The Amazing Expandable Bosom

For as long as I've wanted to be a mother I've wanted to breast feed. I always knew that I'd be a nursing mother. I pictured myself, rocking my sweet baby in a rocking chair while she nursed. A heavenly glow would surround us. Disney birds would chirp outside of the window.

(Insert maniacal laughter)

Fast forward to the birth of my first child. Little bitty A-cup me swelled up to a C-cup. I was so proud. Then I became a D. Then a DD. By the time I left the hospital I couldn't fit into my going-home shirts or lower my arms to my sides. My husband took to muttering idiotic comments like "whoa babe" and staring at my chest. My daughter nursed happily, approximately every 17 1/2 seconds. This, of course, stimulated the poor dears to think I was actually nursing a small town and they produced even more.

I looked like a really, really overstuffed drag queen. I should have been on the front of a ship. And don't even ask how it feels to pack what feels like several hundred gallons of liquid into a tiny little 32 inch bit of innocent chest.

Of course, after a while they got the hang of their newfound jobs and performed quite well, other than the obligatory wet sheets and doused shirt fronts. Then when my daughter was several months old I returned to work and my husband became a full-time daddy. I would leave a bottle of expressed milk for them when I left and express during the day.

I had a hectic job, though, and some days I'd get too busy to pump. By the end of the day I'd be driving the half hour home with only one thought on my mind. Must. Relieve. Chest. I pictured myself getting pulled over by the police and a horrified officer watching as my bosom swelled and my clothes burst off like the Incredible Hulk's kid sister. By the time I got home I would rush through the door, dash to my baby and rip open my shirt. Ahhh.

Then there was the time we drove 6 hours to visit friends and my daughter inexplicably slept the whole way. We stopped at a Target store to call ahead and I rushed to the bathroom to unleash the flood gates. By this time my breasts were like concrete basketballs. I ran into a stall and unhooked my bra.

Now if you've never breast fed before, you may not realize that when you produce milk your areolas will become roughly the size of your face, and that entire area will spray breast milk like an insane fire sprinkler if left to build up for too long.

You may not realize that when you unleash the crazed things, they'll douse your average Target stall like out of control fire hoses, and it is really, truly impossible to aim two rabid super-breasts at a toilet bowl.

Now apparently I'm blessed with a true abundance of milk. Nobody else I know has ever had to wrangle their breasts in Target stalls. You may never have to deal with it all. But if you breast feed, you will have to deal with at least occasional engorgement and dousings. But you'll also have a healthier, happier little somebody growing strong on stuff mama's body produced just for him, her or them.

In the meantime, direct pressure will stop the let down, hot showers help relieve engorgement, and I've heard it really is true that cabbage leaves in the bra will help your milk go down. Pumping will relieve the pressure, but don't pump too much or you'll trigger them to up the production even more.

I'm still waiting for the Disney birds. I wrote this article with my second baby stretched across my lap and happily nursing to sleep while I typed over her head. We all have a fantasy of how motherhood will be. Sometimes life--with all its crazy, comical chaos--is even better.

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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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