn’t cancerous either, but it sure stressed me out. I used to think nursing must be the easiest and most natural thing ever, but I soon learned for myself the sacrifice us mothers make of our bodies for our babies. :)


35 Janet July 21, 2010 at 10:24 am

Fascinating post! I’ve always been on the large size in “the girls” department – as in, “would you please look at my face when you’re talking to me, not at my chest!” since about 8th grade. I had always heard (and hoped) that after nursing babies you would get smaller, but, alas, I nursed six babies and I’m still huge. And my babies always preferred the right side, who knows why.


36 Jenny July 21, 2010 at 10:26 am

Oh my goodness Gabrielle! I am so glad to know that I am not the only woman out there who is a AA… it sure feels like I am! Small breasted women unite!!! I would go braless except for the fact that, even though my youngest weaned himself last Novemember, I still leak!

As for nursing and being uneven, at least it is temporary. And your fake booby will do the trick for now, eh?


37 naomi July 21, 2010 at 10:27 am

I always hated the bras that said, “NEARLY-A” – as if I just BARELY fall short somehow. But I have always said I would rather have a small chest than a big one. I knew a girl once that said she had to dig holes in the sand at the beach to be able to lay on her stomach! ha. And frankly, I would always rather have a man looking into my eyes than at my chest when he’s talking to me.

Thanks for sharing – you’re a brave woman to put it all out there!


38 naomi July 21, 2010 at 10:28 am

p.s. I love your blouse, too!


39 Tina July 21, 2010 at 10:35 am

I totally appreciate booby tmi. I really do. I myself was flat chested and have now grown to a b cup in my second trimester. It amazes me…and my husband. :) I do plan to breast feed and this is all very informative to me. Little did I realize I would need to switch boobies or having the baby favor one side.


40 Barb @ getupandplay July 21, 2010 at 10:38 am

This was a great post. I really loved it! I’m lopsided, too, and more so after having nursed a baby but I don’t think anyone but me would notice.


41 Emme July 21, 2010 at 10:41 am

I love TMI post. I think they are the most real! Breast milk cookies!!! Love it!! Hilarious!


42 Katie July 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

I like being small chested. It makes running so much easier. As soon as I became pregnant with number 2, I immediately jumped to a B-cup and I think I’m only going to get larger and then let the nursing begin. When I was in high school, I thought I wanted big boobs, but I didn’t really. My MIL is large chested and it’s a pain for her to buy clothing.

My Granny had breast cancer and had one of her breast removed. She hated wearing a fake boob on one side, so she was overjoyed when there was some abnormalities in the other breast and she could just be flat chested. Not quite what I would want, but it works for her!


43 joslyn July 21, 2010 at 10:49 am

ok this made me giggle, as with millie the exact.same.thing. happened to me.


including the little fake boob ;-)


44 beth aka confusedhomemaker July 21, 2010 at 10:52 am

Thank you for sharing this! How crazy that the lump came back but I love that you can tell when it rains by it ;) I’m not small chested, in fact I’m the opposite camp & while breastfeeding I get into the mid letter of the alphabet. And the left one is bigger & each kiddo favors that one. Also, my left breast with this baby decided regularly to humiliate me. Like my breast pad shifted & I leaked all over the place while giving a LECTURE!


45 katie July 21, 2010 at 10:54 am

i have the same issue ~ milk came in much stronger on my right side, which was always a bit bigger, but now, according to the bra specialist @ nordstrom’s “there is a significant difference” and “i don’t normally see that” ~ geez, thanks! left is a B, right is a C ~ so comforting to hear that i am not the only one!

i also have a little fake boob insert that i use on occasion ~ always make my husband laugh when i pull it out of my bra:)


46 Marisa July 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

What a fascinating story. Any men that read your blog are probably freaked out right now, but I love the girly discussion that’s happening in the comment section. :)

Breasts are wondrous creatures. Life giving, life taking, objects of entirely too much scrutiny. The obsession with breasts has always fascinated me.


47 K July 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

I’m with you in the lopsided department…..also in the breast lump dept. Just FYI..another option besides surgery is cryoablation. If you havent’ talked to your doc about it ask! Took less than an hour in my docs office and very little bruising afterwards. Lump gradually disappeared over the next 6-10 months.


48 Jen July 21, 2010 at 10:59 am

I’m also very small and have had 2 children and three very large lumps removed (2 on the left and one on the right). The surgery made my very small breasts even smaller and after I finished nursing the left side shrunk so much that my nipple inverted. Great post! What we do for our babies.


49 steph t. July 21, 2010 at 11:03 am

i am fascinated! really, i am! i love breastfeeding… the goodness of it for the baby (in so many different ways), the weight loss for me, the bond between baby and momma, but the one thing i have NOT been blessed with… is big boobs passed the 3 month mark. seriously!! so disappointing. i’m probably an A… sometimes double A cup too. when i get preggo, presto… the boobs are nice and big! ha ha! then i nurse and they’re still nice and big… but only for so long. yup, around the 3 month mark, they get tinier and tinier. very sad, really. i always go ’til at least a year with nursing and i exclusively breastfeed too! what the heck?! so maybe you have lopsided boobs when you’re nursing.. but at least one of them is nice and big. ha ha! basically i’m nipple feeding here.

but i do have to add… my babies have all preferred a certain side too… they almost look the same but lefty is a tad bigger (like millimeters, i’m talking here) and all 3 of my girls have preferred the left. too funny!


50 tasterspoon July 21, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Uh oh, this is what I’m worried about. I’ve never been more than AA, and at 6 months preg am psyched to have “ballooned” up to an almost-B (although I’m still wearing A bras that used to gap). If they shrink after three months and you still have 9 months to go, what are they holding onto? Where does the milk go/come from? Clearly I know nothing from breastfeeding and will be signing up for a class pronto.


51 Anna Lewis July 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Hormones kind of level out around the 3 month mark (hence the shedding of luscious locks while preggo) so that probably contributes to the change in size. Dont worry, tasterspoon, size isnt an indicator of quantity. (Also, I produce plenty of milk, but never leak… everyone is different!)


52 steph t. July 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm

your body will make sufficient enough milk for your baby. that’s why it’s kinda cool to see how different babies look from all sorts of breastfeeding moms. i see some massive babies from teeny tiny moms with micro boobs… and i see little bitty babies from mamas with large tatas. they all grow differently. it is kinda strange to think that they were so large and now so small. but baby doesn’t seem to mind. we’ll see how long she goes. my 1st went 14 months, 2nd went 22 months, so the 3rd… we will find out. obviously i make enough even with these little guys! ha ha! or they would have all stopped a long time ago. ;) good luck with baby!!


53 Sandi July 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

At 46 years old, you’d think I’d be over the whole body image thing, wouldn’t you? But I’m not. *sigh* I keep telling myself that I will still look cute when I’m older because my breasts won’t be hanging down to my waist, but what I wouldn’t give to be nursing again! :) Thanks for putting yourself out there…I feel like I have a new best friend. :D


54 Mary Yang July 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

I enjoyed reading the comments almost as much as the post. Breasts are so weird, but I’d rather be a mammal than a marsupial, eh?


55 kim July 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Mary, marsupials are a kind of mammal (they keep their babies in pouches, where the baby drinks mums milk)! Breasts are indeed weird, but yep, having a pouch would definitely be weirder! (I’m in Australia – it’s full of weird marsupials here!)


56 bdaiss July 21, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I dunno – at least with a pouch I’d have both hands free while carting the carpet crawlers around! : )


57 Anna Lewis July 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

I vote for a pouch, too! So convenient…. :-P


58 Em July 21, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’ve heard that breast milk can also be used to make fancy soap. :)

(I googled a lot when I had a baby in the NICU and an overflowing freezer full of milk.)


59 Cheryl July 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

I have to tell you, I’ve been reading your site for well over a year now, and I comment here and there, and I really adore your style and what you decide to share with us. But honestly, by far and away this is my favorite post ever. Possibly on any blog I’ve read. I might had to send you a bill to have my couch and keyboard cleaned from the juice that spouted out of my nose (MY NOSE!!) after reading it, but otherwise, I’m sad we live so far away because I’m pretty sure we could be good friends.

Thanks for all your generosity with us, your anonymous, adoring internet fans.


60 Ann July 21, 2010 at 11:20 am

At 6 months, my son decided he no longer wanted to nurse on my smaller, right breast. I think it made him work harder to get milk and he decided to boycott. The left breast managed beautifully for the next 8 months of our nursing relationship. In the meantime, I resorted to the same solution as you. It worked well enough, but it was still a pain!


61 Michelle July 21, 2010 at 11:21 am

Okay, still laughing. Also, “Have I Told You About My Crazy Breasts?” clearly has to be the name of your memoir/biography! (I hope you take that in the harmless way I intended it!)


62 Naomi Miles July 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

My four pregnancies have sent me from a C cup to a J cup! My trouble? My breasts grew with each pregnancy, then again when the milk came in…. but they did not return to their pre-pregnancy size onced I stoped feeding, they stayed the same! With each pregnancy they just grew some more and didn’t go smaller afterward. Even losing weight doesn’t change them, they are stuck at an excessively huge size! The body is a weird thing sometimes!


63 Jan @ Family Bites July 21, 2010 at 11:23 am

I’m howling here at my desk right now! As a life-time D-cupper I long to be a AA!


64 Nikki July 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

The crazy evolution of ones breasts. I’m scared to have babies and nurse because although big boobs may sag after…small ones have the potential to flop over like little empty dog ears ;)


65 Wendy McSwain July 21, 2010 at 11:28 am

You must have posted this for me today. I’ll just say thank you!


66 Ashlea Walter July 21, 2010 at 11:41 am

Wren only nurses from my left breast too – the power boob! She went on a right boob strike within the first few months of her life and I gave up trying. So I have been incredibly lop-sided for the past year. Funny thing, I used to be very conscious of it and I’ve lost interest in it. I even find myself wearing tight-fitting t-shirts again, which clearly show the (BIG) difference, but I don’t really care much about it anymore. Ha! The bra and swimsuit issue is annoying and to be honest, I had never even considered using a fake boob insert. Until now!

Aaah, the amazing boob.


67 Kelly July 21, 2010 at 11:44 am

this post was hilarious and interesting all rolled in one.
all i know is that boobs are totally overrated. after babies they all turn into rocks in socks. big fleshy pieces of (saggy) fat. what’s the thrill, anyway?


68 steph t. July 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

ha ha ha ha ha! rocks in socks… i always call them mandarin oranges in socks! but, clearly, the rhyming is much more eloquent! ;)


69 Karen M July 21, 2010 at 11:50 am

Ohmygosh, I love this post! A totally new cyber side of GB I’m being exposed to. Love it! A little coincidental, too, since I just looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and thought about how lopsided my tiny breasts looked in my snugish tee shirt! (I’ll consider it my personal badge of honor for providing breastmilk for my twins for almost 2 years!!).


70 Jen July 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

glad to know I’m not the only lopsided one out there, though it didn’t turn out that way until after this last pregnancy (my 3rd)
while we’re on the subject, do you get stretch marks up there? it’s the ONLY place i ever get them in my pregnancies since I balloon up to a double D or E!


71 Melissa July 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm

You are too funny, thanks for the story!


72 Kristi July 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I love that a post about Martha Stewart’s cake cutting, overpriced perfection is followed up by a personal account of imperfection. And that it was done so matter-of-factly and without warning. Loved it. I’m a designer, too, and sometimes we get so wrapped up in perfection and cute objects and perfectly designed rooms that it can be hard to just feel OK enough to get up in the morning (maybe that’s just me). I think the world is more interesting and beautiful in its imperfection. And, I must add, I’d love to have your figure and your small chest (oh to be able to go braless) You look great in your clothes and you get a lot more selection than us plus-sized gals!


73 sonya July 21, 2010 at 12:14 pm

love your story.
when my boobs were growing in elementary. i used to wear the tightest shirts to try to squash them. i hated them. i still dont care for boobs. my husband is a good liar and tells me he doesn’t either


74 allysha July 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

oh, Gabby. This is hilarious. I love the prosthetic breast.


75 Tina July 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Can I just say that I will remember forever that I was offered a link to “click here to see why my breasts are so lopsided?” How can one pass that up, really? First of all…hats off to you girl for nursing like that. Most women I know in that situation may throw in the towel…or the pump, as the case may be. Secondly…as a Double D gal…I CAN NOT imagine having such dramatic difference. Really…like do you tip over a bit?
And yes, though I have “just one” child, I nursed for 14 months. I’m a little overboard with the TMI, but I actually posted about a funny breastfeeding moment once. You’re welcome to read it, if you don’t mind my crassness.
I’m sure there was a more tech savvy way to link that but…ah well.



76 kim July 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

This very thing was on my mind yesterday! As I looked over the Sartorialist posts and ogled all the pretty clothes I realized that everything looked amazing on these “everyday” people *because* they were flat-chested. Clothing looks waaaay better on small boobs.

I’m normally a D cup on a size 6 bod which is way more Playboy Bunny than the boring homeschooling/farming mom that I am. However, currently 2 months pregnant and bursting out of my bra — good gracious, F cup here I come. These things really get in the way, you know?


77 Ginger July 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm


As a double D girl, I’m glad to know that interesting info about double A. Never knew.


78 Erin July 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Actually, I love this. I would put it in my top-ten Design Mom posts category, because, well, it’s so very real. Don’t get me wrong–I love almost every post, and that’s what keeps me coming back. But sometimes I just can’t relate to purchasing, say, bloomers for $50+, no matter how cute they are. I love the stories about real life, and boy, this is!

I thought this was going to be a post about breastfeeding in general; how the baby nurses on one side, and maybe refuses the other, so you’re in pain and lopsided (been there, occasionally still am), but I like this even more. Because let’s be honest–breasts are a huge, big deal. To us, to our children who eat from them, to others. And they’re completely over-sexualized in our culture and over-valued just for aesthetics’ sake, but for women, they are part of our identity as females. And having to have surgery that alters them, well, that’s a big deal, too. Breastfeeding is not easy work, and your body just keeps changing even after the baby is born. Although, happily, breastfeeding is on a large upward trend, it’s nice to see a story like this because I know it will support women. With as many readers as you’ve had, Gabrielle, this is bound to be a comfort and a boon to several people reading here. As for me, it just makes you more like a mom I’d run into when I’m shopping for groceries, or like another woman in the mother’s room. I love that nursing has given me access to that room, where suddenly I join the club in which talking about breasts is a-okay.


79 Natalie July 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm

O.M.G. hahahaha!!! You crack me up. I loved this post!


80 Becky Sue July 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

When I read the title in my RSS feed I thought this post was going to be about baseball. lol!


81 Jenilyn July 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Ok we are twins. I had the same surgery on the same breast with almost the same results. I was/am still able to nurse but its not the easiest most enjoyable thing, I usually end up with clogged ducts/infections etc. My lump came back too, although I can’t say I have the weather predicting capabilities!


82 Tracy July 21, 2010 at 1:01 pm

My breasts did the same thing when I weaned my son… In my case it was only three weeks, but that didn’t make wearing bathing suits any easier! Another joy of motherhood!


83 Eva July 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm

I never think anything is TMI, so it was refreshing a real refreshing blog read!


84 emily July 21, 2010 at 1:11 pm

i had to giggle at the “fake boob” picture. My sister calls them her “chicken breasts” b/c they look and feel like a raw chicken breast (gross!), don’t they? we had terrible bridesmaid dresses for small-boobied girls once (halter style) and both had to wear the chicken breasts in these crazy bras just to get the dresses to look okay. best part was when the chicken breasts started to slide around during the dancing at the reception. mercy.


85 Wendy McSwain July 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm

LOL for real!


86 Jackie July 21, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I am part dairy cow. Ever morning I get up and feed my baby on one side then pump out 10 oz in the other. That’s more than a cup! From one side! At hone time!

Then before I go to bed I pump another 10 out so I can comfortably sleep through the night.

I started donating milk to the milk bank because I have SO MUCH. I could never begin to use it all. So far I have donated almost 2,000 oz (plus what I feed my baby.)

Anyone want some? I have a freezer full!

Glad you are (double) A-OK!


87 Rachel July 21, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hands down, my favorite Design Mom post. Breast milk cookies for the neighbors?!?! Hilarious.


88 Becki July 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm

I agree with the unfairness of giant lumps in tiny breasts! I have a giant lump in my left tiny breast. They didn’t remove it, just did a biopsy on it (I was 30). I have to get mammograms and ultrasounds regularly to check on it for the last 5 years. Mammograms are probably never fun, but on tiny breasts they are nearly impossible and very painful.


89 michelle @ pretty mommy July 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

totally lopsided here and weaned many months ago! funny because I just put bra shopping on my to do list…after going up and down over the past 3 years I have no idea what size I am – egads!!


90 ClistyB July 21, 2010 at 1:29 pm

oh yes, any sort of surgery around your milk ducts will possibly affect them. A breast reduction actually slowed my milk production down to a normal rate for the two kids I had afterward. And as far as being a weather vane? I get that too, in my hips that were lipo’d after a tummy tuck. After 5 kids, a tummy tuck had to have been the best money we ever spent.


91 Notes from Holly St. July 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Great post! I love your candidness and honesty :)


92 Amanda Conley July 21, 2010 at 1:32 pm

great story!!! thanks for sharing it. It makes me feel better about my lopsidedness. =D


93 Rachel July 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Oh my gosh! I never thought someone would experience the same thing I have! A couple years ago, with my second pregnancy, I found a lump in my breast that was painful and just got bigger and bigger throughout the pregnancy and into breastfeeding. I had several ultrasounds and mammograms, but the doctors weren’t worried about it. I was FREAKED out! Well, as soon as I stopped breastfeeding it went completely away within two weeks! But now every time the air pressure drops or I’m getting ready to start my period it gets a little “fussy”. Sorry about the TMI. I’ve never told anyone that, not even my husband, because I knew they would think I was totally nutso. Ha! Glad to hear someone has been through it too. After reading your story, I will think twice when the doctors tell me they want to remove it.


94 Adventures In Babywearing July 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

I am so un-even that my friends talk about my poor lefty and big rightie. Hubs even asked me recently if I’ll ever even out after having kids and nursing. Hmph.

I think my problem is because I prefer (and Ivy prefers) my right side and that’s also the side I tend to always nurse her on when in bed.



95 Simply Cathi July 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Gabrielle you make me smile and make me laugh. Thank you!
I wonder if we’re ever happy with our bodies. hehe I would love for my breasts to be a size B and sometimes even an A. Sadly I think they skipped A and B and went straight to a C, D and bigger. As I’m losing much needed weight all over my body I have hopes of the ole D plus gals becoming B’s but I fear they’re only going to be very long.


96 Monique July 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I thought that I was the only person in the world who got weird boob pains when the barometric pressure changed. Glad that I am not alone.

I go from a 32 B to a 32F/32G when I’m nursing. (If anyone knows where to buy at 32F or G nursing bra for under $200, I will seriously send you chocolate. ) I’ve been annoyed at the damage that that kind of stretching and shrinking has done, but I am now glad that they increase and decrease equally!


97 Lauren July 30, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I’m a 34F/G nursing. I have the Bravado Bliss (it comes in 32), no underwire, but structured–it’s great! At $54, you should try it!


98 Karen Chatters July 21, 2010 at 2:00 pm

I’m doubly amazed. I’m normally an F, as in Freaking gigantic. But now I’m pregnant for the second time and the alphabet no longer works to describe my boobs, I can just tell you what 3 zip codes you’ll find them in. A double A is something that I can only dream about but I’d even settle for a boring old C cup.


99 Mary July 21, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Nice to finally meet someone with the same problem as me. Sometimes I look in the mirror and feel like a national geographic shoot gone wrong. :)


100 DebraLynn July 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I’m glad you shared. People take having babies and motherhood too lightly sometimes and think both are very easy and think the whole process should be skipped over and not talked about. I think we should be more open about it and share the stories and not be “grossed out” by things that happen and are completely natural. I had to have surgery to repair the internal tearing that my daughter did after her birth. It was over 2 years after I had her. I couldn’t understand why my recovery was so hard and the doctor just said, “well you had a baby and you are a small woman.” We didn’t know about the internal tearing until I became pregnant with my son and were worried I’d have to be sewn up to keep him in me. I’ve told one woman about the story she couldn’t believe I’d tell her. She thought I should keep it a secret. I think the more we can learn so we don’t go into birth and pregnancy, or surgeries, the better. So, thank you for sharing and not being embarrassed by your story like some woman feel we should be. Stay strong!!


101 Laura July 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Love this post! Thank you for sharing!


102 jen July 21, 2010 at 2:27 pm

not lopsided breasts but after my son, lopsided feet?! left foot is a 6 and right foot is a 6 1/2, almost a 7! obviously not as drastic as A and D cup but definitely uneven!


103 kirsten bingham July 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

this makes me happy. thanks for getting personal- you’ve got such an awesome sense of humor. It’s nice to know that other flat chested (well, i’m more like a B but can i be considered flat chested too?) aren’t just running off for a boob job at the first chance they get. i’m all about you get what you get and you don’t through a fit.


104 Tiffany July 21, 2010 at 2:33 pm

I can’t believe so many comments on your boobs. I’ve had similar scares with my boobs, they are fine (whew) and the same size. Just a reminder to be thankful for all the lil & big things, no pun intended.


105 Erin @ Letter Soup July 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I love that you wrote about boobs on your blog! -So funny, and interesting too!! (I’m still a newbie blogger, so I think I’ll stick to literacy for now, and bring on the boobs in a year or so!) :)


106 dani July 21, 2010 at 3:27 pm

I had a similar problem, although it was temporary. With my first baby I kept getting mastitis over and over again, but just on one side. After numerous runs through antibiotics and ultrasounds etc., I finally just quit nursing on that side. I nursed for a loooong time and had one awesome boob and one saggy sad boob.

Now after being long finished nursing two babies, I’m sad to report they are both saggy sad boobs. Oh well, that is what good bras are for I guess!


107 Brie July 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Thank you for sharing this story! I’m in my mid twenties and have always been small chested also, and I found a painful lump in my breast a couple of months ago. I have an appointment with a specialist next week, and I’m sure they’ll be telling me whether or not I have to get it removed. The whole thing has made me very nervous, so I really needed to hear that somebody else went through the same thing! :)


108 liz stanley July 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

this is awesome


109 Anneliese July 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

At least you have a sense of humor about it! I’m am just so impressed that you remain committed to breastfeeding despite the funniness…go Mom!


110 marymuses July 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm

I once had a physician look at me and say, “Most women have asymmetrical breasts, which means that one is larger than the other. Your right breast is larger.” I had no idea what to say because I couldn’t figure out why she would tell me that. It’s not super obvious to others, but obvious enough that since they’re my breasts and I see them every day, I knew that already.


111 Kendra @ My Insanity July 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

Great post! Every time I wean a child, I look at my breasts and think, “they couldn’t possibly have been that small before.” It’s amazing the transformations our bodies go through for these little people!


112 katie speed July 21, 2010 at 4:48 pm

hahahahaha. i hate when that happens

ps. i may or may not know how you feel ;)


113 Petit Elefant July 21, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Dear Gabby,

Now when I see you in New York ALL I’LL BE ABLE TO DO IS STARE AT YOUR BOOBS.

Thanks a million,



114 Sarah Buttenwieser July 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

I think this post is why I adore you in ways I’ve never before been able to articulate.


115 C July 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Oh my stars. Hilarious. One of the things I love about being a woman is how we share with each other. I myself am barely a double A. If I ever again feel sorry for myself (only when shopping for a bra or swimsuit because it is just so darn hard to find anything that fits!) now I will rejoice that they are at least the same size. Not to rub it in. Thanks for sharing.


116 Autumn July 21, 2010 at 5:45 pm

WOW! I thought I had uneven breasts! That is impressive. And definitely worth sharing. I have one side that my bra nearly digs into, with overflow out the top. The other side fitting just fine. Quite odd. Recently I’ve been a bit obsessed-noticing how shirts pull more on one side, etc. Strange for me, wild for you!


117 Ayme July 21, 2010 at 5:49 pm

I think it’s crazy one little breast can feed a baby for a whole year! Despite my very best efforts my two little breasts only lasted about 8 months. And now they are even smaller. Too small to sag. Thanks for posting this Gabby :)


118 Rachel Hagen July 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Oh I love this!! Our babies are about two weeks apart. Your sixth, my first. Why are boobs always on our minds?! Probably cause the babes are always on them… I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with aa. I just emailed my sisters a trail of slobber my son left when cuddled up on my chest. There’s a distinct trail from my upper chest down to my nipple. They sure know where to go!!!


119 Jennifer July 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm

I love any LDS girl who is willing to talk about her “rock hard rack” on her blog! I have the same issue. No surgery involved but freaky just the same. My little nursling just prefers one side more than the other. Nursing is a crazy thing. I latched her on this morning and somehow found a cheerio in my bra!


120 Jessica July 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

Me too…thanks for your candor. :)


121 Kirby July 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I think you’re the best. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes I imagine you are perfect and your children are perfect, and your design, your work, your husband, and everything else in your world is perfect. It’s nice to know that this tiny little bit of you is not exactly perfect. ;) (execpt, for your sore boob’s sake, i’d probably be happier if that, too, was perfect!)


122 Kate The Great July 21, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I don’t care if this isn’t normal DesignMom material–I love it. I’m the same way, only I really don’t like wearing a bra. I’ve started to, recently, but only when I go out in public. And it’s because we’re weaning. To solids. Which means if I don’t have small-but-jiggly boobs, I’ve got food smeared all over me and him.

It’s just part of the mom uniform.


123 Shanna July 21, 2010 at 7:24 pm

ok this is incredibly wild.. like crazy weird.. but nearly the exact same thing happened to me.. only on my left side after baby #2. People never believed that I could nurse the 6 that came after with only milk from one side! haha! I am so glad i read this. Now, I feel a little more normal. hehe.


124 Mrs. Kinne July 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

This is really honest– and super interesting, especially to someone who is considering babies in the near future.


125 Hannah July 21, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Well, I just love you more now that you’ve made me feel that I’m not alone in the AA club. I’ve never even had one of them be a D! :-)


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