I used to have boobs...not huge boobs...but boobs. After breastfeeding for 40 months of my life, I have skin. I am 8 pounds lighter than when I got married, 12 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with Reid, and 7 pounds lighter than when I got pregnant with LilliAnn, which doesn't help matters when it comes to the volume of breast tissue. Now that Jeb and I are pretty positive that we are not going to have any more children, I have began to focus on myself and my body a bit more. I have been eating light and clean, trying to eliminate gluten and sugar as much as possible, and I have been working out on most days of the week. I love my stomach and can see my abs more than I ever have before. My legs are finally started to get toned. And this week I reached my goal weight. However, my boobs, or "skin," is really starting to make me self-conscious. In a sports bra, I look like a boy and when I look at my breasts in the mirror, it makes me extremely sad. I want to feel like a woman. I want to have boobs...not big boobs...just any boobs. I really don't want a "boob job," I just want my own boobs to come back! Jeb tells me that I am beautiful and that I look "athletic," but he is a man, and I know deep down that he would love for his wife to have breasts again.
Everyone tells me, "Just get some," or "You have the money, go get a pair." Even my dad has made comments like (jokingly - you have to know my dad), "Have your boobs always been that small?" "I'll pay for you some," and "If my chest looked like that I would go to the ER and tell them that I needed an emergency boob job!" And this weekend, Jeb and I were heading out for an evening run at the lake house and my grandpa says "Where did your boobs go, Kelli Ann?" I'm not going to lie. It is depressing. I feel guilty for making this a big deal, because compared to people that have cancer, people that lost their homes and loved ones in the tornado, and other serious problems, my problem seems pretty trivial. But I REALLY needed to write about it. It really bothers me. I needed to make some sense of all of the thoughts in my head. Especially since it is bathing suit season and we go to the beach in a few days. It has been extra hard trying to find a bathing suit top that fits someone with ZERO breast tissue. My friends say, "Get one of those Victoria Secret push-up swimsuits." But they don't understand. I have NOTHING to push up. I mean NOTHING....only skin. The "add 2-cup sizes" bikini tops don't work when you have skin and no breast tissue because it just forms this huge gap that looks ridiculous.
So I know what you're thinking. "What's the issue?" "What's the problem?" "Why don't you just go get a boob job like HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of other women?"
This is why. I am a thinker. I am a researcher. I believe in health. Not just the absence of disease, but true HEALTH. I am a healthcare provider... a nurse practitioner... and I work for a nurse practitioner who specializes in functional medicine, integrative medicine, nutritional medicine, and women's health. I know a lot.... a lot more than most women who just go get a boob job because they need one. And just let me say, ANYONE that looked at my chest would agree that I definitely REALLY NEED breast augmentation surgery. Sometimes I wish I didn't know so much. I wish I didn't know that most of our patients who have silicone implants have positive ANA's and autoimmune issues (coincidence?). I wish I didn't know that almost every patient that has implants that I do clinical breast exams on during well-woman visits (especially the ones that have had their implants for several years) have rock hard, immobile breasts from scar tissue and contractures. I wish I didn't know that implants make it much more difficult to detect and diagnose breast cancer. And that over 50% of breast implant patients have some sort of complication within the first few years, and over 30% of women with breast implants eventually get them removed. I wish I didn't know that all types of implants eventually rupture and that silicone leaks or diffuses into the tissue at some point (even with the safer "gummy bear" cohesive gel silicone implants), or that almost every saline implant removed has been found to have mold or bacteria growing inside of them. I wish I hadn't heard first hand stories from patients that became sick from silicon in their body or mold/bacteria that leached into their tissues... how previously healthy women have developed fatigue, brain fog, lupus, joint pain, rhumatoid arthritis, and neurological issues a few years after getting implants. I wish I didn't know that these chemicals in implants (Benzene, phenol, rubber solvent, acetone, lacquer thinner, toluene, freon, epoxy resin and hardener, polyvinyl chloride, isopropyl alcohol, solder, metal cleaning acid, formaldehyde, color pigments) eventually diffuse into your body (either in small or large amounts) at some point...some people can detoxify well and "handle" it, while other people will become sick and may never know or associate their symptoms with their implants.
Because if I didn't know all of this, I would have a beautiful pair of breasts right now. And I wouldn't have this anxiety about getting a "boob job." Everyone does fine at first, but what about after a couple of years? What will these artificial implants do to their body? The body tries to fight off anything that is foreign, thus contributing to autoimmune issues and a host of complications that accompany this.
I know...I could die of a car accident tomorrow. I could get diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age. I could get sick from pneumonia and die of complications next week. But the issue is, why ask for problems or put something into your body that you KNOW is harmful. It would be one thing if I didn't know these things, but I do. I am educated about risks that aren't talked about. I know things that aren't discussed or shared openly because breast augmentation is the number one type of plastic surgery, and implants are one of the most profitable artificial or "prosthetic devices." I know about complications concerning a topic and a surgery that isn't openly discussed in society. I have researched and educated myself, AND I am a health care provider... an integrative health care provider... that does a lot of women's health so I KNOW these things. So how can I get a breast augmentation and just pretend like I don't know these things, or pretend like I am not worried about them. Call me crazy, and you may think I am strange or weird, but what would you do if you knew all of this information and knew of people that had went through it?! Plus, my anxious, perfectionist personality doesn't help things!
It's all about benefit versus risk. And right now, for me, the risks outweigh the benefits. They make padded bras and gel inserts for my bathing suits. My husband adores me, and I honestly don't think our sex life could get any better - even with a pair of full C's :) And as sad as I get sometimes when I turn sideways and look in the mirror, I wouldn't trade nursing my two children for ANYTHING in this world...especially for a pair of nice breasts. My children never had one drop of formula and that is something that I am extremely proud of.
I have a consult with a very reputable plastic surgeon the middle of June. And I want pretty, perky boobs...BAD. I mean REALLY BAD! When I am in a bathing suit (and especially around males when I'm in a bathing suit), I am all for it. I think, "Everyone does it, Kelli Ann. You're going to do it." But then when I sit down and really think about it...pray about it...I get sick to my stomach and feel in my gut like I shouldn't. My mother has always told me to not do something unless "your entire being is screaming yes." I can definitely say that my entire being is very hesitant on this one. After praying tonight, I couldn't sleep so I picked up my phone and started doing more reading. I was lead to a blog where a mother of four children decided against implants after several friends of hers had complications. Her father was a pathologist and told her that when he had to look under a microscope at breast implants, he saw "so many things that should not be in a women's body." I found this scripture and it hit me like a rock. It reached all the way to my core and shook my soul.
I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
This is what He wants me to know. This was exactly what I needed to read tonight. He was speaking to me.
I had a horrible experience in August with Botox and I am just now (9 months later) almost fully recovered. I started a post about this long ago, but have yet to finish it, as the story is complicated and emotional. The Lord spoke to me during this experience, and used this to get my attention. I was not where I needed to be spiritually and in my walk with Christ, and the Lord knew that my health was the way to wake me up and change my path. This was a learning experience, and I feel like this was a warning/wake up call or "precursor" incident to saving me from other things. We are not perfect. If I had "perfect" breasts, I'm sure I would find something else wrong with my body...like my thighs would be too big. It's not about the breasts. It's about loving and accepting myself.
I have read about fat transfer for breast augmentation, and how this is promising and a safer alternative. I'm not sure that I'm even a candidate, but I am definitely interested... but right now, I am going to pray for peace.... to be content ... and to be still.