It was time.
3 years, two kids, and two years of breastfeeding later it was time to brave the stores and go bra shopping. My bra drawer was an assortment of different bra sizes that correlated to the many body phases of my life: pre-pregnancy, pre-weight loss, nursing, post-baby, pregnant with #2, etc. Not to mention, I’ve spent the last 12 months living in a shapeless nursing bra that makes an unbelievably sexy clicking noise that only signifies one thing – it’s time for the baby to eat.
Since I officially shut down milk operations after Olivia’s 1st birthday (yeah, not so much into biting as I’m literally and figuratively attached to my nipples) my boobs had finally normalized to their current sad state. What is that sad state you say? Well, roll up a ball of Play-Doh into a very round ball, then take the heel of your hand and smush it so the once plump ball now resembles a pancake. Don’t even bother trying to make the pancakes two uniform shapes because symmetrical they ain’t. Whether you breastfeed or not, having kids will totally destroy your rack. And as I’ve mentioned in the past, I am not one of those women that embrace their newly changed body because of what it’s done. No, I am vengeful. I look at the kids and shake my fist, “I gave you life! I gave you nourishment! Look at me! LOOK AT YOUR MOTHER!! Look at what you’ve done to her!”
You can work out to lose the baby weight, but there is no workout for your boobs. Plain and simple. So I hauled the boobs formerly known as perky to Victoria’s Secret, which is a great place if you’re looking for a confidence boost she muttered sarcastically. I was wearing a bra that every bit of two sizes too big trying to hang on to the last thread of the chest of yesteryear and pushing Olivia in the stroller while I fed her and myself from a baggie of Goldfish that had been sitting in my car for God only knows how long. If that doesn’t put you in the mood to bra shop, then I don’t know what does.
Of course the only sales rep available looked like she just turned old enough to order herself a drink and was sporting a gorgeous full face of makeup and boobs up to her collar-bone. Where was the “Hey, I’m not perfect either, but here’s a bra that’s helped me come to terms with it” sales rep? The PYT (pretty young thing for you non-Michael Jackson fans) gave me a quizzical look when I asked to be measured.
“The bra you’re wearing is too big. I can tell.”
“Yeah, I know. I’ve had two kids and haven’t bought a new bra in three years so I need to be measured”
PYT blinked a few times like this was a foreign concept and took out her tape measurer of doom, trying her very best not to touch me more than she needed to lest saggy boobs are contagious.
“Okay, you’re a (insert size that immediately brought fresh tears of postpartum body sadness to my eyes) Would you like a demi or push-up bra?”
I don’t know what Demi is unless it’s Lovato or a demi-glace (thanks, Chopped) so I opted for push-up. Ok, that’s a lie. I opted for push-up because this rack has seen some dark things. It has gone from the highest of pregnancy boobs high, to the lowest of low post-nursing boobs. Was there any option besides push-up? I tried making a joke about it and again, more confused blinking on her part as she frantically began pulling things out of drawers to expedite this awkward interaction.
She handed me these bras that looked super tiny and sad and I whimpered, hopefully not out loud. I am used to a world where my cups runneth over. For goodness sake, before I had kids I had bras that could have doubled as bike helmets. I shot Olivia a resentful look and made my way back to the fitting room.
After a year of wearing nursing bras with no underwire and comfy, thick straps, I felt claustrophobic in the slightest of support. I shoved my deflated Mom Boobs, or “Moobs” into the cups as my breathing became shallow and rapid while I attempted to clasp the bra. Was this some sort of sick torture device?? I took a deep breath. Or as deep of a breath as I could take given the underwire digging into my lungs. It fit. And didn’t look entirely awful.
I walked out, bra in hand and asked PYT to give this to me in the most matronly colors Victoria makes because let’s be honest. What am I going to do with a hot pink bra? I would be the talk of the playground. Time to keep it real with myself and buy it in black and nude. Maaaaybe this trendy gray color, but even that is pushing it.
I had been dreading bra shopping. Leaving the security of my comfy, well-worn nursing bras that were always like a welcoming hug to my boobs, whispering softly “There is no judgment in here. Or support and or lift, but we digress.” But this wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Until PYT threw a verbal dagger into my vulnerable heart when she casually dropped an upsell opportunity “By the way, our cotton panties are 5 for $20.”
Maybe it was the fact that I’m pushing a baby. Maybe it was because I had Goldfish crumbs at the corner of my mouth. But this is my life. I’m at a place where the sales rep takes one look at me and decides that I am the perfect candidate for the plain, high-waisted cotton panties deal – not the cute, feminine numbers they have in the front of the store. I was shunned to the back table in a far corner where sexy goes to die. Or have kids. Lace, satin, and skimp would only be wasted on me ; living sadly in the back of my underwear drawer to be forgotten.
I took a deep breath, puffed up my moobs with pride, and inform her that while I appreciate the offer, I will not be taking her up on it. Not today. Not any day. Ok, that’s not entirely true. Every woman needs comfy cotton underwear in her life. That’s a scientific fact. But I prefer to do it more stealthily and mix it in amongst all of my other random purchases at Target rather than go to Victoria’s Secret where they thoroughly examine every. single. thing. you’re buying and silently judge you before wrapping it up in tissue paper.
I paid for the bras and hightailed it out of the store as my mission was accomplished. Momma ain’t quite back to where she used to be, but with my girl Victoria, I can at least fake it for a little while.