Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Journey Back to Badass: My Boobs, My Choice

This is not a story of overcoming adversity or illness or tragedy. This is my story - about what my boobs mean to me. And, yes, they are mine. So I call them boobs!
I was that girl in the sixth grade who had NO boobs. When I say no boobs, I mean ZERO. FLAT. Yep, even the boys had bigger boobs than me. The hardest part was that all of my friends wore bras and had boobs. Do you know what it's like to be a sixth grade girl, and every single one of your friends has to wear a bra, but you don't even have to wear an undershirt? Thank god my mom realized what was going on and one day said to me, "How about we go buy you a bra?" I said, "Yes!" Man, I was young and dumb. So, we hit the store, and I got my first bra! You guessed it - 32 AAA.

Time passes a little. I’m in middle school. I've grown to a full A (almost B) cup. I didn't really think about my boobs at this point anymore. You know, they were just there. And then, all of a sudden, the summer going into ninth grade…BAM! BOOBS. I don't just mean like, oh, yes, now you have to wear a bra. No, I'm talking being a 36D going into ninth grade. The funny thing was, I didn't care. I was just an average looking girl with an average body - not too thin, not too fat - just me with boobs now. I didn't get extra attention. It wasn't like all of a sudden I was this hot chick that everybody wanted because her boobs were so big. In fact, my boobs were kind of a pain in my ass because I swam and played water polo. They got in the way. Though, it was much easier to do push-ups when you only had to go down so far.

Fast forward to my twenties. I married, I had a kid, I breastfed. I'll be honest - I didn't think about how the women of my family had all breastfed. It was easy, we were poor, and it was cheap. But I enjoyed it; it was great. At that point, I was a 34DD. What no one had ever told me (and I’m still a little pissed at this) is that, when you have big boobs and breastfeed, and then you stop breastfeeding, your boobs don't go back to the pretty perky big boobs they used to be. When I finished breastfeeding and my milk dried up, I shrunk down to a large 34B, but this wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that I looked like I had two socks falling off my chest that just so happen to have tennis balls at the bottom of them. It was weird and kind of gross to me. I just didn't know what to do. I kind of felt like a part of me was gone. I got pregnant again, had another baby, breastfed again. YAY! Big boobs were back! Breastfeeding complete. Oh, hello little saggy bumps falling off my chest. BOO!

I realized at this point that my boobs were a part of me. Not in a sexual nature. But when I looked in the mirror, my boobs were a part of who I saw staring back at me. Again, it wasn't like I had been getting a ton of attention when I had big boobs, but they were part of who I was. And now they were gone. They had been replaced by these weird saggy hanging things that, when I bent over, seemed to touch the floor. It was craziness!

My self-esteem, which wasn’t so great anyway, seemed to take a bigger hit. I just didn’t fully feel like me anymore. And I know, as I write this, it sounds shallow and superficial. I get that. But it's how I felt - like a big part of me (a few cup sizes) was missing. I would joke about that if I had the money I would get a boob job. I was specific in my joke - I didn’t want porn star boobs; I just wanted a refill to where they used to be. It wasn’t about vanity. It was about being who I had been physically. Could I have lived the rest of my life as I was? Of course. It wasn’t a need, but it was a very deep-seated want. I recognized this and kept living. I was self-conscious though.

About four years after my second child was born, I was given the opportunity to get a boob job. An event transpired (not breast cancer nor any near-death experiences), and a very special person (not my significant other) recognized what a boob job meant to me. So, as a gift, I was to get new boobs. To say I was overjoyed does not even begin to express my feelings. It was the strangest thing. I felt as if, finally, as I moved into this new chapter of my life, I was going to get to walk into it as me - the full me, the me I had missed. The me that was strong and confident and knew who she was. I know it sounds strange. They are only lumps of skin and tissue on your chest that feed your kids, but, to me, they were a part of me. And, ohhhhhh, how I had missed my boobs!

I had my surgery and was beyond happy! I was back! My refilled boobs made me feel so much better than I had for so many years. I felt confident and secure and I felt like I fit in my own skin again. While I could have moved forward without my surgery, I will tell you that I don’t regret it for even a minute. It's now ten years later and I am still so happy I was given the opportunity to fill (literally) a part of me that had been missing. I am not defined by my boobs, but I sure do like my girls and how I feel about myself! And, in the end, that's what really matters.

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