Good morning friends!
So it has been over a month already since the last #UnconditionalBodyBeautiful post and I am so pleased that we are back. This month is all about our busts and what it means to us as women and how it affects our perceptions of ourselves.
I was looking forward to this post as I have never shared much about my journey with my chest but have always wanted to as I think it would be helpful to others, so here we go.
Like I mentioned in my last post, when I was younger, I developed before most of my friends and for many years was very uncomfortable with anything to do with my chest. I was scared that girls would say things when we were changing for gym class because I had to wear a sports bra or any bra at all for that matter. As luck would have it, I was destined to be full chested, like all the women in my family, and by the time high school hit, I felt like I was falling over under the weight of my chest.
All the activities that I loved doing like trampolining and playing rugby became a chore and my back hurt most of the time. I knew something had to change.
At 16, I spoke to my family doctor about my concerns and was referred to a surgeon to talk about my options and the possibility of a breast reduction. Before I continue, I want to say that I have not listed my before and after sizes from the surgery because it isn't possible to really show the difference without knowing how my body was at the time and every person who goes this route will have a different experience. I don't want to leave people with expectations or false ideas.
I was very fortunate to come across a wonderful surgeon who explained everything in great detail and was so supportive and helpful throughout the process as I made my decision to go ahead and have a reduction.
On the day of my surgery, my mum and I went to the hospital and I was in surgery for around 4-5 hours. The procedure is done under full anesthetic and I felt pretty groggy after but already a sense of relief as I was told that five pounds of weight had been removed from my chest.
The real journey began after while I was healing. For the first week or so everything was under wraps so I really didn't know what to expect but was excited at the prospect of change.
In the second or third week, I had to face the music and remove the bandages and stitch covers. Although this post isn't necessarily an experience post, I want to mention that the first 2 weeks were uncomfortable and sometimes painful. I felt banged up and bruised and needed to be gentle on my body for a while.
When I removed the bandages I had a moment of terror and regret, asking myself why I had done this and being worried about the result. I looked square and all the skin was blue and purple and it looked terrible. I felt self-conscious and lost and covered them up quickly. I didn't want to face myself in the mirror.
It took a couple of months before my shape returned - if you imagine the skin having to reform around your curves and re-position based on the incisions, your body is working hard to heal and return to it;s normal ways.
As everything healed, I really started to feel more confident, and after finally buying some new pretty bras I could see a real transformation. My back no longer hurt, I felt like I was taller and less burdened and it all finally felt worth it.
Thanks to my ghostly pale skin, my scars faded quickly and today I can hardly see them at all. Now that I am older and have had time to reflect, I am so glad that I went ahead with the procedure - for some it isn't the right thing and many people are against the procedure but for me, I know that it was the best decision.
I want to stress that my journey had very little to do with looks and more to do with comfort. I couldn't enjoy my body because I felt pain. To alter a part of your body the way I did, requires a change in your mind and you have to know that although it may improve an aspect of your life, it won't fix everything.
I welcome questions and comments about my journey so don't be shy!
Today I feel like I have come out on the other side with a better understanding of what my body is capable of and how I can change how I feel about myself on my own.
See you next month!
Check out the other great blogs who participate in this challenge!