Candid Breast Talk

WARNING: If you are uncomfortable or offended by candid body talk, particularly about breasts, DO NOT READ THIS POST. You have been warned.

In less than two weeks, I’m going under the knife. It’s not because of cancer or any illness. I’m having breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction has been something I’ve thought about on and off for many years. I was pleased when I was a 36C in high school. When I surpassed DD, I wasn’t so happy any more.

In University, when other young women were bemoaning their small chests, I used to joke, “You can have some of mine.” Only I wasn’t entirely joking. If there was a way to transplant from me to them, I would have done it. I probably could have helped out 3 or 4 of those women!

My college roommate came to my wedding reception after having the surgery done – she looked great, and she was so happy, she was glowing! After we moved to Vancouver, I asked my doctor about it. She advised me to wait until after I was through having children if I wanted to breastfeed. That was important to me, so I waited.

As expected, my breasts grew with each pregnancy, and with breastfeeding. After the first two, the size went back down somewhat. I don’t know exactly what size I was during all this time, because I wasn’t buying bras that fit properly.

At times, I was OK with my bust size. Every once in a while, I actually enjoyed being voluptuous. At other times, I hated it. I dislike not being able to wear button up blouses because they gap across my chest. If they don’t then they are completely shapeless.

I would tell myself that this is the body I was given, and I really should be happy with myself the way I am. That maybe this was part of my life lesson – to accept myself just the way I am.

After my third son was born, I had the typical swell in size. I expected them to shrink a bit once I stopped nursing him. They got bigger. I was so choked! That just wasn’t fair!

Not long after, I decided that I would celebrate my move from part time to full time by buying a properly fitted bra. I went to the local lingerie store and had a fitting a couple of months before I actually started working full time. I was a 38F.

It was quite a psychological blow. I knew I was big, but I didn’t realize I was THAT big. And bras that size are EXPENSIVE! I figured with $200, I could probably buy at least two bras, and I would have that after my first full time paycheck.

By the time I went back to the store my bra size had changed again. I was now a 38G. The bra that fit the best cost $175. I was choked that I would only be able to buy one, but I thought I could maybe find it online cheaper. No such luck.

I was truly amazed the difference a properly fitted bra made! I felt great, I felt pretty for the first time in quite a while, and it was easier to stand up straight! I vowed to buy properly fitting bras from now on.

But not at $175 a pop. Next time I went back to Minnesota to visit my family, I was on a hunt for properly fitting bras. The department stores do carry them, but not many of the larger sizes, so they sell out quickly. I came home with one bra, and it was not pretty. Let’s just say it reminded me of my grandma’s bras. It was only (only!) $60, though. How I envy those women who can go into any Wal-Mart and buy a bra for under $30.

I figured I could handle having large breasts as long as I wore the right size bra. It was still very embarrassing to set off the metal detector at the airport because of my bra though. I went to all the trouble of removing all my jewelry and wearing yoga clothes with no buttons or zippers, only to have to be patted down because of the underwires!

On one of my Peaceful Woman Passages in Maui, we got to talking about breasts. One woman said having a breast reduction was the best thing she ever did. I gave the line about accepting myself. It got me thinking about reduction again.

It turns out I know the wife of one of the plastic surgeons in town. So I asked her about it. I got all the details, and got my referral. I’ve since talked to half a dozen other women who have had it done, and they all agree – it was one of the best decisions they ever made.

I’m a little nervous about having general anesthesia, and my recovery time after the surgery.

Be YourselfI’m looking forward to not having pain when I take my bra off; to being at least a little closer to having both breasts be similar size (one is a lot bigger than the other right now); and to being able to wear button up blouses again. And I am looking forward to the time off from work. I’m hoping to record one or two new meditations for you!

All in all, I feel I am making the right decision for me. Because no matter how I change my shape and size, I will still BE the same ME!