Yes, you read it correctly, I see myself as deformed because of my tubular breasts. I dont know if anyone else knows this feeling, but its dreadful.
I can’t take my top off with the lights on.
I can’t look in a mirror if I have no top off.
I can’t let my partner of 5 years see or touch my breasts.
But the most heartbreaking one is that due to this, I couldn’t breastfeed my child.
Tubular or Tuberous breasts are the result of a deformity.
Both men and women can suffer from it, and it begins during puberty.
Although the cause isn’t clear, the result, to me, is devastating.
They’re ugly, they’re odd, they’re wonky. I hate them.
The appearances of breasts that are tuberous or tubular ranges from person to person. Puffy areola, wide spacing in the middle, hardly any tissue, sagging, narrow where they join onto the chest.
Basically nothing like what I envision “normal” normal breasts should look like.
Again, the worst part? Milk glands don’t develop enough to be able to adequately breastfeed, I can’t produce milk at all.
I started puberty as normal, started wearing bras, and never thought there was a problem until we began sex education classes in secondary school.
Then you saw pictures, and I thought to myself “why don’t mine look like that?”
Originally I managed to fight the feelings with the thoughts that “well, maybe everyone’s look like that to begin with and mine will get better. Wrong.
I got to age 16, had a boyfriend and I remember so clearly taking my top off and him saying “gross!” I was devastated.
I stayed away from boys, and any that I did go near in any form of an intimate way were not allowed to go near them, let alone see them.
It was only when I was roughly 17/18 that I met a man who changed my whole life.
He was nearly 20 years older than me, but neither of us saw that as a problem.
Showering me with love and affection, he made me feel beautiful.
I told him about my “problem” my tubular breasts and he encouraged me to show him.
Reluctantly, I did. In my mind he was going to reject me, call me a disgrace to women and leave me.
How wrong was I?
He didnt care about my tubular breasts
The minute he saw the abominations I suffer with, he remarked “I thought you said there was something wrong with them? They look perfect to me.”
Cue my heart melting.
We were together on and off for 3 years, when eventually and unfortunately, we decided to stay as friends.
Numerous issues kept cropping up in our relationship, the last one being the fact that he couldn’t have children and he didn’t want to deprive me of something I had always wanted. We’re still best friends, he is my kids godfather, and to this day he compliments me on every aspect of myself and makes me feel womanly.
Skip the next year or so, and I end up with my current partner of nearly 5 years and father to both of my children. We’d known each other since I was 9, had been friends for years, and although neither of us anticipated staying together, obviously fate had a different design for us.
He knew from day one of our intimate relationship that I had issues, and thankfully for my ex, I was able to bite the bullet and explain my issue and how I felt about my tubular breasts.
Again, expecting rejection, he saw them, and said that he didn’t see anything wrong with them, and that he loved, and still does love, every part of my body.
Skip forward 18 months and I have just given birth to our first child.
She gave me reason to live!. Eager to breastfeed (I had always been a part of the “breast is best” train of thought) I was heartbroken when I had to give her a bottle. I wasn’t producing milk. Not a drop. My breasts had never hurt or swollen during pregnancy, and had my daughter not had issues with latching (now known to me that it was due to my “issue”).
I would never have tried to express and realised that they were empty. The midwives and support workers put it down to the fact that i had a very stressful induction and labour, and an horrific, problem filled birth. So I gave her formula and luckily she thrived.
Skip another 2.5 years and I’m currently pregnant again.
I hadnt given my problem another thought, until I noticed again, at 32 weeks, there was no ache, there was no swelling. I remembered an issue of “Embarrassing Bodies” that I had watched, and realised that the woman on there had breasts that looked exactly like mine!
Cue the research on tubular breasts.
I hit good old Google and Wikipedia and was bombarded with images and information regarding my issue. Finally it all made sense. It was nothing I had done wrong, it was nothing to do with my daughters birth, and the reason they had grown (or failed to grow) as they had was just one of natures hiccups.
I hate mother nature
After much more research, I was faced with some hope. Dragged from a parenting forum, another woman had said that she suffered from the same issue, and had gone on to breastfeed her 2nd, 3rd and 4th children with no issues, as apparently enduring one pregnancy stimulates the strengthening of the glands and helps with milk production and tissue strengthening.
There is a spark of hope
The only known cure to Tuberous/Tubular breasts is surgery, which for me would be brilliant, but I know my partner would hate it. He sees my body as perfect, and as long as I have that knowledge, I can live with my problem. I can endure the empty, over sized bras, the fact that I cant wear low cut or revealing tops, and all because of that mans love.
I’m due my baby in roughly 3 weeks, and although there is always a shadow of doubt, there will always be hope that I may succeed. However, if I can’t, I know my daughters will still love me know matter what, and that my eldest daughter will love being able to bottle feed her little sister.
It’s taken a lot for me to write this out, after seeing myself as a freak for so many years, I have come to terms with it all.
I only hope this may help someone else who is suffering in silence to realise that yes, it isn’t something I would wish on any woman, it makes you feel manly and unwanted.
But to me? My tubular breasts are no longer my issue. It’s my quirk, it makes me special, and it makes me feel so much more love for my partner knowing that he loves me regardless.
This post is an anonymous post written by an inspiring mum who wishes to share her own experience in the hope of helping others. I have full permission to share this story. Why not share your own story?