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Jen’s Story

  • Breast Reduction


I started developing early, about age 9, by the age of 10 I should have been wearing a bra but it was embarrassing because no one else was.  I put off wearing a bra daily until age of 13 and hated every minute of it.  The first time I remember my size was in college- I was a 36 D and it quickly went up from there, I probably wasn’t wearing the right size anyway.



I remember when shopping for wedding dresses at the age of 25 - the sales lady saying that my bust would limit the styles that would look right and fit appropriately.  Then we had to find a bra to wear under the wedding dress- it was a 38 F- the sales lady was very kind and said they ran small so the size wasn’t “that bad”.  The boobs never did anything for me- other than cause back and neck aches, rashes, stinky under-boob etc- I found no pleasure in carrying them around. 

I’m not sure exactly when I though of Breast Reduction as a possibility, but I do remember thinking that it would have to be after having kids and then the kids would have to be in school.  So time went on the Back and Neck aches got worse and then I got pregnant- I remember being five months pregnant, on vacation and we HAD to go bra shopping I bought 36 DDD bras the biggest the store had and made do. 



Then I was nine months pregnant and had to find nursing bras for after the baby came- I measured myself to see what to order 36 H- and I knew they would get bigger after baby came.  I was right after my son was born I measured a 36 I- not to many options at that size and I ended up living in sleep bras mostly as the under-wires were giving me mastitis.  Thanks to five bouts of mastitis my left breast ended up a cup size larger than my right. 



After I was done breastfeeding I finally went down to a 38 DDD, just in time to get pregnant with baby #2.  Again we did the slow climb back up to a 38 G/H once baby arrived.  Although I did breastfeed both of my kids, it was tough. 



With big breasts I had to be sitting in a chair with a pillow- the boppy was my best friend and came almost everywhere with me for a year!  I was not one of those moms who could feed anywhere and everywhere.  I remember running into a friend at Babies-R-US with her week old baby and she was walking around the store and feeding at the same time- I was amazed and jealous, there was no way I could ever do that, I needed one hand to hold the boob and one for the baby but it was not enough support the baby and move around.



So right after I weaned #2 in February 2007, I decided to do a little research into breast reduction.  My Google searches led me to a blog which then led me to forums.  The Forums were an eye opener for me, so many women with similar stories.  I learned that it was possible to have insurance pay, deal with kids and recovery at the same time, and find freedom from the big boobs.  I spent about six months hanging out on the forums gaining information and waiting for the “timing” to be right. 



I went on two consults- one referred to by a friend and one referred to by my OB/Gyn.  I had another two scheduled which I canceled because I knew that the 2nd one was it.  The first doctor was awesome, very informative, great staff but was about an hour away from home.  The second doctor was closer to home and operated out of my “favorite” hospital which would allow my OB/Gyn to share the operating room to do the “Essure” procedure (tubal ligation) at the same time.  Second doctor was also nice, very informative with a helpful staff. 



So then we submitted to insurance- my chiropractors office dragged their feet getting info to the plastic surgeon (took them three+ weeks) but once received it was all sent off to insurance on a Friday afternoon.  The following Tuesday I got the call that I was approved; and we booked the date, February 14, 2008.  The surgeon could have done it earlier but I wanted to do it in February because then my husband could take vacation and my Mom would be available to help with the kids.  I had about two and a half months to get ready- I had so many plans of getting the house clean, meals cooked in the freezer etc.  Of course I waited until the last minute to get ready and the three weeks before surgery were a mad rush to get things in order. 



Then a week before surgery I got a cold; an awful miserable snotty cold.  I was really worried that surgery would be cancelled- I took anything I could find to rid myself of the cold that wasn’t on the do not take list.  A friend suggested Oregano Oil pills and with in 24 hours the cold was almost gone and had not gone to my chest so I knew that surgery could go forward.  One of my greatest concerns at the point of surgery was nausea due to anesthesia and I was thrilled when the anesthesiologist called the night before to go over things with me- I think in the 10 minute call I said at least five times please give me something for the nausea.  That call put me totally at ease and I was ready to go. 



I checked into the hospital at 6:00 am for my 7:30 surgery time. 

I was taken to a room at the day surgery part of the hospital, changed in to a gown, someone came to take my history again, and they put on the compression stockings.  At about 6:45 I said good bye to my husband as they wheeled my bed to the surgery waiting area where I got to meet with all my doctors.  From that point I don’t remember much- the drugs where very good.  I briefly remember waking up in recovery telling the nurse that I felt a lot of pressure and asking how much was taken off. 



At some point I was moved to a room where I spent the next 24 hours.  I loved having nurses to help me in the bathroom, deal with the drains, and manage the meds- I know my husband could have done it all but it was nice that he didn’t have to.  I did send him home to get dinner and see the kids off to bed- all I was doing was sleeping off the drugs anyway.  I went home the next day and went straight to bed.  Each day after that - I spent a little more time on the couch with the family.  On day five I had not had a bowel movement, which I knew was a possible side effect of both anesthesia and pain pills, so I quit the pain meds and switched to Tylenol.  I realized that I didn’t really need the pain meds at that point I was just enjoying the ease of sleep that they induced. 



I did have one very uncomfortable night thanks to my tummy issues- but once everything got “moving” I was doing fine.  On day six I had my first post-op and got to view my new breasts for the first time.  They were a little scary looking at that point- bruised, bloody and scabby- the term “franken-boob” was very fitting but the difference in size was amazing.  It was at this appointment that I found out that the surgeon had taken 750 grams from my right side and 975 grams from my left.  It was also at this appointment that I was cleared to shower for the first time.  I think I waited another day as showering scared me a bit- I kept my back to the shower and had my hubby help me and it went just fine though.



At the two week appointment I was cleared to drive and told that I could slowly begin removing the surgical tape or he would do it at the next appointment.  It was at this two week mark that I was able to feel ok taking care of the kids and making it through the day on my own- although I did “princess duties” for about six weeks. The tape was really stuck on and wasn’t going to come off on its own, originally I thought I would let the doctor take it off but then decided I would do it myself on my own terms.  I was in the shower about an hour and a half, got slightly light headed at one point and sat on the shower bench for a bit but got it done. 



My healing went really smoothly, I did get a few spitting stitches that came up in a pimple like way.  Every time I called the surgeons office they were so nice and had me come in to just make sure everything was going ok.  Right about at the three month mark I notice that some of my scars were not fading as nicely as others, the surgeon confirmed at the three month appointment that some of my scars were hyper-trophic- red, raised, and thick.  He suggested that I use silicone sheets for three months and we could see how they looked and then possibly do steroid shots.  I used the silicone sheets for a total of eight weeks and saw a lot of improvement in my “normal” scars and some improvement in the hyper-trophic areas.  I still need to do another cycle with the sheets to see the progress.



At seven months post op I am thrilled with my results- I am perky for the first time in my life, I have an increased amount of sensitivity, the back and neck aches are greatly reduced, I have so many more clothing options, and exercise no longer is a burden.  I was recently officially measured as a 38 D or DD depending on the bra- it is amazing how many more options that I have.  This has been the best thing that I have ever done for myself- I felt a bit selfish pursuing this when I have young children at home taking both time and money away from them but in the end I find that I can give them so much more.  I have more self-confidence which I want them to see and I can run around and do more with them with out being tired and in pain.



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