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7 months post partum after having my surprise baby (after having my tummy tuck with MR) :)

Hello ladies! I am so excited to be joining this...

Hello ladies! I am so excited to be joining this group of hot mamas! I am 28 years old, a student, and a stay at home Mom to 2 boys, ages 4 and 2. For a while, we debated having another to try for a girl, or waiting a few years to see, but both my husband and I feel tapped out of emotional resources as it is, and I've decided that I'm not going to wait to have this surgery done on the small chance we will actually change our minds. I'm still young, and I'd like to actually enjoy my body while in my youth. This is a real source of self esteem issues for me, and I can't wait to be rid of this saggy skin. I have a boyish, somewhat athletic build, with a slightly apple body shape. I am 5'5" and weigh about 135...looking to get that down to 130-125 range. I want to have the hourglass figure, so I am looking at a full TT with possible lipo and MR. I have only scheduled one consult at this point as this is the doctor and practice I am drawn most to. I live out of town in Illinois, so I will be driving 2 hours to this doctor, but feel good about him. If anyone has great PS recs in the Indy area, I am all ears as I have obviously not made my decision yet. Anyone have some good suggestions for questions to ask at the consult? Anything you didn't ask, but wish you would have? Does anyone know if it is good to lose weight before surgery if you're having lipo? Part of me wants to keep my tummy the same so that he can suck out as much fat as possible, since that is a problem zone for me. Posting the dreaded befores now. :)

So, I had my consult on Friday and things were...

So, I had my consult on Friday and things were great. Dr. Aker was really personable and I felt really comfortable with him. When he examined me, he was just really tender and caring, and I have definitely chosen him for my PS. I have no fears about the surgery itself. The thing that is freaking me out is general anesthesia. They have a machine that breathes for me?! I'm paralyzed?! I am really working myself up thinking about it. I have requested information about the anesthesiologist who will be treating me. Is that out of line? I feel like he is an important part of the team and I would like to know who he is. I'm sure Dr. Aker only chooses reputable anesthesiologists to work with, but I would feel much more comfortable if I could meet him/her as well. I keep thinking about that movie Awake, where the woman wakes up during surgery, but is paralyzed from the drugs, so she can't tell the doctors she hears and feels everything. UGGHHH...gives me the creeps bad. Anyone else worried, or did worry about this? General anesthesia is a big deal, carries severe risks if something goes wrong (though rare) and is a totally new thing for me. I'd be booking the surgery now if I could settle my fears about that. The cost, by the way, is about $6,500 for the drainless tummy tuck with MR, and $8,500 for drainless tummy tuck with muscle repair and lipo to the flanks. Still deciding what route to take there. He would prob have to do drains if I go the lipo route because of the excess of fluid caused by that procedure. I'm leaning towards just the TT.

OMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH I just scheduled the date!...

OMYGOSHOMYGOSHOMYGOSH I just scheduled the date! August 3rd. Mom coming into town that night, husband and I staying overnight in Indy while sister cares for the boys here. It's a Friday, not sure what time yet. Preop still to be determined. I'm so scared, nervous and excited! I fluctuate between feeling like, LETS DO THIS NOW, and holy crap I NEED TO CANCEL. Depending on the hour. :) Going to just get the MR and tuck, working my arse off in the gym to do for free what lipo would cost for 2k. Hopefully the results will still be great.

The pre-op is scheduled for July 18th. I am really...

The pre-op is scheduled for July 18th. I am really excited/really freaked out. I try not to think about what they're actually going to do to me too much because it gives me the creeps. I can't believe preop is in 1.5 weeks and then the procedure is 2 weeks after that. It is really coming fast. Anybody out there getting this done and not 100% sure they're done having kids? As far as I can tell, we're done, but I'm 28 this August, so I have a good 15 years of fertility left. I'm not totally ruling out the possibility of another child many years down the road after I've caught my breath from these ones. But I'd like to enjoy my body (and feel hot maybe?) for the last 2 years of my 20s I have left. I've already thought it out a lot and it's worth it to me to do it now based on the fact that we are most likely done having kids. I don't want to wait 10 years, we still haven't had a kid and know for absolute sure we won't, and I've been carrying around this apron for a decade. Anyways, I am very excited. The most scary thing is the anesthesia for me, but I keep telling myself that life is full of risks and sometimes if it's important to you, you just have to do it. As morose as it sounds, I told my husband that if something goes wrong, he is NEVER to tell anyone that I died getting a tummy tuck. I would be so embarrassed, even in death. That's very morbid to think about, but of course that is the risk of surgery. 95% of Realself Tummy Tuckers recommend the procedure and not one of them died. I just keep telling myself it's going to be fine and I'm sure it will.

Also, still going back and forth on lipo to the...

Also, still going back and forth on lipo to the flanks. I'll take some more pictures head on tonight and you can all tell me what you think.

So, I spent $6500 on Wednesday!!!!! Holy crap!...

So, I spent $6500 on Wednesday!!!!! Holy crap! It's happening now. I talked to the doctor about some of my concerns (ie, will this kill/paralyze/maim me for life) and I feel pretty confident with his answers. He gave some explanation, but also assured me that this is a pretty safe surgery, and odds are very much in my favor. Life is a series of risks, so there's no guarantee of anything, but I take good care of myself and feel confident I'll be just fine. I am very excited to see what he does. I decided to skip the flank lipo, and might go back in the future if I think its necessary. As of now though, I figure start small and go up if needed. Plus, I might be able to fix some just with a clean diet. The craziest thing about my appointment is that my doctor doesn't do drains (he uses a quilted suture technique) or binders! I knew about the drains, but when I was asking him about binders and he said he doesn't do them, I wasn't sure I heard him right. EVERYONE on here does drains and binders, so I was a little freaked out. He's so chill though, he's a top doc in Indy, great reviews, etc, so that is the only reason I'm not freaked out by his chill disposition. He has awesome bedside manner and is just the kind of guy you could hang out with. I asked about stairs, he says, go for it. I ask about picking up the kids, he says sure- after a day or two. I asked about exercise, he says light elliptical after the first week...! He was seriously just so chill about the whole thing, and totally just saying, listen to your body, resume normal activities basically asap, but more slowly and within reason, and you'll be fine. His relaxed disposition really puts me at ease that I'll be fine, because he knows what he's doing. I'm nervous, but just more antsy at this point. I'm in classes now, and thank god, because they are making the time fly by. :)

Well ladies, it's THIS FRIDAY. I am so busy...

Well ladies, it's THIS FRIDAY. I am so busy finishing my summer chem class, and chasing around two little monkeys, that I don't think about it much. My distractions have been awesome, because the time is flying. Also, it helps with anxiety about the procedure, so I'm not just sitting around looking up things on WebMD and freaking myself out. :) I haven't done anything to prepare, but my doctor was so chill, I'm not sure what I should really do...? I stocked up on groceries and plan to make a few freezer meals. I'll get my meds of course, make sure the house is looking great...other than that, anything I'm forgetting? I'll eat super clean, drink lots of water, and take a multivitamin afterwards. Doc doesn't do binders, but I have one from Victoria's Secret on hand in case I might prefer it. Doc doesn't to drains, so nothing to prepare there. I don't know- I feel like I should be doing more prep or something. Any really good supplements that aid in healing? I'll get silicone strips and have some Neocutis serum to put on once the doctor gives the ok. Any advice is super appreciated! I can't wait!!!!!

Well, here we are. Tomorrow's the day. Tomorrow...

Well, here we are. Tomorrow's the day. Tomorrow morning at 8 am to be exact. I'm not super nervous, been sleeping great and everything, but I think its due to the fact that I'm trying to wrap up 2 summer classes before tomorrow, so I've been preoccupied with that. I can't believe I'm so close to this. Sometimes I think, why the heck am I doing this? But then I remember it's totally paid for and if I cancelled I would get $0 back, and decide, yeah, I'm gonna go through with it. I don't know what to expect because I'm not getting lipo or an extended TT. I am getting a full TT with MR. It seems like the ladies with lipo also have such a nice figure afterwards, so I'm nervous the results might not be that great. But as you can see in my befores, almost anything else is an improvement. Thank you to all the ladies posting stories, pictures, advice, etc. Thank you for the courage to do this and the knowledge that I will see you on the other end, living the dream on the flatside. Good luck and positive vibes to all those making their journey today, and to all those making their journey along with me tomorrow! Catch you on the flatside baby!

Well, I'm in the hospItal room right now and will...

Well, I'm in the hospItal room right now and will stay overnight. Everyone is taking awesome care of me. I love my doctor and anesthesiologist. Surgery went off without a hitch and now just recovering. There is pain, a lot of tightness etc. the nurses are going to get me up later tonight and I have no idea how...any movements do hurt. And I can only stay awake for 20 minutes or so before I'm tired again. Anesthesia got me a little itchy and I have been slightly nauseous occasionally, but really, I couldn't ask for a better experience. I'll post pics tomorrow when I get home! :)

Post op day 1 is good! I can walk around now, even...

Post op day 1 is good! I can walk around now, even though I am slightly hunched over. Eating really clean in hopes of minimizing swelling, especially because I don't have drains or a binder. Doctor Aker came in to see me this morning and said I look great! He told me to take a shower tomorrow, and take the Saran wrap tape stuff off then, and then just leave the incision open to the air. I have silicone trips and Neocutis serum I will put on ASAP though I'll probably leave the incision open for a few days. My boys are a little freaked out by the "owie" but are being gentle. My hubby has been really sweet and supportive. St. Vincent's Hospital in Carmel was awesome too. Super clean facility, great nurses, etc. So far, great experience!

Here are 2 post op pics. They aren't from the...

Here are 2 post op pics. They aren't from the greatest angles and it doesn't look great, but at this point, it is what it is. I don't even think of my tummy now as being the result, because I am so swollen and still very hunched over. Honestly, my back hurts more from being hunched over than my TT does. Again, this is a full TT without lipo 3 days PO. :) Happy Healng ladies!

Pics are up. I wouldn't even post these because...

Pics are up. I wouldn't even post these because I'm so swollen and the result doesn't look great, but I think its good for everyone to have a healthy understanding of what the TT looks like at first. Maybe for women with little swelling, they can stand straight and look great right away, but I already know that for me, it will take some weeks to get there. Everything tight and smooth though. And I love BB. :)

I'm adding a new pic of my incision...I think I...

I'm adding a new pic of my incision...I think I have mild necrosis. I'm worried because a) I don't know what that means and b) I'm worried it will spread. My incision is puffy, irritated and red also, almost as if it does not like the sutures or something. :( Today I wish I didn't do this stupid thing. I'm scared for my post op on Thursday and what kind of pain that will entail. Wishing I could undo this and have my ugly, healthy, stomach back. :(

Hey ladies, so I had my post op appt yesterday and...

Hey ladies, so I had my post op appt yesterday and it was really nice to check in with the doctor, voice my concerns and make sure everything is healing well. He told me he repaired a hernia I didn't know about during surgery, so that was interesting. He was very pleased with the way things are looking. Everything is adhering like it should, BB looking good, no necrosis or anything like that, minimal swelling etc. My biggest issue is standing straight. The doctor was very focused on getting me to stand straight and talked to me for a while about that. I read differing opinions on the topic. My doctor said to just do it and start standing straight and work through the pulling feeling, but I read online that people say to take it slowly and let your body do it at its pace. I don't want to pull because I think that would stretch my skin out and then when the swelling goes down, now my stomach is baggy because I pushed it too hard in the beginning. But I don't want everything to heal wrong either. Being hunched over has hands down been the worst aspect of this surgery. My back hurts more than my front. There is no relief. I am uncomfortable at night and don't sleep well because I'm not a back sleeper. Last night, with PS's encouragement, I finally slept on my side and it felt really good. The incisions go around my sides, so I was scared to sleep on them, and they're also a little sensitive, but PS said do it. He said to do anything I can do...he's very active and outdoorsy, so he encouraged activity. He said only 1% of people actually mess up results by doing too much too fast, and otherwise if you have a healing issue after TT, you usually would have had that issue anyways, so if in doubt, to move forward and keep pushing my body to do more. I have had it good, to be honest. Lots of help and support from hubby, no healing issues, swelling ok. It's just so hard being even at 80% functioning capacity when you're used to doing so much, feeling so good, and having so many people rely on you and your ability to be competent. I just want to feel like me again. My stomach is numb and pulled so tight it feels like a skin corset, which freaks me out. I just want my abs to feel good, and like a part of MY body again. All though it is early to tell the results, I think I have come to the conclusion that I would not do plastic surgery again. There's no other part of my body that bugs me as bad as my tummy did, and I know one day I will check the WORTH IT box, but this is a hard thing to do to your body, even in the best case scenario. I am thankful for an AWESOME PS who is super chill and great to work with (which has been really nice), the DRAINLESS TT, a cute, round little inny belly button (I LOVE my PS's BBs!), a SUPER DUPER low scar, even though I hate it now, the fact that PS did pull me and stitch me so tight, family help and support, and of course my flat abs. I am somewhat swollen, and scar is pretty raised, so there's really no way to tell what I'll look like in the end, but I think it'll be good. Hubby is already excited. PS told me I can start getting busy with the hubby if I want to, and I was like UMMM, YEAH RIGHT. MY VAGINE IS SWOLLEN AND NOT OPEN FOR BUSINESS. PS was like, "Just wait, in a few months you are going to look so good, your going to need a baseball bat to keep your hubby away." :) Not that that's ever really been a problem lol. Here are some decent post op pics. Happy Healing Ladies!

Well ladies, I feel much better than last time....

Well ladies, I feel much better than last time. I'm pretty much standing upright at this point, so my back pain is almost nonexistent. My tummy is a little sore, but I think that's mostly from the cough I've had for the last few days. Incision stings occasionally, but nothing major. I haven't taken anything for pain in at least 1 week and am back to doing my normal SAHM job. I lift my 2 year old but don't hold him for long periods of time. I still swell, eat somewhat well, though not as good as the first week, and have been doing light elliptical at least 3x a week per my PS's recommendation. My tummy is flat, though not defined because of the swelling, and I am very very happy with the incision placement. My belly button is giving me some troubles because it is trying to turn into an outie, so PS recommended the tape the marble into the BB trick, but a marble is too large, and the tape is tearing up my skin where I am numb in the front, so I'm taking a break from that. I have a slightly smaller pebble that I put in sometimes. I see PS for a post op on Thursday and will see what he says about that. Swelling has gone down some, and there is some stretch marks and slight wrinkling on the lower part of my stomach, but he really couldn't have pulled it any tighter, so we'll see how it ends up. I'm not sleeping on tummy yet, but I'm ok on back and sides with some pillows. I wear a CG occasionally, but usually am just flying free. I'm happy with my choice, though I have yet to fully embrace the results since they are still a work in progress. I'm thankful to be feeling great and to have had no complications. Excited to see my PS on Thursday to see what he says about it. New pics above!

Hey ladies, not much to report here. Feeling...

Hey ladies, not much to report here. Feeling great, back to 100% function. Workout out often and hard, some tenderness in belly and definitely still numb, but otherwise great. I still swell a little around the incision line, but it is looking awesome. Super thin and light already. I do everything I used to do with the boys, and basically tend to forget I had major surgery a month and a half ago. I'm very happy with the procedure, working on getting rid of some love handles now, but tummy is super flat. And I love my belly button sooooo much. I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Aker. Here are some new pics!

PREGGERS!

Hey everyone, I want to update that I am, quite surprisingly, 31 weeks pregnant now. We did not plan to have another baby, but the night at the Eldorado Hotel in Reno, NV over Christmas Break must have put us under some magical spell with it's neon lights, and now here we are. Everything is going well so far. My providers are a group of midwives, so they are very chill about the whole thing and haven't taken me off of my low risk pregger status. The pregnancy is harder in some ways because there is less room for the baby to move, so I have varicose veins, my bladder looks like it's falling out, it's hard to breathe and I have to sleep sitting up, but all of these are annoyances and nothing serious. My tummy is stretching and I am hoping that it will hold up. With my first, this is right where I got stretch marks, around the 8 month mark, so I'm nervous, but there's nothing I can do about it. I lube up with lotion and try to eat (somewhat) healthy, so besides that, I just have to see what my body does. My muscles are still intact though, which is a good sign. I will update as time goes on and post pics after the baby arrives. Some women have babies after TTs and are totally unaffected cosmetically, and some women have tummies that are ruined and need a full repair. We'll see where I fall as time goes on.

Had TT w/MR, got preggers 6 months later, now 7 months post partum

I thought I was done with kids! I got the most wonderful tummy tuck my Dr. John Aker and found myself preggers only 6 months later. My beautiful tummy!!!!! It was starting to look so amazing with ab definition, but our little Leo wanted to join the family. I gained 28 lbs, worked out during the whole pregnancy and tried to take care of myself. I didn't even look pregnant until around 6-7 months, and I didn't get as big as my previous boys. I had no muscle damage, but there was significant damage to my skin. It's definitely not as pretty as before, but it's not as bad as before the TT either. I just do not have elastic skin. My belly didn't even stretch out very far and still, even though my muscles were able to accommodate, the skin was not. Almost instantly after I pushed Leo out, my muscles were constricting back together, and I could flex immediately and could tell there was no damage...that's the best part.

Finally, after 7 months of using breastfeeding as an excuse to eat whatever I want, and after dropping no additional weight since I left the hospital, I am starting to get back into eating clean and right and exercising. My tummy at this point looks ok, but I have a solid 15-20 pounds to lose, which I think will help quite a bit. There is no real overhang when I bend over (if I'm flexing), but I'm wondering when I lose weight, if there will be since there will be nothing to pad that area. We'll see. At this point, I wouldn't say my TT was ruined at all, but in hindsight, I would have made sure hubby got the vasectomy prior to my surgery so that I would be able to enjoy the maximum benefits. (Hubby did get that snip snip a few months back, so no chance of recurrence :))

In conclusion, even though I had a baby after my TT and my baby was perfectly healthy and fat, and there were no complications to the pregnancy, and even though my tummy isn't totally ruined, if you can, I would definitely suggest taking all precautions prior to surgery so that you don't find yourself preggers just a few months later. I do know of some women that have perfect tummies right after, and some that have a totally ruined TT, so I guess I'm happy to find myself in the middle.

Some pics

7 months post partum- after TT with MR. No muscle damage- considerable skin damage, though its more discoloration of stretch marks, and not as much change in skin texture.
Carmel Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Aker is wonderful. I chose him based on other Realself.com reviews and feel sooo thankful I came across his name. It was the luckiest, best choice I have ever made for myself.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (64)

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I am a mom of 4 boys and we decided god is not willing to give us a girl. I am 17 weeks post op and look forward to my period every month for fear that I will get preg. Not because of baby, but ripping muscle sutures. Kinda scary. You are a brave woman and it is great to hear you are doing well!! Good luck to you and your family. Oh, boy or girl????
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I'm not brave at all- just reckless. :) Oh yes, I was longing for a girl. And I too am not destined to have a girl- my third boy on the way! (Lord help me) lol. But this is IT. Everyone tells me that I'll "try one more time" for a girl, but that is not going to happen. This is the LAST TIME! Get your hubby fixed so you know you're done for sure. :)
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Amen!!!
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Congrats, your almost there
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Thank you! The end always seems the longest, but it is coming up quickly.
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Your review was so positive and helpful. Thank you! Just what I needed to read 36 hours from my tummy tuck. You look awesome!
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I'm happy it helped you! I just looked at your pics and your tummy will be unrecognizable after the procedure. Just think that it's only really one hard week, and a couple more uncomfortable weeks, and then its over. Honestly, as long as you try to eat clean and stay active, you'll feel better way sooner than someone who thinks its cool to lay on the couch and eat pizza. Take Arnica Montana and Bromelain if you can find it. They helped the swelling quite a bit. Anyways, congratulations! I am happy for you! You deserve this, so let yourself be taken care of and don't feel guilty. You'll love it!
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You look great at 7 weeks!! Your story is similar to mine except I'm 42 and mother of 4 kids. My body shape is similar to yours also. I have full TT with MR scheduled for 10/19. I have been contemplating lipo to the flanks. I think you look great, even without the lipo so your pics give me a good idea of what to expect for myself if I decide not to do lipo. Thanks for sharing your story. Wish you the best of luck. Glad things work out so well for you. I know you'll look more and more gorgeous as the weeks go by.
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Hey Cathy,
thanks! Adding the lipo would have cost 2k extra, plus a little more trauma/complication to my belly, so I decided to skip it and lose the flanks myself. It's hard though because I don't have a lot of fat to lose, so I really have to go low carb, high cardio to get rid of it. The biggest part for me is just being able to wear tight shirts, or just go to the store and pick out a shirt and buy it without trying it on, because I know I'll look good. What a confidence booster. I saw people from high school last weekend at a wedding and some of the guys were like DAMN GIRL, which really felt nice. Good luck with your TT! Know that you will be wasted in terms of productivity the first week, but after that, you're pretty good to go. Can't wait to see the pics!
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Looking good! I know you are glad to be back on your routine. Are you doing any lifting yet?
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I'm doing that machine at the gym where it aids you to do pull ups, etc. I lift about half my weight. I am lifting with my legs just fine, and can do push ups, etc, but pull ups are still a little hard since you use your core so much while doing those. I'm running, doing some ab work, squats, lunges, etc. Have you started working out yet? How are you feeling?
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Not yet, I'm just 4 weeks this past Monday. Looking forward to it though.
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Oh yes, it does feel good to lift, but I do notice some pain above my BB, so right when that starts, I stop. Dr. Aker is a super chill doctor, so he was basically like, do whatever you want whenever you want. So, I guess I could have started lifting almost immediately, but I didn't feel up to it. I think our bodies are really good at telling us when it's time. Your tummy (and scar!) look awesome. Excited to see what we all look like in 6 months time!
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Thanks and me too!
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Hey you, you're so sweet to be checking up on me. I'm great! Once we got back to the old grind, we really got back to the old grind, so much so that I always forget I got this done. Until I button my pants and nothing hangs over, that is. :) I feel great, working out at increased intensity, scar looking great, etc. How are you? Still swelling a bit? I do swell a little at night but am otherwise pretty darn pleased.
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How are you doing?
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How was your appointment yesterday?
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Hey girl. It went great. So good in fact that I'm thinking of asking to Skype the next post op appointment as opposed to driving 2 hours to Indy to basically chat with the PS for 20 minutes, have him look at my scar, Yup looks great! and then drive home. I took my 4 year old with me on the trip and we made a day of it going to the children's museum there, but it does seem a little unnecessary at this point. As soon as I'm not sick anymore, I am going to kill it at the gym. I can't wait to get back into my normal routine. How are you feeling? Any more punches to the gut by those adorable little monkeys? When is your next post op and have you seen your incision yet?
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Great photos! I dont know how you live without a garment most of the time. You are a brave woman!!
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Looking good! It is always nice to see the PS and hear them say that everything looks great:-) I don't go to see mine until 6 weeks after surgery, which is still over 3 weeks away. Kind of crazy. Let me know how the appointment goes.
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Cutebellysoon, where is this ken doll picture you speak of? I want to see a picture where you don't look absolutely awesome, assuming one exists. :) I can't wait to see him tomorrow, I will update asap.
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Looking good! Dr Aker did a wonderful job!!!
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Thank you! How are you feeling?!
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What is the date of your TT again? Coming up very soon, right?
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Next Mon is the day!
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