Hand me a Volleyball!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 by  

Well known for its particularly high satisfaction rating by patients, I am no exception with my bilateral reduction mammoplasty (photo taken next morning): 

With the initial look at my dressing upon waking in recovery, I was simply delighted with the white bralette, my first ever. I felt like someone should hand me a volleyball so I could head to a California beach straight away!

Over 3 hours & hundreds of internal stitches later, Dr. Chang Soo Kim (GCsurgeryandlasers.com) & his amazing team removed nearly 1,500 grams! Find a 3.3 pound weight and put it on a chain & wear it around your neck over your lungs and tell me if you don’t want to rip it off by the end of the week! Not only did Dr. Kim give me the breasts of a 20-year-old, but I could suddenly breathe effortlessly again!!

 

I don’t blame breastfeeding, I don’t blame aging & I certainly don’t blame weight loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life started out normal…

        

     

And then, what on Earth happened?? I mean, seriously, look at my little neck…

  

No matter how little I weighed, I was still a DDD+.                 Not pleasant when the rest of my body was wearing a size 4.
 It translates into neck & back pain, underwires digging into soft skin, and bursting
buttons.

I had never experienced a surgery that would alter my appearance. Between fun, function & fashion, the twins had served their time well.

  

But enough was enough. Deemed a medical necessity, I was grateful it was fully covered by our insurance. So grateful!! All $91,234.43! 

Unless you’ve not been able to bounce on a trampoline with your kids or run through Costcos without getting black eyes or lay on your stomach at the Chiropractor’s or zip up your coat without pushing past the bust roadblock or comfortably enjoy a massage or if you’ve rested your twins on your wrists climbing the stairs or slung your mammaries into the massive nylon cups of a minimizer or released them at the end of the night only to swing like tube socks with golf balls or if you sleep on your side with a pillow just for your top boob or find it difficult to buy a pretty little outfit with straps or take a deep breath without holding up your center bra wire or accidentally hit the delete button with your breast when you’re reaching over your keyboard, then you may understand. Millions of women do. This surgery is life-changing!  

 

And those shocked by my decision only proves I was a master of camouflaging my DDD+ girls with the perfected fashionable slouch, wearing baggy blouses, and, as countless women know, subjecting ourselves to breath-defying minimizer bras. 

Dr. Kim & his team were incredibly kind. I even asked to pray before surgery, something I’ve never done before and really didn’t even know what to say, but Dr. Kim held my hand and his team gathered around and I felt safe and cared for and the next thing I knew, after “Amen,” I was waking up in recovery feeling lighter & breathing easily.

The only unusual part of the day was standing with Phillip shortly before surgery in the pre-op room and the doctor used a special surgical Sharpie pen to mark my skin for the incisions. Ewww. I tried not to picture what those lines really meant.

When it was time to go home late that night around 10pm, Phillip helped me change. Gown off, we both looked down for the first time and were excited and pleased. No drains. No ugly bandage wraps. Just a little white satin bralette. I felt so adorable. I felt 20 again. “You look awesome,” Phillip exclaimed. Cool!

I dreamed of finally buying a pretty bra with a lovely pattern or wearing something strapless for the first time. When I got home, I wore a cozy PJ top I have never been able to button before. It was exciting!

Interestingly, if anything could go wrong the weeks leading up to surgery, it did. But it wasn’t going to deter me.

I had partially torn my meniscus and was in physical therapy 3 times a week in February. Phillip just recovered from another intensive cancer treatment surgery (The Journey) through February & I was drained. My Mom tripped 10 days earlier and I was making the 60-mile roundtrip to her house daily to care for her. Then Mom (Tribute to Mom) fell the day of my surgery and injured herself even more. My sister & niece both have bronchitis and my daughter broke her foot in gym this week prompting us to immediately cancel the friends’ homes where she was to stay during my initial recovery. As if that weren’t enough, I haven’t had my period for a year & the night before surgery it came on with full force & was relentless all week. Then a fluke March blizzard delayed my follow-up visit to the surgeon. One thing after another, but you know me. Nothing would stop me & so it is done.

 
I came home that night, got in bed, put my feet up, snuggled our 3 kitty cats & haven’t moved much since. We inflated a triple-decker queen air mattress in our room with pretty aqua sheets & a pastel butterfly comforter for my little Darling, 
and we’ve been cozying up watching The Flash, enjoying tea & scones, and letting our Boys deal with the chaos in the real world while she & I focus on our *Healing Party.*

(And Mom has Visiting
Angels now).

The reduction was a huge decision, no pun intended. No woman goes into such a major surgery without having given it a great deal of thought. 4 girlfriends went through it and offered words of wisdom. Recovery was quick and, thanks to strong meds, relatively comfortable. (Phillip’s med chart >         for me.) No stretching, no pushing, no pulling, no lifting, no standing upright for a long time. No driving for 2 weeks.

For a busy Mom, it’s actually quite nice to stay in bed for a while.

My gals still “under wraps” as I enjoy a lovely salmon dinner in bed. Phillip has brought me every culinary delight this week & is keeping me on track with infection & pain meds around the clock.

My husband & I met with Dr. Kim a week later for the unveiling. Phillip says the Redesigned Twins are “spellbinding!” Ooh! (blushing). We’re happy, I can breathe & long necklace ornaments will never be bobbling off the center wire of my big brassieres again because those parachutes are all in File 13!

UPDATE: DAY 9

We visited Dr. Kim yesterday, the one-week checkup since surgery. To be honest, I was afraid to look down & see stitches when the doctor took my bandages off. That’s when Phillip gave me that beautiful compliment above. But today was Day 9 and I seriously needed to shower so this would be my first meeting with my girls.

Phillip helped me take off the tight bralette and gently peeled off the gauze bandages. I just
stared at myself in the mirror for the longest time. I mean, just really stood there and stared. What looked back at me was the most beautiful set of healthy, perky twins with an upturned point you would only see on a mannequin and think, “Yeah, that’s not for real.”
But it was real… they were staring back at me in all their glory. 100% all-natural me, just less of me!! I simply had to share this beautiful ending to this long-awaited decision in my life. At the risk of my father spinning in his resting site at the idea of my gals going uncovered on screen, I’ve made sure to find pretty little flowers to cover the tips.
 
Since launching this story a few days ago, I have had countless women who have gone through reduction email me and say they wished they had done it earlier. That’s exactly what went through my mind, too. But I’m glad it is done now. 
The Bright Spotbright spot flower – Thank you, Dr. Kim, for your wisdom & your artistry. Your work is outstanding and you and your team are the very best and have made me feel light & amazing. 2 things that make Dr. Kim stand out from the rest – he doesn’t like to use drains which I’ve heard are painful to remove a week or more later. And he uses a special technique to help save sensation after healing. 
 
As my OR nurse who later wrote to me so perfectly said, “Wishing you a “B”eautiful recovery, “B”ring on the new “B”ras and “B”athing suits!”  

Dr. Chang Soo Kim ~ Click: GCSurgeryandLaser 203-920-1444  

UPDATE: DAY 18

As one friend who has been through this aptly put it, “Your lady bits are tender now. Drink tea, binge watch & recover.” Good advice & someday soon I’ll be able to lay on my stomach! Photos below of my loving Support Team!! Daily our furbabies skillfully demonstrate how to just lay around & chill.
I would like to thank everyone who is been so encouraging & wonderful especially in helping to pick up our Darling from school, or bring her home after track, or to and from dances, sleepovers & movies, or brought me to the doctor for stitches cleaning/dressing changes or sent goodies or brought dinner, you know who you are & I’m grateful.

Thank you, in particular, to Nayer, Samara, Maria, Anitta, Emily, Melissa, Aimee, Cheryl, Chloe, Mighty Medina’s, Jane, Stephen B., Rose, Ann, Cathy, Sue, Lorine, Julie, Hannah F., John Z., Billy & Shannon, Luz & Lisa, Suzanne, Barry & Sara, thank you all!! Your actions meant a lot!


Bianca

The Making of a Superhero

Sunday, September 28, 2014 by  

Superhero Big Brother, swimming, pool

Is he a kite-flyer?  Is he a trampoline-flipper?  Is he a bike-fixer?  Yes, he’s Superhero Big Brother!!

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, rugged play, trampoline, flipping Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, phenomenal bond

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, raising me, carrying me, fixing a boo-boo, strong brother Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, firefighter uniform, ballerina

A hurricane protector, a shoe-tier, a cookie dough-maker, a tree climber, a boo-boo fixer, an Easter egg opener, a stuck zipper fixer, a skating racer, a perfect-pumpkin-picker, a snuggly dude, a super swing-pusher, the best storyteller, the technology teacher, the family-endorsed official opener of all packaged holiday toys, and, of course, an honorary member of the stroller posse! But most importantly, the kindest big brother who nurtures and protects his baby sister.
Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, sledding, snow, snow fun Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, pumpking picking

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, Caribbean, pool, swimming pool, baby playing with big brother in the pool   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, silliness, snuggles, gotcha

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, Hurricane Irene, hurricane recovery, protective hug   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, 1st Day of Life, proud big brother holds baby sister

People often ask how we got such phenomenally-bonded children. As parents, when you show love, tenderness and respect to each other and to your children, it filters through the family, growing and bonding it together with immeasurable strength.

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, sleeping on brother's shoulder, peaceful sleep   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, Tinkerbell costume, snuggles and hugs   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, first baby teeth, so cute, Thanksgiving

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, nose to nose, sweet siblings, adorable moments, pure love, emotions and innocence    Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, birthday celebrations, birthday cake, birthday bite

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, zipping coat, helping  Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, teaching something new   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, toesies

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, cool you drive now  Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, taking a walk, red flower dress and uniform, brick walk

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, understanding, are you kidding me, so funny    Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, chocolate chip cookies, making cookies

And from that strength, the freedom to love and express kindness and thoughtfulness is just natural.

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, you can do it, sledding, confidence, assurance Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, nose to nose, bonding through love and connection

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, scooter, skateboard     Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, big snuggle

Our son was 13 when our daughter was born. He was a part of the whole pregnancy journey, from building the crib and changing table with Dad, to using the zapper at Babies-R-Us to register for the baby. The baby shower was a huge party, not just for ladies, but for all friends, young and old, male and female, and our son was center stage as the new Superhero-in-the-making!

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, Caribbean, giggles in the pool, lifting up little sister   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, the early years, reaching, bonding, having fun

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, snuggles in the Caribbean, heart in the sunset   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, trust, love, understanding

We put him in charge of opening the gifts which he unwrapped with great zeal seeing all the items he had zapped weeks earlier. He was an integral part of every step. And the day his baby sister was born, she gave him an I-pod, so, of course, she was just the coolest!

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, understanding, that was funny, closeness   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, snuggles with Snoopy, Snoopy

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, England, snuggles and kisses, I love you   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, giggles, tickles, lots of fun, playing, silliness

When he held her that 1st day, he marveled, “She can’t even lift her own head.” I looked at him wearily and smiled, “No, she depends on us for everything, and she will look to you to teach her the most amazing things.

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, giggles, tickles, lots of fun, playing, silliness    Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, medieval princess, snuggles  Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, precious  Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, teen stroller posse

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, comfort, security, loving my big brother   Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, that is SO funny, hysterical, between brother and sister

Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, running to my Superhero (1) Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, running to my Superhero (2) Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, running to my Superhero (3) Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, running to my Superhero (4)
She will always look at you as her Superhero for the rest of her life. We are very proud of you.”

Superhero in uniform  Superhero Big Brother, adorable  Superhero and Little Petal, Big Brother, little sister, volunteer firefighter team member, strong big brother, looking up to brother

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower  – Our daughter just turned 9 last week. Our son turned 22. He is a Superhero in our daughter’s eyes…and ours.


Bianca

2 & 15 – 8 & 21

Monday, January 20, 2014 by  

Trampoline c-u 2007 2.3yo-b

Superhero Big Brother & Adoring Little Sister ages 2 & 15        &      ages 8 & 21

Trampoline c-u 2013 8yo-a

No one has to tell you time flies. But sometimes we need reminders that making every moment count does not mean filling those moments with endless, scheduled activities.

Sometimes the best memories are the quiet ones, just chilling on the trampoline with your brother or sister, stuffed animal or dearest friends.

Listening to the birds chirp, watching an airplane fly by, smelling freshly-cut grass, discovering shapes in white, puffy clouds.

The Bright SpotTM bright spot flower – Life is fast enough. Slow down & enjoy the simple pleasures all around you.


Bianca