Thursday, 8 May 2008

Breasts... I haz dem... look away if that bothers you

Post from April last year, still, sadly very relevant...

Why are bras so hard to buy? Finding the perfect bra was once a quest of mine, to find that comfortable, ultimately glamorous bra that made "the girls" look as perfect as possible, while minimising projection, passing the LH phwoar test and not causing my hands to lose sensation as the straps dug uncomfortably into my shoulders.

Whenever I found a bra that vaguely met those standards I would buy it instantly, regardless of cost simply because finding one was a miracle, and expecting to come back and find it on sale was like the Holy Grail of shopping. Sizing was a ridiculous "guide" depending on which brand, which particular style and which way the wind was blowing. I had bras from Size 10DD to 14B with bits and bots in between. But my collection was pretty glamorous. Embroidered, gorgeous, underwired bras in every colour of the rainbow, often with the matching underwear for ultimate *ego* boosting.

Then I got pregnant. And people told me I had to get rid of my lovely underwires and buy maternity bras. Bras that came in 2 colours, white and beige. Occasionally with Nana embroidery and straps so thick you could use them as a spare rock climbing harness. I ignored their advice and bought none, waiting until I actually needed those complicated looking drop down cups to go buy some.

By the end of my pregnancy I was fairly busting out of my pretty bras, and was actually pretty OK with the idea of buying the Nana bras. Plus once the Elfling made her squalling entrance into the world I didn't care much about underwear, so long as it was functional. 6 months into the feeding game I was so much looking forward to wearing all my carefully stored rainbow, those mood lifting, bust enhancing, lovely garments that were hidden away.

But when I stopped feeding they didn't fit any more

Not only had my boobs changed colour and shape, but they were also bigger. Add that to my breastfeeding weightGAIN (how does that work? All those people that said BFing makes you lose weight LIES LIES LIES) and there were about 2 nice bras that still fit. And when I say fit I mean I could stuff my boobs into. They no longer did all the pushing up, cleavage enhancing, free drinks receiving thing. Oh no, they merely held on for dear life.

This pregnancy, not only did I get to deal with the after effects of last time, but I also got to deal with pregnancy breast growth. Now that was fun. Stabbing pains shooting through breasts that were incredibly sensitive and on permanent high beam. My slightly less pretty new underwire bras digging painfully into my new boobs that were apparently growing out of my armpits. Growing up to a large E cup and if I was willing to actually admit it, probably a comfortable F cup.

So not only were they huge and uncomfortable, but I had to buy maternity bras again because my last attractive Nana numbers were all too small (except one particularly fetching beige number). This time around there was much more variety in maternity bras. Pregnant supermodels had seen the gaping hole in the market and brought out delicate lacy numbers, perfect for those hazy soft focus shots on magazine covers. I was so excited. Pretty bras! In technicolor!!

Eagerly I made the excursion to try on these pretty pretty bras. Lovely AND functional I grinned to myself. But of course, these bras were made for women with slightly enlarged nipples and not a single one of them fit. So back I trudged to old faithful beige, and got wildly excited when I saw one I could wear in black.

So until recently I was back in my beige and whites. Suffering the big-bosomed-breastfeeders curse of dispiriting underwear. Then I decided to become a gym bunny.

And if I thought maternity bras with their uniformly 1950s conical boob look was bad I was about to step into the twilight zone.

Modern sports bras come in more fabrics, configurations and colour choices than modern sports cars. Light weight, tensile strength, intelligent design (with or without a compassionate God), embroidery, side support, shoulder padding, airflow generators and more structural support than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. All designed to keep you cool and minimise the dreaded bounce.

Most I tried on were OK should my effort include such things as rolling out of bed in the mornings, or the more strenuous climbing the stairs. But should both of my feet actually leave the ground at the same time, they would not so much act as support but as catapults for breasts (and permanent high beam mentos style) that could take an eye out.

So I tried the new generation sports top types favoured by my exercise idols on such shows as Biggest Loser and discovered a phenomenon I like to refer to as uniboob. Where two perfectly normal, well adjusted boobs suddenly morph into one, cyclops style in the middle of my chest, also creating a nice sweaty chasm down the middle, that just inspires one to work out.

So they were useless too. I started to wonder if having boobs that I bounced hard enough to actually tie around my neck would be such a bad thing... until clever clot that I am, I had a Mexican taco eating family revelation... porque no los dos???

Cue raucous cheering from the assembled crowd.

So gym nights now see me trussed into not one but 2 superengineered titanium alloy, carbon fibre precision instruments that barely allow me to breathe let alone bounce, and all excuses for not running are held firmly to my chest.

The only problem is that when I come home and the Monkey is yelling for a feed it takes me half an hour to free myself from them again .


hissychick said...

Oh god I hear you on the breastfeeding weight gain. Stuffing my mouth has nothing to do with energy boost from beloved chocolate and friends to replace lost sleep and everything to do with milk production. Um yes. Last time a post BF spell of hyperthyroidism took care of the weight, won't be as lucky this time seeing as you helpful medical types are onto me.

As for the bras...I can tell you from the other end of the endowment spectrum that nothing fits properly either. Even the pretty ones, but that could just be me. And seeing as I shrank to barely an A cup post BF first time around it is my mission to feed daughter number two until she can vote ;-P

Nina said...

Lol @ hissychick!

Jenn, that was hilarious reading. I found myself nodding in sympathy the whole way through. Funnily enough, I wear two bras when jogging as well. I've found even two non-sports ones do the trick...


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