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I want my boobs back.

I have been either pregnant or nursing my entire marriage--a little more than seven years. My youngest is 28 months old and she's still going strong.

My friends always told me that most babies will quit nursing on their own--lose interest, usually between nine and 16 months. My kids apparently missed that section in their handbooks. I think my oldest would still be nursing if we hadn't had to put the kibosh on it when I was pregnant with my second child.

In fact, when I was in the hospital after my son was born, he was having trouble latching on and my then 27-month-old said, "No, it's easy, Max...let me show you..." and she started going for my nipple.

So why, you ask, don't I put an end to it? Well, part of it's nostalgia--I know this is my last child and the last time I will experience the closeness you get from holding a child to your breast. Part of it, I'm ashamed to admit, is vanity: I'm afraid what my boobs are going to look like once they lose the fullness from the milk. And they don't look that great now.

I never thought I would consider plastic surgery, but my chest is a mess. If I want to wear a knit top to bed, I need to wear a bra or I get disgusted every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror. My boobs don't just hang, they kind of migrate toward the middle of my back. Ick. I don't want anything added--no implants, or transferring of fat from my tummy to my bust--just move the things back up to where they once were.

A friend of mine whose husband is in the military told me that Tricare--the military health care system--will pay for one cosmetic surgery for either active duty or retired military or their spouses. I asked Steve about it (he's retired Air Force), told him I deserved that surgery if there was one to be haggled over. Afterall, I'm the one who put in the time nursing all three kids. He started talking about having some scar removed or having his gynecomastia (translation: man-boob--which he doesn't even have anymore since he's lost a little weight) removed.

I quickly put that argument to rest.

One morning I was getting out of the shower and toweling off while Steve was at our double vanity shaving.

He glanced at me briefly, then resumed shaving.

"Maybe we should look into that surgery."

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Comment by Suzi Crowder on September 6, 2008 at 10:58pm
Oh, Jen! Carly is still going strong! And some days I get so frustrated and irritated--it's like sandpaper, you know...? But you are so right... time is going by way too quickly...I was due for my mammo this past year, too, but my midwife told me to wait until six months after I was done nursing....maybe 10 years from now!!! You have a great weekend and thanks for the post!
Comment by Jennifer L on September 6, 2008 at 10:49pm
Oh,gosh! I loved your post! I can identify with everything you had to say - and hilarious writing style,my dear! The dry humour (my favourite kind) in the last line is simply a crack up! I am still smiling as I write this :)

We have three children, too,though they are 14, 16, and, in a few days,18 years old now. What is nuts is that it seems, maybe, 5 years ago they were tiny like yours...time flies when you're having fun (and I seriously mean that).

I was pregnant and/or nursing so long that they couldn't do the baseline mammogram my 'breast doctor' recommended...for YEARS...I still hadn't been able to have it by the time I left her care,when we moved from one side of the country to the,I mean, other.... I still remember her saying to me,in a passionate plea, at our last appointment, "Jennifer,for GOD'S sake have your mammogram done!" (I did and all is fine).

I was torn,like you,with wanting my boobs back while knowing that it would mean not only the end of the special nursing relationship I had with Kiera,our youngest...but it would also bring to a close that part of my life I shared with all three of our children, and I was loathe to see it end. Kiera may have been ~ 3yrs...old enough to ask (and I swear this is true)..."mom,can I have the udder one, this one's empty " and "Mom,can I have a little sip?".

I miss my nursing days so darn much...


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