March 20, 2014

The View From Here: My Journey Toward Breast Reduction

Wow you guys, I almost blew it.
I failed to get someone scheduled to contribute this week's View ahead of time.
The other weeks of the month are covered.
I blame the cruise.

Thankfully, when you send out a plea for help to a group of bloggers, someone is likely to respond.
It's worked out kind of perfectly, actually.

Below is a very honest and personal piece from Elizabeth of Rocks, No Salt Mommy who is having breast reduction surgery TODAY.

More Than a Physical Change: My Journey Toward Breast Reduction

I want to be a rectangle.

That’s the thought I had every morning in high school as I stepped out of the shower and saw my reflection in the wall-to-wall mirror of my childhood bathroom. A rectangle. You know, the body type that models have. No hips. No breasts. No curves. A rectangle.

But I was far from a rectangle. My silhouette was almost a perfect hourglass. I had hips. I had breasts. And boy, did I have curves. My teenage body was uncomfortably developed and I knew it. I felt it every day as I got dressed for school and had to worry about whether horizontal stripes would be malformed across my DD breasts. I felt the embarrassment of watching my group video in Zoology class as I was enlarged on the screen and my breasts stretched apart the ribbing of the Gap tank top I wore the day we filmed.

I especially felt it after a friend got some film developed (this was the ‘90s, after all) and I came across a group shot of us girlfriends. I had jumped into the photo at the last minute and was sort of lying across the other girls’ laps, so I was in the forefront of the frame. My choice outfit that night was a white half-zip sweatshirt (hooray for ‘90s clothes!) that was tight across my chest. The angle of the photo, the white of the sweatshirt, and my posing position made my breasts stand out as basically the only thing in the picture. Thank goodness Facebook wasn’t around back then because I would have been humiliated if that photo had made the rounds.

As much as I disliked my breasts, high school boys liked them immensely. I still get comments on Facebook from high school boyfriends about my breasts. I can’t say that I hated the attention when I was younger. I liked having a feature that made me stand out from the sea of girls roaming the halls. But that was just one aspect of having big breasts, and I played it off jokingly many times when my double-Ds came up in conversation. In private, I wished for nothing more than small breasts and narrow hips. The rectangle.

It was in private that my mom duct-taped my breasts before a dance competition. It was in private that I struggled with my backless dress for senior prom when my stick-on bra failed to hold up the girls. It was in private that I saw myself dancing on video and realized I could no longer wear bras without underwire. It was also in private that I cried when I made the cheerleading squad and none of the tops from the cheer closet would fit my chest so a new one had to be special ordered. Those were the moments that made me wish away my hourglass figure.

I was not obese. I was not round. I was simply curvy. I wore size 6 jeans and large or extra-large tops. I always had to buy swimsuits that came in separate pieces because one size would never suffice for both top and bottom. Oh, and those swimsuit tops always had to be a halter with a tie behind the neck in order to pull up my breasts. I knew the meaning of needing support long before most of my friends even started wearing real bras.

And all of this was before I was 20. Before I had children. Before I gained 40 pounds and gave birth. Before I breastfed two children for a combined 19 months.

With a 3 year-old and a 1 year-old, I have now found myself truly despising my breasts. I thought I hated them back when I was in high school, but I had no idea how much they would haunt me in my 30s. I have lost almost 30 of those 40 pounds, and I’m still bulging out of my DDD bras. Yes. DDD.

I can no longer wear button-up shirts, even with a camisole underneath and the top few buttons unbuttoned. My breasts simply pour out. I can no longer wear t-shirts that are not made of stretchy knit because my breasts are too tight across the thick cotton fabric. I find myself slouching as I type, eat, drive, and walk because the weight of my chest is overwhelming at times. I struggle with where to place the seatbelt across my breasts. And worst of all, I’ve basically had to stop shopping at regular stores because shirts just don’t fit me. I tried plus-size stores, but those shirts are too big.

I saw an episode of What Not To Wear featuring a big-busted woman and they gave her the advice of shopping at plus-sized stores, buying shirts to fit her chest and then taking them to get tailored to fit her waist. I’ve seriously considered that, but who wants to do that for the rest of her life?? I want to be able to grab a shirt off the rack at the mall and know it’s going to fit from top to bottom when I get it home. I’m ready to live that life.

I no longer wish for that rectangle. I’ve grown enough emotionally to accept this curvy figure I was given. I realize we can’t change our body type, so I’ve embraced my curves and I’m a proud hourglass these days. But, I cannot embrace these breasts. I cannot live like this any longer. I’ve wasted enough tears and years on these DDDs.

My mom says she remembers me discussing breast reduction before I even graduated high school. So, today I’m finally doing it. They’re going away. I’m saying goodbye to my breasts in a very invasive, permanent way. Today I go in for my breast reduction.

I’m finished having children. I’m finished breastfeeding. I’m ready for the next stage of my breasts. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, but the prospect of finally having a body I’m comfortable in outweighs my fears.

So, box up the huge bras. Break out the swimsuits. Here’s to my first summer of strappy dresses!

I knew a girl in the same boat as Elizabeth in 6th grade. She looked like a full-grown adult, but was only 11 years old. Of course at the time I felt envy over how developed she already was, even though I heard and saw the teasing she got, especially from boys. I know now that it wasn't cool.

I think Elizabeth is very brave to share this with us, so leave her a nice comment, and then go learn more about her at her:

**If you are interested in contributing YOUR View, please go HERE**

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