Above is a decent shot of my profile where you can see the two bumps and drooping tip. This is the angle I almost always avoided in any photos - be they personal ones or those destined for the blog/social media. That's why you never saw this angle of my face unless it was very zoomed out and unnoticeable. I had even resorted to cropping out my head entirely from my blog photos recently. This was for two reasons - 1) to focus more on the clothes than on me (since this is a sewing blog) and 2) to avoid drawing attention to (what I perceived to be) my enormous shnoz.
I still remember knocking on my friend's beach house door the week after school let out when I was in about 5th grade. Her older sister had just graduated from high school, and she answered the door with bandages all over her face. I was scandalized. I was INTRIGUED! Had she had a nose job? You mean that's a thing?! I had all sorts of questions for my mom. I wanted that.
But of course, it's really not a good idea for a pre-teen to have plastic surgery, and it most definitely wasn't in the family budget. So I just accepted the fact that I was ugly (or so I thought) and got on with my life. I went through some very awkward phases with big feet (size 8 in 3rd grade), the skinniest legs (105 pounds in 11th grade at the same height I am now) and obviously, my big nose. I wore t-shirts over my swimsuit until I graduated from high school, and I took meticulous measurements of all my body parts to see if I could "grow" them to be more in line with my nose and feet. It was ridiculous, looking back. (And, I should add, I hope to instill a much healthier body image in my daughter as she gets older!)
In my 20s, I made new friends, had short hair and was a bit of a party girl. I accepted my nose and the fact that I was kind of unusually thin and just went with it. I didn't give my nose much thought other than to make sure I was always facing the "right" angle for photos and such. I still hated it, but I accepted it, too.
So recently, my husband noticed that I was having some self-esteem issues with my appearance after having three babies in four short years. Harper was born in 2011 when I was 30, and Finn in 2015 when I was 34. One morning, when I was feeling particularly down on myself, he told me I could consider getting my nose and boobs done since we were finally in a position to do so financially. (It was something he knew I had thought about a lot and had wanted at various points in my life.) At first, I was a bit taken aback. But before I could even let the negative thoughts enter into my head - "What, does he hate my nose? Are my boobs too ugly? Am I old and washed up? Does he think I'm disgusting? - He reassured me that it had zero to do with him and everything to do with making me happy. He wanted me to know he was making this offer to ME as MY decision if it was something *I* wanted to pursue - not him.
After a couple weeks of soul searching and a lot of ups and downs, I decided to schedule some consultations. I started with the boobs (which I will get to shortly), and at the recommendation of that surgeon, I saw Dr. Petroff in Lake Oswego, Oregon who specializes in facial surgery/rhinoplasty. It was important to me that I used a specialist since I'd had previous septoplasty done (non-cosmetic) and since, well, my nose is kind of complicated. (I also went on another consult but was not impressed with the doctor's previous results.)
Dr. Petroff made me feel completely at ease and like he knew exactly what he was doing. He detailed his exact plan for giving me a more feminine, softer nose with a straighter bridge and tip. He also showed me examples of patients with noses similar to mine which he had successfully refined. Sold. And to my luck, they had an almost immediate opening because of a cancellation. I was booked within a week.
Surgery was quite simple. My husband dropped me off at the surgical center (which was at Dr. Petroff's office) early since he had to take my two big kids to the dentist, so I did some work on my laptop and watched TV in their waiting room. Soon, they called me back and got me switched into my gown. The most painful part of the entire surgery was getting the IV in my hand (they had to stick me twice because I was dehydrated from not having anything to drink since the day before), but after that, I felt GRRREAT.
I was awake for the entire surgery but did not feel a thing. In fact, I found it a little interesting to be able to kind of see/hear what they were doing. Of course, I drifted off from time-to-time, but I was vaguely aware for the entirety. This made it easy to "wake up" after anesthesia and to not feel hungover or super nauseated afterward. I will say that it was a *little* weird to hear them hammering and breaking my nose. Yeeeeaaaaah. That part. And let's also not forget about the part when I said, "I LOVE YOU GUYS!" to all the nurses and doctor in the room. Ha, ha, HA! It was a bit like being terribly drunk.
After surgery, they rolled me into recovery and asked me if I felt up to seeing my husband and three kids (they were waiting by that time in the waiting room). I said "YES!" and I was so happy to see them. The kids had a few questions which we explained in very factual terms. But I will talk about that more in a bit. Today is the day after surgery, and I have only taken Tylenol Extra-Strength (2) today for pain. I would say I'm at a level 2 for pain, and since throwing up one time this morning, I no longer have any nausea. I think the nausea was from the oxycodone and residual anesthesia. I also have no bruising or swelling, and I attribute that to icing occasionally and just not being one to bruise easily. Oddly enough, I feel quite pretty today. I even went into Starbucks with all my bandages on this morning. (Don't worry - my husband drove me!)
It is hard to tell right now how my nose will look with the splint still on the outside, but I can already tell it is more upturned and smaller, and there are no bumps on the bridge. And I feel SO. MUCH. HAPPIER. Seriously. I will keep you posted here about my nose's healing, and you can also follow along on Instagram as I tend to post there quite often.
Now, About Those Boobs...
This decision can be summed up in two words: three babies.
It's funny because I was one of those "anti-surgery" people...you know...before I actually needed it myself. I said there was no way (I thought) pregnancy would "destroy" my body, and I would exercise and take care of myself and return to the small (but perky!) boobs I had before babies. I thought women should age gracefully and embrace what their bodies had done as heroic and womanly.
Well, um, yeah. That didn't happen. Sure, I lost the weight, and I know that is a great feat in itself after going through three 50-pound weight gains over the course of five years. I also had a miscarriage in-between babies 1 and 2 which made my second pregnancy seem to last like a million years (I got pregnant almost immediately after).
SOMEWHAT MIRACULOUSLY I did not end up with any stretch marks on my belly. (Thanks, Grandma?) However, my once full A/small B breasts lost almost all volume after finishing breastfeeding and were said little mounds camped out on my bony expanse of a sternum. I've heard them referred to as tube socks, ziploc bags of mushroom soup, fried egg boobies, etc. etc. But yeah, whatever you call them, they were NOT what I had in mind for the rest of my life - not even close. And although I had mostly gotten over it, I have to admit that the thought was still in the back of my head that I would love to have my womanly shape back. (I got up to a DD while pregnant/nursing, and I didn't want to be THAT big since I am small-framed, but I wanted SOMETHING!)
So after searching several doctors in my area, I went on a couple consultations and decided on "the boob wizard," Dr. Aaron Gorin in Tualatin, Oregon. First, he responds to emails like...instantly. Even before I was his patient, he would respond to my questions within minutes of sending. I already felt good about that. When I met him in his office, he was super friendly and made me feel comfortable. I could tell he knew what he was doing, and he was honest and listened to my concerns/needs.
He did not use digital imaging like some surgeons, but instead, he fitted me with a large bra and had me try on different implants. We are going with round, smooth, silicon implants inserted under the muscle and through openings on the underside of the breasts. As for size, I have not yet fully decided because I do want a natural look, but I am also a bit intrigued by the idea of going slightly larger. Ultimately, I hope to end up with about a small C-cup bra size as I feel like that's small enough to not overwhelm my frame but large enough to fill out a pretty bra or swimsuit top. I will make the final decision at my pre-op coming up in about two weeks. Surgery is scheduled for June 7.
For reference, here's what I looked like before babies came on the scene (Thailand, November 2009 - notice all my endometriosis/ovarian cystectomy scars on the abdomen):