It was November of 2013 when I bought my first four nursing bras. A sports bra, a super cute bralette that I never wore (the shop owner promised me it would fit once there wasn’t a baby in my ribs...it didn’t), a beyond comfy t-shirt bra, and one that boasted the closest thing to underwire I could find.
I wore them all. the. time.
Then, 19 months later, when my milk dried up while pregnant with my second, I kept wearing them. They were comfortable, and I was pregnant, after all.
Sometime before my second was born, I don’t quite remember when, my beyond comfy t-shirt bra was chewed on by my milk-loving dog. It was only a tiny rip… my worn-out arsenal of nursing attire was ready to go.
But then, in a terrible twist of fate, my Maggie didn’t nurse. I hated my nursing bras, and tanks and hoodies. I hated everything they represented. I hated that I didn’t need them.
I only needed pumping bras now. So I cut holes in sports bras. I bought this beautiful unicorn of a bra.
And I wore that unicorn.
I wore it every day except wash days for six months. Maggie came back to the breast then, so I reintroduced kinda-sorta-underwire. I alternated those two bras for the next two years.
At a professional conference when I didn’t pump even once.
Underneath an evening gown!
Long after Maggie quit nursing.
Months after I quit producing even a drop of milk.
Y’all… it was time.
It was time to unlatch the nursing bra. BUT.
None of my old bras fit. I was bigger around and smaller in cup size (thanks to Boob Destroyers 1 & 2). I kept telling myself that the poor, tired old slingshots I was calling bras would do until I lost a little weight and could wear my beautiful assortment of pre-pregnancy, newlywed bras again.
Until one day last week.
When I was tired of looking saggy and lumpy.
When I was over having to bend and rebend the third clasp on my sweet precious unicorn each time I’d put it on.
When I realized I actually missed a little cleavage.
And using the top drawers of my dresser.
I grabbed Boob Destroyer 1, a coupon I’d just received for $15 off, and headed to Cacique. We tried on every bra in the store. Yes, it was a plus size store. And yes, the bras were much bigger than any I’d ever worn before.
But as I looked at myself in the mirror, two little eyes looked at me, and told me how pretty I was. I felt so good.
Here I was, with this same little girl begging to look at jewelry instead of kicking my ribcage, buying, again, four new bras.
Maybe I’m looking for symbolism when it isn’t there. Perhaps I’m feeling sappy because Maggie is potty training and I’m back in underwired bras with an abundance of va, va and voom.
Or maybe it’s because this is something real. A new journey for me. A fresh start. A reminder that I matter, too. That a couple hundred dollars is worth the boost in confidence, the separation of my breasts from their abilities, and a handful of pretty things to stash away in a dresser drawer.
Maybe you’re struggling with putting away the maternity clothes, or the nursing bras? Maybe you’re living in the in-between like I did for so long. What would it mean to you to start fresh?
Go try on something new, look at you through your baby’s eyes, and tell me how it made you feel in the comments.