Carla's Quest... (copyright 2002)

Ever since I was very small, I've been fascinated with women's clothing... a crossdresser... but you already knew that... I've been dressing in the closet since my early teens, and finally got the gumption (whatever that is) to go out in public about 5 years ago...

A pretty startling revelation... After getting over the heebie-jeebies and the willies, going out in public dressed as a woman was/is a lot of fun! The only problem, the more I did it, the more I wanted to do it. A vicious circle indeed... but oh, what fun!

But we're never satisfied... there's always something _more_ you want to do... bigger boat, newer car, lower golf score... it's different for each individual, but we all have something....

For me, it was "Crossdresser's Nirvana" that had the greatest appeal... cleavage! OK, I confess... Ever since I was very small, I've been fascinated by breasts... At a wild guess, a fascination shared by perhaps 80% of the average male population... Another wild guess, a fascination shared by approximately 126% of crossdressers... Of course, that's only a scientific approximation...

But now that my desire was identified, how to proceed? There are a number of techniques and devices we can use to simulate a bosom. Mostly they would not stand up to scrutiny if visible skin was a requirement. About the best you can hope for in getting cleavage is duct taping your flesh into a fold and augmenting it with a breast form or something. The adhesive 'attachable' forms also produce the illusion of cleavage, but not really well.

I was left with the choice of three possibilities: do nothing, hormones or surgery. In my case, I didn't feel that hormones were appropriate... I'm a crossdresser, not a transsexual. I may be a lesbian trapped in a body with male plumbing, but it's comfortable for me. Doing nothing (and daydreaming about how things could be different) was the easy option, but there was still that nagging desire to look 'right' in the little black dress. If I wanted cleavage, the most viable option was surgical.

Now the way Carla usually does things, it's "Act now and damn the consequences"... But this was perhaps the most unusual thing I've ever contemplated and I took a different tack. First was the research... Here's where modern technology takes on the 'heavy lifting'. There's a ton of data out on the internet about what I was planning, known technically as 'breast augmentation' and colloquially as 'getting a boob job'... I'll use the abbreviation 'BA' instead of 'BJ' if it's all the same to you...

Searching the Internet for information on BA was amazingly fruitful. There's a great site at http//www.implantinfo.com with oodles of good stuff. I highly recommend it. Most of my technical questions were answered there. There was also the infamous article in Maxim Magazine (July 1998) about the Las Vegas gambler who got breasts on a bet. Hey, I'd do it for a lot less than a hundred grand!

The really important questions were of a more personal nature. How could a relatively average guy survive the daily tests of modern life whilst sporting a chest of female proportion? I'd thought about this for a long time prior, and figured that the best way to see how it would work out would be to try something temporary and 'test the waters'. I got serious about this in November of 1998. One fine Autumn day, full of fear and trepidation, I tried wearing my smaller breast prostheses in male mode.

What a strange sense of fear and awe as I stepped out into guy world with my 36B's, in broad daylight, here in my hometown, for the very first time. The most clinical description of my personal 'head space' at the time was 'scared s**tless'. Of course, I did my best to camouflage my silicone protruberances under a rather baggy shirt... but _I_ knew they were there! I suppose that a casual observer would not have noticed much difference. "Just a guy wearing a baggy flannel shirt." It's different when you're inside the shirt and sure that everyone around you is staring at your chest, because it's certainly the most important thing on your mind at the time.

The first hour seemed like a week. Everyone around me was fixated on my chest. I heard loud, boisterous laughter from behind my back everywhere I went. Large groups of small children ran after me throwing small stones and heckling me at every turn. Several small women wearing sensible shoes while brandishing religious tracts in one hand and a copy of the National Enquirer in the other chased after me, chanting a mantra of "pervert!... pervert!" It was horrible!... It was awful! It was terrible! It was completely imaginary!

Nothing happened! Nada... Zip... Zero. All the demons inside my head got a great workout but as far as the real world was concerned it was business as usual. By hour #2 my rapid pulse and copious sweating had diminished to a feeling of utter terror. By noon I managed to walk from my car into my office and sit at my desk for a few moments, gauging the reactions of my co-workers. Nothing. Hmmm...

By the end of that first fateful day, the net reaction had been a big goose-egg. Life went on all around me as if nothing had happened. Lots of turmoil between my own ears, but the rest of the world seemed blithely oblivious. A bit of a letdown actually, finding that I am _not_ the center of the known universe. Hmmph...

So that was that, a fitful start into bosomness... Day two was a bit less stressful than day 1, and day 3 a bit less again. After a month of daily enhancement and public scrutiny, life was pretty ordinary... Just a bit 'lumpier'. All the while I knew, deep inside, that if any of this became a problem I could just stop wearing the forms anytime. I admit that I was still doing what I could to 'cover my synthetic assets' by wearing loose clothing and crossing my arms a lot, but as I slowly got accustomed to them and became comfortable with my 'new look' I started to relax. And the strangest thing, I found that I enjoyed having breasts!

Not wanting to mislead you, I have to be very frank for a moment. Of course other people did notice the change in my physical appearance. Some people did stare. Undoubtedly there was discussion of my apparent remodeling behind my back. People asked my Significant Other, co-workers and business associates questions of a personal nature regarding "What the Hell is Carl(a) doing?????" And after a few months, the issue just seemed to disappear. The chatterboxes moved on to the next bit of juicy gossip and my life went on.

As I got more comfortable with my new look, I spent less and less time trying to hide it from others. When summer came and bulky flannel shirts were not really appropriate attire I did change to somewhat thinner and less obscuring clothing. Still, the earth did not open under my feet and swallow me into a sulphurous pit. What a relief! By November of 1999 my artificially revised physique was pretty much a given in the small town I live in. It was time to fish or cut bait....

When I first embarked on this journey, I had mentally decided to try a year with prosthetic breasts and see how it worked out before doing anything permanent. I figured that would give me time to acclimate to the situation and I could stop anytime and revert to being a flat-chested guy. At the same time, I would be saving my pennies to be able to finance the surgery if I really decided to do it. The plan was, by the time I had the cash in hand I would know if I really wanted to travel down this road.. If I didn't, I'd have a nice nest-egg to invest in a new milling machine or welder for the workshop.

By November of 1999 I had decided that being a guy with boobs was not only tolerable, but a lot of fun. By this time, the worst was over as far as my relationship to the outside world, my mental attitude was very positive and I was really looking forward to having some visible cleavage for those special times in girl mode. My savings plan had resulted in enough put aside to pay for the expected surgical cost, so it was 'All Systems GO' for the next step.

First on the menu was to select a potential surgeon. That was easy. In nearby Portland, Oregon there's one of the leading plastic surgeons who does transsexual surgery. Who would be better to do boobs on a guy than someone who's done hundreds already? I made the call and scheduled an appointment for a consultation. Well, almost... When I called and told the scheduler what I wanted she said "Fine... Have you got your letter from the psychologist yet?" . . . . "Ummm, no... I don't want a sex change, just breasts".... "Well, we still need a letter..." . . ..

Hmmm... an unexpected hurdle... So I asked if the doctor's office could recommend someone and they gave me a couple of names. One was located near my workplace, so I made an appointment for a few days later...

The psychologist and I had a nice chat. She thought my request was a bit odd but certainly not 'mentally unbalanced'... So a letter to the surgeon would be forthcoming. Before I left her office (and after she had already evaluated me) I got to do a gender personality profile test evaluation thingie. The results: generally feminine... What a shock! That was fun!

So, with the promise of a letter to the surgeon being forthcoming I called Doctor T's office and actually made an appointment for a surgical consult. One small step for man, a giant step for ???

The consultation visit at Dr. T's office was uneventful. After filling out the forms and waiting around a bit I was interviewed by the doctor's assistant. She told me "We don't do breast augmentation on males unless they are transsexual. " Well, it would have been nice to find this out when I first called and asked specifically about getting a BA, rather than running around finding psychologists and jumping through hoops.... She did offer that there would be no fee for the consultation since I didn't see the doctor. Fair enough, but I decided to see him anyway. Might as well chat with the top banana if you're already in the tree..

Dr. T explained that due to his adherence to the Benjamin Standards for Sex Reassignment Surgery he was not willing to do anything that might adversely affect his medical practice. Although he told me that breast augmentation was a common surgical procedure and completely reversible, it was not something he was comfortable doing other than for an SRS tracked patient. The visit was not a total loss as I asked for and received a recommendation of another surgeon in the area who might be willing to do the procedure on me. I paid for the consult and headed out the door.....

A couple of days later I got up the nerve to make the next phone call. You know how it goes. Just too busy to make a doctor's appointment... yadda yadda yadda... A bit apprehensive about this one, as it would certainly be an unusual request for a garden variety plastic surgeon to do a breast augmentation on a male. Or so I thought. The cheerful person who answered the phone listened to my request and said "Well, I'll have to check with the doctor and see if he's willing to do it. Hang on!". . . . . She came back on the line about a minute later and said "When would you like an appointment?" Sheesh! This is too easy!

The appointment for the consultation was set for about two weeks out, or mid December, 1999. In that two weeks, my second set of artificial breasts (the 36C's) gave up the ghost. or the silicone... whatever.... A quick trip to Mary Catherines scored me a nice pair of used ones that were larger than I had ever tried before. I became a 36C+ or 36D, depending on the brassiere manufacturer. And life went on pretty normally...

From my research on the internet I found that breast implants are sized by their volume in cubic centimeters. Since I was expecting to leave the world of external prostheses and move inside, I got busy determining the size of the forms I was using to get an idea of what I wanted as far as implant size. The external forms that I started with (the 36B's) were about 400cc in volume, the C's were 450cc and the D's were 500cc. These should be useful numbers for the consult, I thought.

My consultation appointment day neared, and I called the office to confirm it. I was about halfway hoping some external force would have interceded to postpone the inevitable. You know what I mean... calling the dentist's office to see if he had a sudden change of heart about doing your root canal or had been abducted by space aliens and could not see you this year or something like that... Nope. We were set for the consultation, as advertised... Although an interesting thing did happen during that phone call. The cheerful woman I spoke to the first time I called answered the phone again this time, and after confirming the appointment she told me that another woman who worked in the office had gone to high school with a "Carl LaFong" and could I be the same person?

Whoof! Yikes! Eeek! What a strange sensation... I sorta expected this medical adventure to be a bit more anonymous than that.... A hand from my dark past reaching out to me in my moment of vulnerability... Weird indeed... We determined that yes indeed, I was the same person her co-worker had gone to school with... And, to my great credit and/or incredible stupidity, I did not cancel the appointment at that very instant and book passage on a slow boat to Singapore.

And so the day of the consultation dawned, and I drove to the surgeon's office. Met Marilyn, the cheerful office manager and Kris, the girl from my pubescent past. Oh my. In high school, she was gorgeous. I worshipped her from afar... Very afar. Nerds did not court the cheerleaders. _This_ nerd didn't court _anyone_, but that's a separate issue... She was still gorgeous. Breathtakingly gorgeous. I could feel my brain disengaging itself from active control of major muscle groups as I stood there. The mouth and lips were the first to go. Babbling and gibberish became my mother tongues. Just being able to formulate relatively coherent sentences while Kris was in the vicinity was a major accomplishment to which I owe everything to my Dale Carnegie training.

After a couple of minutes of small talk with the office staff I was ushered into the doctor's study. He looked me over in that trademarked doctorly way and asked me what I wanted. I explained my situation and he queried me about perhaps actually wanting pectoral implants, not breast implants. Seems it is more common for men to want bigger pecs, not breasts. Hmmm... Hadn't occurred to me that there was another way to get big pecs other than exercise. We cleared that up and then chatted about crossdressing and cleavage. He knew nothing about crossdressing but was a world authority on cleavage. This guy knows his stuff, and stuffing...

"Gotta have enough skin to stretch over the implants" is the mantra of breast augmentation. Makes sense. Before even unbuttoning my shirt in the examination room (and donning that silly gown) I knew that skin was the issue. GG's (genetic girls) apparently are more endowed with available skin that males, so it's easier to work on them. Or they're stretchier. Or something. When the doctor came in and had a look, and a squeeze, and a pinch, and whatever else... he said "Hmmm... looks like this could work!" . . . . He estimated he could fit 500cc implants into the available space using an incision under the breast at the 'crease' which wasn't there in guy mode but would be after placing the implants. He made a final evaluation of my mental state "Are you sure you want to do this?" and after receiving an affirmative reply, the consult was over. The results: 425cc saline implants, overfilled as necessary, crease incision and local anesthetic with the procedure done in his office surgical suite.

I wandered back out of the office to the reception area and the cheerful Ms. Marilyn said "Well, when is good for you to do the procedure?" I don't know that I was really ready to make that particular appointment, but what the heck! We set a tentative date for Wednesday, March 1, 2000. I collected what was left of my wits and headed out the door.

I now had about two and a half months to give this my full consideration. I wasn't fully committed yet... I should probably have just been committed... But as the time passed and the surgery date drew nearer, I got more and more enthusiastic about actually going through with it. Yeah, it was a big step, but I felt I was ready.

The plastic surgeon didn't require any lab tests or anything prior to my surgery date and this concerned me. I wanted to be sure that there was nothing lurking in my most inner parts that might be problematic so I scheduled a physical exam with my general practitioner in mid-February. Everything was fine... He commented that I had lost weight since my last exam (woo hoo) and my blood pressure was better than prior tests. Must have been a sense of inner calm coming over me, I guess.

I had a final pre-op appointment with the plastic surgeon about a week prior to B-Day. Surgery was scheduled for 8:45 AM and so my instructions were no food after midnight and take a valium about an hour prior. Also instructed to get a front-zip sports bra to bring to the surgery so we'd have a bag to put the new additions in to take them home. He made sure that I had reliable transportation to and from his office and someone to look after me post surgery. The lovely and talented Miss Victoria, my main squeeze, sweet patootie and love of my life volunteered herself for the duty. I love that girl!

The night before my surgery I slept like a log. No worries, no nagging doubts, just a warm anticipation. And all this with no drugs! All right!

Up early in the morning on Wednesday the first. B-Day was here. No breakfast, no coffee, no nothing except a little tiny pill. Ah well, small sacrifices. Victoria drove us from home to the surgeons office and we arrived right on time. Things got a little confusing after that. Took off my shirt and put on a gown, sat down in the chair and had a bit of small talk with Marilyn, Kris and the nurse whose name I cannot remember... I was going to have what is called 'conscious sedation' or 'twilight sleep' anesthesia. It's mostly a lot of local anesthetic injected into the area they're actually working on to make it really numb plus an IV that makes you not much care about what's going on around you. Sort of like being a Republican, I guess.

The nurse put a monitor transducer on my wrist, inserted an IV needle into my arm and ummm.... I was outta there... or was I?

I had the strangest dream... I was sort of pleasantly floating in space and it was dark and it was light and there were people around me saying things that kinda sounded like they made sense, but I couldn't quite understand what they were saying. It was like reading about a bridge game in the newspaper. West melded to East's ruff and took the momewraith's tricks and spaded the garden. Oh? I think I even participated in the discussion of the bridge game while I was dreaming. I'm sure I said something witty and apropos. I felt someone tugging at my chest hairs or something. Uh, wait a minute.. I distinctly remember shaving my chest... Hmmm... What's happening? Oh, that's an odd sensation... I feel some pressure on my chest now... what could that be? Hey, that tickles!... Oh well, back to dreamland..... zzzzzzzzz.......

They timed the IV anesthetic so I'd come back to consciousness shortly after they had finished. These people really know their stuff. Perfect timing. I wandered back to the land of the living at about 10:30 AM. A bit woozy, surrounded by strangers and with the darndest feeling in my chest I have ever experienced. I still had about a gallon of the local anesthetic sloshing around in there, so I was mostly numb but even in that condition I realized that something had changed.

Put my shirt back on and got final instructions for pain management if it was needed. I was still a bit dopey (all right, no comments from the peanut gallery) but Ms. Victoria got it all straight for me. We left the office, got into the car and I promptly went back to sleep for the drive home. In the hour it took to return home, I pretty much got over the anesthetic and was mostly 'there' by the time we got home. Jumped out of the car and..... no, wait, let's be honest here... Crawled out of the car, into the house, swallowed a pain pill and went straight to bed.

Slept/dozed for a couple of hours. Interesting dreams. Woke up with a couple of cantaloupes inserted under the skin on my chest. What the ????? Oh, yeah. I remember now... Took a quick peek under the sports bra, without unzipping the front. Wasn't sure I could get it to close again if I opened it. Goodness gracious, there really _are_ cantaloupes under my skin! Yikes! What have I done????? At that moment I had a serious attack of 'boobie remorse'. How could I do such a thing? What was I thinking of? Am I nuts???? It was terrible. It was awful. It was horrible. It was.... Hey, wait a minute! I've got breasts! Cool! The 'boobie remorse' lasted almost ten seconds and was replaced by a warm and fuzzy feeling and a big smile. Woo hoo!

Went back to the surgeon's office on Friday for a checkup and to have the steri-strips replaced. that's the bandaid thing that covered the incision. I was surprised to learn that there were no stitches involved on the outside incision. Cool! I worried that the implant might just pop through the skin at the incision point if I got too frisky with them, but that wasn't really an issue. The incisions looked rather red and ugly, but my research indicated that this was normal at this stage of the game. Went for a second checkup the week following and everything was healing just fine.

Recovery was mostly uneventful. The surgeon did a wonderful job. At first, they were as hard as rocks and sat really high on my chest. Freaky, indeed. They hurt really bad for a day or so, and then the pain mostly went away to the point that ordinary Tylenol would work nicely. Getting in and out of a waterbed without the use of your arms is quite a trick. I think I used two of the 'high-test' pain pills. I had to try to sleep on my back for a week or so, and then managed to try sleeping on my side and actually get some sleep. My surgeon believes in compression to speed healing, so a zip-front sports bra was my constant companion for 8 weeks, 24/7.

The healing process is very slow. After about 6 weeks the 'girls' started to soften up a bit as the skin stretched around them. They were still very firm and positioned rather high on the chest. It takes six months to a year for them to settle into their final position and really soften to the point that they feel like breasts. What's really annoying is that they rarely heal at the same rate, so one may be a breast and the other a cantaloupe for a while. Mine were about 4 weeks apart at the start, but they've evened out nicely now. The incision scars are almost completely faded. There were bouts of small stabbing pains and itchiness and numbness on and off for about 6 months as everything came back together. Nothing serious. One lesson: Don't scratch your boobs in public. People will stare. Trust me on this one.

So here we are, the 'twins' second birthday. And the answers to the frequently asked questions:

What do they feel like?
Interesting question. The procedure didn't add any nerve endings or such to my body, just a bit of extra mass in strategic places. They feel (internally) exactly like they did before augmentation. The extra weight and flexibility makes them move differently against clothing, and going braless does cause the nipples to be more sensitive to external stimuli. This is not entirely unpleasant. Wearing a brassiere, I feel them more in the shoulder straps than at the breast surface. The weight, feel and 'bounciness' are very similar to wearing external forms in a brassiere. I rather enjoy it.

Externally, they feel just like female breasts. Warm, firm, squishy, malleable and oooh!

How much do they weigh?
About 2 pounds total.

How have people around you reacted to this?
Since I already had a noticeable chest prior to surgery and people around me got over it early, there seem to have been no adverse reactions. Besides, what possible business is it of theirs? There have been a couple of gg's who were visibly envious.

What does Ms. Victoria think about all this?
She's the coolest person in the world. She's been supportive of my decision and we're still together and more in love than ever.

Any surgical complications?
None at all. My surgeon did an excellent job.

Anything you would have done differently?
Almost everyone who has a BA will say "I should have gone bigger." I would love to have done so, but the surgeon didn't have room in my chest for more than 425cc each side. I am now a genuine 36C.

I would have started sleeping on my tummy a bit sooner. That seems to accelerate the 'softening' of the implants by compressing them more and keeping the 'pocket' they are in opened up. The tradeoff is that until they're ready to be slept on, they *hurt* when you do that. Do what they tell you.

I would not have gone bra shopping at Victoria's Secret so soon. My first junket was at about 6 weeks and the girls were nowhere near ready to be harnessed. Underwires were torturous and the cantaloupes did not take kindly to being forced into unnatural positions. (This situation is now firmly under control.)

How much did it cost?
$4000 for the surgery and about $20,000 for new brassieres :)

If you had it to do over, would you?
Oh yes. In a heartbeat.




Carla