I’ve told parts of this story on my blog before, but I’ve never put it all together. It’s hard to share as I know I’m opening myself up to judgment and criticism, but it’s time. As with many young girls, my teenage years were riddled with unnecessary angst and low self-esteem. Looking back, I battled myself far too often and didn’t know how to embrace who I was long enough to feel good just being me. One thing that always bothered me? Having small breasts. I bought all the enhancing bras I could find. Push-up bras, underwire bras, heavily-padded bras, even bras filled with water. Still, I somehow felt my body was unattractive.
When I was about 20, a doctor found a lump in my right breast. I had an ultrasound, and they said it was a fibroadenoma – basically, a mass of dense tissue. A few years later my doctor mentioned it to me, and she suggested I have another ultrasound just to check it. We compared the results with my previous ultrasound, and the mass had just about doubled in size in a few years. The lump itself was not thought to be dangerous, but it was suggested to me that I have it removed because if anything formed behind the lump, it could not be detected. As stated above, I was always self-conscious of my smaller breast size, and this was the smaller of my two breasts. The idea of removing a sizable portion was scary! So, at that time, I opted for a lumpectomy and breast augmentation. I also had a lift to the left side to make them a “matching pair”. Unfortunately, that never happened. The left implant bottomed-out, so I needed a second surgery to “fix it”. They were never fixed. I went from having small breasts I didn’t like to larger, mis-matched breasts I didn’t like. I felt botched (and perhaps a little cheated).
Well, fast-forward 10 years. My breasts have done something pretty darn amazing — I used them to nourish and soothe my two children for over 4 years total. Through this incredible experience, I truly learned to love this part of my body that had caused me so much grief for so long. But that part of my journey is over. Bryce weaned on his third birthday, almost a year ago. With no plans to have any more children, I felt back at my starting point. Two pregnancies and four+ years of breastfeeding later, my breasts are not only a mess, but they’re quite uncomfortable. Due to my botched surgery, my implants have almost completely slipped out from under the muscles where they should be. They are very bottom heavy, stretching the skin and leaving me without any fullness at the top. When I lay on my back, they slide down the sides. And then there’s my bra size… When I initially had surgery, I wanted to go from a small B to a small C. I ended up a full DD (going up to a 34G while breastfeeding Lydia). Why? Because even though I chose some of the smallest implants used, because they were placed improperly, they created a huge pocket that required a much larger bra than I ever desired to wear.
I want to make something very clear, though. I love my body. It’s beautiful. I have a small waist, wider hips, round bottom. I eat well and go to the gym several times a week. I have lost weight, gained muscle, and for the first time in my life, I feel really strong! However, regardless of how much exercise I do, how strong I get, how much weight I lose, or how well I eat, I cannot change the appearance of my chest. It’s time to make a change. It’s a change that I am certain will lead to judgment, criticism, and perhaps even ridicule, but it’s my decision to make, and I feel confident about it.
I’ve worked damn hard on my blog from home the last 5 years, and financially, it’s paid off. I have saved up enough money to do what I believe to be the right thing for my body: I’m re-doing my augmentation and getting a lift. The first time I had my procedure, 10 years ago, I went with whatever doctor was recommended to me. This time, however, I took recommendations, but scheduled consultations to really meet with the doctors and find someone who I thought understood my needs the best. I believe I found the right doctor! I scheduled my procedure for July 30th, and honestly, I cannot wait! I’m hoping this will be my life-changing procedure; the final step in loving all of my body.
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As women, we seem to have this innate ability to find every reason in the world not to love our bodies. It’s really a shame, but there are things we can do to feel better about ourselves. We can diet, we can exercise, we can even have cosmetic procedures done. And for some, it’s just about easily managing a problem that may have been caused by pregnancy, age, or any other conditions. For some, it’s physical conditions, like Light Bladder Leakage (LBL). Poise® brand has introduced new Poise Thin-Shape pads, which feature Super Absorbent Material (SAM) and a Thin-Flex design for extraordinary protection that’s still 3x drier than period pads to help you take care of leaks. If you suffer from LBL, throw away your bulky period pads (hey, you can even use them to stuff your bra) and try the Poise Thin-Shape pads instead.
Health is in part our physical well-being and in part our emotional well-being. Do what you can to feel good about yourself overall.