Warning: There will be pictures of my boobs in this post so please don’t read this if you don’t want to see my pregnant boobs.
I have never been in love with my boobs. They have always felt too small and pointy. Someone once said they were cute and “perky” but that never made me feel any better about them. While imaging giving birth, I wasn’t too worried about anyone seeing my vagina but I did worry that my boobs would look terrible while giving birth. These thoughts crossed my brain before pregnancy, but then when I did get pregnant — and as my boobs started to change — the thoughts gained momentum and I began to hate my boobs. I watched as they got a bigger… but they never rounder. They stayed pointed and I didn’t like that at all. The worst part was that the areola (i.e., the pigment around the nipple) got really dark. This is common during pregnancy and is a result of the changes in hormones. A proposed reason for this darkening is an evolutional adaptation whereby babies (who have blurred vision when born) can find the breast and start feeding early after being born. I guess at least in light-skin coloured bodies that makes some sense.
This hyper pigmentation is not restricted to just the nipple area. I had a triangle patch at my supra sternal notch (i.e., the triangle at the base of the front of my neck where it meets my collar bone). I also had some freckles on my hands darken. These latter two changes didn’t bother me in the least. I like freckles. I liked my new triangular path. But I was still bothered by my dark nipples.
The other thing that I didn’t like about my boobs was the increased vascularization. My very pale boobs were clearly showing dark green veins all crowding around my little boobs prepping them for the upcoming surge of milk. I loved the concept, but hated the look.
In some ways, I actually think my dislike for my boobs was at least partially holding me back from visualizing myself giving birth and also making me uncomfortable with other people being at my birth, even though philosophically and emotionally really wanting them to be there. I wanted the world to be there to watch this impending manifestation of strength! But instead of seeing only the glory in birth, I was worrying about my boobs. This sort of materialism disturbs me and I admit that I kind of hate myself for being so self conscious. But the truth is, I was. Until I started using my breasts to feed my baby. Funny how having a baby puts a lot of things into perspective. I know that my breasts shouldn't look like the breasts that I see in movies. But I didn't for a long time. I used to think ALL of me was suppose to look like the female bodies I would see in magazines and in movies. I eventually learned the ridiculousness of that thought. Sometimes we need to learn these things more than one.
It's hard for me to share this (mostly the photo) but in the spirit of the organization I co-founded, called Body Monologues, with my best friend Lindsey White, I do it. We had planned a show for May 2015, a few weeks before our respective due dates. We ended up cancelling the show because we realized that we just couldn't handle the organization of it. I had planned to talk about my boob and to go up on stage topless. Posting this is easier, I think.
I also post this in the spirit of normalizing our relationships with breasts. Breasts deserve attention indeed. But not the kind they typically get.
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