Bye Bye Boobies, Hello Health, Healing & Wholeness!
Updated: Feb 2
Let me start by being very clear that I am not against plastic surgery or any cosmetic surgeries for that matter. Im not a pitch fork holder by any means. The summer before entering into the 8th grade I had a nose job. I was failing in school because I was too preoccupied making sure I was angling my face so that no-one would see my profile. I had a real fear that if someone saw my monster profile, they wouldn't like me. I remember going to church camp the 1 and only time in my life and they taught us we can pray to God and ask for ANYTHING! I bawled my eyes out and wrote a note in my bible pleading with God to please shrink my nose to a normal size. I was 10. My big brother was sent home in 8th grade for defending me after older boys made fun of my nose in the hall ways. I walked home crying and mortified by my face that day. I had neighbor friend who's father would always tease me by saying “Gosh Britt, if it weren’t for your nose you would all but disappear when you turn sideways”. So yes, I had a nose job the summer going into 8th grade where my doctor informed my mother and I that it’s perfectly normal for ears and noses to develop faster then the rest of the face and that my nose was a “strong roman nose”, which is just what every 12 year old girl wants to hear. He simply shaved my bump (that I still have) and pushed my nose together to make a more tapered shape and he pinned my point up instead of down. It’s still my nose, I think it’s still huge because it was reshaped and not re sized BUT ill be forever thankful to my mother for making my prayer happen anyways and I think I’m uniquely beautiful.
So yes, I’m a supporter for surgeries but this isn’t about just an adjustment surgery or even the deeper self healing work to learn to accept and love your body as the amazing tool you were given to live the life you have. This is about putting foreign objects into our bodies and the horrific side effects I lived with for 13 years.
Ever sense I was little I loved my mothers clothes and nighties. I’ve always loved girly, soft, pretty things. Im deeply feminine by nature so I was the girl who was overly excited to get boobs some day because they would make me look like a woman. In 5th grade I asked my best friend who was a year older then me what was she doing because her boobs grew but mine didn’t? She informed me she ate a lot of carrots and that was probably it. I was basically a bunny rabbit from that day on. Fast forward to high school. Still no boobs and I don’t mean this in the "I have a small B cup” no boobs way, but really I was a 32AA and really didn’t need a bra and only wore it to give the illusion of small boobies. If I was shirtless you could easily mistaken my boobs for my should blades- ask my big sister, she will vouch for me. I’m a naturally petite pear shape. I have always had a booty but my rib cage is tiny so small boobs would look fine, if I had small boobs, but I didn’t have any at all. At 16 my mom agreed to a “all natural breast enhancement pill” that I saw on late night tv. It promised a staggering 2 cup size increase. 3 months of my natural supplement and not even a fluffing. After that my mom promised if I graduated an honor roll student and no boobs graced my chest by graduation, she’d buy me some as my grads present.
Me circa 2004 for my senior photo. Happy & healthy with my mega padded bra.
I graduated June 2005 and had my implants put in Aug 4th 2005. We measured my hips, waist and chest to determine the perfect size to fit my small frame. I was adamant on something full but very natural looking so we settled with 275CC silicone implants that were placed under my pec muscle to help look natural and not like two perfect round balls on my ribs. 275CC may sound big to some but again you have to keep in mind that I had zero fat or breast tissue to cover the implant so it was really an implant starting from scratch and not adding to anything. I was assured they were safe again (finding out later that they were NOT FDA approved till the next year) and would be the best option for me. Surgery went great and I LOVED my new boobs! I really loved them. I felt like a woman. I felt mature and feminine and could wear cute tops without a saggy chest area. What I didn’t like was that I lost all feeling/sensation in my breast. I also suddenly put on about 20 pounds over the next 3 months. I was freaking out because 20 pounds on me showed up in a big way. I changed my diet and made sure to get my jumping jacks, crunches, squats and push ups done every morning before my shower. It slowly came off and I was back to normal, or so I thought.
Things that I now know were really side effects to my implants, I always shrugged off as stress. By time my 3rd baby was born (I was 27) everything in me had changed. I had horrible postpartum depression, mood swings that wouldn’t go away and by mood swings I really mean uncontrollable fits of very real rage. I would swell up and look fat for no real reason. I had hot flashes all the time and was tested for pre menopause. I started getting brain shattering migraines, my neck and back hurt all the time no matter what I did, I began getting insomnia that worsened over the years and my once hot and heavy sex life was lost somewhere in space. I went to my doctor and was always assured of my great health and told it’s just stress or hormones or blah blah blah. Things got worst. I started getting a black bur in my left eye that was not detectable by my eye specialist, chronic yeast infections for no reason, random and severe vertigo where entire rooms would trip and I’d have to brace myself so I wouldn’t fall over, piercing chest pain that hospitalized me a few times. I became prone to sinus infections and soon just wasn’t able to breathe through my nose without a cute little whistle sound. Anxiety became my new norm, brain fog to the point of driving and all of a sudden having no idea where I’m at or where I’m going, oh and my favorite thing… I “all of a sudden” got insanely horrible food allergies to gluten and dairy. I was bloated and in pain all the time for years so really maybe thats where my sex drive was hiding. When extreme fatigue and numbness in my toes, thigh, back and arms started up about 6 years ago (2014). I finally went to a naturopath and had full blood labs done. She put me on 2 vitamins that helped for a little while but then it all came back so we did another round of labs. That time she saw high inflammation markers in my system with zero reason for them! By then I was just mad at everything and felt crazy because I was doing everything to be a healthy person and yet I’d wake up in pain, tired and with a new rash or flaking dry skin or cystic acne. Then one night it all changed.
I remember the night sitting on the couch across from my husband. The kids were asleep and I was googling my newest rash that broke out on my back to see if it was a crazy person rash that I created with my own psychic mind. What I found was a list of symptoms to BII. I sat in silence while tears streamed down my face as I read this list.
I knew immediately that I wasn’t crazy. I felt freed but that was quickly overtake by pure sadness of the inevitable choice I had to make. Continue being half alive and sick all the time and keep my boobies or cut them off and hope for the best. Of these 42 symptoms, I was living 37 of them daily FOR YEARS! I looked at my newly prescribed panic pills and ani depressants from my PC who thought they would help my insomnia, rashes, hot flashes and food intolerances. I didn’t want to take pills. I didn’t want to feel this way. My husband looked at me noticing my tears and immediately asked if I was ok. I told him I knew why I was sick all the time and read him my symptom list slowly. All he said was “how soon can we get them removed?”. I glared at him in shock immediately defending my boobs and refusing to remove them. How dare he even think that was an option. After a few days of talking about it and him holding me while I cried in anger, we settled on me seeing my 2 doctors that week and running BII by them to get their opinions. Within 10 days of reading the BII symptom list, I had my PC tell me that it would make sense because she can’t explain my symptoms even though they are "safe life time devices". My naturopath showed me my new autoimmune markers that were leaning towards Lupus, I blurted out my questions asking if it could be my boobs. She all but flew out of her chair saying “Oh my gosh!! YES! I forgot you had implants!”. We talked about how the body will attack any foreign object and that could be what was stressing my system so badly. She recommended I do my research and referred my to an amazing surgeon who was well known for his explant and reconstruction surgeries. I met with Dr.Busby and scheduled my explant surgery for the very next month.
I think it’s important to share how reluctant, mad, depressed, hopeless, truly angry and heart broken I was over the thought of removing my breasts. I assured my husband that he’d hate my body and leave me which was fine with me because I’d never let him see my naked again anyways. I painted horrible pictures of my sad body and the inevitable depression that would take over my life. I cried daily. I cried in front of my kids. I cried at work. I cried when I put on a pretty bra and knew I wouldn’t need them anymore. I cried when my best friend told me she was coming home from NY to be with me after my surgery. I cried worst after a man from my church who use to be some what of a mentor to us heard about my impending explant surgery and asked me about it. He was under the impression it was breast cancer related and once I explained to him it wasn't but how sick I’ve been and why I was doing it, he assured me that fake boobs looks just as good as real ones and he’s positive the doctors would make me look amazing. I was confused by his remarks and re explained to him who was clearly missing the point, that I was REMOVING my implants and not putting anything back in. His stunned face shocked me so I threw out there in defensiveness “Thank God my husbands as ass man! He assured me he loves me no matter what and that it’s not about the boobs as much as it is the nipples anyways”. Im pro at being non filtered and awkward like that. What I didn’t expect was this GROWN ASS MANS RESPONSE TO ME. He informed me that he "wont lie to me and that it’s important that I know that all men love big boobs and they are important to them especially in a marriage”. Shock. I was in shock. I couldn’t move. I had no response except shutting down and walking away. I was mad at my husband for “not being honest with me”, as this grown man FROM MY CHURCH implied. I cried harder the next 2 days. I'll never forget sitting at the breakfast table crying and not being able to eat as my youngest prayed that my boobies would be ok and that mommy wouldn’t be sad anymore.
Implants had ruined me.
The day of surgery I cried as they laid me on the table. They assured me I was in good hands and to not be scared. The last thing I remember was saying to them through my tears was that “I don’t want my boobs to go away”.
April 26th was surgery day. I walked in that morning with my husband and walked about about 5 hours later. This was me right when got home. I had already noticed upon waking up that that my sinuses were wide open, my jaw pain was gone and I felt like I had woken up from a long sleep.
I have both my implants at home with me. This is an image of the capsule that my body created around them to protect my body. They were squeezing my implants, creating hard and stiff feeling breasts. One of my capsules had grown over a nerve on my rib cage that triggered chest pain that felt like I was dying for years. Both implants were slightly deflated, meaning the silicone had seeped into my body over the past 13 years. The implant on the top image is noticeably cloudy compared to the bottom implant. The cloudy implant was on the side that had capsular contracture and has white flakes floating in it.
The two photo's on the left are the day I got home from surgery and below that is one week post op.
The photo's on the right are the morning of surgery and day before surgery. You can see the swelling in my face that went away immediately following the removal.
When I woke up I was shivering from head to toe as a reaction to the anesthesia. Before I even opened my eyes I felt cold air flowing threw my nose and immediately yelled for Aaron. I said “I can breathe! I can feel cold air in my nose!! OH MY GOSH! MY TMJ!! ITS GONE! MY JAW DOESTN’T HURT!!” And just like that, I couldn’t care less if I was a wrinkled, con-caved monster under all the wrappings because there was a lightness about my entire head. I felt whip smart, no tightness in my chest, neck or shoulders, I was breathing clear, thinking clear, I was happy. Being a realist at times I thought maybe it’s just the drugs but day by day I felt better in other areas. When my wraps came off I wasn’t even upset one bit, infact I was thrilled with my boobs! The most divine, powerful, truly feminine light was flowing threw me. It was as if I found the strong, sexy, feminine, unstoppable woman that was trapped inside me all this time and she was free at last.
7 days post op, they took out my drains and took off my wrap. I saw myself and felt like I came home. I loved the person that was standing there. I knew her and realized I felt that I betrayed her. I didn't accept and love her the way I did now.
A few weeks post op I tried a cheese bread stick and I didn’t get even a bubble of gas in my stomach. My food intolerances and allergies are 100% gone. In fact, ALL of my symptoms are 100% gone. I have what is called a “flair up” every once in a while and it’s usually when I’m in a hormone change or in need of detoxing but it last a few days and is nothing compared to what my life was. Oh and can we talk about the 12 pounds I lost in the first month! 12 pounds of pure inflammation! My sex life, because I know you all want to know so badly, is AMAZING! I’ve truly never felt more in my body, myself, confident, comfortable, sexy, feminine, soft, excited, ever! Not ever!
Looking back and wondering if I would have had surgery still had I known about how our bodies waste soooooooooo much of our energy and resources to attack and built a capsule around these poisonous devices (read HERE the list of heavy medal and toxic ingredients in silicone implants. And yes saline implants are made of a silicone shell so same thing), hell no I wouldn’t have. There is also an amazing community of women on FB who share their illness stories, detox and whole health wisdom, we share in each others infertility struggles that usually all end up pregnant within a year post explant surgery, life changes we have had for the good or bad because of our implants, we support each other when a boyfriend or husband leave because of our desire to be healthy after the realization that it’s our fake boobs that are killing us. It happens a lot and I cry with these women and lift them up every time. We talk women off the ledge of suicide when they feel trapped or hopeless especially those with no funds for an explant. It’s an amazing community. Speaking of suicide, did you know that there was a confirmed link back in 2007 that women with implants are 12 times more likely to commit suicide by their 10 year mark. Read about it here or on any of the accredited sites yet this isn’t something we talk about often! Last year marked my 13th year with my implants and it was a very dark year for me and if I wasn’t lead to the realization that there was a real cause, I have no idea where I’d be today.
I know that this was all just apart of my life story and maybe it had to play out this way but I’m grateful. Im truly grateful for my amazing body and the grace it has on me for the stupid things I’ve done to it. Im grateful for my husband, family and friends who stayed by my side while I was slowly dying on the inside. Im grateful for life and my body and the beauty of a women’s body in it’s most amazing and unique form plus I can wear super cute sexy clothes without looking “sexy” because I have such petite breasts. Now I just want women to know there are other options like fat transfers or just take a sexy dance class, splurge on high quality lingerie that fits your body and fills your heart (my favorite lingerie boutique here in Portland is oh baby lingerie) or learn the healing that comes with a daily self breast massage. Get to know and love your body and stop comparing it to other bodies because they are probably comparing theirs to someone else’s! Comparison is the killer of joy so stop and choose joy every time! Let’s just learn to self love in a healthy and honest way. Boobs are great and I love them and I appreciate them but after seeing so many boobs in their natural state these last years in my FB community, natural boobs are BEAUTIFUL and I never appreciated that until now.
It has been 2.5 years now since my explant surgery. I am grow deeper in love with my body as the tool that I was given to live this amazing life. I still have my moments where I wish I had a big ol pillow of a boob for my husband to lay his head on but instead he gets to lay closer to my heart. Our bodies are always changing. Always. I've learned to love mine for where it is in my 33 year old body. I did a lot of damage to my system, my adrenals, my nerves, my hormones… everything in my body for 13 years! Im now on a path to make the best choices for myself and how I treat this amazing vehicle that carries me along side my babies and my husband. I also think it's important to not that the FDA has revised the outlook on breast implants. Read about the FDA's new Black Box Label and the FDA's Statement regarding the new findings regarding the damage to our health caused by these devices.
Ill leave you with this; my husband smiled at me post surgery after I got out of the shower and said “Brittani I’ve never seen you this confident and I can’t stop staring at how sexy you are” – as he looked at my deflated, mildly con-caved, bruised boobs. I guess it is really about the nipple after all.
If you have questions, are thinking of getting implants, have implants and recognize some of these symptoms as your own, if you want to see my before and after pics… write me! Im here for you 100% because it’s about damn time us women lift each other up and knock off the judgements we push at one another.