The most important thing to deal with immediately post-surgery, though, is the incision tape. It protects you from infection and keeps scarring to a minimum, but it's like masking tape -- it rubs off so easily, especially when you're flailing around like a dork. The resulting infection meant they had to dig a big chunk of flesh out of each of my new boobs, because I hadn't been through enough already. But it was actually kind of cool. They just do it right there in the office. They lay you down and numb you up and then just hack pieces of your body right off. My scars are particularly gnarly for that reason. Speaking of which ...
You'll Never Be Completely Normal Again
Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Nobody has awesome long-term decision-making skills when they're 12. The two things that everyone heavily warned me about -- that I would likely have very noticeable scars and trouble breastfeeding in the future -- were the furthest thing from my traumatized preteen mind. When the time came that I found myself very interested in other people's interest in my bathing suit areas, though, I got a side of scar anxiety with the usual order of body-image issues.
The typical pattern of scars resulting from a breast reduction is what they call an "anchor scar," a semicircle around the bottom and then up from the middle to the areola. I also got a bonus prize in the form of a very dark lump of scar tissue about the size of a 50-cent piece on the bottom of each breast from the removal of the infected tissue. As a result, I dread getting naked with a guy for the first time, because "By the way, I've got weird boobs, don't freak out" is a conversation no one enjoys. On the bright side, that scar tissue is totally dead. I can stick a pin in it and not feel a thing. It's a neat trick at parties.
Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images Mother Nature's rendering.
An amazingly short 10 years later, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl, and the one week that I attempted to breastfeed her was the most painful and frustrating week of my life. If you imagine normal women as bountiful waterfalls, I was a bathroom faucet that leaked occasionally. I kept trying because the only way to increase production is to feed more, but by the end of the week, my baby had lost a full pound and I wasn't in great shape either. I don't want to get too gross here, but my doctor eventually took me by the shoulders and said, "She's getting more blood than milk." (Which, now that I think about it, explains a lot about my daughter.) I conceded defeat, tired of having that baby on my boob 24 hours a day anyway, and she gulped down that first bottle as if she were starving to death, because she kind of was.
oksun70/iStock/Getty Images She still refuses to touch garlic anything, though.
So those things I wasn't worried about at the time ended up mattering a lot. Still, when I think about not having the surgery and weigh the downsides (spinal deformities and medieval underwear) against the upsides (the possibility of a lucrative porn career), I feel like settling for baby formula and a middle-of-the-road porn career has worked out pretty well for me.
You can follow Manna and her boobs on Twitter.
For more insider perspectives, check out 6 Bizarre Things Nobody Tells You About Weight Loss Surgery and 5 Things You Didn't Know About Smuggling Drugs into Prison.
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