I am 38 years old and a single mom with 4 kids...

I am 38 years old and a single mom with 4 kids ages 19, 16, 14, 14. I've been living with my stretched out tummy since I had my first daughter at 19. Started showing at 4 months so I haven't had a flat stomach in 20 years. Each pregnancy added to the loose skin and stretch marks. Then I gained weight after having my twins and got up to 230 pounds. I am now 130 pounds (lost it all with diet and exercise over 9 months) and I'm 5'5". I've been this size for about 9 years. I've always talked about getting a tummy tuck but I've always been scared of the complications and felt guilty about spending that much money on elective surgery. I now have a very supportive boyfriend who has given me the courage to do something for myself. I work out 3-4 days a week, doing weights and cardio but we all know our stomach's will never be the same without surgery and I'd like a tone tummy to go with my tone arms and legs. Besides I'm tired of buying pants to fit my waist and end up being too big in the butt and thighs. I don't care about the scar too much, or if there are leftover stretchmarks, I just want a flat stomach...no rolls, and to SEE my bellybutton again ;-) But I can't stop researching things like expected results, the list of supplies, what to expect, possible complications...etc. And most pain meds make me nauseous so I'm not even sure what I can take because I KNOW I don't want to throw up after having my stomach muscles sewn together. As you can see I am obsessed with the whole thing so I'm hoping that all of you on here can help ease my mind and give me some advice so MAYBE I can relax over the next 11 1/2 weeks :-)

Only 6 more weeks! Wow time is flying by. I need...

Only 6 more weeks! Wow time is flying by. I need to start getting all my post-surgery items gathered so I'll be ready. I've been busy with school and work and kids and having fun so I haven't really gotten organized. I have final exams the week of my surgery so I know I'll be too busy that week to do much prep work, guess I better get moving on it. I'm excited, anxious, and nervous all at the same time. I try not to think about it too much but I'm on RS every single day checking on the status of everyone. I love seeing all the post-surgery updates and can't stay away :-) It definitely puts my mind at ease seeing how everyone is doing so all you girls on the flat side keep up the posts!

Today is exactly 1 month until my TT and I had the...

Today is exactly 1 month until my TT and I had the most vivid dream last night that I already had it done. I dreamt I had just had my TT and was walking around a hardware store with my parents when I looked down at my tummy and noticed I didn't have my compression garment on and my scar was uncovered. I got nervous that it was going to get infected and frantically starting looking for my CG. When I woke up I thought I was going to cry because it felt so real.

I knew I'd start dreaming about the TT as time got close but this one was more vivid that I imagined. I can say that my tummy looked flat in my dream so I was happy about that :-)

Anyway I hope I can keep my emotions in check over the next few weeks! Hope you all are doing well out there.

My kids have known for a while that I was thinking...

My kids have known for a while that I was thinking about having a TT but I finally told my parents yesterday. They were very supportive, which was a little surprising but I feel so much better now. I felt like I had to hide it and now that it's out in the open and I can talk about it I'm hoping I will relax a little bit. One thing though....when I told my youngest daughter about my surgery date she started crying because one of her best friends lost her mom last year on that date. So of course it made me cry and now I'm stressing about that! I'm trying not to consider it a bad omen and I pray the lord takes good care of me on that day (and each day after) so I can be here for my kids for at least 60 more years. Thanks for letting me get that out.

8 more days!

I'm trying not to think about the tt too much because when I do the "what if" thoughts start to creep in. I know just about every one of us on here has had those thoughts but they can be so frustrating. I know physically I should be just fine and I try to focus on that but I still get worried by the unknown. I've put off doing some of my shopping and preparations (I've always been a procrastinator) but I guess I will get to it soon. School is pretty much over for the semester for me and my oldest daughter (we go to college) and my other 3 kids have 2 more weeks to go. I will be much more relaxed when I'm 2 weeks post-op and loving my results and time off from work!! I appreciate any and all prayers and good thoughts that come my way though...hint hint ;-)

Tomorrow is the day...

Nerves are a mess, my stomach is in a knot and I'm not sure if I'll be able to sleep tonight. I was hoping I would be calm today but not sfar. Trying to relax but feeling antsy. I have to be at the surgery center at 10:15 and my tt is scheduled for noon. I will try to get some pictures of my tummy with all the doctors markings. I wonder if he'll take pictures of the skin he removes? Anyway I'm going to go and try to watch some t.v.

Home and resting!

I am so happy to report that I made it through surgery. It went well. I'm not too groggy. In some pain but so far I've only taken a soma for the muscle spasms i was having. The incision burns but it's not too had all. I can't wait to see my results. My first post op is on Tuesday.

Feeling good...

So far I'm feeling pretty good. I only needed one soma for my stomach muscles and I took 1/2 a percocet in the afternoon and 1/2 before bed. The rest of the time I take tylenol. I feel the burn and ache from the tt and lipo but its better than feeling groggy from the percocet. I slept for 4 hour increments last night which is ok but I wanted to get up and walk around more often than that. I want to make sure clots don't develop. Anyway I feel much better than I thought I would so I am very happy! I hope everyone else is healing well. Thank you all fir your support and encouragement.

Muscles are achy...

My muscles ache from sitting so much. I walk every hour or so for at least 5 minutes. I feel good walking around but I don't want to over use my abs. I was laughing earlier and boy did that hurt! My left drain is draining a lot the right one not as much. Still haven't peeked at my stomach but I'm getting so curious. Hope everyone is doing well.

First post op

I had my post op today. Got to see my tummy. Doctor said its ok to shower which I did and it wiped me out! My abs are burning and stinging now. I took some a couple pictures. I'm pleased with the results. Just wish it didn't take so long to do anything. My honey is taking awesome care of me!! I am so blessed to have him.

One week today

It's been a week since my tt. I'm walking pretty good and not in much pain at all. I still don't sleep well. My hips and legs ache by morning. I'm tired of keeping my legs propped up but I'm can't sleep flat yet. I'm still worried about dvt so I get up every hour during the day and 3-4 hours at night. Looking forward to being past that risk. I tried on my new Victoria's secret bikini on...first bikini since I was in high school!! I like the look but definitely need to work out and tone up. But my tummy is flat :-D I'm posting a pic.

Feel good!

Feeling so much more like myself. I went to the gym a couple days ago and walked on the treadmill for 40 minutes. It felt good! I remember walking to the mailbox on day 3 post op and being so tired after so being able to walk 40 min and not get tired was awesome. Looking forward to getting to do more. I went shopping yesterday and bought a fitted white tank. I have been wanting to wear fitted white tops and not look I have a marshmellow tummy and now I can!! I also tried on swimsuits which was a lot of fun. I'm definitely enjoying my new tummy.Have I said how much I love my new belly button because I LOVE my belly button especially since I can actually see it...not like before my tt. Well happy healing everyone and good luck to everyone who is have surgery this coming week.

3 weeks :-)

So I am 3 weeks post op. Very happy! I am not standing 100% straight yet but I basically look like I have poor posture :-) I am happy with my results but I do think I have a dog ear. I'll talk to my PS at my next appointment about how we can fix it. But I never expected perfectin and the fact that I am flat and have a great belly button and low scar I could not as for more than that! I started my scar cream today. I am hoping it will help with the few raised spots I have. I finally shaved today
I have been so afraid to get a razor any where near my incision but now that I am shaved I feel more like myself :-) I have some swelling towards the evening but nothing too bad. Of course ig I have a too much salt it is worse. I grand straighter during the day and seem to be more hunched at night. I find myself subconsciously stretching in the middle of the night and it feels good but hurts too. I'm worried I may be messing up my muscle repair but I don't do it on purpose. Anyone else experience this? I am looking forward to working out more and tanning this summer. But overall I am so happy and feel awesome. I hope all of you out there are just as happy as me. Love you all.

Swollen..

I went back to work yesterday (exactly one month post op) and BOY did I swell up!! I took a.m. pics that I will post later but by the afternoon I was so swollen. Which is weird since I've been pretty active for the past 2 weeks but I guess with all the up and down and walking from office to office I got swollen. I was so worried that I was getting fat, even though I only ate veggies and a whole wheat tortilla and a protein bar. But I weighed myself when I got home and my weight was only 1.5 lbs more than it had been in the morning which I attribute to water retention...oh I'm on my cycle right now so that has added to the bloating, UGH!! I am so ready to start working out so I can tone up. I know it will still be a while before I can do ab exercises but I am looking forward to working on a six-pack or at least a four-pack. I know we all heal at different rates but I was hoping to be a little flatter by this time. I love how flat my stomach is when I'm standing but when I sit I get a little bulge right above my incision, I'm hoping that resolves itself in a few months when I'm back to my full workouts. I guess I'm paranoid that I'm going to get my old stomach back and I sure as heck don't want that to happen. I haven't had too many negative days but I notice the fear of not getting great results is starting to creep in recently. I'm hoping those feelings resolve themselves soon. Anyway enough griping. I'm updating from work because posting from my cell phone is such a pain but when I get home I will add the photos I took yesterday of my 1 month tummy :-) HAPPY HEALING ALL.

One month pics

Here are a few pics from yesterday morning.

five week pictures

Not much to report. The swelling has eased from earlier in the week. It took a while for my body adjust to working again LOL! I guess a life of leisure suites me ;-) Here are a few pictures from 5 weeks post op. I go to the PS on Tuesday and I'm hoping her releases me to start cycling again. I also hope he says I can do weights and yoga. Will update after my appointment.

Saw my PS at 5 1/2 weeks post op

He said I have to wait until I'm 2 months post op to start on the elliptical and spin classes. He also said I can't do any swimming yet (but I can get in the water). I'm going to guess he would frown upon me tubing down the river so I guess I'll have to put that off a little longer. Maybe by the end of August I can take a little ride down the river. I was swollen quite a bit yesterday and he said I might be doing to much...I've only been working (at a desk) and I've totally been neglecting my housework so it's not that it, but I've come to the conclusion that my tummy is rejecting employment...with an entire month off work I think my body is just not satisfied with sitting at a desk all day with no windows for 8 hours and it would rather be home, or shopping at the mall. I mean if I can go shopping for 3 hours and not swell but I sit at my desk for 8 hours and only get up to heat my food or use the restroom but I swell like crazy then the only conclusion I came up with employment rejection syndrome. Too bad I can't afford to be unemployed, so I guess I'll keep coming to work. I don't go back to see my PS until September 3rd. I'm still wearing my garment since I swell up but I did go buy 2 new ones yesterday that are smaller and tighter so hopefully they will keep the swelling to a minimum. Well that's it for now. I will post 6 week pics this weekend. Happy 4th to all of you. Enjoy your independence!!

Two since my TT.

Here are a few pics. I will write an update a little later.

Two months since my TT.

So not much has really changed since my last update. The scar looks the same, although definitely flatter, it's still pretty red. I swell up by the end of my workday, the weekends not as much. Of course the more salt I eat the worse the swelling is. I don't notice any extra swelling after exercise. My PS told me at 2 months post op I could start using the elliptical so that's exactly what I did yesterday. It was so much more fun than walking on the treadmill! I also did some chest/triceps but started to feel a little pulling around my belly button so I didn't do a lot of weights. I still have to be careful not to use my abs for at least another month (not really sure when he'll release me to full workouts). I am so anxious to start getting in shape but I can be patient so I don't mess up or un-do any of my muscle repair. I just want to be able to start doing more lower body workouts with weights but I know the strain that can put on the abdominal muscles so I've been avoiding it, which really shows in my butt and thighs. BUT I feel 100% better in my clothes, and out of my clothes ;-) so I'm very happy. I feel so blessed that I was able to do this, that I lived through it, and that I get to continue to improve my appearance. I hope everyone out there is doing great in their recovery. For those who are still waiting to get their TT, I wish you luck, you will be so happy once you get to this point.

Three months and I'm so happy.

My doctor released me to full activity about 2 weeks ago. I've been doing more weights, squats and lunges, and slowly adding abwork. I did 3 sets of 15 reps of crunches and obliques plus some planks and I was sore. Hurt to sneeze but I was so happy just to be able to work my abs. I also did a yoga class. That was so good for stretching my muscles after going back to weight lifting so I think I'll keep doing it. I started tanning a little too. As far as the look of my stomach not much has changed from last month. Still using scar cream. Haven't seen much difference in the past few weeks but I know it takes time so I'll keep using it until its gone. I'll update again in a month, I'm hoping for more change by then. Here are some pics I took this a.m.

I am 4 months post op and feeling like myself but better.

I still get some lower abdominal swelling when I'm at work since I sit all day. On the weekends when I'm up and moving around a lot more I am pretty darn flat. I am completely back to all my pre TT activity, in fact I am more active at the gym than I was before. Now that I know the results from the gym will actually show in my tummy I work so much harder. I didn't bother working out the rest of my body before my TT because I figured there was on point since my stomach was always going to look bad. But now that it's flat I have to get the rest of me (arms, buttocks, thighs) up to par with my flat stomach :-) I have the beginnings of a six pack (more like a 4 pack) but it doesn't show up well in photos. I can see it when i look down at my stomach and it gives me motivation to keep working hard, and eat a clean diet which I've been doing pretty consistently now for 4 1/2 weeks. I still splurge on the weekends and have sushi and/or wine and beer. but during the week I eat very clean. Since it's the middle of the week and I definitely have the "work week" swelling going on I will wait until this weekend to take updated photos. YAY I'm 4 months, I can't believe it. It seems like it was yesterday and yet another lifetime ago. I am still very happy I did it and would do it again, and recommend it to anyone who thinks they are a good candidate for this procedure. It can be life changing, I was happy with my life before, now I am content and motivated to be the best I can be.

*Photos 4 months post op

Here are some pics from this morning...very little swelling on the weekends. Scar is flat and smooth. Looking forward to it fading more.

1 Year Post-Op!!!

One year ago today I had my tummy tuck. It was a great decision for me. It didn't change my life because I loved life before and I love it now! BUT it did take away that small amount of anxiety I had each day trying to figure out what to wear that would look & feel good. I wore a 2 piece swimsuit for the first time since I was 18 back in March when I went to San Diego, CA. It felt amazing and freeing. I would still love myself without the surgery but I feel more myself now. Here are a few pics.
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

I picked my PS because I like him and his staff. I was referred to him by 2 friends. One had a TT w/Lipo and the other had an Augmentation/Reconstruction. They both highly recommended him. And I loved that he wants to keep my scar low and below my hip bones.

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Your results are amazing! You look awesome!!
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You look great , x
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You look great your scar is lovely low flat and thin :) xxx
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Scar looks good. Does feel good to start exercising. I am a month behind you and feel like 3 months will be another turning point. It is nice to start counting months instead of days and weeks!
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Yay!! Glad you are doing and feeling so well. Funny, my scar looks just the same and I'm a month ahead of you. I am now massaging every day with coconut oil. Is your skin still numb? I still have a pretty large area from the scar to my BB that is completely numb.
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Yeah I assume my scar will look like this now for a while. I'm hoping next summer it will look great. I am still numb from my BB to my scar and a little on the sides of my BB. Dr. M. said I may always have numbness under the BB. I'm ok with that, it only bothers me when it itches because scratching my skin feels odd. I will be happy when the swelling subsides. I feel it more than I can actually see it, but it feels so tight at times. But it all feels better than what I had before :-)
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Yeah, scratching is weird. Sometimes I just have to massage and the itch goes away. It's so weird.
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Thanks for the update...since I am only few weeks behind you I am comparing our pics and noticed that your 15 day post op pics show the lower abs swelling that has gone down a lot compared to your newest pics...so that has calmed me down a bit. I feel like you said like I still have a pouch cause the swelling is out of control!!! Thanks for helping me wrap my head around this whole process!!
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Yes, when I look back at my early pictures I can see I was more swollen back then but I forget that sometimes and feel like I"m sooooo swollen now. But when I keep it in perspective by looking at old pictures I can see the progress, and I have come a long way. I remember trying to wear one of my smaller compression garments back then and it felt so tight and made it hard to breath, now when I put it on it's loose. That gives me a good idea at how much the swelling has subsided. It feels like a long process sometimes but I know we aren't really all that far out from surgery. I think we're doing pretty good. How are you feeling? You look good.
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I am still taking it pretty easy but when I do go out I am pretty slow and reliant on the binder. I think the pocket of fluid is getting worse...ugh...hopefully I am wrong. I am going to try sleeping in my bed tonight even though my recovery chair is super comfy!!! We will see! Things do take a long time to heal up but I am just glad that I am not in any real pain...which pre-op I thought I would be for a couple months, lol.
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Absolutely love the Reject Employment Syndrone!! I feel you on 8 hours at a desk and no windows. Happy Recovery to you!
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I cannot believe it has been that long!!! this summer is flying by! that is so funny, employment rejection swelling! lol.....have a wonderful 4th!!
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Has it been 5 weeks already? WOW! What a change! Do you feel like it was a life changing surgery? I love your belly button it is so super cute!
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I know I can't believe its been 5 weeks. I feel so blessed to have been able to do this. It was kind of life changing in the sense that I feel more confident in my skin. I don't worry about how I look in clothes and I don't have to constantly suck my stomach in. I feel like my thoughts have been freed up to focus on other things. Its been a relief. I am very pleased with my results. And thank you I love my belly button too! My boyfriend has been very supportive and compliments me often on how good my stomach looks. That makes me smile lots :-)
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Sweet!
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Your scar looks great!!! I love how its super low!!!!
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Thank you. Yes I love how low my scar is. I have a friend who went to the same PS before I did and when I saw how low her scar was that solidified my decision to go with my PS. I didn't even go meet with any other surgeons because I was so impressed with his work. I took a look at your profile and you look like you already have a nice figure so once you have your TT you are going to look great.
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Thank you so sweet! I sure hope so! I didnt even think twice about getting the surgery I workes hard to loose the weight and I want to be able to show it off :)
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I hope my results will be like yours! Fingers crossed!!
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oh my goodness you are looking awesome!!! I am onto week 5 PO and I wish my scar looked half as good as yours do same with the healing, wow I am amazed, let me tell you, you ought to be proud it looks that good! Im blown away!
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I'm sorry you are having issues with your scar recovery. I hope, even though the process seems long, that you will end up with great results. I've read about others who had long roads to full recovery but ended up with great final results. Thank you for all your kind words. Best of luck with your healing.
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You're looking great! I have a little bit of a pooch above the left side scar too, but Dr. M thinks it will continue to get better. I wish I had your belly button. Mine is strange looking. Your scarring around it is so tiny and light. Looking good!
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My dr recommends biocorneum as well. I'm glad to hear its working for you. Are you taking progress pics?
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Your scar looks AWESOME! Did your doc mark where your scar would end up? I hope mine looks just like yours.
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