Friday, August 5, 2016

The Huge Reveal: Breast Change and the Adult Nursing Relationship

Every so often, I will get asked about my breasts, and when I do, the question always pertains to their size. It's nothing new. They have been a fascinating curiosity since they made their grand appearance many years ago. I made it through adolescence when boys have not yet grown refined, and most of them eagerly anticipated cooler weather when I was instantly transformed into the school's "Sweater Girl", and into adulthood when I have had to prove that big breasts are not always equated with wantonness--or stupidity. There are some pitfalls to having ample endowments, and they can be frustrating, but I am very comfortable with my breasts. They are very much a part of who I am as a person.

As odd as it may seem, I truly became aware of my breasts when I knew that S was going to see them for the first time. It was also the first time that my confidence in them became a bit shaky. Up to that point, they had just been there, filling out sweaters and taking up space, but as I stepped out of the bathtub in preparation of what was to come, one question continued to float through my mind: What is he going to think when he sees them? I shouldn't have worried.

My breasts underwent their first transformation eight months later, when they began to prepare to sustain the beautiful new life that was growing inside of me, and that was when I became aware of what they could do. They were capable of so much more than just catching an eye, turning a head, or eliciting the occasional not-so-nice remark--they could nurture and nourish a person. They were certainly not the same breasts that S had seen--and grown accustomed to--over the months, but because I was so in awe of them, revealing the glory of these breasts, these full, feminine, life-sustaining breasts, to him empowered me and bolstered my confidence as a woman. Did I wonder what he would think of them? Yes. But not in the same way that I had months before. We had created these breasts together. They were a symbol of our love. And they were fabulous.

Over the years we have watched as they have evolved from breasts to nursing breasts, to breasts, and, now, once more, into nursing breasts, and he and I agree that these are the best breasts of all. :)

So, a couple of days ago as I was checking messages, I came across a very polite one pertaining to my breasts, specifically their size and the change that they have undergone since I began my journey into lactation. I read it carefully; it was from a woman who had very real concerns about her own breasts, and seemed to want to "compare notes". Before I answered the inquiry, I went on the search of the one person whose opinion I value above all others', and found him resting in our bed.

"Do you think it's okay for people to ask me about my boobs?" I asked without preamble.

I think I might have mentioned in a previous post that very little surprises Mr. S, who has been my steadfast partner for the past 16 years, particularly now that I have begun to blog about our life as a nursing couple, and this unexpected question  seemed to be par for the course. Mr. S takes a quiet, thoughtful, and pragmatic approach to everything, and after a few moments of silence, he said, "You take a realistic approach to ANR, and you're so open with your writing, I think it makes people feel comfortable enough to ask questions."

"Yes," I replied. "But do you think it's okay?"

"Well," he said, "I guess that depends on how they ask."

"I think I'll write a blog post about this," I said. "I'll call it 'The Big Reveal'."

"No, no," he said with a smile. "Call it 'The Huge Reveal'."

I think it's very fair for people to have a natural curiosity about my breasts. After all, this is a nursing blog, and I have no illusions when it comes to the suckling lifestyle or breasts in general. Both remain a fascinating subject for many people, and change in regard to the female anatomy is very much a part of the beautiful nursing experience. I encourage questions, as curiosity is a very natural part of the human instinct, even those that pertain to my breasts, but whether you receive an answer depends greatly upon what you ask--and how you ask it. Here are two examples.

The right way to ask LMM about her breasts:

I have just opened an ANR with my husband, and we have decided to induce lactation. I'm a bit concerned about the changes this will bring. How much have your breasts increased in size? Has it been difficult to deal with this?

This approach will get you a very open and honest reply...and an entire blog post dedicated to the subject. :)

The wrong way to ask LMM about her breasts:

Hello, dear. Cup size?

This approach will get you:

a. Ignored
b. Blocked
c. Reported, or
d. Scolded

and an appearance in a blog post concerning nursing etiquette. ;)

When I began this blog back in March, my bra cup size was DDD, which is typical for me when I am not nursing. Since then, my lovely ladies have increased by four cup sizes. Here is an interesting story about that:

When I first began my journey into lactation, I avoided investing in new bras right away because, although I was fairly certain that my breasts would undergo a beautiful change, I wasn't sure just how much they would change. As a woman who has spent the better part of her life as a very content milk maid, I had a general idea of what I would be facing--and I welcomed it with sweet anticipation. As my breasts began their metamorphosis into nursing breasts, I continued to place them, sometimes under great protest, into the cups of my DDD bras, until they (and my brassieres) simply couldn't take the pressure any longer. By this point, I had gone up three cup sizes, and my size was holding steady. I felt very confident that the time had come to do some lingerie shopping.

I spent an entire Sunday afternoon in search of the perfect bra, finally stumbling onto a shop absolutely filled with undergarments. The sign in the window read: ANNUAL BRA SALE. BUY 3, GET 1 FREE. It was kismet. I stepped inside and began to browse, unable to believe that this store actually had four bras in my size. The cups were silky, reinforced with cross-over banding, eliminating the need for nasty underwires, the straps were an appropriate width, and there were five colors to choose from. They were perfect. I went home with four new bras (two black, two white) and a sales receipt for my $160.50 purchase, (This is true--the bigger the cup size, the bigger the price tag.) feeling only slightly guilty about how much money I had spent, and settled comfortably into my brand new lingerie.

All was going well until my breasts suddenly decided to pull a fast one on me and increase another cup size.

See what I mean about breast change being a big part of the nursing experience?

This can be daunting for many women who are curious about what to expect as they embark on their own journeys into ANR and lactation. Common concerns are in regard to size (how big will they get?) and shape, areolae coloration, if ptosis (the medical term for sagging) and stretch marks will present themselves, and what will occur if lactation is discontinued (will my breasts become deflated after nursing?)

There is just no simple answer to any of these questions, because when it comes to nursing changes, you never really know what will happen until it does. Nursing breasts come in many shapes and sizes, and every transformation that occurs is dependent upon many factors, including physical build and stature, heredity, and genetics. Every woman's body responds to lactation in its own unique way, but it is a truly beautiful part of the nursing experience. Welcome and embrace every magical metamorphosis because each one is special and belongs solely to you.

Since the nursing relationship involves a coupling, I don't feel that I can end this post without addressing one final concern regarding the upcoming breast changes that some women face with both anticipation and a bit of trepidation.

How do you think my partner will feel about them?

I think anyone who truly appreciates and understands the adult nursing relationship will welcome and revere the beautiful new breasts that he has helped to create.

Have a fabulous Friday! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment