Having a baby leaves Susan feeling flat.
I can live with the fact that having a child has ruined my life…at least as I knew it. I just can’t get over the fact that it’s ruined my boobs.
I don’t think I ever quite appreciated them until I found them hanging out flatly against my chest. My best friend assures me that her sister’s boobs eventually returned to normal. Granted, her youngest child is now 8, she’s just met a younger man, and spends each morning panting up Lion’s Head. We do what we have to do.
I just don’t like the fact that my new boobs make me feel old. I catch glimpses of myself in the mirror in the mornings while I’m pulling on my pants and simultaneously stopping Finn from clobbering the cat with my high heel. I kind of remind myself of a picture I saw in a celeb magazine of some famous bikini-clad Versace woman (I’m terrible with names). She was hanging off her bones. I fear this is where I’m quickly headed.
It is a modern day occurrence ¬– women, like me, who are leaving childbearing until their late 30s and even 40s. It is true that we’re all better established in our careers, financially more secure, and even better at rolling with the punches. The problem comes in when we discover that having a baby later in life fast tracks the ageing process.
Your body is just not going to bounce back as it might’ve in your 20s. And it’s not just the pregnancy, breastfeeding and giving birth. It’s the running after and picking up. I’ve become stooped. My back is rounded from the constant bending over and carrying my son around.
I’m warning you, my kindred women. Just do it! Especially if you’ve reached the Big Three Oh. Don’t mind if you’ve only been seeing the new man for six months and he still lives with his mother. There’s no time to waste. If you want that baby, best you get to it.
And if you’re in a fairly happy long-term relationship and you’re just biding time because you still really want to backpack through India before you start your family, DON’T BE RIDICULOUS! Your boobs don’t care about India. You can visit India when you’re 50. If you leave it any later you’ll still be changing nappies at 65, except that your boobs will probably be in the way.
Roxi assures me it’s all in my head.
‘But you’ve lost all your pregnancy weight,’ she smiles nervously, ‘You look EXACTLY the same as you did before Finn.’
You see, Roxi is well trained in keeping the peace at home, ever since accidentally referring to me as a whale during my pregnancy.
‘But just look at my boobs!’ I lament. ‘You can’t HONESTLY tell me they used to look like THIS. They flap! They never used to FLAP!’
Yip, things aren’t the same around here. Not inside nor out. I’m just grateful that I’m living in an era where, as a modern day mother and feminist, I’m under no pressure to burn my padded push-up bra. Has pregnancy and parenting taken a toll on your body? Which are the worst bits?