Three weeks ago I had a breast reduction surgery. Before the surgery I didn’t tell very many people I was going to get it, like not even my parents. I know that’s terrible not to tell your family and close friends about such an important thing, but I just felt really awkward. And I still do.
Side note- if you are one of those friends and family people I didn’t tell, I’m sorry and I love you.
Prior to the surgery I didn’t know if I would talk about it online or not. I didn’t want to and I hoped that maybe I could squeak by without anyone noticing. But now that I am somewhat recovered and I can wear normal clothes again I can see that it’s pretty noticeable and I decided that I’d rather talk about it on my own terms than to get random questions about it later or (or worse, dread or fear getting random questions). I decided it’s just easier if I open up about it! So here I am.
As early as sixth grade I can remember wishing I had smaller breasts. And in high school I remember the first time I saw a boy making fun of my breasts- kind of walking with his chest stuck way out. It was horrifying and from that day forward I always sat a little bit slouchier, trying to hide.
In more recent years one of my photos was posted on a fashion website. For whatever reason there were open comments and I remember reading them. Instead of talking about the dress I was wearing, I read comment after comment about my breasts, my weight and my shape. I was sitting in a parking lot of a Starbucks sobbing when my husband got back into the car. Wow. People can be really cruel, and it was about something I had zero control over. I always say that mean comments don’t bother me UNLESS it’s about something I am already insecure over. You can’t really laugh that off.
That was the first time I said out loud that I’d like to get a breast reduction.
Well, five years passed by and I still hadn’t acted on it. It stayed in the back of my mind on my mental to-do list, but I wasn’t brave enough to take the steps to get the surgery done. I was scared. That was most of it. I don’t like doctors and hospitals and I was scared. I hadn’t ever had a surgery before.
Then this past summer I started getting really bad back pain. So bad it made me nauseous. I considered getting acupuncture or massages, of course, but the last thing I need in my life right now are more appointments that interrupt my work week. And I knew deep down that this surgery might be the solution that I really needed for the long-term. So when I was at my gynecologist and then my family doctor I asked them if they thought I would be a good candidate for a breast reduction surgery. They were supportive and encouraged me to get more information. Being new to the area, it’s always a little scary finding new doctors etc… but when they both referred me to the same surgeon I felt good about that, like maybe it was meant to be.
So I scheduled my scary appointment, I went in and did it. And I ended up scheduling the surgery really fast, for just a few weeks later. I had put it off for so long that once I finally got the courage up to start the process I wanted to finish it right away, just kind of get it over with.
Leading up to the surgery I was terrified. I’m definitely one of those people who struggles with going to the doctor and hearing details about medical stuff, and I definitely had to hear a LOT of details. But, honestly, it wasn’t that bad. With every step I felt completely supported by Jeremy and my doctor and that was all I really needed.
The day came and I was in the hospital at six am waiting for my surgery. It wasn’t as scary as I expected it to be. And it was the best feeling ever when I heard a nurse say, “Elsie- you’re in the hospital in recovery now. Everything went fine.” I went home that same day and spent a lot of time sleeping and slowly working my way back up to a normal active day over the next week. The recovery was/is pretty brutal (the worst of it is behind me now), but I feel good about my decision.
For my health, my posture and my self-confidence I am glad I had the surgery. I went down two bra sizes, which didn’t sound like much to me before the surgery, but it’s a big difference. First of all, my back feels AMAZING. I didn’t think I would notice a difference in the short term, but there is a night and day difference. It feels so good. A huge relief. And I don’t feel at all insecure having really good posture all the sudden.
The other difference is everything fits. All my adult life I have sized up on clothing or just not been able to wear a lot of different styles. I felt more comfortable in loose clothing, but since I am only 5’4 tight clothing was always more flattering. Anytime I would wear something loose a bunch of people would ask if I was pregnant (always a treat for the ol’ self esteem!). All this wouldn’t have mattered all that much, except that I am a blogger and it’s my responsibility to be able to feel confident in photos and videos on a regular basis.
I had so many breakdowns in the past over just not feeling like I had anything to wear. My body type was SO specific and there was a huge list of styles of clothing that just didn’t work for me, it was limiting and frustrating. I realize that this might come off as really vain (and please know that this is hard for me talk about) but really I just wanted to blend in, be average, look pretty good- I was never trying to be a model or anything. I just wanted to be able to get dressed without feeling really insecure. I did the best I could, and I truly didn’t hate my body. I was always reminding myself to be thankful. But it was a huge struggle to get dressed and be in photos. Whew- it feels really weird but good to share all that with you. I hope you don’t judge me, but even if you do- I feel good sharing what I’m sharing. It doesn’t matter because I’m happy with the choice I made.
And that’s it. It’s over.
This morning Jeremy spontaneously asked me if I wanted to go to breakfast at our favorite spot. I ran into my closet, threw on a dress that I was too insecure to wear a few weeks ago and FELT CUTE. I ran out the door and just couldn’t shake the feeling of happiness. I’m so thankful. Thanks for reading my story.
ps- If you’re considering getting the same surgery I advise you to go talk to your doctor. That’s the first step. The details are different for everyone. xx
pps- For the past few weeks I was locked out of this blog. I FINALLY figured out how to get back in, so I have a bunch of catching up to do. More to come…