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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back When I Was a Flasher

*WARNING ALL MALE READERS - This post is going to deal with (gasp) breast-feeding. Just letting you know in case you want to make your escape now before you get sucked into the estrogen vortex that unfailingly surrounds such womanish topics.*

Breastfeeding. Remember the joys? The pains? The ridiculous increase in size (that some women get so excited about)?

And the flashing.

Seriously. How many people have seen your naked breasts? Friends, family - complete strangers at Denny's - I don't think I could count the number of my own personal victims. I got to thinking about this after reading Alison Wonderland's post about being comfortable with nudity. She is a nurse, and says bodies don't bother her at all. I couldn't really understand what she meant if I hadn't breastfed four children, but I think I get it.

Remember when you had your first baby, and it was so freaky/uncomfortable when the La Leche League lady manhandled your breasts for the first time? A week later, they are no longer breasts at all. They are just suppliers of milk for that little bundle of hunger who wants to be attached to them every waking (and sleeping) moment. And half of that thirty minute break you get between feedings is spent letting them "air dry". They hurt, they bleed, the BOH won't latch on correctly - and so your mother, your neighbor, your grandma, and her friend all come over and inspect them so they can commiserate (with their own breastfeeding horror stories) and advise.

Everyone sees your breasts. You cease to care after awhile.

Right at this moment, the thought of flashing a naked boob to, well, pretty much anyone I'm not married to, makes me feel a little uncomfortable. So isn't it amazing that while breastfeeding - other than feeling sorry for the flashee - I really didn't care when strangers got the full meal deal? Back then they were just "things". Not much different than arms or legs, they were simply appendages that served a purpose.

And when I was breastfeeding, it was a show, let me tell you. When I had my first child I ballooned to a (dare I say it?) 36 I. As in A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I. Regular stores don't even carry that size. I was a freak of nature. How could I not care about flashing those to the world??!!! Yet, strange as it may seem, I was more uncomfortable walking around with clothes on, than I was with flashing a naked boob while nursing.

Example: That poor, poor man in Denny's. He has probably never recovered. You know how some of the Denney's Restaurants have curved, rather than straight walls? So if you're sitting in a booth looking down the aisle there are people on the other side of the curve looking straight back at you? Well, I was attempting to nurse my first baby in a discreet fashion there in the booth, because it was cold outside, and there was no place in the bathroom to sit other than a toilet.

I'm nursing. The blanket is camouflaging any and all inappropriate views. Everything is totally respectable. Then the child decided he was done, threw back his head and his arm - and with it took the blanket. I look down, see the boob - and look up to see this man, paralyzed by the sight, just staring back at me.

Oops. This was seriously my only thought. I think I even chuckled about it. How is this possible? If I flashed my breast in Denney's tomorrow I might never recover!

Yet, due to the constant over-exposure and clinical aspect of them at the time, all sense of modesty completely vanished. What a concept. I'm so glad I returned to normal when the breastfeeding was over. Do you suppose there are women who don't? So Alison, I get what you're saying. For myself, however, I'm happy to remain sensitized to human nakedness for the rest of my life. Somehow, it just makes things more exciting. And dangerous. Ya know?

(And can you imagine how many hits I'm going to get from typing "naked breast" so many times in this post? Too bad I don't have a really good stat counter - this may even beat out working Donny Osmond in! Ya think?)

22 comments:

Alison Wonderland said...

I breast fed in sacrament meeting. And that's all I'll admit to.

Machen family said...

This is a great post! Soo good. I am really shy about showing the ladies...even though I talk about my bosomly buddies all the time! That was probably the most excitment Denny's guy had in a long time. I wonder if he still thinks about you while eating one of their grand slam breakfasts....

LisAway said...

I've never counted how many times I've nursed a baby sitting on a toilet in a public bathroom, but I can tell you, it's more than a few. I'm terrible at keeping a blanket over my baby so I just don't even try, and sit on the toilet instead.

I make it sound like I'm nursing still. No, I'm not. But I did all three for a year each and Aaron for longer.

I wish this kind of nudity really would desensitize people, but seeing someone feeding their baby just doesn't make seeing a naked playboy model any less exciting, I don't think.

nikkicrumpet said...

Oh yeah...you are gonna get soooo many hits. I made a "braless" comment and laughed at the hits that just keep coming. Freak I was talking about 48 year old fat woman boobs. EEEEK that ain't gonna make any horndogs day for sure! I almost wish I'd added pictures to the post just to FREAK EM OUT FOR LIFE! I know what you're saying about the whole boob thing while nursing. And heck by the time you just give birth half the hospital has had a peek at your naughty bits. I quit counting how many people had gotten a peek down there by the time the kid came out. Sheeesh it's demeaning what we mommas go through! And finally....in response to your comment on my blog...."yeah where the heck have you been????" lol I'm glad you stopped by. I'm adding you to my list because I can see you're my kind of woman. I love a good laugh! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Jenny in Utah said...

Ahhh - you are bringing back memories of nurses manhandling me just after having my first child. I quickly got over the whole "nudity" issue and I couldn't agree more, my breasts became things, objects, mere appendages!

Rachel said...

Hahaha! Isn't that the truth! Love the candidly boob speaking subject! Only a child bearing, boob offering mommy would understand what you said! Love it and thanks for commenting on my blog! :)

lifeinthehighlands.com said...

Or, you could just post your breastfeeding pictures on Facebook. (Front page story on the Daily Herald yesterday.)

http://www.heraldextra.com/content/view/294066/17/

Sue Q said...

Yikes, I'm still blushing at all the euphemisms! I've always had a hard time giving nicknames to body parts -- I'd much rather call them what they are and what God intended. So Anatomy 101 has been interesting in my house of four girls.

(Although, I will say, my husband feels the same way! Having grown up in a house with four boys, he'd much rather say it like it is, and raise our kids with a healthy understanding of how the human body works. He doesn't even mind buying tampons!)

Aunty Em said...

Thanks for visiting & nice to meet you! I loved your story, I can totally relate. I'm so glad those days are over. Neither nursing nor flashing were my favorite. They were hard for me to get used to. I have a horror story from those days coming soon.

BTW - it looks like Annie & I have something great in common, we both have awesome sisters named Jen!

Natalie said...

Loved this post, Jen! The funny thing is that I was tempted to blog about breast feeding yesterday too. I read about facebook taking people's breast feeding pictures down and felt the urge to ramble on about the indignities of a world where breast feeding is considered obscene. As you know, I spent 7 years straight with someone living off of my body thanks to back to back pregnancy & nursing stints. The funny thing, is I haven't fully gotten my modesty back yet. I remember back when I had Lane & being mortified at the number of people seeing all sorts of stuff that should always be covered by at least a bathing suit... it occured to me when I was at the doctor last week and the nurse was making all these "I know this is uncomfortable" comments and I thought, "I'm really not uncomfortable. I'm not the least bit shy about this. Wow." I still feel like "it's just a body people! What's the big deal?" Maybe I should work on developing a sense of modesty... Hmmm...

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

I was only supposed to drop by quickly to wish you a Happy New Year, but I got sucked into the naked boob vortex! And I loved it! I mean, the post :-) Really funny! I wish, I have naked boob stories to share, but I was one of few unlucky mothers who couldn't breast feed. Not enough milk production or defective plumbing, something like that --I already forgot how the doc explained it, too long ago:-)

Melissa Bastow said...

That Denny's story is awesome. My fave is when I POLITELY choose to nurse in my car so that I spare innocents from the booby show and park in the back of the lot so that I don't even have to use any kind of coverup and then like 250,893.7 people walk right next to my window and get a huge eye full of flesh. Thanks people - next time I'm going to sit down in an aisle at walmart and do it there. I might as well. Man, I can't wait to be finished nursing Number Four.

R Max said...

One time I got home from work hot and tired, flopped on the couch and undid the buttons on my top to cool down. The front door opened and my mother invited the missionaries in and I jumped up to meet them (forgetting my top) and the "double d girls" leapt right out of their solitary confinement (yes, they FELL OUT) right in front of the unsuspecting boys.
Their eyes nearly popped out of their heads. I doubt they could see straight for hours afterward. Awkward moment for them (yet they could not tear their eyes away). I ran out shrieking.

I never had a breast feeding episode quite as traumatic as that.

Jen said...

R Max - You win.

(I'm still recovering from your comment).

Kristina P. said...

OK, I didn't realize you were Annie's sister! Love her!

And were you that woman who had a picture of herself breastfeeding on Facebook, and had to have it taken down, and staged a breastfeeding sit in in Provo? Because that would be awesome.

Annie Valentine said...

Really, your boobs were the most ginormous things I've ever seen when Liam was in the womb/nursing. They just kept getting bigger. Like big, big, balloons that wouldn't pop.

Jen said...

Kristina - I'm always more popular when people find out I'm Annie's sister.

Anne - Thanks for that.

SWIRL said...

flash backs... flashing flash backs..

I just laughed...that first baby- the first engorgement.. ugh. I remember, sitting on the couch- letting my double D's air out, watching TV with my mom.. my husband comes home and his jaw just drops. ( I must have doubled in size while he was at work.) He just stood speechless- gawking .. and studdered, "well that's not a sight I see every day."

My sympathies to any blogger going through the discomfort now.

Bevy said...

I love you rhyming ability! :)
On the advent of 1st child my hubby DEMANDED that I b'fd in the bedroom with the door closed and locked - under a blanket - IT WAS RIDICULOUS!!! :) W/2nd child it was a TAD easier - but child was still suffocating.
I loved when people weren't around and things could be more relaxed. ;)

Grandma said...

I'm old so I'll tell you how it was in my day. Every time you went to the doc, you had to stripe and put on the gown and get the feet in the stirrups,and they covered you with a sheet so you could feel less embarrassed I guess, but then they put a spot light under the sheet so the doctor could get a really good look. I wonder if any of them have ever found whatever they were looking for.

OldBoatGuy said...

Now that you mentioned breast feeding, here is my take on it. The milk is good for the child, it is sanitary, it is the right temperature, and it comes in such cute containerts!

Jimh. said...

I don't mind being the only man here...but if you want hits use the lyrics of "Good Lovin'" (Dr., Dr., Mister M.D....) or "Billy Mays Must Die" I get tons of hits because of those. in fact, if you google " dr., dr., mister MD," mine is the 3rd one down! Weird.

Oh, and I am a bit disappointed, I must be UN-Lucky...never been flashed...darn it.