For as long as I can remember I have struggled...
For as long as I can remember I have struggled with my lack of breasts. Even as far back as 6th grade I can recall being envious of all the girls getting training bras. I had to ask my Mom to buy me one - despite not needing it - so that when the silly boys would go to snap girls' bra straps I wouldn't feel left out for not having a bra.
Fast forward to my adult life. My family is now complete with 2 beautiful, healthy children. I breastfed them both for 6 months each. It was a wonderful experience all around. I finally felt like my breasts had a purposes - and they did so successfully. I had a boost in self confidence as well because for the first time in my life I actually NEEDED to wear a bra. I was more confident in shirts I wore with a more full figure. I felt more feminine.
And then......the inevitable happened. I stopped nursing and bye-bye boobies. Not only did I lose what I had - I went SMALLER than I was to begin with. For the past 6 months I feel as if I have been hiding my body. Hiding from my husband because I feel 'deformed', like something is missing. Every day I throw on my ugly super-padded bra and a tank with shelf-support to give that 'look' that I so wish I didn't need assistance creating. When i work out at the gym I wear a padded bra under my sports bra so people don't gawk at my boyish chest.
Well, its a new chapter. I'm celebrating me. Today I booked my BA for 5/20. My goal is not HUGE or even LARGE. Just normal. Something that will allow me to buy pretty bras WITHOUT padding. Something that will create a little cleavage when I wear a bikini top. Something that will make me feel more confident around my husband (who loves me regardless).
I'm nervous as can be - but excited too.
Agonizing over profile and size
At my initial consult I learned my base width is 10.5 - 11. Given the results I'm looking for they suggested a high profile 300-325cc gel implant. I loved the sized when I tried these on but I am FREAKING out about profile. After searching thru the before and after pics I feel the high profiles result in a less natural look/shape - not at all what I am after. I don't want this to be super obvious when all is said and done. The assistant said I could possibly go with a moderate plus profile at 275 (again due to base width) and possibly up to 300cc after the doctor weighs in. I'm so torn. I don't want to do this and hate my results. Thoughts? Advice??!
2.5 weeks until BA - SO excited
The big day is only 2.5 weeks away. I feel so unprepared. I have bought NOTHING. Nothing for recovery, no pretty bras, no comfy pillow. Nothing. I know I will be sent home with 2 surgical bras so I figured no need to go crazy stocking up on stuff when I haven't even settled on size yet.
I've been searching before and after pics every free moment I have. I'm really falling in love with 350hps. At first I was concerned the profile would result in the 'balls on chest' look, but how seen some amazing HP results on this site. I loved the look of the 300s and 325s at my first consult visit. I'm hoping to try on the 350s at my health/risk assessment appointment on 5/14. I don't want to finally go thru with this and come out with size regret.
Pre-Op Appointment Today
Well, things are getting real. I am now less than a week away from my 5/20 BA date. I still have concerns about actually doing this. I know in my heart I want shape - but sometimes the guilt of something so self-indulgent makes me second guess myself. Plus, I'm not a flashy person - so the whole act makes me feel like I'm 'faking it'. I'm hoping this is just a normal phase of the entire process.
My pre-op appointment today was busy, long, and informative. Went over all the risks with the doctor. She is amazing and very easy to talk to. To the point yet sensitive - a perfect combo. Next it was time to finalize my size. I was thrown a bit of a curve ball. During my initial office visit she indicated my base width was small and therefore suggested I go with a high profile implant. This worried me at first as I felt most HP results looked less natural. However, I scoured the before and after pics and finally found a ton of fabulous HP results. I was thinking in the 300-325 range. However, after I got measured again today she said the original measurement must've been off and that I should, in fact, go with the moderate plus profile (what I wanted before ever talking to anyone). So I spent a solid 35+ minutes with the PC trying on new sizes with M+ profile. The doctor came in when I had 325s on and actually said I should go larger to help balance out my frame (I'm relatively tall and have wide hips). She recommended anywhere from 325-425. Since my goal isn't to go BIG or obnoxious or blatantly obvious, I think I've decided on the 350s. Of course, ask me tomorrow and that could change.
I also receive post-op care instructions today, filled my prescriptions, got my 2 surgical bras, and paid in full. So yeah - I guess this IS happening.
Its weird that I'm not super excited about it - I almost think I'm suffering from the boobie blues BEFORE my BA - yes, I'm an odd duck.
Boobie Eve and some pics
Well, the house is cleaned and I'm ready as I will ever be. Here are some before pics for later reference.
20 May 2014
Day of treatment
So - here it is - the morning of. Surprisingly I'm not nervous. The anit-anxiety meds worked wonders - had the best night sleep. Leaving here in an hour. Need to be there for 9:30AM and its an hour away. Praying things go smoothly and I don't chicken out at the hospital.
So - here are some before photos.
Hooray for boobies!
20 May 2014
Day of treatment
I'm now about 5 hours post op. Feel great. Lots of tightness but so manageable. Will post pics tomorrow. So excited and happy I did this!!!
First Night Post Op & Recap of Surgery Day
For all of you who are worried about the BIG day - don't be. Trust me. It was a breeze. The nurses and doctors were amazing at keeping my nerves calm. I remember walking into the OR, laying on the table, having them tell me I'd fall asleep fast and then boom - I was waking up in the recovery room. Waking up I had some pain - but I've been lucky so far and its all been very tolerable. I just remember being SO tired in the recovery area. So they let me 'sleep' it off a bit until I felt I had enough energy to sit up in a chair. Then they called my husband in, I got dressed, and we drove home. I took a nice 4 hour nap when I got home and felt amazing when I woke up. Just trying my best to take it easy and not push myself. My husband is being an amazing nurse and is forcing me to relax and do nothing. Its a nice change of pace for sure.
Last night wasn't too bad for sleeping. Went to bed around 11 - slept soundly until about 2AM and then took more meds (more to stay on schedule and not so much because I felt I needed them). Then I had a hard time falling back asleep.
I have the OK to take a shower today - we shall see if I'm actually up for it. I'm hoping to just lay on the couch and read lots of magazines that have been piling up since this winter and watch some cheesy day time TV.
I'm making it a point to continue taking deep breaths to stretch my lungs, sit up straight to keep good posture, and 'walking the walls' to slowly stretch my arm/chest muscles out.
I think so far the hardest part of all of this for me is really not being able to help and hold my kids (3 year old and 1 year old). So everything is on my husband. I'm so lucky to have him.
I'm hoping I'm feeling decent by this long holiday weekend. Would be nice to do a little shopping seeing as I bought nothing prior to BA.
2 Days Post Op
Feeling pretty good. Slept really well. Contemplating going longer between pain meds (from 4 hours to 6+ hours in between). I am doing stretches and moving around quite a bit. Moving really seems to help. Everything is still really tight in the morning - but to be expected. I have some bruising/swelling on my right side and in the middle. Took a shower today and left the surgical bra off for a bit - that helped and felt great. Loving the size and shape already. So happy I chose Dr Ekstrom!
Summary of My First Week of Recovery
First off let me just say that I healed and felt 'normal' so much faster than I had ever anticipated. I imagined being sore for multiple weeks. So not the case. I honestly felt minimal pain by Day 3 post op - AMAZING! Days 1 & 2 were as expected - very tight and sore. However, I made it a point to get up and walk around often, move my arms doing arm exercises (walking the wall), taking deep breaths to stretch out my lungs (which really helped loosen the chest tightness), and sticking to a pretty routine med schedule (every 4 hours w/ pain and muscle relaxers). It worked wonders.
I stopped taking the hard core pain killers on Day 3 and managed pain with extra strength Tylenol. By Day 5 I was taking nothing and felt great. We went out shopping with the kids and ran errands. No pain what so ever.
I did, however, have some serious bruising. It developed on Day 1 post op under my right breast then spread to my sternum and then to the left breast. The bruising got darker and larger through Day 3 and has since started to recede and turn an ugly shade of yellow. The other weird symptom I had was that my lower ribs and abdomen were really, really sore. At times I think that area hurt more than my chest - go figure. I also felt like I had liquid between my skin and my muscle in my abdominal area. I'm sure some of the soreness was due to having to use my legs to get out of bed in the mornings - but just odd. I did notice the usual 'squishy' sounds occasionally in my breasts on Day 3 - but it was short lived.
Overall the recovery has been great for me. The constipation - not fun either. Felt like it took a solid 4 days to get things moving.
So my results? I love the size - and honestly think I could have easily gone another 50-75 cc's without feeling 'huge'. So for those ladies contemplating size - trust me - err on the larger end of where you feel comfortable. I'm not saying I have size regrets - as my goal was to feel feminine and fill out bras, shirts, and bathing suits without padding - but I do think a few more cc's would have been fine too.
My right breast seems a bit larger than the left. My PS did indicate that my rib cage had a natural curve that would cause one side to stick out further than the other - I'm guessing that is what I'm seeing now. Also - I may still have some swelling in the right side as that was where the bruising began and got the largest in area. Overall the position on my chest seems 'right' - the girls were never up around my collar bone even hours after surgery. Not sure how far the will drop - but in general they feel to be in the right place. I love my profile too! Just hoping that my right side evens out with the left - although hubby says the difference is barely noticeable.
I have my 1 week post-op visit today. Can't wait to hear how they think I'm progressing! Below are some pics - and of course a bathing suit pic - couldn't resist. Now I can't wait to start working out again to get this body is super shape!!
1 Week Post Op Visit
PS said everything looks great and was not at all concerned about the bruising I'm showing. I also thought it was very cute that she gave me a $50 VS gift card - fun (granted I paid for it in my total cost) - but a nice gesture nonetheless. I was surprised that my PS does not advise to do implant massage. She said it hasn't been proven to prevent capsular contracture and that regular movement of the muscle will keep things moving around enough.
So happy with my results. Got the go ahead to move into soft/sports bras - which is great - as I just ordered a few Coobies online. Also got the ok to start picking up the baby - slowly - to see how my body and muscle reacts. Cannot wait to go snuggle with my little one!!!
15 Days Post Op Update
So its been 2 full weeks since surgery and I already feel like they're 'mine'. They don't feel as foreign to me as I imagined they would. I think it all has to do with going with the right size for your frame or for your goals.
For the past 4 days I have been finding myself having a bit of the boobie blues. My right breast is still looking larger than the left and its driving me crazy. Granted its only noticeable when I'm naked - and per my husband its BARELY noticeable. Not sure if he's trying to make me feel better or being honest. I'm hoping there's still some swelling in the right side - which there feels like there is - and that is causing me to feel uneven.
Additionally, I've developed Mondor's Cords under both breasts - they are a little tender to the touch - so I've been massaging a little here and there and it seems to help. And, typical with boobie blues, I'm finding myself at times regretting the size. I feel I could have easily gone to 400ccs (I got 350s) and felt like I got a little more oomph. Right now I feel like you can't even tell when I'm dressed when comparing myself to how I looked w/ all the padding I use to wear. However - I seem to forget that that was my original goal - to fill out a top, to look natural, and to not go obnoxious. I just struggle with having spent as much as I did and even having a friend remark "you can't even tell you did it" - granted I don't think she realizes just how much padding I had sported for the past 20 years of my life...........
But I AM happy when I'm naked and looking at my new shape - and I guess that's what's most important. I wanted confidence and I feel like I got it. I'm sure this is just a passing phase - I'm hoping to see how everything looks once everything has settled and de-swelled. To this day I am still in SHOCK at how little pain I had during the recovery process.
3 Weeks Post Op
Things are still going great. I'm spending more and more time at night sleeping on my side with minimal discomfort. Also - so far I've escaped the whole nipple sunburn that seems to start around week 2 - but worry that its still going to happen at some point. I feel that my right breast is finally evening out to my left and I'm happy with how everything looks.
While the PS said I could go bra-less at night I actually feel more comfortable with one on. Holds them together/close. I got a bunch of Coobie bras and love them - they are beyond comfortable to me.
I also went camping for 3 nights this past weekend. I was able to put my 1 year old in a back-pack hiker and go for a 40 minutes hike, I was able to paddle in a canoe, and carry kids around as needed with ZERO pain. I have been VERY fortunate in my healing process and for that I am so thankful.
I've included 3 week post op pics. As you can see I have pretty visible Mondors Cords under my right breast - and slight visibility of the same under the left. So far they are not terribly painful. I still have some numbness in my right breast on the lower side near my sternum - hoping this is short lived.