Oh girls. I remember you before we even met. I spent my nights dreaming of having you. I read, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” a million times. I watched my friends start wearing bras and still I had nothing. I remember finally having something to show for myself in middle school when I got a bathing suit with a little padding. In high school, I was jealous of those with cleavage. While others searched for just the right strapless bra to wear under their Colorguard uniform, I finally began to appreciate my smaller breasts.

Finally after the Freshman 15 gave me a little more shape and I felt more secure with my long-term boyfriend, I embraced my smaller chest. I took the girls to see Phish and Widespread Panic. I didn’t show them to the crowd, but I didn’t restrain them much either. I could dance without black eyes. I enjoyed many a cute halter-top at a summer festival.

I first knew I was pregnant when it began to feel like someone had punched me in the girls repeatedly. With impending motherhood, they grew large and prepared to nourish a baby. They even began to leak! My first baby girl was born. I forced my daughter’s screaming mouth towards breasts larger than her head. I tugged at them 8-10 times a day for 20 minutes with a machine resembling a torture device. I wrapped burning hot tube socks filled with rice around them. I punched them as hard as I could, unable to relieve plugged ducts. They swelled into the triple digits as I unknowingly over-pumped what was enough for two babies. I finally gave in. Many tears, anger and sadness filled our days as we decided the relationship between my breasts and my first daughter was not going to work out. As if they knew they would be unable to nourish that child, they deflated and retreated. Only my skin remained, like an old teddy bear sad to have lost its filling.

With my second pregnancy, I vowed to try to put them to use again, but promised not to beat myself up if plans had to change.  This time around they completely astounded me. They single handedly nourished a child for almost six months. These things that I had wanted for so much of my childhood knew to change and adapt with my daughter’s demand. And they are still going strong over 18 months later.

I once asked my daughters’ physician’s assistant if I was doing the right thing by wearing a bra* to bed. She answered that that was a good idea, unless I wanted to have 32 Longs. I just love this. I can’t dance to any jam bands without wearing a bra these days, but I am mighty proud of what my 32 Longs have accomplished. Thanks ladies!

*Cotton with no underwire!

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