I’ve been spending a lot of time in front of the mirror lately. It’s not something I usually enjoy doing, but lately I am having trouble resisting that big shiny surface on our bathroom door. I stop right before I get into the shower, lift my breasts, turn, trying to imagine what I will look like. In five days.
I’ve had this body for so long. So very, very long. And now I am getting ready for this huge change that will happen in less than a week. I can’t quite wrap my head around how things will change — how I will change — after I have my surgery. I think about it every morning when I put my bra on, keeping a little countdown going until the last time I have to strap myself into these incredibly uncomfortable and not-so-sexy undergarments. Until the last time I will be self-counscious in front of my husband when I don’t have a bra on. Until the last time it feels like my arms are ready to fall off my body from the pain in my shoulders. Until the last time my fingers tingle from the nerve pain inflicted by my bra straps.
When I first went to see my plastic surgeon to talk about my surgery I was too excited and determined to pay attention to my emotions. But I have to admit that since I have my surgery date I have been more emotional about the process and about what it will mean for my life. I mean, these are my breasts. They don’t make me who I am, nor do they necessarily make me a woman, but it’s hard to deny their importance, their impact, their role in my life so far. There is something undeniably essential about them, something that does get to the core of me.
Of course, I will still have breasts after the surgery. They will be new and improved and smaller and they will be mine. I am sure there will be a period of adjustment, of getting to know my new body. I have always known that what I like about myself all comes form within and that the rest is packaging. But I am ready for the outside to match the insides.