I don't remember exactly when my boobs came in, but I remember when I realized how big they were. It was Welcome Week, my first year of high school, and our senior sisters dressed us in wacky costumes they had raided local thrift shops for. Mine was a ridiculous silver sequined dress with a tutu on top. On my way to class a classmate, dressed just as ridiculous as I was, joked as if those were my real boobs, thinking my senior sister made me stuff my bra. I laughed and corrected her that they actually were my boobs, then I realized “damn, my boobs are big”.
I had to learn to work with what I had and played them down the best I could. A few years later I would be screamed at for wearing something "too revealing" and "being a disgrace to women everywhere" by a customer at work. Despite my efforts to conceal, I was shamed for dressing "too sexy" when I wasn't even trying to. Forever 21's sizing would fail me time and time again, and I couldn't wear anything that buttoned up without being somewhat exposed.
My body didn’t feel like it belonged to me. I considered a breast reduction for years, but could never make the commitment to the procedure. The thought of changing my body so drastically was terrifying, and I'd convince myself, over and over, that I liked my boobs. But I didn't, I hated them. I envied anyone who didn't have to wear special order bras because most stores stop at D. I longed for the day where I'd have zero back problems and be able to exercise without wearing two sports bras. I didn't want to be referred to as "the girl with the boobs" anymore.
After Steven proposed, I thought it was finally time, but I still couldn't make the commitment. I wasted a year going back and forth on the idea like I always did. This past August, I finally realized how badly I wanted this surgery before my wedding, so I brought it up to my doctor and she immediately got the ball rolling. Within a few weeks, I had a consult with a plastic surgeon and was waiting to hear back from my insurance to see if they'd approve it. It was denied at first, but my doctor pushed back and it was finally approved. After another consult, December 18th was set in stone and I was anxious every moment leading up to the surgery.
I had a very dramatic "do I really want to do this?" moment while the nurses prepped me for surgery. Luckily Steven was there to remind me that this was what I wanted, and have always wanted since he'd known me. He supported me every step of the way, and was by my side until they rolled me away to the operating room. By then I was laughing with the anesthesiologist, feeling anything but anxious. The last thing I remember was being transferred to the table, and someone assuringly squeezing my foot as I fell asleep.
When I woke up I remember my throat hurting, and telling the nurse I felt like crying. He said it was totally normal, and that I should let myself cry (an approach I appreciate). I'm not sure why I felt that way, but I think it was because deep down I already felt a release. My nurse distracted me by talking about Bitcoin, which somehow moved me to talk about my love of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, then off we went to my room. My Mom and Steven were there waiting and said they could hear me laughing with the nurses down the hall.
I found out that I had breathing issues during surgery, and would have to stay to be monitored overnight. My pain was manageable, but I had awful nausea. Luckily, I could walk around and use the bathroom on my own, which was my main concern. After a few hours, my nausea subsided and the doctor cleared me to go home, so I didn't end up spending the night after all.
Steven set an alarm every four hours so I could take any pills needed, and didn't leave my side for two days. I had no complications until day three when I woke up with a high fever, but took a fever reducer after being cleared to do so by my doctor. I slept for five days straight but was out of the house by day seven. Unfortunately, I almost immediately got the flu, which was actually way worse than anything I went through during my recovery.
I am three months post-op and finally feel like I don't have two aliens living on my chest. Before and after my surgery, I didn't feel like my boobs were my own, but I finally feel like they are MINE, and it feels AMAZING.
Here's where my advice starts. If you're contemplating this surgery, I can tell you that personally, I am SO happy that I finally did it. I found an insanely helpful amount of resources on the Reduction Subreddit. People post about their experiences from beginning to end and their advice is so valuable. On the more technical side, I'd recommend finding a doctor that you really trust. My doctor was fine and did a good job, but I feel like the pre and post op appointments were lacking in information that I had to go searching for. I also recommend going over the costs with your insurance company and hospital. It wasn't until two days before my surgery that the cost was presented to me after I thought it was fully covered. It wasn't, and it added an entirely new layer of stress to my plate. Trust me, you'll be better off having that information well in advance.
I put together an Amazon List of stuff I was really grateful to have on hand after surgery. I added things like a wedge pillow to keep you upright while you sleep, scar cream and oil, the comfiest bra I've ever known, and more.
If you're contemplating this surgery and want more advice, or have gone through it and just want to talk about all things reduction related, PLEASE shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you in any way possible. Thank you for reading about this life-changing thing I did! Woo!