Four years after my surgery I'm down a size, and still rocking the smaller bras and smaller pants! Here I am, happy as a clam that I did this, and willing to share my story so others like me will be inspired to make the same great decision that I made! Here's what I wrote about it one year after my surgery:
April 14, 2008
Mommy Makeover + 1 Year
A year ago today I was recovering from what some call a "mommy makeover." I had a breast reduction and a tummy tuck. I am 35 years old and have had three children, two of whom are twins, and another who was 9.5 lbs at birth (and man, did he have a big head).
Contrary to what some out there might believe, I was not duped into believing that I was misshapen, unattractive, pressured into surgery, or taken in by clever marketing. And I was certainly not self-loathing. My husband and I came to this decision on our own, after many discussions. I mention my husband because he too is part of my decision making process whenever a big decision comes up. You see, I married him and he's still in the picture. He did not, however, ever tell me that I was unattractive, insufficient in any way, nor did he pressure me at all into having this surgery. He was supportive of me every step of the way, and only wanted the best for me - whatever I decided was the best for me.
You see, this mommy makeover WAS all about me. I often joke that everything is about me, but in this case it was. I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I had headaches, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain from straps digging in, couldn't run or jog, and had trouble exercising at all other than weights and some minor cardio. I had been exercising for years three times a week but was unable, due to the sheer size of my breasts (40 FF if you are curious) to do a whole lot that would make the exercise effective. I also had trouble finding clothes that fit my body. I have skinny legs and large hips, which normally wouldn't be an issue in hunting up clothes that fit. But I also had a lump of skin near my belly that hung down about 3-4 inches from where it belonged, and had to literally be tucked into my pants. Any weight I lost made the skin fold hang down further, and the layer of fat accompanying my skin made it impossible for me to fit into pants that were shaped appropriately for my size. Basically I should have been in a size 16 based on waist, leg, and hip size and shape, but had to wear a size 22 to accommodate that lump of skin. No pants were made that fit my shape. Also, those lovely muscles that separate to make room for those kids during pregnancy never came back together - not even close. It didn't matter how much I exercised my muscles wouldn't come back together. So here I was with separated muscles, saggy skin, and big giant boobs. No amount of work would bring that skin back towards home, and those boobs, which were there from the start, were never were going to get smaller.
It all started with an episode of Dr. 90210 (a guilty pleasure that I'm admitting for the first time publicly). After seeing boobs on the show that looked exactly like mine and realizing that I could find some relief from the pain that I'd felt all these years, we started looking into the surgery. We decided that now was the time to remove the belly skin, and that the muscles that weren't friends could be sewn back together. This was not medically required, nor was the reduction covered by the insurance because apparently going from a FF to a C cup was not removing enough tissue. So, it IS all about me - not some doctor - and I could get both things done at the same time. And so I did. Now, one year later, I couldn't be happier.
You see, I don't see my body as a "badge of mommyhood." Being a mommy is all about who you are on the inside and what you teach your kids. I have three little badges of mommyhood running around. First off, my kids represent all that I am in respect to being a mom - you can judge me that way, not by the way I look. Isn't that what we teach our kids? And while I gave birth to these three, that doesn't mean that if I adopted they wouldn't also represent all that I am as a mother. Who says that you have to give birth to a little person to wear your badge proudly - any adoptive mom can tell you that.
I did this for me. I did this because I wanted to. I can now exercise and have lost some weight, which in turn makes me more healthy and more available for my kids now and in the future. I am now pain free - no back, neck, shoulder, or strap pain. I move around much easier - I no longer have FF's working against me every step (but my husband mourns the loss of his friends). And yes, I am more confident. But honestly, that comes from feeling better and being more healthy. And poo on you who think otherwise.
Original DC Metro Moms post.
Suzie also blogs over at Confessions of a Not So Well Behaved Woman.