the “after” pic

I wasn’t going to write anything else about my boobs, because you know: this is starting to get a little weird. But, a LOT of people have asked about what my boobs look like now after the surgery.

Since I’m not going to post naked pictures of myself on the Internet (never ever, no no no), this will have to suffice for all of y’all who were curious.

Before Boobs

After Boobs
Oh hello, awkwardly placed drawstring on my sweatpants, and glass of iced tea (which was on the bathroom counter & looks like it’s on top of my ass). Clearly I have crafted the fine art of the Boob Selfie over here.

They’re still pretty swollen and there’s a lot more “upper boob” (not sure what else to call it) than I’d like, but that’s supposed to settle down eventually so they’ll look more natural. But I’m really, really happy with them overall.

One brief moment of panic? The corner of one of my incisions had been hurting for a few days, and when I finally took the steri-strips off, I saw that it was red and looked possibly infected. I talked with the doctor and she said it’s something they see often. They stitch you up with a clear thread that’s supposed to just disintegrate and be absorbed by your body, but sometimes where the incision ends (where the thread is knotted, so there’s more of it), your body will think it’s a foreign object and try to, um, push it out. And it’ll get stuck. And possibly infected. And it hurts like a sonofabitch.

Let me just tell you that handing Chris a pair of sterilized tweezers and closing my eyes while he took care of it? Pretty much embodies my definition of “taking the intimacy in your relationship to the next level.” He’ll never see me poop on a delivery table (thank God for that), and I sincerely hope that this is as gross as it ever gets.

(He was totally calm about it. I was trying to fix it myself with a magnifying mirror, and he passed by the bathroom and was like, “Want some help with that?” And this was not exactly a “whee, boobies!” kind of moment, since it involved forcibly removing a foreign object from my body. But it takes a lot to rattle the man, I have to give him credit for that.)

Ok, I think that’s it for the boob chapter. Now back to boring blog posts about my kids and my boyfriend and all of that normal stuff.

a week later

I don’t know exactly how much I want to get into the whole boob job recovery thing. Basically: I’m fine. I got my first shower on Saturday, and it was blissful.

As for my first impression of the new boobs? I knew they’d be swollen and higher than where they’re going to end up, but the first image that popped into my head upon seeing them: my boobs were shaped like Snoopy posing as a vulture.


It was a little freaky. But they’re starting to settle down now, and I had my one-week follow-up appointment with my plastic surgeon today. I’m following my doctor’s orders on not lifting anything heavy for the next few weeks and doing this whole boob massage thing to make sure no scar tissue forms around the implants (which causes hard boobs, and nobody wants hard boobs).

I also got to switch from the post-op surgical compression bra to a regular sports bra today, and my skin almost wept with relief. The elastic on that compression bra has been the worst part of my recovery. It rubbed my skin raw. Awful.

Not much else to report, other than the fact that I got a sinus infection immediately after surgery, because really? If you’ve just had your pectoral muscles sliced open? You totally want to do a lot of coughing and sneezing.

Dave is still in town, and he has Catie and Lucy with him – I’ve only seen them once in the past week, and I miss them like crazy. Being a single mom is exhausting, no doubt, but my life feels all weirdly thrown off when they aren’t here causing havoc. I’m grateful that Dave has been here so I could have this time to recover, but man, I can’t wait to squeeze their faces.

Sooooo…. yeah. I’m fine, the boobs are good, I miss my kids, I wish I could stop coughing. That’s about it, really. How are you?

boob jobbed

So, the boob job? That was yesterday.

And I am… kind of ok? I think? I was expecting it to be a lot worse, so I guess that’s a good sign.

Thursday morning, Chris took me to the plastic surgeon’s office. They have an in-office surgical suite, no hospital stay required. Once the nurses brought me back, Chris left and went to work – his office is only a few miles from the doctor’s office, so the plan was that they’d call him while I was in recovery, he’d come collect me, get me settled at home, and my mom would come over to baby-sit me for the afternoon.

Most times that I’ve had some kind of procedure done, it’s always the waiting part that’s the worst. But Dr. Diehl (who I love, btw) only schedules one patient at a time, so there’s no waiting around. There were four women in the surgical suite: Dr. Diehl, her nurse, the anesthesiologist, and her assistant. And me (so I guess that makes five total). And that’s it. They got me changed into a gown, gave a pee sample (no, really, I swear I’m totally not pregnant), and started my IV.

I talked with Dr. Diehl about how we had discussed the size I wanted, but I was afraid of them being too big, so I asked her to use her judgment and go smaller if necessary because (in my oh-so-classy way of phrasing it), “I don’t want stripper boobs.” She said there would be four women in the OR, and that while I was still unconscious, she’d prop me up and everyone would give their opinion on whether or not they were the right size, evenly matched, needed a little tweaking, etc. Which sounds totally weird, but it was oddly reassuring. It’s not a case of “this size implant, shove it in, stitch up, done,” it’s more about everyone evaluating and giving their honest opinion on what would look best on my body. That made me calmer.

As soon as the IV was finished, I walked into the operating room and got myself settled on the table. I was talking with them about something – I don’t remember what – and I turned to the anesthesiologist and said, “Oh, you gave me the sleepy drugs, didn’t you? I can feel that.” That’s the last thing I remember.

The next thing I remember was Chris walking into the recovery room, which I thought was weird. I had assumed they’d wait for me to wake up before they called him, and it would take him at least 15 minutes to get there. Apparently they called him as soon as I was done, so he was there when I woke up. Which was nice. They gave him all of my stuff and told him to pull his car up to the front door, while they got me into a wheelchair.

The nurse asked if I needed anything, and I made an offhand comment about, “Man, I really want an iced tea.” (Mostly I wanted something cold on my throat after anesthesia, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t get a caffeine-withdrawal headache.) When she was helping Chris get me into the car, she told him that I wanted an iced tea and gave him directions to the nearest fast food drive-thru where he could get one for me. (And he did, because he’s a good egg.)

I got home, crawled in bed, and slept for the next four hours. Eventually my mom came up to check on me and to try to get me to eat something. I got up and felt… sort of ok after that.

Chris came back after he finished work, and seriously, I couldn’t ask for a better nurse. He got me Chinese food for dinner (because that’s what I was craving), he cleaned the kitchen, he took out the trash and recycling, and he even scooped the cat’s litter box for me. Seriously, y’all, he’s good. (He also snuggled up with me on the couch and petted my hair while we watched TV, but he does that kind of thing regardless of whether or not I’ve just had surgery.)

When we went to bed, he made me promise that I’d wake him up if I needed to get up to pee, because he didn’t want me to try to get out of bed by myself. I initially scoffed at this (I am independent! I need no man’s help to use the bathroom!), but in the end, I did wake him up, partially because it’s hard to hoist yourself out of bed without using your arms (can’t push off anything, might strain the pectoral muscles), and also because painkillers make me dizzy and I was afraid of falling.

Today is ok. I was in a lot of discomfort when I woke up, but I’ve found that I feel better when I’m up and about – I think lying in bed makes the swelling and soreness worse. So I’m trying to stay sitting up as much as I can. And I’m regularly putting bags of frozen peas on my chest to help (which is weird). But I’m mostly ok.

And that’s it, I guess. Sorry for this being kind of long and rambly, but I’m writing it under the influence of Percoset, so there’s that.

P.S. I don’t have much to report on the results yet. I’m in a post-op surgical compression bra, and so far I’ve only unzipped it a little bit to peek. I haven’t really seen the new rack, but what I’ve seen so far is impressive. I get to take a shower tomorrow, so I’ll see the new girls in all their glory then.

learning how to get mad

A few months ago, when I started seeing a psychiatrist about my anxiety issues, she tried changing my meds. It didn’t really help, and the new medications had some really awful side effects. There were a few other factors in this decision-making process, but working with my doctor, we decided to try weaning me off of all medications to see how I’d do.

I added in a magnesium supplement and a couple of other herbal remedies that are supposed to naturally help with anxiety. And for the most part, I’ve been doing really well.

One weird thing, though: not being on an SSRI means that I’m suddenly feeling ALL of my feelings. I’m happier, yes absolutely, but I also cry more easily and I get frustrated more often. These are not bad things, mind you, just part of the basic human experience which I more-or-less medicated myself out of, for the past two years.

But I have a very hard time dealing with anger. When I’m in a relationship with someone, I don’t know how to fight. It basically scares me to death.

Growing up, my parents argued a lot (they still do, really) – and I remember going to my room and turning my music up so I wouldn’t hear them. They fought dirty, and they were mean to each other. I never wanted a relationship like that.

When I was married, I thought it was great that Dave and I never fought – how perfect is our relationship? We never even argue about anything! Turns out, that’s actually not a good thing, it just leads to years of anger and resentment build-up. And we all saw how well that ended, right?

I don’t really know where the in-between is, but I’m trying to find it with Chris. For the most part, we’re still in the shmoopy lovey-dovey phase where everything is all passion and sex, but we’ve talked about how this is something I struggle with, and I don’t want it to become a problem in our relationship.

And last night, I got angry. Well, specifically, he made me angry. I’m not even going to get into the whole backstory because it’s just way too long and drawn out to even start, but it happened. And I said the words out loud, “I’m really mad at you right now.” And the world didn’t end. He didn’t dismiss my feelings, or emotionally shut down and withdraw from me, or say something nasty and hateful in return. He hugged me and tried to make me talk about it. Which I couldn’t really do (there was a lot of “why do you think [whatever]?” questions which I could only answer with an “I don’t know”), but we tried.

Whenever we hit some new emotional raw nerve, I always feel sort of shaky and needy the next day. This was no exception. He spent the night last night (something he’s been doing a lot lately, which makes me happy), and before he left for work, I hugged him as hard as I could and buried my face in his chest.

He asked if I was ok.

I said, “Promise me you’ll still come back tonight.”

He said yes.

I said, “Then I’m ok.”

I don’t know if this is normal, I feel like I should be doing a better job at keeping my shit together emotionally than I do. But I appreciate that he’s trying to help make me stronger and more articulate about my feelings.

That whole personal growth thing, though. Man, that’s tough.

six and a half

I know that lately all of my posts have been about my relationship or my boobs, but can I stop for just a minute here and talk about Catie?

Because, my god. That kid.

She is this amazing combination of toddler and teenager. She can still throw a tantrum with the best of them — although to be fair, she didn’t have them for a long time, it’s only been since Lucy hit the “terrible twos” that Catie has started acting out again (obviously a case of sibling competition happening here). At the same time, she can throw her hands on her hips and heave a sigh at me, and I swear it feels like a 14 year-old just showed up in my house.

She picks up on everything. I can’t spell words around her anymore because she’ll immediately figure out what I’m trying to say that I don’t want her to hear.

She’s tall and skinny and she’s all long limbs that she hasn’t quite mastered yet. She’s clumsy, like a baby horse trying to find its legs.

She hides from my camera now, and on the rare occasions when she does smile for a picture, she does it awkwardly.

The first time they both let me put their hair up on the same day

There are two missing teeth in that smile. Every day, she checks the mirror to see if her “grown-up teeth” have come in yet.

She loves Skylanders and Angry Birds and Plants Vs Zombies and a million other video games, and I have no doubt that she’s going to grow up to be a video gamer chick. Her favorite baby-sitter plays Legend of Zelda with her after Lucy goes to bed.

She’s a tomboy. She doesn’t like to wear dresses, and on the rare occasions when she does, she wants to wear leggings or shorts under them (which is FINE with me.)

She still says she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up.

One of her favorite songs is “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

She loves “Eye of the Tiger,” and songs by Michael Jackson and Duran Duran. She had me put the entire Xanadu soundtrack on her iPad so she can listen to it over & over, just like I did when I was a kid. (Only, you know, mine was on a cassette tape.)

She also loves most songs on pop radio – she’s a big Macklemore fan. I love singing along with her in the car while we drive.

She still believes in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, although I know I only have a couple of years left for that. (I learned about Santa when I was 7.) One day, because of scheduling issues, she had to come with me to my chiropractor’s appointment, and he – being kind of an oddball dude – showed her a couple of magic tricks. She was amazed. It struck me that to her, there was no slight of hand or trick of the eye, that magic was all real to her. Which is pretty awesome.

But oh, she can be difficult. She’ll whine that I don’t like her because I only take care of Lucy and I don’t do anything for her, she’ll dig her heels in and refuse to try something new just because I suggested it, she’ll throw a fit because Lucy dared to pick up a toy that she hasn’t touched or played with in at least a year.

But then she’ll go the other direction and blow my mind. She’ll get out her old Halloween costumes so she and Lucy can play dinosaurs together…

Oh dear. Looks like there are dinosaurs in my bed.

…Or she, the one I’ve always called my Cautious Girl, will decide to go to some giant indoor trampoline place, which she would’ve been too scared to attempt even just a year ago, and she’ll launch herself off of a trampoline into a giant pit of foam blocks…

My super cautious girl getting ready to jump off a trampoline into a pit of foam blocks.

…Or she’ll sit down with Lucy to try to teach her how to write letters and color within the lines.

One of the few moments where they sit quietly next to each other without fighting.

She has so much empathy for people around her. A little boy at daycare stomped on a caterpillar and killed it when they were playing outside – no reason why, he was just being a jerk, I guess – and Catie sobbed. She said she scooped it up with a leaf and put it under a bush in the shade to “bury it.” And then she cried to me, “And I told him that I hope he has a happy life in heaven.” I told her that heaven needs butterflies too, so it was ok, but she was heartbroken for that caterpillar.

Before kindergarten ended, she came home from school one day and told me, “Everyone in my class says that [little girl’s name] is fat, but I think she’s the beautifulest.” Since I was one of those fat little girls myself, my heart just melted.

Yesterday, I had to get my hair cut, and I had my hairstylist also do Catie’s hair, since it was looking really long and shaggy. She gave her this really great bob cut, and suddenly she looks so much more grown up to me.

My hairstylist also cut Catie's hair. She looks so pretty I can't stand it.

Seriously, I do not know how I created a little girl that is this pretty. (I tend to not say too many flattering things about my ex-husband, but I think he gets the credit for most of her.)

She starts first grade in less than three weeks. I know she’s nervous about it, but she’s ready.

I hope she knows how proud I am of her. I tell her all the time, I just hope she hears me.

Because she is amazing.


I’ve been debating on whether or not this is a topic for my blog, and… well, here goes.

I’m getting a boob job next week.

A lot of people I know, upon hearing this, have reacted along the lines of, “What? Why? Your boobs are fine!”

You know what those people have in common? They’ve never seen me naked.

Have you seen those super-padded “add a cup size” bras? Those are all I own. So, if you think my boobs look normal, that’s why.

I’m not going to post a topless photo of myself on the Internet to prove just how much I need this, so instead, I took a picture of myself in my pajamas and just pulled my t-shirt tight so you can see exactly how much I’m not rocking up top.

Before Boobs

See? There’s not a lot going on there. Like, at all.

And I’ve wanted bigger boobs for the past 20 years, at least. For a while I thought, oh well, someday I’ll have kids and they’ll get bigger. Only they didn’t get bigger. Even after my girls were born and I thought that maybe I’d get giant nursing boobs? Nope. I went up maybe half a cup size (and that’s being generous), but that was all.

I remember trying on nursing bras in a store, and realizing they didn’t make padded, push-up nursing bras. And I cried. (Although to be fair, I’d had a baby the week before, so I cried about lots of things then.)

Perk of having had a blog for ages: I realized that oh yeah, I’ve written about this before. Key passage there:

I started thinking about how most women have at least one part of their body that they hate and obsess about constantly? Mine has always been my breasts. They’re too small, they aren’t a pretty shape, my nipples are proportionally too large, whatever. Hating my boobs has pretty much been a constant in my life since puberty. I guess I feel like this is just another way in which they’ve failed me.

They failed me twice, actually, because breastfeeding didn’t work with Lucy either. And then earlier this year, I lost over 30 pounds, which is wonderful, but I went from having pretty-much-nothing boobs to now-wrinkly-REALLY-nothing boobs.

And it’s not like I want anything freakishly large either. I want my upper body to feel proportionate to my lower body. No giant circus clown boobs. Just, I don’t know, a solid C cup would be lovely.

Chris is a typical guy, so he doesn’t really care one way or the other – boobs are boobs. But since I decided to do this, there have been so many boob-related puns lately, y’all – like he “fully supports” my decision, jokes about cups that runneth over, etc. He’s awesome, but there’s also been a lot of eye rolling happening over here.

I worried a little about how I’d explain it to Catie, because I’m so cautious about her learning negative body image ideas from me. (For example, I never tell her that I’m on a diet to lose weight, I tell her that I’m on a diet to make myself stronger so that I can keep up with her and Lucy.) So I kind of casually mentioned that you know, my boobs don’t look the same since I had kids, so a doctor is going to fix them up for me, but it’s no big deal. She kind of shrugged and said, “oh ok.” And that was that.

(Obviously, since Lucy is only two, I don’t worry about what she thinks too much. I doubt she’ll internalize any body image issues at her age.)

So, yeah. Boobs. Next Thursday, July 18th. And I am really, really excited, you guys.

the first boyfriend sleepover

I’ve mentioned before that Chris and I have been taking things pretty slowly and carefully with our kids and what they’re exposed to, as far as our relationship. And I think it’s gone really well – our kids get along well together, and his kids seem to like me, and my girls adore him.

One of the things that he and I have talked about many times, but hadn’t actually done yet, is having a sleepover when the kids are in the house. On the nights when Chris doesn’t have his kids, sometimes he’ll come over for dinner and hang out until after the girls go to bed, but typically he’ll come over around 9 p.m., after the girls are already asleep, and he leaves to go home long before they wake up in the morning.

Saturday was a little different. We met up with our kids at Pullen Park and let them play together. Chris’s mom was also there, which made me a little nervous, but this is the second time I’ve met her, and she seems to like me as far as I can tell. (Older Southern women can be hard to read. They’re going to act like they like you, no matter what, because that whole Southern Hospitality Gene is fully ingrained in their personalities.)

The kids had a great time, although it was ridiculously hot and sweaty at the park. After a couple of hours, we split up – he took his kids to their mom’s house, and I picked up Jasmine (my girls’ favorite baby-sitter) on our way home.

The plan had been that we’d go back to our respective homes and clean up, and then Chris would pick me up for a date night on Saturday night. I showered and got dressed while the girls hung out with Jasmine (seriously, teenagers are the BEST), and I ordered pizza for them to have while I was out. It was getting kind of late, and Chris hadn’t gotten to my house yet, which was odd.

Then he called and said, “Sooooo, I think we’re having dinner at Bonefish Grill.”

Me: “Ok, that’s fine with me, but why there?”

Him: “Because my car just broke down next to it.”

Yikes. So, instead of him picking me up, I hopped in my car and took off to pick him up. He had managed to get his car into a parking space by coasting downhill into a shopping center. He called his mechanic (who happens to be a friend of his), and he said he’d come out to meet him the next morning to look at the car. But basically he was stranded with me from Saturday night until around 11:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.

And that’s the backstory on how we had our first official sleepover with the kids in the house. He couldn’t leave before they woke up, because his car was dead in a parking lot five miles from my house.

Around 6 a.m. on Sunday morning, Lucy came to get in bed with me, the way she always does. I let her climb in, but I said, “Look, baby, Chris is here too, see?” I didn’t want her to be scared, and she wasn’t, she just looked kind of confused. I scooted into the middle of the bed and pulled her up next to me, and she kept craning her head up to look over me at Chris, like, “Huh. Well this isn’t part of our routine.” Then finally she lay back down and went to sleep for a while.

(Side note just because some people may read this and wonder: everyone was sleeping fully clothed. T-shirts and pajama pants all around. Just in case anyone was worried.)

By 8:30, Catie came into my room too, which woke us all up. She saw Chris was there and was totally unfazed. Lucy was happy by then too, and I turned on the TV in my bedroom for the kids to watch cartoons for a while. They climbed all over us and tickled each other and laughed, and it was a really great little moment there.

Finally, we got out of bed and got dressed, then went out for pancakes, before taking Chris to his car to meet up with his mechanic friend. (It turned out to be a dead alternator. It’s fixed now.)

I love that my girls love him and are totally at ease with him. In fact, on Sunday morning, I fussed at Lucy for something (I don’t even remember what, it just got a, “no ma’am, we don’t do that” from me), and she ran to Chris and buried her face in his neck for comfort. And Catie gives him hugs and kisses whenever she can.

Lucy watches Bubble Guppies on The Guy's lap while Catie shows him her iPad game. #love

Watching how easily their relationship has developed makes me really happy. He’s great with his own kids, I should’ve known that he’d be equally great with mine.

Later on Sunday, I had this conversation in the car with Catie:

Me: “Hey, Bug, I need a favor. How about we don’t tell Pop-Pop that Chris spent the night?”

Catie: “Ok, but why?”

Me: “Well, Pop-Pop thinks that boys & girls shouldn’t spend the night together unless they’re married.”

Catie: “Why does he think that?”

Me: “You know, babe, Pop-Pop is just old, and there were certain things people believed when he was young that we don’t believe anymore, but he still does, even though it’s stuff that doesn’t matter anymore. Does that make sense?”

Catie: “Is this like how he sometimes says bad things about black people?”

Me: “Yes, exactly like that. We know that’s wrong, and we don’t believe that anymore, but that’s how things were when Pop-Pop was growing up, so he still thinks that way.”

Catie: “That’s silly.”

Me: “Yep, it sure is.”

And then she dropped it, and she hasn’t said a word about the sleepover since then. I know my dad will eventually find out, and I’m sure he’ll flip his lid, because even after two kids, he can’t handle the idea that maybe I’m not a virgin anymore. But as much as I love my dad, he doesn’t get to dictate the rules of my relationship. So, if/when he finds out and gets upset, we’ll deal with it. That’s just life.

But right now? Life is really, really good.