Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grief Filled Breasts, Amy McCarter

Grief Filled Breasts.
Amy McCarter.


about this piece.
In Amy's words, "This painting originated as a pencil sketch and evolved into what is shown now. I created this piece long after the trauma was lived but I needed to express the experience in a visual form. It seemed this particular grief was rarely honored, and I needed to remember and honor this painful experience. 

"After Liam died, my body was still programmed to be a mommy. My breasts filled with milk and became extremely painful both physically and emotionally. The nurses helped to bind my breasts and advised me not to stimulate my breasts in any way. I was to avoid the warm water falling upon them during a shower and was to bind them at all times. I felt so helpless, so pathetic and broken. My husband would carefully unbind my swollen and worthless breasts before I could step into the shower, being so cautious to avoid the water stream, wanting my aching breasts to shrink and the milk to dry up. The reflection in the mirror was of a body I did not recognize with a sagging, deflated stomach and large swollen breasts. We would sadly bind them immediately after I dried off, both of us crying for what was and was not. The pain was sharp and ripped through my chest and the tears that flowed were from both emotional heartache and physical discomfort."

about the artist.
Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband and two greyhounds. Amy describes her journey, "Our only child Liam was born alive and apparently healthy on September 25, 2007, and was the joy of our lives. Our son Liam died soon after birth due to unexplained/unknown causes, shattering our world and our hearts. Art is an expression and release of my grief, and a way to honor the memory of our little man who is missed beyond words."


  1. wow thats how i felt a few weeks ago I lost my twins on march 2 2010 and 3 days later my milk came in it was my breaking point its sad when you have all this milk and no babies to nurse with. Fill free to drop by my blog.

  2. It is so difficult to experience the milk coming in, and I was feeling betrayed by my own body for not knowing there was no baby to suckle. You portray it so well.

  3. Thank you, beautiful art. My 4 month old died January 14, 2010 and having to deal with my engorged breasts and my milk drying up was the most emotionally painful thing I hope I ever have to go through.

  4. What a beautiful heartbreaking painting - I have tears looking at it and remembering the pain.
    Thanks for sharing it.
    Sophie Smith x

  5. I have tears as I read this. I remember those feeling like they were yesterday. I lost my baby girl to a stillbirth Jan. 26, 2009. I developed mastitis and my milk stayed around for far to long for me. I had already breastfed one daughter. That was one of the worst reminders for me and made it all the more difficult.


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