Before my surgery, you would never hear me talking about bras, or at least not with happiness or excitement. If I did mention them to anyone, it was to moan and complain about how much I hated them, and my boobs. Nothing ever fit. I always had empty, gaping cups, or an awful (to me) pointy shape if the bra wasn’t padded. Even while breastfeeding my daughter, the only one of three children I could successfully breastfeed, my boobs were ugly pointy reminders that I was deformed.
I always knew I looked different from everyone else. I didn’t look like my Mom or my sister, or any of my friends that changed in front of me, completely free of inhibitions because they looked ‘normal.’ It wasn’t until I tried to breastfeed my first baby that I came to learn that not only were they ugly, but they were also useless. They couldn’t even do what boobs are designed for. I had nightmares about what I would do in a zombie apocalypse if I couldn’t get formula and feed my baby. One night, at about 2 a.m. in a sleep deprived stupor, I realized that the can of formula I had just bought that day was expired. I immediately drove to the grocery store where I bought it and pounded on the door until a poor unsuspecting night stocker opened the door and took the brunt of my wrath. Fearing for his life, he exchanged the can and backed away slowly before calling the police, I’m sure. I cried like a baby when I got back into my car because I shouldn’t have to buy formula! I read all the books, I made sure every nurse on the floor where I delivered knew not to give him a pacifier. I fed all day and all night. I fed him until I was bleeding, but he still screamed. When I realized that despite all my efforts, I was essentially starving my baby, I was devastated. My body had betrayed me, and there was nothing I could do about it. One day I was watching a show about plastic surgery and a woman was having a consultation for a breast augmentation. I noticed right away that her boobs looked like mine! When the doctor told her she had tuberous breasts, and that it was a congenital defect, I immediately looked it up online. What I found were dozens of other women with stories just like mine. It was comforting but it also made me hate my breasts even more. I always wanted surgery to make them look more normal, but now that I knew they were actually deformed? The idea of slicing and dicing them appealed to me even more. For years I pled with my husband to have the surgery. He hated the idea and didn’t want to talk about it. Money was always tight anyway, so it just wasn’t in the cards. I had my 2nd baby, and I didn’t even try to breastfeed. My mom urged me to just try, but I couldn’t even talk about it. I had a form of post traumatic stress over it. I could not go through it again. Then of course, PPD kicked in and I felt like a criminal for not trying. When we started talking about having a third baby, I decided I would try everything I could to breastfeed, even if it only met some of the baby’s needs. Through a lot of research, lactation consultants, herbs and tears, I was able to have a successful breastfeeding relationship with my 3rd and last baby. When she was done nursing at almost 2 years old, I decided I was going to finally have surgery to correct my ugly Betties. By this time my husband was on board, and we had the money to do it. It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. Someday, if there’s interest, I’ll write a post in detail about the surgery process.
Fast forward to 3 months after surgery. I met a group of women online that had an almost cult-like love of Polish bras. Polish?! Why? I’ll tell you why. If you size out of Victoria’s Secret which seems like the only place to buy bras (it’s not!) and you don’t want to wear something that looks like your ancestors who came through Ellis Island wore, you need a Polish bra. They are a thing of beauty…and support! They are beautiful, fit wonderfully (usually after some trial and error) and give amazing shape. For some reason, a lot of bra makers think that if you’re larger than a D cup, you want to wear something called a “Minimizer.” Um, nope! I bought these bad boys, I want them on display! I want cleavage and lift, and I want pretty colors, and fabrics! Polish brands just get it. They get that even women in a ‘N’ cup (yup, we’ve got one of those!) want a pretty bra, and they want it to fit without the cups coming up to their neck, or without wires wrapping around to their back. If you’ve never heard of Polish bras, please do yourself and your boobs a favor and have a good look around here. If you have heard of them, stay tuned for reviews of specific bras and brands and leave a comment about your favorites!