I remember where we were when we made the promise. We were driving in our old gold-tone Honda, turning the corner from the main road onto into our subdivision. “Okay, I’ll breastfeed,”I said, at all of six weeks preggers. “But when I’m done with having kids, I want them” – and here I cupped my boobs – “picked back up again.” My husband agreed, probably because he was freaked out about the pregnancy, knew I was freaked out about the pregnancy, and wanted to placate me in whatever way was possible. This included consenting to boob surgery.
I didn’t know that, according to Parents, pregnancy, not breastfeeding, is the biggest cause of boob saggage. Your breasts fill up with milk – in the vast majority of cases – whether or not you nurse, and that extra fluid gain “fills them out and causes them to sag.” And some boobs will sag more than others, depending on size, shape, and that one-big-thing-we-can’t-control, genetics. In fact, Greatest says in “The Science of Boob Sagging” that the major factors in saggage are “skin elasticity, tissue density, and breast size.” I was basically fucked from the moment egg hit sperm: I have crappy skin elasticity; I have dense breast tissue; and when I got knocked up, I was a DD cup. This ballooned to a HH by the time I delivered.
So I nursed. Oh, I nursed. I was that hippie everyone hates, the one whose babies latch immediately after birth, and though we had some stumbling blocks, including protein intolerance in all three kids and a horrible lip tie in one, we persevered. I nursed through one pregnancy, tandem nursed, weaned one kid, nursed through another pregnancy, tandem nursed again, weaned, and am still nursing my three-year-old once a day. That’s eight years of being either pregnant or nursing. Eight. Fucking. Years. I loved every second of it. My boobs did not.
I used to be sort of famous for my boobs. They were conical without a cone bra, practically perky up to my chin, and pointed like a teenager’s.
I had cleavage into which you could tuck a hankerchief, a set of keys, and possibly a small wallet while still holding a beer upright. Now .. well, those days are long gone to babies. Without a bra, they sag, pancake-flat, my nipples somewhere down around my elbows. Their weight rests in the bottom, down around the nipple – it’s not evenly distributed like it used to be. Basically, they’re literally mom boobs: the boobs my mom had when she was my age. I remember looking at them and thinking, How do they end up hanging down like that?! Pregnancy and genetics, that’s how. And in my case, a healthy dose of nursing ballooning them up to porn star level. I need a boob harness to perk my tits up to acceptability. And you know the ones I’m talking about: they only come in black or nude, and their straps are wide as the ones on a Target tank top.
So I want to hold my husband to his promise: I want the girls picked up again. I did my duty. I birthed three children, I nursed three children. Now it’s time for something I want, and that something I want is tits I don’t have to feel ashamed of naked. Specifically, I want a lift and reduction, right back down to that DD I used to rock. I know the surgery isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I know it’s expensive as hell, unless you have back pain from it, and I have lots of back pain. I need Flexeril to sleep because of it. I also know that recovery’s a bitch, that it takes some time, and that we don’t have anyone other than my husband who can commit to watching the kids during it.
I do not care. I want my tits picked up, and I want them picked up now.
I’m going to catch hell for this. And not just from my husband. First will come the body positive people. We need to love the skin we’re in, they will say. We need to embrace our “flaws” and realize that they are just the brainwashing of a toxic feminine beauty complex. Only then will we be free to become our true selves.
Well, I also believe we have the right to remake our bodies as we choose – no one would deny a girl a tattoo, for example. Reconstructive surgery is the same, just on a bigger scale. And I don’t want to have perky tits because Playboy says I should. I want perky tits because I used to have perky tits and I liked them, and now they are gone. In my head, I still have perky tits. I want the image I have of my body to match the reality of it.
Then the feminists will come for me. I’ve been brainwashed, they will argue, by a misogynistic view of the human body to begin with. There is no reason for breasts other than the nurturing of babies, which mine have done quite well. They are, then, a badge of honor, not a source of shame. I can’t deny that I liked the way guys looked at those perky DD’s. But this isn’t about them. This isn’t so I walk down the street and random guys stare at my breasts. It’s not so my husband likes my boobs better; hell, he’d probably prefer them the way they are. This is about me. This is about my body. And I’m going to own it. Isn’t that the feminist option?
Gown me up, bitch. Make those marker lines all over my chest. Poke me and prod me and put me to sleep so you can cut and stitch and sew and cut some more. He promised I could “get them picked back up,” as I said. And I want to hold him to it.
(Image: iStock / AH86)