As told to Mariam
Last week, in a conversation about HER stories, Femi told me he knew someone who had done a breast reduction surgery. My curiosity piqued so I collected her contact details and reached out. Here’s what she told me:
I have always had big breasts, and I have always hated them. I remember my breasts being bigger than the rest of my body as early as ten. I was the only one in my family with huge breasts and a small butt — the other women have bigger butts. I was often teased for looking like Johnny Bravo. This made me hate it more.
The worst part was that the breasts kept growing. I developed a backache that started from my teens through early adulthood. Sometimes I am unable to breathe well because my breasts were so big they choked me. I wished I got breast cancer so they could cut off my breasts or that I would wake up without breasts.
Shopping was always sore for me. I had to buy clothes a size bigger than my body so my breasts would fit. Most of my clothes were tight around my chest and free on the rest of my body.
I hated going out with my friends because this meant dressing up, and I hated how my clothes looked on me. I hated taking pictures because I hated seeing how big my breasts looked in them. I am a content creator, so I would spend hours filming videos talking about my work and when I watched them, all I saw was breasts.
In 2018, I stopped buying bras because my size 38DDD bra stopped fitting. I opted for sports bras — they were cheaper and seemed to provide some comfort while holding my breasts firmly.
I don’t remember when I first heard of breast reduction surgeries but it became a real prospect when a friend of mine, Yemisi*, did hers. She got a reduction and a lift at a hospital in Connecticut*. She gave me the hospital address and phone number to make an appointment.
I didn’t call until about a month later in the middle of summer 2018. Summer felt like hell — it was so hot and my breasts were choking me. One morning, I got fed up and called the hospital.
The hospital was kind enough to offer a discount so the surgery was about $4000. A few months before the surgery, my sister suggested setting up a GoFundMe account for donations. I had taken a break from work, so I needed as much money as I could get. I shared the link with only friends and family. They donated about $700 which I used for my plane tickets and an AirBnB reservation close to the hospital.
I had the surgery in 2019. I paid for it with my credit card. The doctors and I had agreed to reduce my breasts to a size 36DD — there was only so much they could cut in one surgery. The surgery included a breast lift as well so my breasts weren’t lagging afterwards. The entire process lasted five hours.
Post surgery, I had to stay away from wearing regular bras for about eight weeks — I wore a special surgical bra instead. Laying on my back or any other part of my body hurt for the first few weeks. I couldn’t engage in physical activity for about 12 weeks. After a while, I noticed the constant ache in my back from carrying the weight on my chest had disappeared — I felt lighter. By June, I got a part time job and paid off the credit before the year ran out.
It’s been over a year since the surgery and my breasts have started growing again but I’m not worried because I know it will never be as big as it used to be.