That Old Loyal Bra

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I know it’s a little strange to think that an inanimate object, like a bra, has feelings but that doesn’t change my irrational thinking. I can’t help but feel sorry for replacing my old loyal bra. I really detest clothes shopping. I don’t like the process of trying things on that don’t fit. Repeatedly. And clothes are expensive. I get a little claustrophobic in the changing rooms. Especially when three little boys are with me, bumping into the door or curtain, mirror and walls. A few months ago, I had to abandon the ill-fitting bras at Kohl’s and get the heck out of there. My youngest boy gave me about a thirty second warning. He had to go to the bathroom. BAD. I knew that I could just keep wearing my old loyal bra.

I’ve been putting off or neglecting the task of shopping for a new bra for a while. Like several years. I’ve had this one loyal bra that was there for me a long time ago, before I got pregnant with twins. Eight years ago. It patiently hung out in my drawer as my breasts grew to gigantor twin pregnancy and post-pregnancy nursing sized breasts. Then, the nursing bras took the reins. I never knew my entire teenage and adulthood life the trials of running with bouncing breasts or the bother of strapping down milk jugs, for fear of the let-down. More accurately described as the milk sprinkler system. Holy cow. Look out below.

All the while, my temporarily forgotten sad loyal bra waited patiently in my drawer. It even got repeatedly shoved to the back by the bigger, fancier role players.

When you get done nursing several kids, sometimes you look down in the shower. What the heck happened? Gravity? Age? Nope. Kids. Straight up kids. There’s no denying the changes in your once small, yet full-of-life before pregnancy and nursing breasts. And with most potentially self-esteem lowering body issues, I try to find the positive. Love on myself. Especially my imperfections. I nursed three dependent scrawny babies into walking, talking boys. That’s pretty huge and amazing. And as you endure anything time consuming, sacrificing and hard in life, there are going to be scars on the inside and outside. Mother battle wounds. Tired nipples that literally have had the life sucked out of them.

There were so many challenging moments of trying to get preemie twin boys to latch on to my cantaloupes, maybe they were more like small watermelons. It was me crying, the boys crying, milk dripping or spraying everywhere. A luke-warm mess. Literally and emotionally. If not for numerous lactation consultants, my mother and sisters, and my uber encouraging and supportive husband, I would have never made it past the insanity to the beautiful gift of breastfeeding. The moments where my infant twin boys would hold hands. The moments where my third baby boy would look up at me and grab my mouth. Or my hand. All of the middle of the night moments where I could comfort and feed my children because my body did this crazy and amazing thing of making the exact nourishment my children needed. My broken and diseased body did something so perfectly and beautifully right. That’s a gift. Something to be proud of. No matter what.

I headed to the mall last week by myself. I took a detour from my search to buy some pants for my boys that would not get holes in the knees. That really was an impossible endeavor anyway. I bypassed the shoe section and rode the escalator up to the third floor of Nordstrom’s. The kids section. And the lingerie section. Honestly, I was a little hesitant when the kind, young bra fitting woman asked me if I needed to be fitted. I wish they had a designated tired mom employed there that had nursed a boatload of kids and would kindly share that with you when you got that insecure look. Time to be fitted. Strip down. Oh, man. Cue the diarrhea of the mouth. I think this exact moment was why I had tried on awful fitting bras in Kohl’s with my three boys. By myself. I know she recognized the hesitancy in my voice. “You can turn and face the wall, if you want,” she said. Okay. Less awkward than looking her in the eyes as she measured me. She left and came back with several really cute bras. Three of them fit. I put my loyal old school bra back on. Then, I felt a sense of conquering a beast and a sense of sadness for my bra that I don’t even know the size or brand of anymore because it’s so worn out.

Shhh. I do have to admit that I feel proud to wear my new bras. Accomplished. Impressed that I finally went shopping for something for myself. Even though, it’s not a new pair of shoes or anything visible that anybody except my husband sees. But, a part of me also feels a little sad to shove my old bra to the back of my drawer. Again. I know it’s absurd, but I’m not throwing that bra away. I just can’t. Who knows how long these new ones will last anyways? They just don’t make stuff like they used to. I may just need that old loyal bra again someday. You never know.

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