I am 38 years old and the single mom of two teenage daughters.
All through my high school and college years I had a
very flat chest. So
much so that my sister used to joke that I should wear my bra
backwards because my shoulder blades stuck out further than my
Then came the wonderful child bearing years, don't get me wrong, I
love my girls! Combination of morning sickness and gaining
weight were my least favorite parts of the process. I nursed
both of my girls and absolutely would not change that for the world,
but the end result of nursing left me with large breasts.
After nursing my second daughter my breasts never "resumed" their
previous shape and I was not happy with the way I looked. I
considered having a breast reduction when I was approximately 30
years of age, but with being a single mom and working with limited
time off and a very physical job (I worked in a paper mill); I
unfortunately had to put the idea on a far back burner.
As my girls started becoming active in sports and wanting me to play
and ride a bicycle with them, I started realizing that I needed to
do more than just lose weight. I began researching the
procedure of breast reduction and actually decided that I WAS going
to have this done one way or another. I have had my current
job for almost seven years and it is a desk job, so the physical
labor part was no longer an issue. I have plenty of vacation
time to allow for proper healing. I actually mentioned having
the surgery to a friend that works with me and she had an
appointment with a surgeon a few weeks prior and suggested that I
contact him as well. I called my OB/GYN and they made me an
appointment for two weeks from that day.
Here is where reality started settling in. My friend had her
appointment first and was told that she really didn't need a
reduction, but she would benefit from a lift. He could do a
reduction, but the insurance probably wouldn't cover it.
I was scared to death that he would tell me the same thing.
The day of my consult finally was here – the plastic surgeon came in
and practically took one look at me and said that he was sure that
insurance would cover the surgery. Talk about not knowing if
you want to laugh or cry.
My plastic surgeon took the
information to send to the insurance company and then the waiting
began. I called my insurance company two times a week until I
had an answer. It took them three weeks for the approval to
come through. I got the approval on June 3rd, my pre op was
scheduled for June 12th and surgery was schedule for June 20th.
I was never so scared and excited in my whole life!! For the
record, I've never had surgery of any kind and have only stayed in
the hospital when my children were born.
On June 12th my sister and I did a “dry run” of what we would do the
following Friday. We visited the hotel that her and my nephew
would stay in for the night (at my expense), a trip up to the floor
where I would check in for surgery and also view where I would be
staying that first night. Next, it was time for my pre op
appointment with my surgeon. I asked my poor surgeon four full pages
of questions, of which he happily answered each and every one in
detail, which helped me tremendously. I finally went home and
began the waiting period until surgery day.
The morning of surgery, we left my house at 6:00 AM for a 2-2 ½ hour
drive to the hospital. My sister dropped me at the Plastic
Surgeon’s office, which is right across the street from the
hospital. My Plastic Surgeon did the markings for surgery in
his office; he said he preferred to do it there because patients are
more comfortable with the additional privacy. I left the
plastic surgeon’s office with a prescription for oxycodone and my
newly marked breasts and headed across the street to the hospital to
Check in was pretty easy - usual questions about
health, and a run down of what to expect before and after surgery,
and also viewing what the recovery room looks like. I returned to my
room in the pre op area to wait for the surgery time. A nurse came
to put in the IV which was uneventful……but then they told me I was
ready to go. I stayed amazingly calm which surprised me, got
wheeled to the "holding tank" as I called it for a laugh. I
really enjoyed the warm blankets that they cover you with.
anesthesiologist greeted me and asked me more medical history
questions. My plastic surgeon stopped to see me – to make sure
I was doing okay and to see if there was anyone I wanted notified
when surgery was done. Next I remember being wheeled down the
hall being told they were putting something in my IV to relax me.
I really liked that stuff. I remember them putting the blood
pressure cuff on my arm, asking me to stretch out my other arm,
telling me to breathe the stuff in the mask and that was the end of
everything until the recovery room.
I had a lot of fun in the recovery room. Not really any pain
which was surprising. The nurses and staff were having trouble
with the computers and I actually helped and showed them how to make
the computers print. This amazed me that I could do this under
the influence of so many different medications at the time. I
really had to go to the bathroom in the recovery room, but the
mention of a bedpan did not sit very well with me, so I decided to
wait until I got back to my room. It seemed like I was in the
recovery room FOREVER!!! Finally Joan, the lady that wheeled
me down to surgery, came to get me.
Once I got to my room I
was relieved to use the restroom, and that is when I got my first
wave of nausea hit. I told the nurse, but it actually went
away, which I was glad. The hospital stay was almost like a mini
vacation, someone to wait on me and bring me food. Only
problem was that I couldn't sleep on my side. I took into
consideration everything that I had learned from my research from
the ladies that have shared their stories on the forum. The
next morning, which was Saturday - my plastic surgeon came to the
room at 7:30 to change my bandages and remove my drains. I
couldn't wait to see my new girls!!
No one can prepare you for what you see when the bandages come off.
I was actually shocked at the size. They didn't really seem smaller
but were definitely perky. I knew there would be swelling, but
was not ready for that first peek. It was during the removal
of the drains that I experienced the worst part of this entire
surgery. I absolutely hated having the drains removed.
It was quick and it pinched, but I thought it was the most
painful part of my entire procedure. My doctor wrapped me back
up and told me I could go home whenever I was ready. I called
my sister and left within an hour with the instructions to return
for a post op visit on Monday. I took an oxycodone on the way
home to help with any pain I might have; and as soon as I did, I
started feeling sick with nausea again. Apparently this
medication was not for me. I ended up getting sick that night
from the medication – and decided that Extra Strength Tylenol would
be sufficient from here on out.
Today, October 29, 2008 - 4 months later, I am still healing
however, I am loving my new look. I do wish I was a
little smaller, but it isn't the way I look as much as just hearing
that I'm still a D. The sound of a D Cup makes me think I am
still big, but I really am not compared to what I had prior to this
surgery. It is a psychological mindset associated with that size,
however; I need to get over that part. I would never have been
able to go through with the process if not for the stories that I
read and those who shared their experiences. Having the one on
one interaction with the forum ladies made the entire process so
much easier for me. I was fully prepared with what to expect
and there were no surprises at all. I now feel like it is my
turn - to help encourage anyone who asks about this procedure of
“Breast Reduction” and how I can help women live without the burden
of having large breasts.