I’ve been contemplating writing this post for a few months. Mainly at the thought of what others may think. I’ve always been the type of person who wants to please everybody, never offend and reluctant to share information that may cause others to think different of me. But then I came across a quote I heard while
reading listening to my latest book on Audible.
It’s actually been my latest “thing.” Listening to books while jogging away on the treadmill. I’ve replaced my reggaeton jams for inspirational literature. My latest is Rachel Hollis’, “Girl, Wash Your Face” and I am hooked on this girl’s mantra.
Chapter after chapter I find myself comparing life experiences. OK, maybe I didn’t move to California and work as an events planner for some uber-fancy clientele, but like Rachel, I found myself holding back from pursuing dreams at the thought of what others may think. This girl put aside her fears and the thought of what others may think and built herself a thriving business and has become an inspiration to many others.
She is real and does not shy from revealing her short comings if it means helping you come to terms and accepting yours. In the book, Rachel recalls a conversation with someone who told her, “Someone else’s opinion of you is none of your business.” And just like that, many of those paralyzing hesitations suddenly vanished.
I won’t say all because I’m still a work in progress. It took that phrase for me to finally realize that I should not hold value to what others think of me but rather hold value to what I think of myself. And so with that, I finally decided to share my plastic surgery story with you all. My hope is to help others who may have questions or are curious on what to expect during surgery. I also feel that people don’t tell you the bad parts of their experience so I will share mine.
This past August I had my breast augmentation surgery and it was not the experience I was hoping for. Let’s start at the beginning. I had always wanted to have larger breasts and had contemplated getting them done before — even had a consultation about 7 or 8 years ago but never went through with it. I guess it was because I was OK, not super happy, but OK with my B-cup and felt a push up was all I needed to get the look I was after. Then I had kids.
I breastfed my first born for about a year and noticed my breast didn’t really change but after nursing my second — whoa! game changer. This girl had sucked the life out of my left boob. I was running around town with a flat left and a B-cup sized right. This past summer was the most difficult. It was hard wearing a swimsuit because it was completely noticeable. I could even notice the difference under my shirts. This is when I decided to revisit the thought of surgery.
My husband and I decided we weren’t having anymore kids (I still haven’t accepted that 100%, but that’s another story) so he mentioned that if it was something that would make me feel better about myself to go for it. He actually told me that I better get it done sooner rather than later because the thought of surgery and its complications could sway him. So I started researching.
I had always heard of Dr. Michael Ciaravino and the many beautiful ladies he had performed breast augmentations for AND the guy is nicknamed ‘The Breast Doc’ so c’mon, how could you not, right? I had my consultation with his assistant, who also had her surgery performed by Dr. Ciaravino, and she went over expectations before, during and after surgery. I think I asked a handful of girls that work there about their experience with breast augmentation and they all had the same answer — It was, “the best decision they ever made.”
The hardest part, I think, was paying the money. But this is one purchase that I’m not willing to go cheap on. You can expect to pay $4000- $7000 for breast augmentation and if you are paying around $1000 — girl you better run! The day of surgery, I went in and met with the doctor before going to the OR and kissed my husband goodbye as they directed me to another room.
In that room they inserted my IV and then we walked into the OR where they laid me on the bed and 30 seconds later, I was out like a light. I woke up in a warm bed, groggy and extremely sleepy. I was not in any pain but I was so freaking tired! The whole ride home, all I wanted to do was sleep. We got some food to take home, but when I took one bite it all came up. The meds must have made me nauseous.
I had a follow up appointment a week later and everything seemed fine. I did mention to the nurse that when I would sleep on my right side, my right arm would go numb. This would freak me out! I would have to change positions often to keep this from happening. I would also have to shake my arm to get that numbing feeling to go away. She assured me that it was just my sleeping position, but I told her it would happen if I stretched my arm over my head like if putting on a shirt and again, she said it was my sleeping position.
To this day, I don’t think that was the right answer, but it did eventually go away after a few weeks. Then a couple of days after my one-week follow up, it happened. Now if you’ve ever had breast surgery, you know the first thing they tell you is not to pick up any heavy objects including your baby. Well, I will admit I didn’t follow doctor’s orders. I had a 14-month old for heaven’s sake, do you know how hard it is to not pick them up? I really tried to follow directions but there would be times where she would fall and my mom reflexes would kick in and I would jerk to catch her fall.
Well, I don’t know if that had anything to do with what came next but I remember it was a Thursday morning and I woke up to a tight left breast. It was more painful that before and the right one was not feeling this amount of pain. It felt as if my muscle had cramped. Along with this tightness, I also noticed the breast was slightly higher than before. I tried to massage gently but it would not go away. So I got dressed and went to work. After about an hour at work the pain started to get worse. I went into a the bathroom and noticed my left breast was twice the size of the right. I called the nurse and they asked me to send them a pic. As soon as they received it they asked me to come in immediately. I. WAS. FREAKED. OUT!
The tone in their voice was concerning and I bolted out of worked and drove straight to their office. The PA examined me and informed me that I had a hematoma. HE-MA-What??!?? I remember reading this in the “risks” section of surgery packet, but you never think it would happen to you so you kind of just skim past that part. She said I would have to go into surgery that afternoon. Hematomas are when you have a collection of blood outside of blood vessels. They are caused by injury to the wall of a blood vessel causing blood to leak out into surrounding tissue. This commonly happens during an injury or surgery, as in my case. Hematomas cause swelling and can be painful. Mine was super painful. I had drove myself to the surgeon’s office and I remember that I would be unable to drive myself home after surgery so I decided to take my car home (45 minutes away) and have my husband bring me back to get the surgery done. That round-trip was excruciating!!! The more time went by, the more painful it became. I felt like my boob was going to explode.
When I returned, they were ready to get me into the OR. Dr. Ciaravino was there to explain the procedure and was concerned for my well-being which made me feel a little better. He explained that they would have to make another incision to drain the blood and then singe the vessel that was leaking. When I woke up after the surgery, I was so relieved to not be feeling that pain anymore! Again, I was super groggy but I’ll take that over the pain.
Having this second surgery did roll back my recovery time and it meant I would have to wear the “special bra” a little bit longer. This bra is just a supportive bra that you must wear at all times for a few weeks after surgery to help with the recovery. I wasn’t worried about that, but I was worried that it meant a few more weeks of me not picking up my baby. She’s still in a crib so it sucked having to ask someone to get her out for me instead of doing it myself. My husband was super supportive during this time.
So when I reflect on my experience, I will admit that for the first month/ month and a half, I was really contemplating my decision. I was not as happy as I saw the girls at the surgeon’s office. This was not, “the best decision I had ever made.” As time went on, they started to settle into their rightful place and now 3 months post-surgery, I am really embracing these girls. I finally love my look! I look like I did when I was in my early twenties. Not too big, but sporty and functional. I’m still hesitant to do some upper-body workouts but I may start incorporating some exercises soon.
My plastic surgery experience is not picture-perfect, but I’m finally happy that I did go through with the surgery. My confidence is back and I love how my clothes fit. I’m also looking forward to Summer and bikinis!! If you have a similar plastic surgery experience, I’d love to hear about it!