The title is no exaggeration. (I would like to add the disclaimer that I have been a professional software engineer for almost a decade, have several years of WordPress experience under my belt, that I paid $19 for a pre-made theme, and that the site is currently pretty bare-bones.) But I felt awesome enough the other day, only a couple of hours after leaving the operating room, that I went from 0 to launch so I could share the love letter I wrote to my old boobs.
A lot of women have reached out to me saying they are interested in getting work done on their breasts. A lot of men have also been curious because, idk… boobs, I guess? But I figured it might be interesting to share my experiences.
Why am I writing about this?
There were 313,000 breast augmentations performed in the U.S. alone last year, and that number continues to rise. Some women feel comfortable talking about their experiences openly; some, anonymously; but many, not at all.
I’m pretty open about my life on Twitter. I’ve got about 5,000 followers, most of whom work in tech, and I’ve written some fairly popular threads about the struggles women face in the industry. Those threads require me to be vulnerable — sharing some of the shitty things I’ve endured and facing critique.
Most of my followers are techbros who aren’t going to care about my boob job. That’s fine; it will take them an extra .3 seconds to scroll past each tweet about it. But when I was considering having the procedure done, I was initially pretty terrified — I’ve never had surgery before. I spent endless hours researching other women’s experiences, devouring sites like Realself, and digging into the research on the short-term and long-term risks.
I could have had the surgery done, not said a word, and few people would have been any wiser. Women in tech already struggle to be taken seriously, to be recognized for their minds and not their bodies, and there’s part of me that has worried this will be a step backward for me in that regard. That I’m just gonna be Tits McGee now or something.
But it was so helpful to read detailed, honest accounts from other women; I wanted to pay their vulnerability forward. And, as somewhat accomplished developer/speaker/thot leader, if if I can make a few people re-think their assumptions about what a programmer is supposed to look like — that I’m no better or worse at my job due to the size of my chest — it will have been worth the DMs I have already received questioning my decision.
So, why did I get a boob job?
I talk about this some in yesterday’s post, but the tl;dr answer is that, after losing about 80lbs in a 3-4 year period (I was never really sure what my goal weight should be since I started getting chubby in high school, but I reached what I considered a fantastic stopping point about a year ago and have maintained around 110-120lbs / 18-20% bodyfat at 5’3 since then), I hoped some of the loose skin on my boobs would tighten up.
When you have magnificent DDs filled with fat, and then that fat disappears, your skin may shrink back up a little, but often you’re left with droopy granny tiddies — which, at 30, crushed my confidence. I was basically unable to enjoy being naked with another human being if I wasn’t wearing a bra of some sort. Bending over was a nightmare — the skin would stretch and crinkle, and it felt like each boob was a foot long. I hated it. I cried over it.
I thought I was going to be stuck like that for a long time. At the beginning of 2019, I had $140,000 of debt between student loans for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, credit cards, and a personal loan from a failed atttempt to pay off those credit cards. Plus, I’m pretty sure I want kids someday, and I didn’t want to get my boobs fixed only to have them trashed again in a few years.
But 2019 ended up being the year of the hustle for me. I left a job I loved for another job I also love but came with a decent salary bump; I picked up consultant work on the side and threw money toward debt like someone was gonna show up and break my knees if I didn’t. I gave up the independence of living alone to move in with a high school friend and her 7-year-old daughter. And suddenly, before I knew it, I had knocked out $50k of my $140k of debt, including wiping out the totality of tens of thousands in high-interest credit card balances. All that’s left now are low-interest student loans where I’m about to head into year 3 of a 10-year payment plan that I throw extra money at every month. Crossing that threshold felt like a major victory, and I said, “fuck it, I’m treating myself to the thing I want most.”
And kids? Maybe having kids will make my boobs look worse, but I’m not having them anytime soon (especially after recently becoming single again), and I don’t need to spend the first half of my 30s hating my body — especially once I get back into the dating pool. If kids ruin my boob job, so be it. I’m hoping I’ll think the little fuckers worth the sacrifice someday.
So I did some research and booked an appointment at the end of August with Dr. Lawrence Iteld, a highly-renowned plastic surgeon in Chicago who specializes in narcotics-free surgery. I was intrigued at his approach (and a little skeptical). Opoids frighten me a little; I dated a heroin addict once, and he described the drug like “winning the lottery, quitting a job you hate, moving to a beautiful, sunny beach, ordering a top-shelf margarita, and knowing you’ll never have problems with money ever again.”
I’ve never come even a little bit close to being temptetd to try heroin, but I’ve tried Kratom, a legal, mild opiate, a few times. It made me feel relaxed, like I was wrapped up in a warm, fuzzy blanket, and if any anxious thoughts were running through my head I didn’t particularly care about them. I saw clearly, knowing myself and knowing my mental health issues, the potential for a slippery slope where I liked painkillers a little too much. If I could avoid them without unmanageable suffering, I would.
My first appointment back in August went great! I liked Dr. Iteld and his care coordinator so much that I put down a deposit for the procedure on the spot. I asked what was the latest date I could schedule the surgery if I wanted to party on Halloween (because, let’s be real here, is there a better holiday to debut a brand-new rack?) and head on a work trip to VueConfTO in mid-November; they said October 3 was the latest I could go. So October 3 it was.
Surgery: the honest tea
The week leading up to surgery was a little rough. I had a 1.5 year relationship end a few days before — a resonably amicable split between two people who still care for each other, but breakups are still never fun. Add to that the fact that I was told by my surgeon not to drink or take my ADHD or anxiety medications a week before surgery, and it felt like I was just running down the clock until the big day. I was sleeping like shit; I barely managed to get any work done. It sucked.
I thought I would be more nervous the morning of surgery, but I found myself surprisingly calm. I went to the hospital alone and wrote the first draft of the first post on this blog while on the train and sittting around waiting for surgery to begin.
The worst part of the day was probably when they made me pee in a damn cup to take a pregnancy test. I hadn’t been allowed to eat or drink anything since midnight the night before, so your girl was dehydrated.
And I’m pee-shy to begin with, especially whenever a nurse is standing in the hallway waiting on me. Despite my protestations that it would take an Immaculate-Conception-type event for me to be pregnant (between my IUD and the fact I’d already gotten my period since being dumped the week before), they insisted that no specimen = no surgery. Ugh. After three attempts and a bag of IV fluids, I managed to squeeze a couple of drops out, and then surgery preparation started in earnest.
My surgeon came in and drew all over my boobs with marker, I took a couple of cheerful selfies to post on Twitter and send to the friends who had texted me well-wishes, and then I was wheeled out to the operating room. I’d really expected to be terrified — I’ve never had surgery before, and I have anxiety about so, so many more dumb things — but I felt totally at peace with my decision. I knew the risks. It felt worth it.
And then it was lights-out. I don’t remember them counting me down or anything; I was just looking around the operating room, and then before I knew it, I was back in recovery.
I was prepared to wake up in a lot of pain, but I definitely wasn’t ready for what awaited me when I came out of anasthesia. In middle school, I was bullied to the point where my parents had to get the police involved; when I was coming to after my surgery, I had a horrible, vivid nightmare/hallucination that one of the girls who had bullied me was there taking pictures of me while I was unconscious. Holy buried trauma, Batman! Definitely something to talk about with my new therapist when I start with her later this week, I guess?
So I woke up losing my shit and screaming at a girl I hadn’t even thought about in at least a decade, telling her to delete those pictures, and the poor nurse rushed in and assured my loopy ass that nobody had been taking pictures of me. Oops. I was halfway to a full-blown panic attack by then — my heart rate was absolutely blowing up the monitor next to me at 180BPM — but it wasn’t my first time at that rodeo, and I’ve learned strategies over the years to get off the panic attack ledge, even when it feels like I’m about to die. Eyes closed. Deep, deep breaths. Focus on physical sensations — the feel of my body against the bed, my hair on my face, my fists clenching and unclenching.
Panic attacks suck, y’all.
But after a few minutes, I was fine — and I looked down, and I had TITS! Bandaged-up tits, to be sure, but there they were, and they were mine! It was a surreal moment; for as long as I’d dreamed about it, I wasn’t really prepared to see them. I guess new mothers probably go through the same thing when seeing their babies for the first time or whatever? Honestly, after going through this, I’d rather get some chicken cutlets stuck in my chest than push a bowling ball through my lady parts any day.
I had some pain in my incisions, but they gave me something for that, and it wasn’t long until I was on my merry way. I kept waiting for the local anesthetic to wear off and the real pain to kick in, but it never did. For most of the first day, I was kind of tired and out of it, but I was in very little real pain.
I’m now at the end of day 4, and recovery has been an absolute breeze so far. I’m a little sore, but it’s a sort of “I want too hard on chest day at the gym” sort of sore — almost non-existent with Tylenol, and very manageable without. I’ve been going out to visit friends; I’ve been walking miles per day; I’ve been blowing kisses to myself in the mirror; I’ve been doing basically everything besides raising my arms over my head or lifting heavy things, and I’m honestly only avoiding those because my surgeon warned me it could lead to complications. I feel GREAT!
Plus, I get the fun of trying on skanky dresses in my closest that looked kind of shitty on me when I didn’t have boobs filling them out:
Real talk — under that dress, my breasts look like something out of Bride of Frankenstein fetish porn. I’ve got incisions runing along my areolas, vertically down the underside of my breast, and along the fold underneath. The girls are pretty bruised, and every day I wake up to a fun new color — today’s is orange, although honestly it feels very festive for Halloween season. And they’re also sitting weirdly high on my chest and kind of remind me of the shitty figure drawings I used to do back when I didn’t have a great grasp of anatomy.
But for the first time in my entire life, I’m genuinely happy with what I see in the mirror. I can’t wait to heal up and go shopping. I can’t wait to get back to the gym and keep working on my bod without feeling like I’m hitting a hotness ceiling from having saggy tits. And while I CAN definitely wait to meet whatever lucky fellow/lady is going to get to take them for their inaugural test drive — I’m in no rush to date anyone but myself at the moment — the prospect of someone else seeing me naked doesn’t fill me with dread like it once did.
Oh. And I was feeling so badass that I got myself the nose ring I’ve always wanted, too! The piercer was cracking jokes and told me he always tries to do that relax clients before he jabs a needle in them, and I just replied, “dude, I got a boob job yesterday. This is nothing.”