It was the Summer of 2016 and I sat at my computer to begin work for the day when I glanced down and saw everything. I mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. The gaps between my skin and my bra were so pronounced it left nothing to the imagination. I began looking for plastic surgeons in our area that day.
I was fresh off our last baby turning one and my bras did not fit like they used to. Throughout my years of nursing, I continually joked with my husband that all the money we were saving on formula was going straight to my boob-job, so he wasn’t surprised when I told him about my morning situation, subsequent panic, and upcoming appointment with a plastic surgeon.
Ultimately, though, I couldn’t go through with it. It didn’t sit right. The surgery felt too drastic, too permanent and it was very expensive. There were too many unknowns for an elective surgery – What if I didn’t like it? What if it negatively impacted my health? What if we couldn’t afford braces because I wanted implants?!
I was struggling with the changes to my body from pregnancy and nursing. The bras I was used to wearing suddenly had big gaps between my skin and my bra causing uncomfortable wordrobe situations. But, when I went down a cup size to eliminate the gaps, I lost my shape, and I felt pre-pubescent.
My self-conscious was in the toilet but I tried to focus on positive thinking. I felt foolish for spending so much time and energy dealing with these negative thoughts, but I couldn’t shake it. Because of how I felt, was I not honoring my body and being proud of what it did? After all, it grew three humans and kept each one fed for an entire year?! Why couldn’t I be proud of my body AND feel confident in a tank top?
I ended up finding some bra pads like what would typically be sewn into a wedding dress or prom dress to not need a bra. I stuffed them into my bra so I could fill out the cup like I used to. Then one day walking out of Target I noticed one of the pads poking out of my tank top. I was mortified. I grabbed needle and thread as soon as I got home and sewed the pads into the bra so they wouldn’t fall out again.
And one day it hit me – I shouldn’t have to contemplate plastic surgery, search for hours on the internet or experience public embarrassment. I should be able to get dressed and fill-out my clothes the way I want. It seemed so simple yet I felt backed into a corner with drastic surgery or ill-fitting bras and clothes as my only choices.
I ran to my husband waving one of those horribly stitched bras in his face, “this should exit.” I told him how I could make it and not only help me, but other women grappling with similar struggles.
He looked at me and said, “I love it. Do it.” And just like that, Livi Lu Lane was born.