I am a 33-year old mom of 2--first was natural and...
By the time I became pregnant with my son at age 26 I was 175 lbs. I only gained 20 pounds with him and lost it all by the time I checked out of the hospital the next day. Needless to say, my stomach was now a deflated belly from losing the weight so fast. Not to mention, it was all concentrated in the stomach---even when I was 8 months pregnant you couldn't tell I was pregnant from the backside. It wasn't until I turned around and my little basketball poked out at you!
By the time he was one I was able to lose even more weight (I believe I was down to 160) and I felt really good about myself. Then, I got a fulltime job that involved travel and long hours (the joys of being salaried). By the time I became pregnant with my daughter in Summer 2011 I was 195 lbs again.
I gained 37 pounds with her. Yikes! As with my son, there was a lot of amniotic fluid because, believe it or not, I lost all 37 pounds by the time we came home from the hospital four days later. To make the deflated balloon even worse, I had an emergency C-section which is hard enough on the stomach itself.
I know I have portion control issues, but I have worked on them tremendously. I do workout on a regular basis and I do fluctuate in weight. The biggest issue I have with my body is the shape of the stomach. Regardless if I'm 175 or 195, it is still a deflated balloon. Also, with how my stomach hangs, it makes really hard exercise difficult---nothing like going for a bike ride or run and having your stomach slap your thighs. :(
I really am comfortable with the rest of my body. I am choosing to have a tummy tuck in order to get rid of the lower abdominal pouch. I am fully aware that this is not going to drop 50 pounds from my body. I am fully aware that I will still have work to do to get down to my goal weight of 160. But, I believe this will ease the discomfort of exercise as well as give me a motivational boost to keep going.
I met with Dr Weber in June to discuss my case. He agreed that side lipo, tummy tuck and muscle repair will give me a nice shape and provide relief to my lower abdomen. My surgery is scheduled for August 22nd.
Nine Days to Surgery!
Went shopping for shareware the other day. It was actually fun going through the clothing department and looking at all the clothes I'll be able to wear soon!
Pre-Op Appt Today!
I have my Rx for loritab that I can fill prior to surgery next Friday. We discussed what I'll be able to do and not do. We discussed how similar and different this recovery will be from my C-section two years ago. We discussed pain management. I am not a big fan of pain meds (knocks me out and leaves me foggy--may not be a bad thing for a day or two but hopefully I can transition to extra-strength Tylenol after that).
I will have drains in for 10 days. I was hoping for three or four as I hear they are really annoying, but also see the positive of this. I'd hate to get them out early and still have a lot of fluid build-up! And, really, 10 days is nothing compared to the lifetime of improvement that I am getting out of the deal. :)
I'm ready. My husband is ready. I've tried not to over-analyze what I need, what recovery will be like, how soon I can get back to normal activity. Its all but a slice of time in our lifetime.
Surgery was yesterday!
Dr Weber stopped afterwards and told my husband all went well. I see him for my first post-op in 10 days. I should get my drains out then. Drains are not as annoying as I thought and my pain has been minimal, too. I had a Loritab at bedtime last night then not again until after lunch today. Going stir crazy in this recliner!
I get to shower tomorrow and that will be the first time I see my stomach. I am noticeably slimmer (even with my binder on). I FEEL slimmer. Anyone who has had a lower belly that hung understands the discomfort of that all. I feel so amazing right now NOT having that discomfort to deal with!
I'll try to post pictures after my shower tomorrow. :)
Two days PO--first glimpse!
I got to see the tummy for the first time. OMG--I'm love! It is lumpy around the button but I'm confident that it will even out in time. To see my hoo hoo for the first time in years was so satisfying.
Day 4 PO
Coughing spells today made me feel like I damaged the work but was very pleased when I took the binder off today.
Hardest part of recovery is cabin fever and the drains. They pinch if I turn in a weird way or sit on the line by accident. Hardly a huge issue but I'll be happy to get them out next week. They are difficult to wear clothes over as well.
7 days PO--feeling good and so ready for the drains to be out!
I'm definitely eating less since surgery--there's just not as much room for my stomach to expand and hold as much food so that is awesome!
I hope to get to the desktop soon so I can make a side-by-side view of some of my pics. Here I am--one week PO.
On Friday, I noticed a piece of white plastic floating in my bulb. WTF? I was flipping out because I thought the connector between the outer tube and inner tube came out through the drain tube. I was worried I had free-floating tubes in my stomach! After calming down, I realized it was the drain valve that is inside my bulb. So, I felt better (mentally) but have been struggling since then.
Since the drain valve isn't functioning on that bulb its not draining as much. When I strip the line, I hear air back up into the tube and feel it in my stomach. I've had a fever pretty much since Saturday (its subsided today but I still am so wore out from having a fever for two days). I did call the on-call doctor, and he said its fine and since my fever was never more than 100, I'm okay. While that may be the case, I still feel like I've been hit by a truck. Tomorrow cannot come fast enough!
11 Days PO - 1 drain down, 1 to go!
Getting the one drain removed was a trip, that's for sure! Its quite the feeling to have something slither out of you (I could feel the WHOLE thing). I didn't have time to look but my husband said it was quite long and he was surprised that so much tube was inside of me.
Even having one drain left it, I feel SO MUCH BETTER! Easier to move as I only have one drain to be careful for. Easier to dress as I only have one drain to hide. Etc., etc., etc.
Dr Weber states I can start taking the tape off as it comes loose and begin moisturizing my scars to help get rid of the scabs.
One thing I forgot to ask is if I can drive yet (I haven't had narcotics since 2 days PO). Oh, well. I guess my hubby will be chauffeuring me for another week!
I haven't had Loritab since day two and I haven't had Tylenol since day 14 or 15. I do feel real good! I went to PTA meeting yesterday. Doesn't sound like a lot, but I was wiped out afterwards. The tube rubbing my side probably didn't help.
Now that I'm drain-free, I tried on old jeans. Nowhere near buttoning! Super wide right now. It'll be interesting to see how the swelling goes down and my shape takes it form. I hear four weeks is when noticeable change happens. Looking forward to that!
Doctor says to still take it easy but I can ride my bike if I feel like it. No heavy lifting yet. I see him again at six weeks.
I felt a little wetness on my scar line like I was leaking. When I looked there was no blood and no apparent opening so I'll have to keep an eye on it. I guess the real fun begins now that I think I'm just about back to normal!
I feel very tender (beat up/internal bruising, etc.) today. Oy!
4 Weeks PO---Feel wonderful!
I was given the OK to do light exercise (nothing bouncy like running) so on Tuesday I tried my spin bike at a very slow pace (65 RPM) for 12 minutes. I was miserable on Wednesday---bloated, sore, etc.
Today I was able to do 21 minutes and I feel great. I even (finally) shaved my legs for the first time since surgery (my husband will appreciate that!). Also, I am finally able to lay in bed without being uncomfortable. I'm so happy to be done sleeping in the recliner.
We decided to take the kids to Florida over Christmas break so I'm excited to go to the beach and finally look good in a swimsuit (maybe even a bikini!).
Pics from 4+ weeks PO
I've slowly increased my speed on the bike. If I still feel good the next day, I know I can push harder the next time.
Overall, I have lost 12 pounds since surgery. I can squeeze into my jeans but it's uncomfortable so I stay in yoga pants or dresses. I hear three months is normal as far as fitting into clothes better. I'll be patient as I know it will be worth it! Just to not have my belly bounce off my thighs when I bike is worth it!
Tried to upload pics but phone is not cooperating. I will try again later from my desktop.
6 weeks PO
Anyways, I'm six weeks PO tomorrow. I have been riding on my spin bike every third day for about two weeks. At first, I did about 3 miles as 60 rpm and it was horrible. Last night, I did 10 miles at about 80 rpm and I felt completely normal. I feel like I don't have to take two days off before the next session. Yay! I'm going to trying jogging next week.
I still swell a lot but find that water and walking help with it. I sleep in bed without anything under my knees nor extra pillows to prop up my head. Even as late as Monday it was uncomfortable to sleep on my left side (but not my right). Last night it was completely fine. Rolling around and getting in/out of bed are back to normal.
I couldn't be more pleased. Overall, I lost 12 pounds from the surgery. I have not gone down any pant sizes but my pants fit like they should (no longer squeezing 12 extra pounds of fat in them...LOL). I still feel wide but also feel that this will lessen in time. My incisions are completely closed up. They are still rather red but its only been six weeks. Based on my previous C-section scar, I fully expect them to fade within a year. Most important, I am more confident and exercise is a whole lot more enjoyable without my lower abdomen slapping my thighs as I peddle--which is wonderful because my family likes to stay fairly active. Now, I feel like I can keep up!
Nine Weeks PO
I started training for a half-marathon three weeks ago (so, mostly walking but still, that's a lot of miles after sitting in a rocking chair for over a month!). I have found if I go too fast (5 mph) my stomach gets all numb and tingly and very uncomfortable so I alternate between walking and jogging (4 mph). Also, if I go to hard I get a weird stabbing pain to the right of my belly button. I certainly won't be breaking any records but I'm beyond happy to be moving again. I wear my surgical binder when running and it provides great security.
I'm pretty much out of a garment. I wore light spanx on Saturday (I was in a wedding and on my feet for 12 hours). I have a couple other garments but, let's face it, spanx is uncomfortable! In most situations I feel confident in my core strength. As of last week, I was still swelling after exercise, but I haven't noticed it as much this week. Aside from the walking/jogging, I also bike every now and then. I even biked last night without any garment and felt fine (actually, I felt wonderful---no lower belly flapping on my thighs this time!).
I had a couple spots on my scar that were slow to close but everything is all closed up now. Parts have started to fade. I'm going to try to upload photos from my phone so you can see where it looks great and where it still needs time. Overall, I'm extremely happy with it. I was concerned that it was a bit high at first, but you'll see in the photos that I can hide the scar with my underwear.
I would recommend this surgery to anyone who is considering it! I feel so much more confidence with my new appearance. I just love the feeling of movement without excess fat and skin getting in the way of everything. While I'm not going as fast as I can, I feel my form is better and biking is a joy again. Oh, and dressing in cute clothes that fit properly isn't too bad either!
Dr Weber is a 5-star surgeon. His experience shows through his work and his patient interaction. The staff is wonderful. Every visit to the office was stress-free and pleasant. I'm so pleased with everything and trust him completely--so much that I will be having him do my breast reduction later this year!