by Kristen Bagwell
Those of you who've been reading TMOM for a while may remember my dilemma, which started with this post about "the girls" and continued with a "I really might have breast augmentation surgery" debate. After much mental ado, the fix(es) are in, and I wanted to write while it's still fresh in my mind. Honestly, this is not a tell-all as much as a "things I wish I'd known" post, so if you're bored, I sincerely apologize. (The photo to your left is not me, in case you wondered.)
At our last check, I'd had most of my questions answered and was on the way to my final consultation with the doctor. At this last appointment, we started talking reality, and the doctor actually drew right on me with dry erase pens. (Brace yourselves...if you get to this step in the process, you may find it's a little odd. Also, reminder: audition several doctors, and obtain the costs up front. This will help you decide with whom you're most comfortable, and will also help in financial planning.)
Then, he drew a line right down the center of my torso to create a midline. It's important to note that if you're uneven or if your girls point in different directions, there's only so much that a surgeon can do to correct this. You'll still be a little bit imperfect...aren't we all?
After that, there were some additional measurements from the center(s) to the outside of my rib cage, to ensure he knew what the maximum diameter could/should be:
Finally, he measured where the current "crease" (aka "under- boob") was (or would have been if I'd had one). Then he examined different-sized implants and marked the new under-boob area, where the scar would be hidden:
At this point, we looked at actual implants and tried to gauge size and "profile" (perkiness) by holding them up against the skin and viewing front and profile in the mirror. There were many shapes and types to choose from: think pancake, jelly doughnut, muffin top (higher-profile = "perkier") and so on. Once he'd figured out the optimal result, he made some notes and that was it.
The day of surgery was a breeze, honestly - we were in a private pre-op room so he could draw on me again, and then I took a few breaths of happy gas and was out cold. Best sleep I ever had, and then I woke up nice and warm with bandages and cold packs on. I brought a compression shirt to wear immediately post-op, and the nurse explained how to care for my bandages and pain pump pack until the follow-up appointment (48 hours later). The pain was very manage-able, and the stiffness was tolerable.
As I progressed through the recovery phases, I have to admit that the healing process was not as easy as I'd believed. There is a significant amount of stretching that needs to happen for your body to accommodate the new "development" and just like pregnancy belly, mine itched like all get-out. Then there was the nerve re-awakening, which is quite a bit of sensation (again, much like pregnancy sensitivity), and the settling (which is still happening).
Sidebar - In case you wondered, the need for massage is not a myth. I'd call it gentle patting, rather than massage - up, down, up, down and then left, right, left right, on each "gal" for a couple of minutes 3-4 times per day. It's amazing how much this activity changes the feel and weight of the girls because at first, everything is high and tight. Gradually, though, it's all starting to feel like it was always there, and I'm ready to move to the next phase of this little adventure.
At this stage, the question remains: Was it worth it? Depends on the goal, I suppose. There was definitely a point during weeks 2 and 3 where I'd have said no. It was kind of like the time I bought a Jeep Wrangler and ended up hating it, ultimately deciding that it was a great car to have if I lived near the beach, but generally not as much fun in an everyday setting. (I did have the exact same thought about the newbies at one point, but it passed.) Now that I'm closer to the finish line, I'm feeling pretty good about my decision, and much better physically. I get to start exercising normally again in the next few weeks, and am looking forward to becoming stronger and healthier (and slimmer, I'll admit it).
I generally look forward to bigger and better things, and since I've gotten those already (get it? har har) I am looking forward to my continued transformation throughout this year. I was a happy person before, and I am still a happy person - just a slightly altered version of my former physical self. This experience has helped me examine my goals in general and not only how I set them, but how I achieve them. It may sound weird, but if this is what it took for me to really look inward and see how to renew or reset my personal journey, then it's worth all that and a bag of chips.
Best of luck to you all in your own journeys, whatever they may be!