Today marks the 7 year anniversary of my first breast augmentation. It seems fitting that I use this date to share the story behind my choice, even as I am still working on understanding it completely.
**trigger warning- I’ll be talking about sexual assault (not rape) and the effects on me. Additionally I’ll be talking about my own body, using terms that I felt at the time. My words toward my own body are just that, my own for me. They are in no way meant to be taken as a statement towards someone else’s body.
I’ll start by talking a bit about me and then go on to what changed. I was your average petite girl through school. By the time of my high school graduation, I was 5’1.5″ and 94lbs. In some ways I was an early bloomer; puberty started and appeared to end early. Breast buds started in elementary school but never passed that stage. I kept a boyish figure until my early 20’s, then I got a bit of curve to my hips.
Through school I dealt with the normal comments. “Itty bitty titty committee.” “Why do you bother wearing a bra?” And many more that were much more hurtful that I won’t put into writing. It was during this time that I had a life changing event. (*here’s where the talk about sexual assault starts, just a fair warning.) At the ripe age of 16, dating what was maybe the third person I had dated, I experienced a sexual assault. I was fortunate that it did not progress, but it left me feeling completely disassociated with my breasts. It was focused on my breasts alone. My words of rejection were not respected. Being only 16 I handled it in the best way I knew how. I told my parents a partial truth and shoved it all aside in the deepest parts of my mind. Little did I know just how much I pushed aside and how this would change my views of my body.
Years later I met the man that I would marry. Along with this came my first positive experiences toward sex and my own sexuality. My ideas about sex changed drastically and quickly, but there was a part still hidden deeply. I can’t express in words what I felt towards my breasts; but it was expressed in an extreme show of modesty, the fear of being seen or touched. I still struggle with modesty and feeling comfortable today.
My feelings of modesty and protection towards my breasts was something my husband respected, but questioned at the same time. It wasn’t until years later, after my first breast augmentation, that I told him some details of what happened to me.
While in the military, my path crossed with someone who planned on having their breast augmentation after we returned from deployment. Following on her research I really started to consider it for me. I had initially discounted the idea of surgery as being too painful. However, after a stomach surgery with a long recovery I decided a beast augmentation couldn’t hold a candle on that and it would be worth it to love my breasts. That’s where I made a mistake. I knew I wanted to have a breast augmentation, but I hadn’t come to terms with the why behind the want and why I didn’t love my breasts.
Having my surgery was good for me in a few ways. I went for an average implant size in a moderate plus profile. All was good until a few months in and then it wasn’t. My left breast started bottoming out (settling too low) and the right healed in a way that left it oval shaped instead of round. I was going to need a second surgery. This time I spent a lot more time researching what look I wanted, for me.
With the need to revise in front of me I spent a lot of time looking at different augmented breasts, sizes and shapes. I decided to go with a uhp silicone implant to get the look and size that I wanted. Just three months after my revision I got pregnant. Planned, but earlier than expected. The changes of healing, pregnancy, and breastfeeding all worked to change my relationship with my breasts. I felt like the size was me. Breastfeeding gave them a purpose, pushed me to expose myself at home (an environment I am comfortable in), and forced me to associate with my breasts in a way I hadn’t before. Weaning took this purpose away and left an emptiness.
And here’s where we are now. After weaning I bought my first Polish bras in my new size, and took a look at myself. I wore the same bras in a different size while nursing, but things were different now. During this time my husband was gone for a deployment, it was just me and my own feelings about my body. I guess you could say I did a little bit of soul searching. After a year away, my husband came home. I’ve learned to appreciate a new side to these boobs, the TMI side. 😉 With the movement to normalize breasts, breastfeeding and free the female nipple, the idea of the sexuality of breasts is becoming taboo. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t learn to see and love them for my own sexuality. This slow process has helped me break the remnants and disassociation having my breasts assaulted left behind. I am happy with them now. I love them for what they are. I see their many purposes. I do wonder how the future will change my feelings. A breast augmentation isn’t a one time thing, I know at some point in my life I will have surgery on them again, and hopefully it is many years down the line. My current implants are 4 years old, have been through pregnancy, breastfeeding, weaning, weight gain, weight loss. They have plenty of time left!