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Dear Boobs

Fat Mum Slim /

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Dear Boobs,

I’ve never written you a letter before. Oh, actually, maybe I did when I was in my teens willing you to grow. Maybe I didn’t. I don’t know, but this is actually quite, very much, weird.

But I shall continue…

If I was to write a letter to my whole body, it wouldn’t be very nice. I’d hate on my thighs, and give my belly a hard time, and beg my hair to grow quicker and thicker. I don’t often think nice things about most of my body, but you. You are a different story.

It’s not that I think you’re particularly perky because heck, I do believe you’ll be touching my knees before we’re 60. Imagine us on the dance floor for that party. It gives a whole new meaning to ‘swinging’, doesn’t it?

I want to get serious for a moment though. Before I had kids I thought breastfeeding would be a breeze. Stick ’em on, feed them and we’re done. Wrong. So wrong.

Breastfeeding was hard. I honestly don’t know why I persisted, both times, because it was EPIC. I put way more stress on myself then I needed, but I had faith in you. I knew we could do it. And for some reason, it was important to me. I wanted to feed those babies, and I was determined. Can you tell I’m stubborn?

I remember with Lulu, I was 7 days post-birth, and the lactation consultant had visited and taped tubes to me, so that I could increase my milk supply, yet still feed my daughter. I was THAT determined.

I was also THAT stressed. My little sister came to visit, with her 7 week old, and her boobs functioned perfectly. They fed my niece as needed, no tubes required. I cried so hard. I cried because I was hormonal, and upset that I couldn’t do it, but mostly because I didn’t want to give up.

I believed in you, boobs.

I tore those tubes off and put them in the bin, and I persisted. My little sister made a plan with me, “We give it seven more days, and that’s all. Let’s see what happens. If it doesn’t work, we let it go.”

So I persisted for seven more days, and then seven more after that, and seven more after that, until it was no longer an issue and you guys were firing all cylinders. WE HAD MILK.

Two whole years on, and I knew it was time to give it up, to get my body back. I am crying writing this, because that thing I worked so hard at, and meant so much to me… it still does. Boobs, am I weird? {I think by writing this letter, we’ve established that yes, I am indeed weird. But all the best people are, RIGHT?}.

I fed Lulu for the last time, and it was special to me. The last time, ever. No more babies. Lulu though, she was half eating a vegemite sandwich, while reading a book {which I got whacked in the face with mid-feed, mind you} and feeding. She was the BOSS of the situation. As always.

I went off to a conference and preoccupied myself with things {drinking, having fun, learning} and caught myself many times holding you guys mid-conversation with strangers, because ouch. It hurts to stop breastfeeding.

I’d made my mind up, and felt peaceful about my decision. I knew Lulu was ready. I knew I was ready. But on day two of the conference, the hormones kicked in… and I was a mess. I walked out of the last session and wanted to hot foot it to the car so I could listen to Ed Sheeran and cry. Except I didn’t get to the car. I got three steps out of the session and I lost it. Thank goodness for friends. Trish kindly said to me, “I want to cry too and my boobs don’t even make milk!”

Ah boobs, you’re so talented.

I called my sister on the way home, and burst into tears down the phone line. That same sister who was with me when I struggled. The same sister who helped me back then, even though she had her own newborn to look after and feed.

I walked into the house, with you guys looking much like Pamela Anderson, and I cried a little more. Lulu was just happy to see me. She didn’t care about you anymore either, boobs. She was done.

So boobs, we’re finished. Thank you for feeding both my girls for as long as you did, and thank you for reading this very weird letter, even though you can’t read.

There’s one thing that I didn’t think would happen from giving up breastfeeding, that I’d gain a cuddly daughter who didn’t just want me for one thing. We have so many beautiful cuddles, and it’s just the best thing ever.

Life is good.

Thank you boobs,
Your owner. xx

  • I can remember crying when my youngest just turned his head one day during a feed, as if to say “I’m done with those”. Broke my heart. He’s now 8…but Istill think of those days fondly. Loved reading this. Go boobs!

    • Oh gosh, I don’t know if that would be better than deciding myself. I think it would be heartbreaking, as you said.

      And yes, yay boobs! xx

  • Rachel Hill

    Oh Chantelle, you’ve made me cry again πŸ™‚ I’m still feeding our 14m old boy and i too struggled early on, my boobs didn’t know what to do and Jed hadn’t figured out what he needed to do either, midwives were saying he needed to gain weight or go back into hospital and i don’t think I’ve ever cried so much, but i too was WAY stubborn, but I’m glad because we got the hang of it, my boobs didn’t let me down πŸ˜‰ and we’re still enjoying the whole breastfeeding journey but knowing that Jed will in his own time stop sooner rather than later made me cry reading this.
    All the way from a little country village in England, i thank you, Rach x

    • I am sorry I made you cry, but I’m so grateful that you get it. Thank you for sharing your story, and I hope he goes longer than you expect. xx

  • Rebecca Swadling

    I miss feeding still and next month it will be a year πŸ™ and Addison is our last. I was just saying yesterday it’s so strange after feeding five babies that I will never experience the joy and bonding again. I know it brings a new parenting chapter though, so it is different but still wonderful (such as taking one child to say …a photography lunch 8 hrs round trip and just enjoying that child…. not having to worry about the baby being left with someone else). So I say enjoy life for all its stages and remember with fondness all the beautiful memories shared β™‘

    • It’s so funny… even at that lunch I was thinking that I needed to be back to feed her… but nope. It’s so special and there are so many memories, but new adventures await too.

      xxx

  • I love this. I actually don’t think about my boobs like ever. All my cousins have DD plus boobs and mine are B/C. They’re just a non-issue in my life which suits me just fine. πŸ™‚

  • Jenni from Styling Curvy

    Your boobs did good…and so did you. X

  • Lets burn our maternity bras together! Great letter πŸ™‚ my boobs liked reading it too πŸ˜‰ x

  • Tash Jay

    I still remember my daughter’s last breastfeed (5 years ago). My son is now 11 weeks and we’re past the pain and the issues and at the stage where it just works and is enjoyable. He is our last too and I know, like you, it will be a sad day when the breastfeeding ends x

    • Congratulations on your bub! It’s nice when things have settled down and it’s easy. It’s so nice. I love that 3 month mark for babies. xx

  • I love that you wrote a letter to your boobs. It’s nice to be appreciated, and I bet they appreciated your love. x

  • Oh my gosh this letter made me cry! I did IVF for both my babies and was lucky to not have too many issues feeding my first (there were some hard moments in the beginning but nothing to write to my boobs about…hehe). Anyway, my ‘last’ breastfeed with my first child was when she was around 19 months, I didn’t realise it was my last…it kind of just came about as I went to a movie one night and my husband said she didn’t miss me or my milk so I stopped.
    Fast forward three years (and 5 miscarriages later) I started to cry that I would never have that ‘last feed’ with another child. It was one of those things that just stuck with me?? A massive regret that I ‘missed’ that last moment and let it slip away.
    I was so blessed to have conceived and had a healthy baby boy, I did go on to make a big deal about our last feed when he was around the same age. I made sure I remembered every last moment and even took a few photos for myself. I don’t miss it now but I will always treasure those moments and I’m so fortunate to have been given my second chance at that ‘last feed’.
    I wish I had known about your feelings at the conference – I would’ve squeezed you hard, not too hard as your boobs may have exploded but hard enough that you knew you were not alone. xx

    • Awww, I would have loved a squeeze Louise.

      I didn’t know your journey, and it was quite the journey. I am so sorry for your losses, but so happy for your beautiful children.

      With Lulu I videoed her feeding in the early days and took photos over the two years because I wanted to remember the everyday moments I had with her. I won’t ever share them, but I have them.

      I want to hug you now. xxxx

  • This made me tear up! My daughter’s going to be turning one soon and I already get sad that these days will end. (Something pre-baby I NEVER thought I would be saying!)
    Those early days of breastfeeding were SO hard. Like you, I had issues and worked so diligently to get to the place where we are now where it’s easy and so wonderful.
    Thanks to you (and your boobs!) for a touching reminder of how special this time is.

    • I can’t believe she’s going to be 1 soon! The time has flown!

      It’s so nice to overcome such a hard thing, isn’t it? To be able to feed with ease. πŸ™‚

  • An ode to your boobs! I love it! They deserve it too. Well done for persisting, obviously the experience was a reward hence the sadness. There’s so much letting go in this motherhood gig isn’t there? It always surprises me. I fed for 18 month with both of my children and now I’m doing it all again with my third and final kidlet. There will be gratitude, and tears.

    • I think the final kid is a big deal, because it’s the last time ever. It’s joyful; a celebration for having done it at all.. and sad because it will never happen again. xx

  • Kylie Maree Woods

    I loved feeding my first – the one with the flip top head who opened up, sucked it down and let go…until I got gravely ill at his 6 week mark and lost my milk. Devastated is too placid a word for those feelings.
    My second…well let’s just say he had a mouth like a cat’s patootie and it was excruciating – and I had almost no milk due to drugs needed throughout pregnancy to keep me alive – and he had severe reflux so threw up everything I gave him anyway. Three weeks was all we managed before his weightloss and my emotional state dictated a switch to the bottle.
    My third was premmie so was tube fed for a couple of weeks before developing that awesome sucking reflex…that she utilised so well for the next 17 months…every half an hour…or so it seemed. Weaning her was emotional…but at last I got to sleep for a couple of hours straight. πŸ™‚
    And then when little miss was just 6 those beautiful mammaries who had nurtured two of the three, were betrayed by the dreaded C. So now, they are in a freezer somewhere, hopefully holding some answers that will help prevent others going through the loss of theirs. I do miss them. But I also thank them and remember fondly the hours spent snuggling with my boys and girl while they were nourished by them, by me.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely letter to your boobs Chantelle. It has given me a few moments of nostalgia that lifted my mood this afternoon. xxxx

    • Oh gosh, what a journey you went on. I am so sorry. πŸ™

      • Kylie Maree Woods

        Don’t be sorry. I loved them. I used them. I lost them. I miss them. But I am alive amd so are my kids. ..life goes on. And it is still a joyfilled life. And I get to read wonderful things like your letter to YOUR boobs. Awesome!

        • Kylie Maree Woods

          Aaaand…now I can decide each day what size boobs I want to have. I go from an A cup to Dolly Parton…without the weight! ?

  • I found the third time around REALLY hard, actually my first was the worst with chronic reflux, I shouldn’t have persisted but I did. My boobs have served me oh so well and I’m okay that they’re now besties with my belly button – kinda xx

  • Oh you poor thing. You mentioned the end and I was all blaze about weaning my Leni. I think my boobs and I have trust issues. Yours did you a good service. xx

    • I hope you can work on your relationship with your boobs. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your kind words. xx

  • Oh boobs.
    I am grateful to mine that they fed my son and are still feeding my daughter.
    The decisions to stop so bittersweet…I remember being happy that I was regaining my body but oh so sad that our breastfeeding days were over.
    But you are right, the cuddles never end!

  • Blimey, that’s hardcore dedication to breastfeeding, I just went ‘meh’ after 10 days with Toddler and switched him over to formula. Managed 4 months with Baby but wasn’t fussed at all when he weaned onto bottles. I enjoyed it but didn’t feel the emotional wrench that you clearly did when it all ended. Do you think you’ll have any more children? Maybe I’m not that fussed because subconsciously I was thinking ‘oh well, no big deal, coz I’ll do it all again next time’?? Either way, embrace the new bra shopping whilst drinking copious amounts of alcohol xxx

    • Oh yes, I think Lulu will be our last… but I’d love more babies. So I think it’s a big emotional tug-of-war for me.

  • michelle barrington

    I didn’t have any physcial discomfort from weaning but I was a bit of an emotional mess – just like when you get the baby blues post birth. Then it felt as if a fog had lifted from my brain. Ahh hormones. My daughter weaned without looking backwards at all. My son has been weaned for 1.5 years. He was weaned at 2 and honestly he would still have a go if I let him, boys!!

    • Oh YES! It was EXACTLY like the baby blues. I cried the same tears as then. You just nailed it. It must be the same hormones?

  • I know exactly what you mean Chantelle. I struggled for 6 very long weeks with my Mr 3 to breastfeed, and that determination to have my boobs do their job, was just so fierce. I remember the midwife, while we were still in hospital, having looked after us for three nights running telling me she’d never seen anyone so determined to breastfeed. Ever. I was just crying and crying and crying, but I didn’t give up and managed 20ish months with Mr (now) 3, and I’m currently feeding Miss 5 months.
    It’s an amazing gift we have, being able to feed our babies. Totally worth grieving over when it’s over. I know I did, and I will again.

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I get you the last time I fed my daughter oh so long ago I was sad and to think I’d never do it again,even sadder but look back on your memories and smile Xx

    • I definitely will. I’m sorry your last feed was sad, but I totally get it. It’s an emotional thing. xx

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    Love it! Your boobs served you well πŸ™‚ They deserve a rest x

  • Carla Nichols

    You are so lucky you got to breastfeed, 10 days in I dried up for good it was very distressing. I didn’t even try with my twins I thought I had enough on my plate with a baby who was 11 months when the twins were born and they were number 5and 6 and I couldn’t with any of the others.mbut thank goodness for formula hey.

  • Thank you so much for this post – my first is now 10 months old, born prem and we got off to a rocky start. For the first 8 weeks he was fed exclusively pumped milk while we tried and failed to get him to latch at every single stressful feed. I’ve been looking forward to weaning, to getting ownership of my body back and to move on from breastfeeding which has been a matter of convenience rather than bonding, since we were already bonding well while he was bottle feeding. BUT your post has made me stop for a minute to think about the positives and to consider that there might be some aspects of breastfeeding I’ll be sad to let go of. When he had his first spoonful of solids I felt a little bit sad, realising that up until that point I alone had nourished him from a tiny egg to a beautiful 6-month boy (gotta go, tearing up!) Thanks xxx

  • Rebecca

    LOL we did it a little different. We had a party yes a little party to say good bye to “Milky” my daughter was 3 1/2 & it was the 2nd term of school. She thought she was so old so we talked & had milk with a cup cake said good by to them. That was till bed time then it turn into screams as she had changed her mind & wanted “Milky” back, I stood firm but sobbing behind her bedroom door talking to her till fell asleep & the next morning she asked again but I said how about a cuddle & she shoved her hand down my top!!! Didn’t hug me no just squeezed those breast. she kept doing it for sometime but now thank god has stopped!!

  • Netal Singh

    Thank you for sharing this weird letter. How beautiful to have breastfed for two years!! That is so awesome!! Just when I think I know all there is to know about you, Chantelle, you leak another personal secret. Gosh, I love you. x

  • Oh so many emotions and words <3 What a beautiful post. xx

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