"Danny Zuko's got tits!" was the first thing I heard as I stepped out for my first line. It was preserved forever on the recording my parents made.
That may not be the first time I was embarrassed about my chest size, but it was the first time I remember being so self-conscious about a part of myself that I could not control. And it was surely not the last time. Not even close.
Clothes never fit me right. I was buying adult sizes when I was just a kid. I often looked like I was wearing a curtain or a drape when my contemporaries were wearing The Limited or Guess. My poor mother took me specialty bra shopping when I was a new teenager and almost fell over at the sticker shock of what a minimizer bra would cost and at how much material was needed to hold my ladies in place.
Sports were hard, so I stuck to drama (which was more than ok with me as I started to fine-tune my craft and get cast in female roles!). There were always certain things I could do not or wear, but I got by. The Fields women were known for their ample bosoms, and that was just the way it was.
Over the years, I lose and gained various amounts of weight. At my very lightest, I still need 2-3 sports bras to run or exercise and I never got below an XL top. It was what it was.
I met someone in college who had a breast reduction, and she was reborn! Victoria's Secret was not just a shop for perfume! She could fit into the bras, too! WHAT?
I thought seriously about the procedure after college, but I knew I would need help. I would need my mom to live with me or vice versa for a good week and tend to my dressings and take care of me. We were both working full time then, and it seemed not so much a "waste of time," but not the best use of our time. So I put it to the back of my mind.
About five years after that, I thought about it again. I was in my early 30's and single, but in the back of my mind, I thought that there might be a distant and remote chance that I would want to be a mother someday. And if I were, I would want to nurse my child. Nursing can happen after breast reductions, but often times it is complicated and sometimes even impossible. So back to the back burner it went.
Then I met Gary. Love changes your perception of things. I no longer cared as much about the size of my chest or the back pain or the shoulder grooves I now had from wearing such heavy bras so much of the time. It was just a part of my story, and I liked that this guy was really into my whole story.
When I got pregnant with Allie, I felt like my breasts were like, "FINALLY! SOMETHING FOR US TO DO!" I registered for a breast pump, and I bought nipple pads and salve for cracked nipples and a whole bunch of things I knew nothing about. But I was excited to have a use for these things and ready to put them to work.
When my baby died, a part of me died as well. No question about that. I stuffed my maternity bras with cabbage and wrapped them in ace bandages and prayed that my milk would not come in. I do not think I could bear it if it did. They somehow heard my prayers, and I was spared that added pain.
This past summer, I reconnected with an old family friend. She had a reduction a few months prior and was thrilled with the results. So much so that she wanted to take me into the Ladies Room to show off her new appendages. That lunch got me thinking. If not now, when?
I talked to Gary. I talked to my primary doctor. I got a referral. Quickly, I got my insurance company to approve the procedure. We were all systems go.
My reduction mammoplasty was scheduled for December 9th. We were all ready to go. I went to the surgical center, got ready to go, went under anesthesia...and then promptly got pulled out because I had bronchitis and it was too bad to continue.
I was in tears. I was SO close, and then I was denied yet again. The doctor and the nurses hated to see me in so much pain. They all agreed they would come in over their Christmas break and do the procedure for me then. New year, new you - I heard that more than once. December 29th was my new date.
I did not tell many people. That shame I had since I walked out on that stage at camp had followed me through my life. I could not quite figure out why I was embarrassed, but I was. In a way, my surgery became my little (big) secret.
That was 12 days ago. What I have learned in my recovery is that there is nothing I should be ashamed about! I had plastic surgery to correct an issue that has plagued me my whole life. The path to healing has been rocky for me - first I had a reaction to the anesthesia and puked the better part of my first night home and then I learned I had to sleep on my back which has been problematic for me, so sleep has been elusive for me. The pain was more than I expected and I still have not driven yet. Plans have been canceled; apologies have been made.
But get this - I NO LONGER HAVE THESE MAMMOTH FUN BAGS HANGING OFF MY BODY! I have these perky little things that I have no idea what to do with. I saw my doctor on Wednesday, and I am healing beautifully. I go back in a week and a half.
My back and neck pain were erased immediately. The shoulder grooves will go away in time. I feel freer and lighter and almost euphoric! I am tired and sore and in many ways, happier with my body than I have ever been.
I have lots more work to do. Work I can do myself once I can exercise again. Work on my mind and my soul, as well as my body. I am not worried. I know I can do it.
Gary deserves a plaque and an award and every Captain America statue that exists. He has taken on me as a patient (not an easy task) while comforting and tending to Miranda's every need. I am never ever letting him go.
A special shout-out, too, to Dr. George Zavitsanos and his incredible staff for all the care and support they gave me and will continue to give me, of this I am sure. I cannot imagine using anyone else.
So that's my story. I will not spend time wishing I had done it sooner or that my belly was flatter (now that there are no boobs to obstruct it!) or that this happened or that happened. I got the surgery when it was right for me. And I am so very glad that I did.
|Lunch at the food court yesterday, My first time out of the house in a week!|