When I was 32 weeks pregnant, my bras stopped fitting. My boobs were getting bigger and achier by the day. I was busting out of my D cup and had no choice but to go to a DD. I noticed that the DD cup sizes were less cute than the C and D cup sizes. Less cute prints and more solid colors, but I still managed to find a leopard print bra and a hot pink one, so I was satisfied.
Two days after I had my daughter, my boobs looked like they were on steroids. They were ginormous. They hurt to touch and I was pretty sure that milk was going to explode out of them if a bra even grazed my nipples. But the problem though, was that if I wasn’t wearing a bra then the nursing pads had nothing to rest in and hold them in place. After a couple of weeks of sports bras I was ready to try a regular bra again, but my DD did not fit. I knew I had to go out and buy a few new bras, and I knew it would be difficult. What size even comes after DD? DDD? E? I was starting to feel like I was getting ready to shop for batteries with all of these letter combos in my head.
My mom said she would watch my daughter for me so I could get out for a few hours. So I did what any self-respecting new mom does. I threw on some yoga pants, shoved my hair in a ponytail and headed to Target.
Ah Target, the magical land of Starbucks, dollar bins and a great assortment of bras. I immediately got a lovely, ultra-caffeinated beverage and headed to the lingerie section.
Right away, I steered myself away from the cute and frilly bras with pretty floral designs and lace. No, they don’t make DDD in those patterns. DDD is limited to black, white, beige and cream. I still wasn’t sure what size I was so I grabbed an assortment and headed to the fitting rooms.
When I got to the fitting rooms I noticed the lady ahead of me had a stroller with a cute little baby in it. “Poor thing, no one to babysit for her while she’s out clothes shopping,” I thought to myself. She, like me, had a bunch of bra’s and was trying to juggle her merchandize and her stroller. Luckily, the young girl working the fitting rooms came to her rescue and got her situated in the room next to me.
First up, 38DD. I wasn’t sure if it would fit but it looked big on the rack so I decided to give it a shot. I wasn’t even done putting it and was like “nope, not gunna work.” That got placed in the ‘no’ pile.
Next up was a 40G, I think I might have grabbed it by mistake because it was way too big and there was enough room leftover in the cups to fit a third boob.
I tossed that one aside too. I picked up the next one from my pile. A black bra that actually wasn’t too granny looking. I tried it on. 38DDD, it was close to the right size, but not quite. And that’s when I spotted the 40DDD. “That has got to be the winner”, I thought to myself.
I picked it up and tried it on. It was cream colored, and actually not a bad fit. Not exactly perfect. The 38DDD was a little too tight in the band and the 40DDD was a little too loose in the band. But since there’s no such thing as a 39DDD, I figured I’d take what I could get. I tried on one more after that, a stark white 42DD. The fit just wasn’t as good as the 40DDD so it looked like it was going in the ‘no’ pile as well.
Just then I heard my phone go off. It sounded like a text message. I wanted to check and see if it was my mom, I hoping everything was okay at home. It wasn’t my mom, it was a friend checking to see how I was adjusting to motherhood. We texted back and forth for a few minutes. I vaguely heard the mom next to me trying to comfort her crying baby, but I was too engrossed in my messages to take any particular notice.
Ok, mission accomplished. I found one decent bra, I was hoping for two, but one is better than none. As I took off the last reject I noticed my chest felt a little wet. “Weird, I don’t remember spilling my drink.” The baby next door cried again. And that’s when I clued in. “Holy fuck, I just leaked breast milk all over one of Target’s bras!”
I was paralyzed for a minute. “What the hell am I supposed to do now?” I stood there in disbelief, in a state of shock actually. How the heck was this possible?
I touched the bra to see how wet it was. Maybe it was just a drop or two? No no, it was more than a few drops. It was soaked. I wouldn’t have cared so much if it was the bra I had planned on buying because then I could just take it home and wash it, but this was not one of my purchases. “How am I getting myself out of this situation?”
I frantically began googling stuff, like ‘how to get breast milk out of your clothes’. Number one answer; wash it. Oh that’s great, because I have access to a washer and dryer in this 4 by 4 cubicle sized dressing room. “Okay, there has to be a solution. What is the solution, Katie? Think!”
I could put it back on the rack, but that’s gross. No one wants to browse the lingerie section and smell sour milk. That one’s out. What if I ‘accidentally’ get some lip gloss on this bra? It’s white, my pink lip gloss could stain it and when I leave the fitting room I could just tell the girl out front that this item is damaged so I won’t be buying it. But shit, what if she leaves it at the counter with her for a while and it starts to smell of sour milk? No, that is wrong too.
I guess I could buy it? It doesn’t fit and it will never fit, but I see no other solution. I can’t put it back on the rack, because the only rack it belongs on now is the rack that leaked breast milk all over it.
I quickly got dressed and handed my reject pile to the girl out front. “How did you make out?” she asked cheerfully. “Oh, um fine, thank you.” I replied as I hurried off with the two bras in my hand. And then it hit me. I could fucking smell the bra I leaked in. I was horrified. Absolutely horrified. “How in the actual fuck am I going to go through the cash smelling like milk?”
I started walking the store, frantically, not knowing what to do next. I walked to the baby section and pretended to browse, but I was just getting more panicked by the second. So I moved on to the home décor section. I contemplated throwing the two bras on the floor and getting out of the store ASAP, but I just couldn’t do it knowing that someone might pick it up and put it back in the lingerie section.
Then I had an ‘aha’ moment. “I’ll go to the makeup section, find a tester perfume and spray it all over me and the bras. It will mask the smell. I am a fucking genius.”
So, I motored off to the makeup section and started smelling perfumes and body sprays. Most were surprisingly light and airy and would not work. “No, I need heavy duty.” I sniffed a few more and then I found the winner. The kind of perfume your grandmother wears, musky and heavy. It was perfect. I sprayed it all over myself and doused the bras in it. Then I raced for the cash before the smell wore off.
There wasn’t a line for the cash register, just a friendly girl smiling at me from behind her till as I placed the two bras down. “Did you find everything you were looking for?” she asked. And then I saw her eyes twitch; she sneezed loudly and sniffed a few times. “Oh I smell that too, girlfriend. I know I smell like your grandmother getting ready for church on Christmas Eve, but believe me, this is for the greater good and better than the alternative.”
“Your total is $54.05,” she said, and then coughed loudly and sneezed again. I avoided eye contact as I counted out my money and passed her three 20s. She put the bras in a bag and then cleared her throat. I actually felt bad; I think I was causing an allergic reaction. She passed me my change and receipt. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” I wanted to shout. But I just quickly gathered my bag and wallet and got the fuck out of there.
When I got to my car I nearly gagged. Now I could smell myself. The perfume smelled toxic. I drove home with the windows down and nearly had to hang my head out a few times just to get some fresh air.
Target Canada closed a few months after this episode happened. I don’t have much to show for Target’s brief stint here. Just a couple of cute dresses and a white bra that has permanent milk stains that will never fit me anyway. I did learn a valuable lesson though; don’t cry over spilled (or leaked) milk. There’s almost always a solution to get out of any situation. I never did have the courage to go back to Target after that. Looks like I’m going to need to make a road trip to the US so that I can reflect back and remember that my most current trip to Target did not involve leaked milk, a destroyed bra and old lady musk.