I thought my boob job was no big deal. Then I wound up in emergency surgery
2023/08/22

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It wasn't a matter of if I would ever get a boob job, it was more like when. Most of the women in my family have had at least one breast augmentation, which for me, very much normalized the procedure. Many women in my life believe that if you don't like how something about you looks, you should "fix" it. After breastfeeding two kids for a combined total of 30 months, and you know, living in a human body for nearly 40 years; my breasts had become unrecognizable to me. Meanwhile, during my nightly sweep of the Instagram posts I had missed during the day, I consumed filtered photo after filtered photo of perfect-looking influencers and celebrities at least 15 years my junior (almost none of them were moms).

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This was in 2016, before the social media landscape embraced "authenticity" as a rule. None of the folks in the squares on my screen advertised that they'd undergone the knife, nor were they forthcoming about any Photoshopping that had gone into their posts. But I wasn't ignorant. I knew that a lot of what I was looking at was not real, and yet I fell under their spell all the same. It was pretty depressing, looking at these beautiful women and then seeing myself in a bra or swimsuit with what amounted to two empty sacks of skin. My breasts had become something that I strongly felt needed fixing.

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On a warm October day in 2017, I kissed my young children and husband goodbye, and called myself an Uber. I wasn't nervous — I was excited. At the time, it had not seemed like a big enough deal for me to have asked anyone to accompany me to the doctor's office. By the time of my surgery, I'd been in and out of the office enough times that I was on a first-name basis with the staff. "How's your mom?" the receptionist would always ask me, within minutes of my arriving. I kind of felt at home there.

I went into the exam room. It was the same room where I'd stuffed an array of implants of varying sizes into my bra just months before.

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I remember that on the day that I'd gone "implant shopping," I'd worn a red-and-white striped top and a corduroy miniskirt. I remember looking at myself in profile in the mirror that spanned an entire wall and thinking, "Yes. This is amazing. Imagine walking through life with boobs like these."

When I was alone in the room, I took a selfie with my pink hospital gown on. The pre-surgery photo seemed like a thing that people did on all the YouTube videos I'd watched — though I had no plan at the time to post about the procedure on Instagram. I'd mostly kept my decision to get a boob job private.

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