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.
3). ALL. THE. TIME.
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.