How Does it Feel?
This section is less about the pain and more about how does it feel to have gone through reconstruction, physically, mentally and emotionally. These three aspects go hand in hand with one another. I am writing this still only 3 weeks post op, therefore I am sure my opinion and thought will change as time passes. I will update the site accordingly, but keep the initial posts so people know it is only natural to have the 'OMG, what are these things stuck to my chest' feeling.
At present, they are alien objects that I am carrying around with me. They are not quite part of 'me' yet. I was content with my old breasts, they squidged in the right places, moved the right way and could be manoeuvred in to any type of bra. Therefore, understandably I think they will take a while to get used to. By no means do I regret my choice, my old boobs were dangerous, however that doesn't mean that I will embrace my new breasts with open arms immediatley! My new reconstructed breasts get in the way, when I try and cross my arms, they are there and at the moment quite firm. When I was quite swollen I had an itch under my arm, I was horrified when scratching that I could feel the hard outer part of my implant. It spooked me completely! Until last week I was quite frightened to touch them, they still hurt which obviously plays a huge role. Until last week I was adamant they were hard like apples. However, when I went for a follow up appointment my consultant rolled his fingers across them and they squished!! I could not feel it as I am yet to gain any touch sensation back on the skin, but I watched the skin crease, it was freaky but at the same time reassuring that my breasts are not in fact bricks!
I am quite apprehensive about physical contact with others, when I am in less pain and have my first proper hug/cuddle... will they squish? Will they move? How will they feel? Will they be in the way? Will the other person feel them? Lots of things will be a first, and i do not think there is any way of knowing until it happens. There is also the anxiety of what other people think. Now, I know you should not care what others think, but I don't want people to think I had a boob job. As I said, asides the ticking time bomb aspect, I was happy with my natural boobs, they were mine, I had grown them myself, my boobs and I had gone through puberty, creeping up the bra size shopping trip excitement. I never wanted different boobs, but here I am with them. The cosmetic results (more on that further down the page) is pleasing and natural, but people may notice that they are not mine. With time, I am sure I will grow more confident with accepting my new breasts.
I do hope in time, I will feel an attachment to them and they will be part of me. At the moment, they are the result of a logical and sensible choice. Time is a healer, I am sure.
How Do They Look?
Depending on what type of surgery you have, but also additional surgery and treatment you might need, everyone's experience and outcome will be different. I can share with you information I was given and my experiences to help reassure you.
6 months- no judging until you are 6 months post op! Your reconstruction will take a while to settle, therefore my surgeon told me not to make any judgements until 6 months have passed. In the past three weeks they have had swelling, a few bumps, drain tracks and bruising pop up. However, they are not the most frightening things I have ever seen. They have a natural shape, you can see that once the swelling subsides they will look ok. As spoken about previously, I have had my nipples removed, but also, unlike a great augmentation (boob job) ... because IT IS NOT A BOOB JOB, you will have scars across the middle of your breast/s.
I have a dressing across these at present, which I think has helped. Scars can be quite scary looking. Having scars somewhere that is intimate and personal to you will be hard to see. Well, that is my opinion. I think that may be difficult, but bear in mind that eventually with some care, the scars will fade.
Documenting The Changes
I would advise taking pictures of the different shapes they take, just so you have a record. I had not noticed my stitches protruding and started to panic, however when I looked back at some pictures I had taken, there they were! Panic over. This is obviously personal preference, being an anxious person, it was a good idea for me.
If you would like more in depth information about how reconstruction looks, please do contact me. I am happy to share information about it directly with people as a way of support.