I would like to thank CVS pharmacy for immortalizing my cleavage on a mouse pad.
Since the kids were born, I haven’t posed for many pictures. Even since Allison Slater Tate’s viral manifesto about why moms should be in pictures, I’ve really only made it into a handful of photos amid the frenzied blur that has been parenting two small children. When the makeup you own is older than your baby and your trendiest item of clothing is a pair of maternity jeggings — I repeat, maternity jeggings — it’s hard to feel worthy of even the grainiest selfie.
So it was no small victory when I managed to get myself reasonably pulled together for a friend’s wedding this past summer. Of course, attending the wedding would mean missing not one, but two breast milk feedings. I figured I’d deal with the consequences — both of them.
Coincidentally, I wasn’t alone. A fellow breastfeeding mom sat at a table nearby during the reception. She, too, was spending a rare night away from her baby and, like me, had decided to forego the hassle of using a breast pump at a black tie event. We approached each other with knowing looks.
“I thought to myself, ‘Am I the only woman whose chest is getting larger as the night goes on?’” she told me. “And then I remembered — Alice!”
My chest, indeed, did grow. By the cocktail hour, I was filling out my little black dress like never before. I felt uncomfortable and yet, at the same time, unusually photogenic. After a group of us headed outside to enjoy the cool night air and views of a glittering skyline, I actually asked someone to take a photo — with me in it! (My husband was with me, but since he doesn’t have his own cleavage, he’s really not relevant to this story.)
Like so many of the photos snapped with my smartphone, I quickly forgot about the picture as it took its place among endless stills of the kids doing cute things like eating, breathing, and sleeping. (Kids! They do the darnedest things!)
And then a few weeks later, an offer from CVS popped into my email inbox: They wanted to send me free, personalized photo gifts — could I provide them a few photos of my family?
Could I? Well, I could try…
I scanned my phone to find some, and that was when I rediscovered the wedding pic. I hastily attached it and a few photos of the kids in an email to CVS, hit “send,” and then promptly forgot about everything again.
Recently, the photo gifts arrived. They were pretty neat! There was a lovely canvas print of Scrunchy Face on a swing, a teddy bear wearing a personalized photo t-shirt, and … a mouse pad with yours truly at the wedding.
On the mouse pad, the picture loomed larger than what I’d been accustomed to seeing on the small screen of my smartphone. One particular area of the photo loomed especially large — and engorged.
It was a sight not to be repeated. As Scrunchy Face eats more in the way of solid food, he’s nursing less, leaving my milk supply to decline and my cup size along with it. These days, when I miss a feeding or two, I might still feel uncomfortably full, but I don’t look like I’m suddenly stashing two bowling balls in my shirt. Frankly, I barely even look like I’m stashing two tennis balls.
I do miss the fleeting figure-booster that nursing provided me, but when I look at my son happily making a mess of his apple sauce, I know it’ll all be okay.
And, of course, I’ll always have the mouse pad.
What’s your favorite breastfeeding memento? Tell me in the comments section below!
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