By now you know I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a reduction. I had all but decided to go ahead with it (well, to go ahead and start meeting with doctors) in December when I got a disturbing call from my mother about my health insurance. Thanks to the changes made to the healthcare system in the last year (a hot topic in itself) I’ve got coverage until I’m 26, which is fabulous because my freelancing pays the bills but does NOT come with benefits. Her employer had decided to switch carriers, and I had been dropped from the plan by mistake. I was devastated. How could this option, which I’ve never considered until recently, be snatched right out from under me in a flash of paperwork and red tape?

To make a long story short, we’ve been writing letters since then, petitioning for the new carrier to continue my coverage, and this week they gave in and sent a letter reinstating it! Hooray. So I’m continuing my quest with renewed zeal.

Now more than ever I realize just how complicated this decision is going to be. I’m sorting through doctors, websites, types of scars, before-and-after galleries, and bursts of emotions ranging from fear, to elation, to guilt, sadness, empowerment, and hope… and that was just today. I’ve been living with DD-F (might even be a G now, if I’m being honest with myself) breasts for almost 10 years. 10 years of acceptance, of loving me for me, of learning to cover, support, and respect them…but deep down I’ve continued to wish they were smaller.

Yesterday one of the servers at my restaurant job decided to give notice, and her reasoning really got to me: “It’s not the money, or the hours, or the management. It’s that I don’t feel like myself here.”

It occurred to me that my biggest problem with my chest is just that–I don’t feel like myself with it. Naturally my friends and family, who have known me as large-breasted for the past 10 years can’t imagine me any other way, but I can. When I close my eyes, I don’t see large-breasted me. I see me as a 34C or D, curvaceous but not overwhelmingly so. I know all the counter arguments. I know plenty of people would kill for a body like mine, and I know that plenty of people pay lots of money to get a body like mine. I know that I have to go under general anesthesia, I know there will be scars, possible complications with breastfeeding later, and most frighteningly, that there’s a possibility they could “grow back.” Maybe this sounds crazy to everyone in the whole world, and so be it, but I think I would rather deal with all of those “maybes” than a lifetime of custom-tailored dresses, tearful shopping trips, and fighting off first impressions that I’m a porn star just because I’m shaped like one.

So I’m shopping for a surgeon, and I’ll keep you all posted as I go through the process of consultation, and as I learn all the gritty details. As of this moment, I’m prepared to go through with the procedure provided I find the right doctor and my insurance will cover it. These are both ifs, but I’ve got my fingers crossed . . . .