Boobs and periods – it’s like 13 all over again

I said I was going to be real on this blog but this may be more real than anyone is interested in.  Feel free to click away from this page.

If you are still reading, I warned you.

Help! I’m bleeding and my boobs are gone!**  No, this is not from one of my many Hunger Games nightmares.  It’s the result of weaning Chloe.

Despite having two children of my own to care for, most mornings I feel like a 13 year old girl.  Like junior high, I spend my time trying on outfit after outfit and looking at my profile in the mirror.  Only instead of watching them grow, I’m watching them go.  Seriously, how are my breasts DISAPPEARING before my eyes?!?!  I didn’t think they were something that could be removed without my consent so I am a bit confused.

The good news? This will fit perfectly now

I was a full C pre-baby and during my first pregnancy my bra size skyrocketed.  These days the only Ds I see are the batteries for Gavin’s toys.  After nursing two kids for two years total, I am a laughable A cup.  Is there a biological reason that withdrawing milk = removing breast tissue?  And what’s a woman to do???  THIS is one of those things I wish I knew about.  Not that I would have done anything different, but I would have appreciated a heads up.  Maybe cherished my old boobs a little more.

[pause for full young perky breast nostalgia]

Since I don’t plan any plastic surgery in the foreseeable future (we have preschool to pay for, people!), let’s move on to something more constructive.  Menstruating.

That's right. We're going there. Cause if I miss another there will be more of you to contend with

I haven’t had a period since 2008.  One year without for pregnancy and one year without for nursing x two kids back to back.  Almost 4 years to the month.  But alas it is here.  I feel like a teenager all over again.  I’m scared of tampons — which might be hysterical since I passed two children through the same place the uterine lining is shed.  Pads, thank god, have come a long way since I was a teenager.  In fact, they have grown wings which helps a lot (why did it take so long for someone to come up with this?!?) but they still present most of the issues we struggled with as teens (jacket tied around your waist?  Been there).

A friend suggested a Diva Cup, which I began to research once I realized it had nothing to do with Mariah Carey and Aretha Franklin on VH1.  It sounds like a really great concept but just reading the FAQ page makes my head spin.  My doctor recommended Mirena, the modern IUD.

I know you wanted to let your hormones go unchecked for awhile, but look how happy I am. I using Mirena right now.

No kids and no periods for FIVE years.  Sounds good other than I really was hoping to give my body a break from hormone regulation for awhile.

I admit my first one back wasn’t too bad.  No PMS at all, cramps seem like a joke compared to childbirth and very light flow.  Mother nature must be easing me into something terrible.

It’s amazing that being a woman presents constant challenges even in areas as basic as boobs and periods.  I have been dealing with these things for decades – but this new chapter leaves me feeling as confused and unsteady as I did when tackling them for the very first time.  Only now I don’t have the locker room to compare and no girlfriends to bum “something” from in the school bathroom.  So I turn to you friends, am I alone in this?  How has childbirth changed your body?

**mommy disclaimer – the opinions above are the opinions of Carinn and do not reflect the experiences of all mothers.  Some get their periods back while nursing.  Some claim to have larger breasts after childbirth.  I envy them.

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20 thoughts on “Boobs and periods – it’s like 13 all over again

  1. I am an all natural freak. I’m not a fan of IUD’s or even the pill for that matter. So where does that leave me? Ugh! I will say this though, my periods absolutely suck since having kids. I feel like a complete mess. My three year-old just weaned recently (don’t freak out!!!) and I swear I can NOT get rid of this milk. I wish I wasn’t still lugging these things around. Only time will tell I guess.
    (side note: Just to defend my extended breastfeeding- Did you know that world-wide average age of weaning is 4.5 years? Interesting fact, right? Mainstream America is puking right now!)

    • Once they stop puking over the entire content of my post, they will probably stop puking over your comment. Chloe isn’t fully weaned, but my milk supply isn’t enough to sustain much. Her weaning was totally baby led and I admit I was a little disappointed it went so quickly. She started walking right at a year and she could not be bothered to sit and nurse for a period of time.

      I have also heard about periods coming back with a vengeance and I am really not looking forward to it!

      I too am a “natural freak” but it’s a tough world out there for us! You would think there would be more choices??

  2. Thanks to welcometothemotherhood and all who commented for being so honest. You are all helping so many other women and mothers by doing so.

  3. he he he…thanks for putting words to yet another horrible truth of motherhood! Even though I only nursed my son for a few weeks (and never had a lot of milk anyway), I was SHOCKED when my boobs shrunk after I stopped nursing! You mean to tell me that after devoting my body to this child for endless months of pregnancy and then experiencing severe pain when I was nursing, I didn’t even get to keep the extra cup sizes as a thank you??!!! I’m still pissed about it, if you can’t tell 😉 I almost want to have another baby just so I can get some boobs back. Almost. And the Diva Cup???? Oh my…I do not have the inner courage needed to use one of those. Just the “ick” factor alone….ugh!

  4. This is so true, our bodies totally change after having kids and some of it really sucks! My pms is way crazier than my periods and I was not able to nurse but I can still relate. One thing I wanted to add – I had the Mirena IUD put in about 2 months after my son was born and I had a horrible reaction to it. My doctor didn’t believe the IUD was the problem and convinced me to keep it in and it ruined over a full year of my life (and marriage). I can’t handle hormones either, some of my side effects were stabbing pains in abdomen, depression, constant exhaustion, back pain, etc. If you try something and start having problems, trust yourself and your own body. As soon as I had that horrible thing removed, within 2 days I was side effect free and feeling back to my normal, healthy self again. ps – Diva cup freaks me out! Great post though and thank you for being so honest and real :)

  5. Oy. Thanks for the heads up. I’m so in the zone right now, 9 months out, a (mostly) flat stomach, big boobs, no period. Maybe I’ll breast feed til 3 too. 😉

  6. Oh I so empathize. I wrote a blog a couple years back called post nursing, my bras can sing the alphabet – from C, to D pregnant, to double D nursing, to today’s, teensy, tiny, A. Damn. Daycare/school funds will be needed for a long time yet, but in twenty years, when we can finally afford boobie upgrades – won’t that be awesome? We’ll be the best-looking 50-somethings on the beach. 😉

  7. The Cup is a terrible, awful, no good invention. At least for me. I almost passed out the first time I tried it. These things are for women who lose approximately 3ccs of blood/cycle. If you are anything like me post baby, it is a warzone down there once a month in terms of fluid loss. YUCK. Seriously, I am not a squeamish person, and I got the woozies. Have you considered the minipill? It was a great fit for me, less hormones, easier cycle…(A friend of mine had a bad bad IUD experience, so I am scared of them).

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