9 Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mommy Makeover

JenBob on 2 Dec 2013 at 9:00am

woman holding baby on the beach

After RealSelfer JenBob was well-healed from her surgical transformation, she wanted to smooth the path for other would-be "butterflies".  Here's the top 9 things she wished she knew before her mommy makeover:

1. It's Normal to Feel Guilty

[Like most moms], I put everyone else first. It seems okay to spend on a car or trip, but spending that money on your body is frowned upon. For me, it was about a self confidence that I had yet to achieve, a love of self that I have longed for my entire life. When I look in the mirror, I like what I see now. And when I feel good about myself - I am a better woman, a better wife, and a better mom.  It's the best money I've ever spent ... just ask my family.

2. What To Tell the Kids

This was a big one for me. I am a mom of two young girls (2 and 5). I grew up with horrible body image, and the last thing I wanted was to [pass that on] to my daughters.

I have tried really hard not to get down myself in front of them -- not calling myself fat or commenting on my belly. I didn't want them to know I didn't like my body.  (And saying, “Well, you and your sister ruined my body while I was pregnant with you both,” was [a little] too harsh.)

mommy makeover before after photo

So, I tried to keep it simple. The day before surgery, I told my oldest daughter that I was going to have an operation to fix my tummy (I didn’t go into the whole "boobie" thing). She of course asked why, I told her because the doctor said so. I was prepared for more questions but she seemed satisfied with that.

I was informed by [other ladies on RealSelf] that the best thing to do with older boys is tell them you're having "female" surgery. They will shut right up. Nothing is more embarrassing than talking female issues with your mom.

3. I’m a Big Girl Now

Most mommy makeovers include liposuction and a tummy tuck. Which probably means you will be lucky enough to wear a skin-tight crotchless compression garment. Like most women, I chose to wear panties over this outfit so I didn’t feel as if all my “stuff” was being squished out. (Think of baboons … eww or don’t ... )

Now, the tricky part here is the first couple of days after surgery.  The first time you try to pee, you'll spend quite a bit of time on the toliet (similar to what it's like after giving birth).  [You'll eventually figure it out] after a couple of tries -- but [do remember] that when you're taking pain medication and muscle relaxers on a regular basis -- your mind may be a bit fuzzy.

mommy makeover before after photo

I had the great luck of forgetting I had those panties on [over my compression garment] and peed straight through them … twice. Yes, not once, but twice. But finally, I learned how to use the potty like a big girl.

Also, you will probably not poop for several days at first, so expect a good 3-5 days worth of poop on your first time. With that being said, consider pulling your garment down for that endeavor. Front to back wiping can be tricky [wearing] that thing. I’m just saying, not that anything happened to me ... I’m just saying … okay … next subject please.

4. Hello Dolly!

If you decide to get implants, please remember that objects may appear larger than they actually are. When I first took a glance at my new girls, I thought, “Holy Mary Mother of God, what have I done?!”  I looked like Dolly Parton, or for younger ones, Beth from Dog the Bounty Hunter. This is NOT your final look. Please don’t freak out.

The swelling takes a while to go down and for the implants to “drop” into place. After a week, your plastic surgeon will probably give you the go-ahead to start massaging them. Massaging the implants will help them soften up and find their final resting place. Your significant other with love this, and surprisingly, so will you. I was shocked to find how much I actually liked touching my own breasts.

mommy makeover before after photo

It sounds perverted, I know! But if you are used to your “ladies” hanging down by your belly -- you'll see how nice it is to hold them, let go, and be fascinated that they no longer fall down so low anymore.

I can now understand why men are always holding onto their “boys”. They are proud of them. I have caught myself with one hand on the remote and the other on one of my breasts. So relax, and let the boobs fall where they may.

5. Sit. Stay. Good girl!

Most mommy makeovers include a tummy tuck. This is a huge procedure and it's good to take off as much time as possible.

I was fortunate enough to take two weeks off from my PAID position. I capitalize paid, because as all moms know, the mom position is considered a “not for profit” position. Rarely, do we put in a request for vacation from the mom position. So therefore, we tend to work every day of the year, even if we are taking a vacation from our “paid" jobs.

[That said, like] most moms, it was killing me to sit there and not do anything. I was convinced that if I didn’t do it, it wouldn’t get done, and it wouldn’t get done right. I was wrong. 

Trust your loved ones. My husband was amazing. He became Mr. Mom and was pretty darn good at it. Granted, it may have not been done the way I do it, but he stepped up and took charge. Give your body a chance to heal.

before after mommy makeover photo

6. All aboard ... The Bi-Polar Express

This is a BIG one. Having your body cut upon, stitched up, and hung up to dry is traumatic. Throw a few pain meds into the mix and you will turn into an emotional tornado. I was known to go from ecstatic to tears in 6.9 seconds flat. Top that!

Be aware of this and explain it to the people caring for you. When I felt teary, I would cry. When I was feeling really down and out, I would nap it off. It’s O.K. Take advantage of it.

[Also, remember to use] this site. RealSelf is full of women who are going through the same thing. Use them to lean on and talk to. The ladies I have met on here have been A HUGE support to me -- and I couldn’t have gotten through this without them. Well, I would have, but I would have probably been divorced. Thanks Ladies!

7. You Still Need Gym Time

There are only so many chest flies you can do before you realize they won't make your boobies stand up and say hello.  Many look into plastic surgery because exercise hasn't been effective.  However, there are also some who think think [this surgery] is the alternative to diet and exercise. If that is you ... you are wrong.

before after mommy makeover photo

The more active and healthy you are before surgery, the better your recovery will be. You will heal faster, feel better sooner, and be back to the gym before you know it. I truly believe my fitness level aided in my recovery time. And I know that I will have to work twice as hard to keep my new body looking tip top.

8. Don't Be Naive

When I began this journey, I had no idea that there was a difference between a board certified plastic surgeon and a board certified cosmetic surgeon. Now, I will not step into the argument of who is more qualified; but you do need to know who you are dealing with.  

Ask around; find people who have used him/her --  and get as much information as possible. There will always be someone who is unhappy with a particular plastic surgeon or procedure they have had done. But, there is a HUGE difference between “Well, I just didn’t like her bedside manner” or “I just didn’t see a huge difference after my liposuction” and the “I felt completely disfigured." 

Go with your gut and ask LOTS of questions. The good ones will sit with you and take as much time as needed.

9. Avoid "Debbie Downers"

We all know one … the Debbie Downer, the buzz kill. And most of us will deal with a few after surgery. I have a few family members that I surprisingly haven’t received support from. It is hurtful, especially as they saw me struggle with my weight and self esteem issues for years. 

before after mommy makeover photos

I started feeling the need to explain my reasoning for having the surgery. I wanted them to know that it was not out of vanity or selfishness. But remember the old saying, “Those convinced against their will, are of the same opinion still.”  As much as I wanted them to hear me out and understand my reasoning, [there's a chance] they would not.

You may have those who love you, yet still feel the need to give their opinion -- even when not asked. My response to those people would be a nod and a smile ... believe me, I know it's hard!  Steer clear of the “screw you” sort of comment, it's just not worth it.

For me, being able to look in the mirror, smile and for the first time in my life, love what I see ... well, that is priceless. And for those who can’t see past the money or their own opinion -- they are missing out on watching [their loved one] transforming into the person they've always dreamed of being.

Want to see more information on mommy makeover (tummy tuck, breast implants and liposuction)? Click here!

Comments (7)

Thank you. Great info!
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Thank you, sister! I'm 2 1/2 months post "Mommy Makeover", and I couldn't be happier! Your post will be a godsend for those ladies contemplating this procedure.
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Thank you! Wise words shared, thank you.
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Very good post girl! I am so happy for you. I'm paying off some debts so I can save for this surgery hopefully before the age of 35. It's good to see other women taking care of themselves so they can continue to live healthy productive lives happily and not filled with body issues. At least this life issue is taken care. Enjoy the holidays.
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I enjoyed reading your post, especially that I agree with everything you said. Listening to your gut is indeed very important. I've never heard saying:"I shouldn't listen to my gut" :-]. Now , I have a question if you don't mind. If anyone out there is planing to have those two procedures will you recomand have it together as a "momy makeover" or separate in two different times? Can the result of any be compromised when done simultaneously? Thank you in advance.
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I had this same question. I'm doing both tummy n lift (no implants) a at thesametime in Jan. For 2 reasons. It was way cheaper (1 hospital/dr./anesthia fee vs 2) & my doctor & friends told me it's no harder to recover from the tt with the breast lift because you can't lift anything anyways and I will have lots of help scheduled so I'm getting two birds one stone. Good luck with whatever you decide.
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I happened to be reading this post and saw your question. As a board certified plastic surgeon I can definitively tell you that it depends! I often perform these procedures together if: 1. The patient is young and healthy 2. Both procedures are straight forward. No hernias, unusual scars on the abdomen, no big previous abdominal or breast procedures and the patient is not a massive weight loss patient 3. The patient understands that the recovery will be a full three weeks. It is less expensive to do both procedures at the same time and obviously you save on recovery time by a couple of weeks. Your time is very valuable. As you mentioned though you should listen to your gut feelings about this also. If it seems like too much, then space it over two procedures and wait at least 3 months in between them. David Mobley, MD Sarasota, FL
  • Reply