Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cutting the Watermelons From the Vine

Initially I thought I wouldn't write on this subject, feeling like it was too private/personal to put out there. Now, after giving it some consideration, I'm finding I'm completely okay with others knowing what I did for myself. For such a long time I tried to camouflage/hide/create a sleight of hand kind of appearance, and I'm sure I'm not the only woman to do so out of poor self-image. So, here goes.

I am obsessed with . . . wait for it . . . breasts. Specifically, my own. No need to back up and re-read. You read it right the first time, and now you're sitting there with your mouth hanging open and WTF!?!? going through your mind. Want to know more? HA! Of course you do.

It all began way back when, when I was a mere 13 years old. That summer, my body changed. I went from being flat-chested to having quite a pair in what seemed like just a few weeks. Along with the dramatic increase to what I disdainfully refer to as my "two watermelons on a downhill race" came despair. The constant teasing (though I'm sure this wasn't a daily occurrence but sure seemed like it was) from family members and friends put me on a quest to hide beneath baggy t-shirts and sweatshirts. The unwanted and embarrassing attention from boys made me want to figure out a way to smash the emerging melons as flat as possible. While I never went so far as to wrap myself with an ace bandage, I came close to trying it before deciding to go with minimizer bras instead, and for the past 37 years, I've been minimizing what many (mostly men--go figure) refer to as my assets as much as I possibly could. Though the minimizing helped me come to terms (honestly, that's a lie; I've never come to terms with being well-endowed) with my figure, I always dreamed of having smaller breasts. Pretty breasts. Perky breasts.

My kids will tell you that yes, their mom has talked of having breast reduction surgery for as long as they can remember. They will also tell you that their mom had a "Titty" jar (actually it was just a savings account) for any extra money to go into to help pay for the procedure. Finally, in February, there was more than enough money in the savings account to cover the cost. At that point, I made the appointment for the consultation, and let me tell you, the excitement I was feeling the day of the consult was overwhelming. I managed to get through my classes though I can't remember what lesson plan actually happened that day. Let's just say my mind wasn't into student writing. All I could think about was when I could actually schedule the surgery. I was hoping the doc would do it that afternoon, sort of like when I had gone to him to remove the super freckle on my cheek. I went in thinking I was going to have a consult then schedule the day to have the freckle removed. Huh-uh. No sooner had he looked at the freckle that he then said, "Lie back. I'm going to take that off right now." Two minutes later, the freckle was gone and my face was sporting a nice bandage. That's what I wanted to happen at my breast reduction consult. I wanted to hear, "Lie back. Let's do this" (which would probably be one of the one and only times I would unequivocally and enthusiastically agree to a man telling me to lie back!). Yeah. That's not exactly what happened.

At the consult, the doc examined the melons: measuring (the left melon came in at EE, the right melon came in at DD/E--yes, I had one melon very visibly larger than the other), lifting, prodding, and every now and then turning to engage in argument with Hubby over the benefits or lack thereof of mammograms, as I sat there bare-chested. Once the doc had taken down all his notes, I dressed and proceeded to his office to discuss options. There, the doc walked me through what he believed would be the best course of action by showing me images of the procedure, what the incisions would look like, how he would shape the breasts, and what size I would end up as afterwards. When he said C cup, I shook my head. I was determined to go B cup. Doc assured me the C was as small as I really wanted to go with my build (I'm pretty sure that's a standard line no matter what build a woman has; I mean, come on, have you ever heard a man say, "Yeah, C cup or larger is just too darned big?). No. You haven't. Hubby suggested I take Doc's advice as he was the professional in the room. My head was telling me to stand my ground as I was the one who had lived for 37 years with breasts I truly hated. I was the one who had saved for years for this moment. The doc and I came to a grudging agreement of small C.

A week later, after thinking about the procedure and discussing it with Hubby, I called and made the appointment for the surgery. When the day came for me to go in and get marked up for the procedure that would follow the next day, I asked Doc to please go B cup. He said he would as he went to work measuring and drawing purple lines all over my breasts to mark where the incisions would go (and again turning every now and then to engage in argument with Hubby over how much the doc was going to make doing this procedure, leaving me standing there bare-chested with purple marks while they hashed out the cost). When I returned home from being marked, I went into my undergarments drawer and threw out every single bra I owned. Then I went to the department store and bought a new one in the size I would be after the surgery. The rest of that day was simply waiting in anticipation for the surgery the next morning.

My surgery happened Wednesday morning of last week, and while I'm only six days past the surgery, and the bruising and swelling are still quite evident, I already know undergoing breast reduction is one of the best decisions I've ever made. When I put on a v-neck t-shirt sans bra two days after the surgery and looked at my image in the mirror, I wanted to cry. The watermelons on a downhill race had been cut from the vine. In their place are smaller, firmer, in the beginning stages of development cantaloupes. For the first time in a very long time, I didn't turn away from my reflection because I felt so ugly. Instead, I felt attractive. I just wanted to stare, amazed at the difference, and even today, I continue to be amazed by what my breasts now look like. So yeah, I'm a bit obsessed. I know I won't be flaunting my new "cantaloupes." That's just not who I am. But I also know I won't go to the great lengths I used to to minimize them, to hide them. Not anymore.


J said...

That's my brave friend, empowering herself to feel as confident and beautiful as she wants to.

You rock.

Rest up. Heal up. Then go put on something adorable and love wearing it!

JK said...

Thanks, J. I'm feeling really good, both physically and emotionally. I am so, so glad I did this.

Thryn said...

Good for you! I've had two other friends to do this and they felt so much better too. I'd been wondering about the "radio silence" on the blog - should have known you were up to something exciting! :) Heal! Heal! Enjoy!

JK said...

I truly am enjoying the change. I had my one-week check up yesterday, and when I went to get dressed I opted to go without my bra! I never would have done that before. The freedom this has given me is amazing.

Debbie said...

So genuinely happy for you, Jennifer. Surprised, but thrilled you pursued this dream. You were beautiful inside and out before this, but because you exude confidence now the beauty is so much more obvious. It is wonderful that there are skilled surgeons who can impact our lives like this. Hoping for continued happiness & contentment in your new canolopes! AWESOME woman power! Hugs!

JK said...

Thank you, Debbie, for the kind words and the hugs. I've heard from a few people how me doing this and writing about it has inspired them. If I can touch one person, that's what it's all about. And my surgeon? Love him. He definitely is an artist.

Debbie said...
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