I never really cared much for my breasts when I was younger.
In my pre-teen years, they were a nuisance and felt uncomfortable under my too-tight T-shirts and dresses designed for flat-chested beings.
In my 20s, I didn't appreciate them in college where I could go bra-less underneath my baggy sweatshirts and no one would notice (I think).
In my 30s, I didn't notice at the time that they were one of the most flattering parts of my body.
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The first time I truly appreciated my bosom was when I nursed my baby at 41. The lactation consultant was amazed that my baby at just 5 pounds 9 ounces latched on so quickly. I thought,"This is just the most beautiful and perfect way to nurture and comfort my newborn."
Honestly, I haven't been sad that age, gravity and nursing have made my chest less perky. But I do realize now how important they are to my womanhood.
That's why, for the first time, I got a mammogram.
Now, I've heard all of the horror stories about pain, discomfort and even that mammograms cause breast cancer. So, I was a little apprehensive with the thought of willingly putting myself into a situation that could be painful.
Then, I remembered: I was in labor for 24 hours. How bad could a mammogram be?
After attending Baylor Health's "For Women, For Life event" in January, I found out about a great program at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine: the Baylor Diagnostic Imaging Center offers Saturday Digital Mammography Spa Days twice a month. So, I scheduled an appointment, and here's how it went:
As I walked through the door of the center into the waiting room, I saw a food and drink station to the left and massage therapists to the right waiting to give complimentary chair massages.
I checked in at the front desk, and I had the option of partaking in the lovely spread of muffins, fruit, cereal, snacks, juices, coffee, water, etc. or getting a chair massage. I decided on the massage. It was wonderful.
Then, my name was called for the mammogram. The nurse guided me to the private dressing room that is attached to the screening room. She told me I needed to undress from the waist up and provided me with a comfy, white robe that looked very similar to a spa robe. She provided me wipes to remove any deodorant or lotion on my chest area. (There are deodorant wipes that are provided for you after the screening).
I then waited for the radiologist to knock on the door for my screening. Once she did, she explained the whole process to me before we started. She informed me that I was lucky to be living in the great age of digital equipment, meaning my experience would be less uncomfortable than women in the past. She then guided my breasts into position each time to take the X-rays. Honestly, the process was more awkward than painful. I only had to stand in the "don't move" positions for just a short time because she was able to check the digital images instantly.
She told me not to be alarmed if I'm asked to come back because "younger breasts" tend to be more dense. OK, I admit that I loved the fact that she called a part of my 42-year-old body "young" so it didn't alarm me at all to think I might have to do this again.
She then gave me her card and told me I could call if I had any questions. With that, I was done. The entire experience was about 45 minutes.
On the way out, I grabbed a snack and a bottle of water, thanked my massage therapist with a tip and went home.
What a wonderful way to celebrate motherhood.
Saturday Digital Mammography Spa Days
Baylor Diagnostic Imaging Center
2020 West Highway 114, Suite 100
Grapevine, Texas, 76051
For upcoming dates and appointments: 817-329-2501