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Suddenly Androgynous! (Jan)

September 6, 2011

1 Pregnancy
1 Child, eight months old

My name is Jan. I am 25 years old and I am currently eight months postpartum. Before my husband and I even started trying to get pregnant, I was concerned about what might happen to my body. I had always been slim, my tummy flat, and my breasts were proportionate to my body.
We got pregnant quickly, which we were so thankful for.
Pregnancy agreed with me, I loved my fuller breasts, and my growing belly became even more special when I began feeling my baby’s movements. I still miss feeling the little hiccoughs.

I went into labour two days before my due date and progressed quickly at the hospital. Then unexpectedly, I stalled out at nine centimetres. My doctor wanted me to push, in an effort to thin out the last bit of rim on my cervix. This didn’t work, even after an hour of trying. So I gave in and got the epidural- the hope was that it would help me relax- and then successfully finished dilating. But my babe wouldn’t budge! I pushed for another hour to no avail. At last I gave birth with the assistance of forceps. It was the most intense ten minutes of my life. I had a beautiful baby girl weighing in at 7 lbs, 14 oz.

About two days after her birth, I really noticed my milk coming in. My breasts ballooned to a D cup. I actually enjoyed the leaking of milk. I loved breastfeeding too, the oxytocin made me blissful. My little girl was such a wonderful eater. I had some soreness in my nipples but after a few days it was gone, and I was enjoying the very rewarding experience of nourishing my child from my body.

Around five months of age, my baby girl began crying more than we expected. I had been noticing my breasts didn’t leak anymore and didn’t seem as full either. Soon we realized she wasn’t getting enough to eat.
I rented an electric breast pump and began pumping as much as I could to try to stimulate more production. I battled with it for a month and then decided to try a prescription to increase my prolactin hormone. The pills worked for sure, but my husband noticed I was becoming depressed. I would cry several times a day over nothing, insisting I wasn’t a good mother. I got angry with him easily and said and did hurtful things when that is not in my nature at all.
Together we decided that I shouldn’t take the pills anymore, so I breastfed as much as I could but supplemented with formula. Slowly but surely I could see that my production was coming to an end altogether.

Now my daughter is eight months old and she is formula fed (solids now, too). It has been about a month to six weeks since she breastfed. I miss nursing her. Her baby smell mixed with that sweet breast milk smell was intoxicating. Now I feel that she doesn’t need me in the same way she once did. Of course she still needs me, I’m her mother after all… but the breastfeeding was something only I could provide. It was my excuse to have my baby all to myself.

I have been feeling badly about my body. I am 108 lbs now. That is six pounds less than when I got pregnant. I know there are women out there struggling to lose the baby weight, struggling to love the extra skin and stretch marks. A lot of women wouldn’t want to hear me complain about my body I’m sure. But I actually felt more beautiful at 39 weeks pregnant (I weighed 142 lbs at that point). Even a couple of weeks postpartum when my tummy was squishy and still had the dark lines on it, I felt like more of a woman. I felt beautiful. I couldn’t wait to heal and make love to my husband again, wanting him to enjoy my more womanly figure too.
Now I am a cup size smaller than I was pre pregnancy. I am thin, I am boyish. I often wonder if my husband is still attracted to me- with my small, sagging breasts… that really don’t have much mass anymore. They seem more like hanging pieces of skin.

And yet, I know that I need to love my body. What an amazing accomplishment, to be pregnant and to give birth, and to feed my baby from my body. Sure, I looked “better” pre pregnancy, but my body had never accomplished anything so incredible before. Despite wishing I looked more like my “old self”, I now respect my body more.

1st Photo- Eight months post partum
2nd Photo- 38 weeks pregnant

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19 Responses to “Suddenly Androgynous! (Jan)”

  1. Corinne Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 6:50 am

    I understand how you feel, I felt so sexy pregnant, I miss the utter confidence it gave me. On your body now, it is beautiful and you do not look like a boy, I can see a waist and beautiful breasts and the most amazing stomach. Love what you have x

  2. amber h Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 7:19 am

    you look amazing!

  3. Sandy Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 8:50 am

    umm you have like, GREAT boobs! I ended up with 38 DD and trust me they suck, they sag and they live on my belly basically…i hate them…mine have stretch marks and so does my belly…i wish i looked like you, you skinny and you do have boobs you dont have bags of fat like me.

  4. Marz Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 9:22 am

    you shouldn’t feel bad about having your milk taper off like that :( It took me a long time to come to terms with being biologically unable to breastfeed– my milk stopped at 2 weeks postpartum. And I was really looking forward to breastfeeding as long as I could, so I got pretty depressed over failing (even though it really wasn’t a failure, but I sure felt like it).
    I can def symptahize with the “my kid doesn’t seem to need me as much” bit. Our heater was broken for the first few weeks PP, so I would sleep on the couch by the fireplace with my son on my chest. Snuggling with him made me feel so amazing. And now he’s 9 months and only wants to move move move!! (no snuggles for mommy? *sniff*)

  5. mjs Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 9:22 am

    wow what a great story!! i im currently BF my third baby and love every minute of it!! like you said its intoxicating and the only excuse to have my baby to myself!! i never have had problems with supply but i know i will miss nursing when my times is up!! your body is gorgeous you sound like your very happy congrats on motherhood!!!

  6. anon. Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 10:36 am

    You look wonderful, pregnant or not. Your body does not look boyish and your breasts are fantastic :) I hope your husband tells you this everyday.

  7. jen Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    i don’t understand how your gorgeous preggo belly could leave with that perfect flat tummy again! wow, not a spec of extra stretchy skin. plus, our boobs look so much a like but mine are covered in stretchmarks. you look amazing!

  8. Melissa Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Everyone has issues with their body, and we need all types of stories! It’s not complaining, it’s sharing your story with the rest of use here! We all have different stories to tell, and all are important. And on being “boyish” you’re not at all! You have a pleasant shape, small waist and great boobs. :) I’m sorry to hear about the breast feeding struggle, I too went through it and only lasted 9 days with my LO. I understand the heartache. But your little one will need you no matter what. Your mommy!

  9. Mina Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I think you look fabulous (and definitely not androgynous), BUT I do totally understand what you mean about “missing” your pregnant body. My 3rd and final child is 6 now, and I still long for my pregnant body…and I miss nursing too.
    As my boys get older, they need me in different ways, but I feel what you’re saying about missing that need for your milk and your body the way you describe.
    You are lovely. And you also seem to be quite in touch with your body and yourself…which I think is great.

  10. Colleen Says:
    September 6th, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    I LOVE your breasts! They are so beautiful! I will gladly trade you my 34G’s any day (if you want to talk about sagging, lady, you need to see mine first). They might be smaller than when you were pregnant but they are such a lovely shape. And you can wear cute sundresses and tank tops without having to worry about big ugly bra straps.

    When my daughter was 12 weeks old, all three of us had H1N1. I had to pump-and-dump for two days before I could find somebody who could tell me if nursing was safe on the anti-viral medicine (it was), and my supply never recovered from that. I had taken Reglan while pregnant for nausea, and I had to continue taking it the entire time I breastfed just to produce enough to feed her. By a few weeks before her first birthday I couldn’t pump a bottle for her while I was at work. We made it to whole milk without a formula step, but it was a close call. Supply problems are so frustrating :(

    My husband just came in, and asked what I was typing, and I said “a response to this lady who has really cute boobs and doesn’t like them”. He looked at the picture and said “what’s wrong with them?” So there you have it, a man who thinks they’re lovely too :)

  11. shannon Says:
    September 7th, 2011 at 5:56 am

    This post actually hit me when you talked about your baby not “needing” you in that way anymore. I was lucky to have a great supply and I nursed for 22 months. I actually only stopped nursing because he still woke up about 5 times a night wanting to nurse (mommy REALLY needed sleep!). I miss it so so much. Today is my first day of nursing school and his first day of daycare (he is almost 2.5), I am going to cry so much. He is very attached to me (he freaks out when I leave, even if he is with my husband/his dad!). I feel so bad. I wanted to stay at home with him until he was old enough to go to school…but I also want to be a pediatric nurse. Today is a sad day.

    Anyway, you look so amazing. I have yet to see a boy with curvy hips like you have! Your books do not look saggy to me. You look simply lovely, pregnant or not!

  12. Skye Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 6:19 am

    I had a very similar experience after my 2nd daughter stopped breastfeeding. I lost all the weight and more, leaving me with tiny AA size breasts and a boyish figure. I felt SOOOO androgynous and unsexy. My pregnant figure had been ripe and round, my breastfeeding boobs had been D’s. I absolutely loathed my skinny, boobless, boyish figure afterward and really missed feeling so sensual and ripe and fecund and necessary. It got so bad, I actually scheduled an appt with a plastic surgeon to talk about a boob job!! (this is soooooooo not me.)

    It got better!! I put on some weight purposefully and that helped soo much. Try gaining 5 lbs, you might find you fill out in some areas you feel are lacking.

    You’ve only just stopped breastfeeding too, and you’re less than a year post-partum. You may have some hormonal imbalances righting themselves, contributing to the feelings you are experiencing. Give yourself a little more time to heal from the experience of childbirth. It’s a HUGE life AND body change!

    Finally, for the record — YOU LOOK AMAZING!!!!! You might not see it now, but hopefully you will very soon.

  13. Mommyto$boys Says:
    September 8th, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Your body is freakin awesome!!! Seriously, I would trade you in a heartbeat! I do NOT like my full breasts and curvy hips… you are lucky to have your ‘boyish’ figure! I also understand the rejection you feel at having to stop breastfeeding.. it sucks. You’ll find another way to bond- just wait until your daughter can say, “I love you”- your heart will melt. Good luck and keep your positive attitude!

  14. Mariah Says:
    September 9th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    It must have been so hard to fight the battle to keep breastfeeding! It’s sometimes a very hard fight for mothers who want to continue to breastfeed their children, and I’m really impressed that you did everything that you could to try to keep your little girl with you. I know what you mean about that intoxicating baby smell while you breastfeed. What an enrapturing combination! The hormones, the nuzzling and tingling when your milk drops! Ah, it’s been a long time, but I remember that same joy.

    You really did everything you could, and then you even tried more. You gave your daughter the best possible start in life by breastfeeding her though. THAT will carry her for a lifetime.

    I postulate that there’s got to be some hesitation, because -in all honesty- you have an enviable body. We are our worst judges, and it’s difficult to be 100% happy with the end result after childbearing; we likely don’t get the shape we “want”. I can see the reverse, however, in wanting the fullness that comes with the feelings of being womanly, and mothering. (Although, you genuninely have a LOVELY shape! Your breasts are in wonderful shape for having breastfed, and you should be very very proud of how well you’ve retained abdominal shape).

    Those compliments might not help, but trust me, your confidence and acceptance will come in time….. Until then, love that little girl like crazy! So many more wonderfully bonding moments will come for you. Ones that will make your heart quiver the same way breastfeeding did. :)

  15. Sarah P. Says:
    September 10th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Your husband would be insane not to be attracted to you! You have such a sexy figure!!! :D I’m also built very thinly (on top) like you. I look similar, but with smaller breasts and a larger bottom. I love my shape. The girls are probably perkier being smaller than if they were larger anyway. ;)

  16. Mel Says:
    September 13th, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I think your breasts look fine; as someone who’s always had breasts way too big to be proportionate to my frame, I can only imagine how free you must feel not to carry around this load. And what pretty shoulders you have! So, for me, please go outside one day wearing no bra and a beautiful camisole over your trousers and let the sunshine and the breeze make your shoulders feel great. You are petite and it’s beautiful.

  17. D. B. Says:
    September 20th, 2011 at 3:32 am

    That is NOT an androgynous body! Your breasts are lovely! And look at your waistline! Nonononono they are well proportioned and you are amazing.

  18. Erin Says:
    October 17th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    You look stunning!

  19. Skinny J Says:
    November 5th, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    you still have bigger boobs than me. i am 99 pounds with nothing but nipples. i know you cant be happy with what you have, but you could be worse. im jealous……

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