Last Wednesday, Sept 12, I underwent a breast reduction surgery. A major breast reduction surgery. Let me back up a little...
In 8th grade, I was a full c cup. Talk about embarrassing. Most girls are still barely filling out training bras and I was wearing underwire bras every day. By the time Rory was born, I was a DD. After Trace, I was fluctuating anywhere from a DDDD to a G, depending on the style and make of the bra. I hated my chest. It was impossible to find cute bras, they all looked like helmets and were bigger than my face. Clothes didn't fit properly in the slightest. Dresses would have to be 2 sizes too big in order to fit my "girls." I was unable to leap, turn, jump and teach tap classes without being in serious pain and often snapping the underwire part of my bra in two. Clothes that would look modest on anyone else looked seriously hoochie mama style on me. Tank tops and bathing suits? Yeah right. My bathing suit for the last 3 summers was a maternity suit because it was the only kind I could find that covered me in somewhat modestly in the chest. Embarrassing doesn't even begin to describe it.
After a close friend of mine had a breast reduction this past spring, I decided it was finally time to take the plunge. My insurance covered it, thanks to a chronically displaced shoulder blade, grooves in both of my shoulders and neck pain all caused by too much weight in the front. I went in on Wednesday morning a G cup and left the hospital a nice, normal C cup.
Now that's the easy part to talk about.
There's a whole other side to breast reduction surgery no one really talks about. And I'm going to.
On Saturday afternoon, I was laying in bed sobbing. Not from pain, it's actually relatively pain free. Not from discomfort, it's not all that bad. I was sobbing because I had looked at myself in the mirror and thought I looked hideous. I haven't had "small boobs" since 8th grade and the shock of seeing myself in a whole new light sent me in tail spin. I was in a full on body dysmorphic panic. I was scared, filled with regret and embarrassed. I chose to have this surgery, yet here I was hysterical and disgusted with myself. I was convinced that I made a mistake.
Then my good old dad called me. He asked if I needed to go to see a counselor or someone the way women do after a mastectomy. Yes my surgery was "elective," but it was a necessity. A huge change. A drastic change. Just hearing him validate that I wasn't totally crazy made me feel so much better. His calling allowed me to feel what I had been feeling....scared. I'm not sure how to deal with this new body of mine. I'm not sure how to dress, how to hold myself, how people will perceive me. What I do know, though, is that everything I am feeling, good bad or ugly, is normal. Women who go through what I've been through experience a roller coaster of emotions and it's all okay. For years when I looked down, I couldn't see my stomach because my breasts were in the way. Now when I look down, I see it. It hasn't changed size or shape, it's still the same. I have to accept that. And I need to learn to be comfortable in my new skin.