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Reel Mama: Pastry Bags and Muffin Tops

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pastry Bags and Muffin Tops

Picture it.  Paris.  The Rodin Museum.  There is a small bronze statue of an ancient woman with tubelike breasts stretching down to her bellybutton.  The breasts look like long thin helium balloons before they are twisted into animal shapes. 

I saw the statue on the backpacking trip to Europe I took with my husband after college.  It made an impression, maybe because I speculated, or feared, that’s how my breasts would look in my old age, causing me an almost paranoid obsession never to be without a bra. 

Flashforward to my first baby.  I wonder if that’s how my breasts will look after I’m done breastfeeding my first child.  My husband laughed when I told him I thought my breasts were changing due to breastfeeding.  He asked how.  I said, “You know those bags you use to squeeze frosting on cupcakes?”  And he laughed.   Yes, there is the chance my breasts may end up looking like pastry bags.   I now wear a bra 24/7 (I sleep in a sports bra) even though I consider myself to be a liberated woman.  Subconsciously or not, I want perky breasts, preferably surgery free.

But after over a year of nursing, I am coming to grips with the reality that my breasts will never be the same.  As one source put it, you’re breasts will be “softer” after you are done breastfeeding.  Yes, like cookie dough, minus the chocolate chips.

And then there’s my muffin top.  You know, that pesky roll of flesh that peeks over the top of your pants like dough rising over the ridge of the muffin tin.  It magically (or tragically) appears every time I zip up my jeans, a sentimental reminder of the time I stretched my waistline to the size of the Goodyear blimp. 

I celebrated when I came within four pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight.  And I jumped for joy when I didn’t get stretch marks, thanks to good genes.  But now I need good jeans of a different kind: mom jeans!  The kind with the elastic waistband to accommodate my larger middle.

Yes, I’m a walking recipe for cupcakes.  But maybe it’s not so bad.  Maybe it’s like a badge of courage connecting all mommies around the world, something that binds us together, like corn syrup in long, gooey wads of carnival saltwater taffy.  Wear it proud, ladies.


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