I remember seeing my sister-in-law’s boobs shortly after she gave birth to my oldest nephew. At the time, I was horrified. Her boobs looked like something Dr. Frankenstein stitched together in his lab. I wondered, “How the heck did she get pregnant with boobs like that!” They were misshapen, lumpy, and odd-looking. Veiny. The nipples were enormous. I felt both sympathy and horror, but I didn’t give it much thought. My sister-in-law had unfortunate boobs. I moved on.
Now that I’m a mother (and isn’t that the weirdest thing to say! Agh!), I know about boobs. I know about boobs in a way I never knew about boobs. They are the weirdest and most interesting things. Yes, they look terrible and I accept that. But, they’re fascinating enough to make up for how creepy they look.
Prior to having a baby, I had a very loose relationship with my boobs. I had them. Two of them, in fact. But, I didn’t spend much mental energy worrying about or tending to them. I’ve had friends who spent quite a bit of time fretting about how big they were or weren’t, but my boobs and I had a pretty good relationship. They didn’t get in my way and I didn’t get in theirs. We quietly respected each other.
Now, boobs are always on my mind. I’m obsessed with their performance and the critical role they now play in Harry’s wellbeing.
The most shocking thing, for me, is how different they are. These things I had always considered a unit are wholly independent of each other. They do their own thing and it’s been fascinating to witness.
Right boob is the larger of the two, but it’s also the laziest. Content to rest on its size superiority, it consistently produces about 30 percent less milk than its smaller sister. Right boob also takes much longer to drain and feels more painful when full, in spite of having much less milk. Right boob is an asshole. It gets far more attention (since it produces less, I spend more time pumping it to encourage production) and yet consistently underperforms.
Left boob is the superstar of the pair. Left boob produces like crazy and is incredibly easy to pump. It releases milk faster (one “stimulation cycle” on the breast pump instead of three or four for right boob) and has a very satisfying spray. Production is always good, even though right boob gets all of the attention. I can’t say enough about left boob. I really think it’s why Harry is growing as fast as he is.
Overall, it’s amazing how boobs have taken on this incredible functionality. It’s like coming home from work one day to find your dog or cat cooking your dinner. At first, it would be shocking and amazing. But, after some time, it wouldn’t be weird at all. Your dog or cat makes dinner. That’s just what he does. In this case, my lumpy, gross, weirdo boobs make dinner. It really is the coolest.