September 24, 2016

My Boobs, My Choice.

Jill Carr 2016-09-19 at 7.18.01 PM

Talking about plastic surgery sparks anger in many people.

Depending on where you live, this subject can be as taboo as politics or abortion. For those actors living in California, having Botox and plastic surgery is second nature.

In some small towns, where life is simple and conventional, it is something that isn’t done. Even finding a doctor in those smaller areas can be next to impossible.

After I had three children and lost close to 80 pounds, my body resembled that of a 12-year-old boy. I was in my late 20s and decided to look into getting a breast augmentation as a reward to myself for dropping all of the weight.

This decision was not easy and unfortunately came with a lot of guilt, as I had young children to care for and the surgery was expensive. Many people would say that this money should have been spent in other ways and that I was being selfish…which might be true, but I really felt that I needed a boost to help my self-confidence.

Because I lived in a small town in Michigan, there was only one plastic surgeon in town. My spouse and I met with the doctor and after finding out the details and cost of the procedure, we started saving money.

I was so used to having no chest at all, so every size that the nurses showed me made me feel completely out of place. I spent hours trying to find the size and shape that best suited my body type. I wasn’t trying to achieve the body of a swim suit model, but I did want to look like a woman. The doctor advised me to go bigger than I wanted to because he said that once you get used to them, they would seem small.

It was at this point that my anxiety issues set in. Was I going to be able to continue running? How on earth would I tell my parents that I got new boobs? This was a topic that we didn’t normally bring up over family dinners. I knew that they would not be thrilled with the decision, but again, I was doing this for me and had officially made up my mind.

To say I was nervous about the surgery is an understatement. I had spent the months leading up to the procedure reading everything possible and preparing for the big day, but I was still not fully ready for what was in store for me. Because my body was thin, the doctor decided to place my saline implants under the chest muscle so that they wouldn’t show through the skin. This made for a longer recovery due to muscles being cut.

I had survived a complete hysterectomy several years before, so I figured this would be easy. I actually made a grocery list before going into surgery and planned on stopping at the store on the way home. Wrong. In fact, I was in such pain when I woke up that I was unsure if I was even going to survive.

You don’t realize how much your chest muscles are used until they have been cut and are healing. I was unable to do basic household activities and needed the help of others to complete simple tasks for many days. I questioned why I had made the decision to endure such torture and spent every night sleeping on my living room chair, trying to find some sort of comfort from the intense pain.

After a few weeks of moving slowly and horrible bruising and swelling, my new additions began to resemble the look that I had been hoping for. I was still incredibly sore. I was able to care for myself again, but it took at least a month before I could start my daily running routine back up. It took a while for them to feel like they were part of my body. Living in a cold climate area, when I would go outside I could feel the implants tighten up—which was a feeling that I wasn’t prepared for and was slightly uncomfortable.

It’s now been 12 years since my surgery and I have to say that in spite of all of the struggles and pain that I endured, I would go through all of it again in a heartbeat. My surgery made me feel like a woman—the look that I was striving for. I’m happy with my size and proudly sport a bikini at the beach, the very place that I used to be embarrassed by my figure.

It took a while for my extended family to embrace the fact that I felt the need to have the surgery, but the decision was my own. I feel that all women should be able to make this choice for themselves. We are taught to be happy with our bodies the way that we are made, but sometimes a little assistance is appreciated. Working in the advertising world for several years, I had to find confidence to walk into places of business and this made me feel better about myself.

I am open about my choice to have breast augmentation surgery in hopes of helping other women. There are things to consider before the surgery that I didn’t think of—pros and cons to be weighed. I was unaware that the implants only have a 5 to 10-year life expectancy before needing to be replaced. There are also different types of implants and the choice of going above or under the muscle.

Again I will say that I would have the surgery again, even factoring in the negatives. I realize that this choice is not for everyone and many dispute the plastic surgery decision. My boobs have become just as much a part of me as all of my other extremities.

Haters are going to hate no matter what you decide to do—so ultimately the choice is yours. Embrace your body, or make the change—but whatever you decide, stand behind it and be proud.




Author: Jill Carr

Image: Author’s Own

Editor: Travis May

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