It’s still March, I have time to squeeze in one more post about breasts!!

by DaniGirl on March 31, 2009 · 16 comments

in It IS all about me

So now that we’ve established that March is officially breast month here, let’s end the month with a flourish, shall we? And then we’ll have to find something else to talk about in April, lest I be compelled to change the blog name to “Postcards from my Bra”. Penises, perhaps?

Ahem, anyway, here’s a little secret I never told you. (I *know*!! Who would have guessed that I was capable of keeping a secret from the Interwebs? Not me, and certainly not Beloved!!)

So anyway, about breasts. Right. Last summer, I did some research and asked my GP for a referral to have breast reduction surgery. This is something I’ve toyed with, pondered over, and secretly desired for most of my adult life. I was completely fed up with trying to find bras that fit; at the time, my measurements were in the 35-36 range for band size and an F or G in cup size — the land of cup sizes beyond DD gets a little sketchy in the consistency department. More than the ill-fitting bras and puckered buttons on my shirt-fronts, though, I was sick to death of constantly being damp and itchy under my breasts and from having to reach under me and tuck the damn things out of the way every time I rolled over in bed. (Pencil test – ha! I could keep an entire stationery store hidden under there.)

The final injustice, though, was the sheer number of times my nipples were knelt on or stepped on while a toddler or child moved anywhere near me in bed. After a lifetime of being vexed by my breasts at every opportunity, I was more than happy to chop them down to a more manageable size. The idea of being a C cup seemed like winning the lottery… and if they would throw in a wee bit of a lift to get my nipples up and out of risk of being tucked into my waistband, so much the better.

After screwing up my courage for a couple of weeks, at my annual physical I asked my GP to make the referral for me. I wasn’t sure what kind of wait list I’d be facing, and I wasn’t ready to actually go through with the surgery until some time this summer or later, but I wanted to get in and see someone and explore my options. To my great consternation, a couple of weeks later my GP called to say that the surgeon wouldn’t even see me until my body mass index (BMI) was below 22, which would be at around 176 lbs for me. I’d just started the week before with Dr Bishop’s weight loss plan, and at the time I weighed 191 lbs.

I was furious. Furious! Not so much because I’d been thwarted — I wasn’t exactly convinced that I wanted the reduction in the first place. I was angry, though, that someone shaped like me could be denied this surgery sight-unseen, based solely on what are increasingly questionable calculations. No doubt I was overweight, but I was far from obese. I felt like the doctor should have at least seen me and assessed me in person.

By the time I was down below 170 lbs and within the surgeon’s “acceptable” weight range for a consult, I had lost my courage again. I haven’t called back to make the appointment. Part of that is, of course, because when you lose 30+ lbs, you do lose inches everywhere, breasts included. Part of that is the fact that we’re likely within weeks if not days of weaning Lucas — or, more specifically, of Lucas weaning himself. My band size is back down to a 32 or 33, and my cup size is somewhere just above a DD. To paraphrase an old favourite quote of mine, I used to be a 34DD, now I’m a 34 long. I’d still like to get it done, but I’m just not sure if the annoyance factor of dealing with my breasts as they are outweighs the annoyance factor of going through with the surgery.

I may yet screw up my courage enough to follow through on this, but for now I’ll wait it out and see how the ‘chafe’ factor plays out this summer. In the interim, though, I really do have to get myself a couple of quality bras. None of my old pre-pregnancy ones fit anymore — that in itself is enough to keep me happy for the time being!

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Clever Mom March 31, 2009 at 11:45 am

I’m so happy to discover I’m not the only woman whose nipples get stepped on by toddler climbing around in bed! Of course, my breast are large because I am too. If I got down to your weight I’d be a pancakey B cup 🙁

2 Annika March 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Once again, I must congratulate you on your incredible weight loss. I am fascinated by this reduction surgery info, good luck with your decision. I am at the opposite end of the spectrum, as I have the figure of a 12-year-old boy and can get away with wearing an undershirt most days. Sigh. Too big, too small, stretched out from nursing…oh, the stories our breasts can tell! I think that March as “breast month” (unofficially or officially) was a success. Thanks for the great writing, Dani!

3 Mad Hatter March 31, 2009 at 12:42 pm

My sister had the surgery and it changed her life. She has no regrets, no regrets whatsoever.

4 alison March 31, 2009 at 1:08 pm

“34 long” *snort* Yeah, I can relate. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can sure do a number on the girls. I liked the “March is breast month” posts, Dani. Oh, and be sure to blog your bra shopping expedition. Those things can be comedy gold.

5 Amber March 31, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Wow, I’m amazed that someone would be denied surgery, sight unseen, because of 15 pounds. It seems a bit over-the-top.

On a happier note, there is nothing that a good bra can’t fix. I’m in nursing bras right now, but I eagerly anticipate the day when I can get something pretty and lacy and free of flaps.

6 Mac and Cheese March 31, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Ha! I hear ya! I used to want reduction surgery, but I went from DD down to C after my first born, so now I’m waiting to see what pans out after I wean the second one. A lift will still be in order for certain. A friend of mine went ahead with the surgery and cried with happiness when she later had to go bathing suit shopping and actually found some that fit.

7 Barb March 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm

You’ve seen mine……….They seem to have settled nicely to a DD from an H which some days is great and others I think I might have gone a little smaller. I can however go to work wearing a tank top with the built in shelf and be very comfortable all day!
2 simple words
Do It!!!

You will love yourself for it.

8 DaniGirl March 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Barb honey, not only have I seen them, I’ve fondled them. You remain the only woman I’ve groped in a bathroom at a party, my friend.

Am interested that noone has reacted in shock or spoken out against the surgery, as many people IRL seem to have done.

(ha, captcha = hatred my. Yes, indeed, there have been times when hatred was exactly how I felt about them!)

9 Kerry March 31, 2009 at 6:44 pm

people seriously say bad things about that surgery? I know a fair number of women who had it done (including a lot of relatives, clearly none of whom I take after) and they all were exceedingly happy with the result. I say go for it. The side effect? Perky boobs at 70+. I can send you a photo of my Aunt Frances if you don’t believe me.

10 twinmomplusone April 1, 2009 at 8:05 am

you’ve lost the weight, worked hard to get there, your BMI is where that doc wanted it, so go for that consult and go for it!

11 Mom on the Go April 1, 2009 at 8:09 am

My niece had surgery at 18. Her shoulders were bruised or grooved from the straps anymore and she could buy pretty bras, instead of super-strength granny bras. The new size matched her frame and so she still wasn’t skipping a bra but it did wonders for her self-confidence. The only negative was that some of her milk ducts were affected and she had a bit of trouble nursing but, as you well know, that can happen anyway. I say, do what makes you feel good. You go to the gym for that reason and people don’t think that there is anything wrong with that. (I know the surgeon isn’t involved but the principle of wanting to look and feel good is there.)

12 Erica April 1, 2009 at 8:30 am

I had surgery when I was 21. The only time I had any regrets was when it became apparent that I would need to supplement my girls, instead of exclusive breastfeeding. Now that my youngest is nearly one, I am considering getting the surgery done again. I’m still not as big as I was before but two pregnancies have really caused me to pop out again.

13 HollyStar April 1, 2009 at 8:59 am

My beautiful cousin had the surgery in her mid-20s and it totally changed her life, from everyday clothes shopping to sports and more. Not to mention the fact that she has some seriously nice looking ta-tas now! We are all jealous. I’ve told John that when I am all done with the nursing, he owes me a lift and I’m mostly serious. Go for it!!!

14 JoJo April 1, 2009 at 9:43 am

I had it done at 18. It truly changed my life. But for 18 year old girl reasons. Men didn’t see my breasts coming instead of me. I could wear a tube top(it was the late 80s). My confidence and self-esteem grew by leaps and bounds. I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it weren’t for the surgery.

Now for my 35 year old reasons that I enjoyed at 18. You can wear any top or dress you want! No more buying and XL when you really wear a Medium. You like what you see in the mirror.

The only time it has vexed me is nursing. But I am stubborn as a mule and luckier than a fool. With baby #2 I am so happy to say that I nurse exclusively. Along with drugs and pumping, it’s working.

18 years ago I did not find recovery hard. Mine was done the way of cutting all under the breast, straight up and around the nipple. There are different, less invasive ways now.

Do it. A lifetime of freedom for 6 weeks of healing. Do it.

15 Amy @ Muddy Boots April 1, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I had to laugh at your comment about having your nipples stepped on. I have a hard time filling an ‘A’ cup when not nursing, so it happens to all sizes. I say go for it if it’s what you want.

16 Nicole April 1, 2009 at 8:25 pm

Nipples getting stepped on is one of those things I absolutely did not have in mind when I signed up for this whole motherhood adventure but happened with surprising frequency. Nice.

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