Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The inevitable shrinkage

Has occurred. My size E (yes, that’s right, E!) nursing bra had been feeling a little loose lately. When I took out a pre-nursing days bra for a special event this past weekend, a 34B, I found it fit. From an E to a B is quite a fall.

One part of me was disappointed. As a small-chested woman for almost 20 adult years, it was pretty fun to experience life as a big-boobed babe for a while. The experience lasted long enough (about a year and a half) to lead me to believe it could become permanent, that I’d never return back to little boob days. That bubble has been burst.

On the positive side, if my memory serves me right, the newly smaller versions don’t appear all that different from the pre-pregnancy days. Those frequent 2-4 hour nursing sessions don’t appear to have done permanent damage. I also see this boob shrinkage as just one more sign that I’m entering the end zone. Life just feels easier now. I’m nursing, but not that much. I sleep well on a regular basis. River is increasingly self sufficient. I’m increasingly comfortable in my role as mother. Now is the time where I’d be much more comfortable being away for longer periods of time. In an ideal world, 10-11 months would be my perfect maternity leave. My body is slowly moving back towards its normal form. I barely pump any more. I feel pretty confident that we’ll reach River’s first birthday still nursing. For me, anything beyond that is just bonus nutrition and bonding. If we make it to a year, we done good in my book.

I’m not entirely in the end zone yet. While I’ve lost 13 pounds since July (I suppose a decent chunk of that was boob weight), I still have another ten to go until normal weight. Among those ten is a big chunk concentrated in the hip and rear section. I recently attended a talk by a reproductive anthropologist, Peter Ellison. When asked whether it was true that breastfeeding helps women lose weight (not true in my case), he said that fat cells are needed for the production of milk. So the cells on the hips and derriere in particular are unlikely to disappear until nursing is over. I also still haven’t started menstruating yet. I’m in no hurry for that one and fairly curious to see how long it stays away. It’s been a nice 19 month absence!

My goal is to get back to my normal self by River’s birthday in December. I don’t know whether 10 ponds in under two months is very likely but I’ll do my best. I feel like I’m looking out the final portion of a tunnel, that while it hasn’t been a very dark journey, it is still brighter ahead. Yay!

When did you find your life beginning to return to normal after having a child/children? When did your chest size and cycles return to normal? Did some things never change?

1 comment:

Momo Fali said...

Both of my kids were preemies, so I had to pump milk for both of them for a LONG time. My boobs are pre-pregnancy size, but certainly not form.