3 week update and pics. Tummy Tuck and Muscle Repair on June 14, 41 Year Old Mom of 8

I am 41 years old, 5' 4" tall and weigh 121 lbs. I...

I am 41 years old, 5' 4" tall and weigh 121 lbs. I have given birth to 8 children, 5 of them weighed between 9lbs and 10.3 lbs. My 3 smallest were 7 1/2 lbs. I have never been overweight and gained between 30 and 40 lbs with each of my pregnancies. My first baby weighed 9 lbs. 4 oz. and he was the one to ruin my belly. My stretch marks were so bad, that I actually bled under my skin. I was extremely tiny when I got pregnant for him, only weighing 100 lbs. I have always lost most of my weight after giving birth. Actually, 125 is the heaviest I have ever been without being pregnant. I don't really want to lose any weight though, because except for my belly, I like the rest of my body at this weight. I was really too skinny most of my life. Not on purpose, just how my metabolism is. However, even weighing 105 lbs., my belly was pooching out and so ugly. So, I am hoping that the surgery will fix the one part of my body I really hate. Before children, I had a really pretty, flat belly, I know I can't have that back, but any improvement will be greatly appreciated. My youngest child is 2 1/2 and my oldest will be 20 at the end of the month. I actually have 5 teenagers at the moment LOLOL Let's hope these teenagers are ready to help out! They are great kids, I am sure they will step up.

I am very nervous about having a bad outcome. There is really no reason to think this except that I am being paranoid. I do have a separation in the muscle wall, but it is only about an inch or 2. My doctor said it wasn't nearly as bad as he would expect with the number of children I have had and the size of them. I do have some stretch marks above my belly button, so my ps won't be able to get rid of those, but the majority of them are under my belly button and will be going bye bye. Not sure if results will be good enough to wear a bikini, but I will be happy with a flat belly in a one piece. I am really excited about my clothes fitting properly again. I need a size 4 jeans to fit my hips and butt, but an 8 for my waist. I buy 4's but they are SO uncomfortable in my waist and give me an awful muffin top, which means I can only wear loose tops. Also, I can't wear any of the cute vintage look dresses with the cinched waist because I just look pregnant! Ugh! I love to sew, but don't sew much for myself because I hate the way things fit. More fun to sew for my daughters and good friend with their small waists.

Well, I have written a small book lol Wasn't sure if I was going to post on the site, but I have loved reading about everyone else's journey, so figured someone out there might enjoy reading mine : ) I have some awful before pics to upload, so everyone can see the ugliness I am getting cut off ; )

Can't figure out how to get pics off of my new phone, will update later when I do figure it out.

2 Comments

Hi tonya :) you sound like you are tiny ready. You will love getting rid of all that mess. I had a few stretch marks above my bb and they are now under my panty line. Hopefully you'll get rid of most of them. The best of luck to you!!
If you can try emailing your pics from your phone to your computer.
  • Reply
Wow..8 kids...kiddos to you.I love big families!!So happy you decided to do this for yourself.your confidence is gonna soar and your clothes are gonna fit so much better!!
  • Reply

Only two more days. I am getting more and more...

only two more days. I am getting more and more nervous, I guess that is normal. My 8 year old son likes to refer to my belly as bread dough, because it really looks like rising bread dough lolol He keeps asking me questions about the surgery and if I get to get rid of my dough belly. We all laughed the first time he called it that, so now he won't shut up about it lol You know 8 year old boys, if they get a laugh they will keep it going for weeks, little stinker. I am also worried about my 2 1/2 year old, she is my baby and I treat her like she is still a baby, she is still nursing :O I know I can't nurse her while I am still taking any meds, so this might wean her. Fingers crossed! I swear this kid will not give it up, I am gonna be like the lady on the cover of Time magazine hee hee I hope she will be able to sit by me on the recliner, at least, I love snuggling with her. My husband is taking off of work to take care of me and then next week he is taking a trip to visit friends in Houston with all of the children except the oldest, who has to work, and the baby. My Mom will be here to help me and take care of the baby. It will be nice to have a relatively quiet house. Of course, several of my oldest son's friends are usually here, so maybe not so quiet lol Will probably check in every day until my surgery, this helps calm my nerves. I have never had major surgery, so really have no idea what to expect. I did have 6 of my children completely natural, no epidural or pain meds, but that is a different pain than being cut on.

Oh and added my before pics, YUCK YUCK YUCK. I know I am nervous about my results, but anything has to be better than this!

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

Please join RealSelf or sign in.

0 Comments

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

List Pros & Cons, Advice you can offer others

9 Comments

Yes, we do have similar body shapes, I looked so much like you in your before picture before I had kids. I was a size 0 as well, I remember having trouble finding small enough clothes to fit me lolol Of course, I never had the nice booty you've got, the minute I lose any weight, that is the first thing to go. I think you look really great, but totally understand about the belly, and yes it does freaking GROW as the day goes on! What is up with that! I will be watching your journey, it sounds like you have been through a lot. I am so sorry about your lost babies, I have miscarried 3 as well.
  • Reply
We have very similar body shapes, and my tummy looks nearly identical to yours! Although I only have 2 living children, I've been pregnant 5 times, and my stomach stretched to the point of no return with my 10ib son! I'm pretty good at sucking in, and to this day I refuse to show my hubby the real condition of my stomach. I think you will look fantastic after your surgery! My stretch marks are also a few inches above my bb, and even if I can't wear bikinis, there are some sexy one pieces too! Sending prayers your way! Good luck and God bless!
  • Reply
You are gonna look so good.now I see your ifs.you are small behind that tummy.im excited to see your results! And for having 8 kids.you really don't look bad!!!!
  • Reply

Well, the surgery center called and I check in at...

Well, the surgery center called and I check in at 6:15 am, I am so excited!!!!! I can't believe that tomorrow at this time, I will have a flat tummy! Hoping everything goes well, I am staying the night, one of my best girlfriends is going to stay with me, so if I am coherent we will have some fun haha I will update from my phone if I can, if not I will update when I get home on Friday. Good luck to all the other ladies out there going in tomorrow!

13 Comments

Hope all is going well for you! God Bless!
  • Reply
Hey!! Hope all went well and your feeling great :) will be watching for pics!!
  • Reply
Checking in on you. I hope you're doing well.
  • Reply

Well crap! I wrote out a long post about my...

Well crap! I wrote out a long post about my surgery and just accidentally deleted it!!! I could scream, I am so high on pain meds, I should have known I would do something like that! I will do another update later, for now here are some pics from this morning after my shower. My PS did decide during surgery to do some lipo, I guess of my upper back? that is where the bruising is. He explained it all to me, but I was too high at the time to remember lol

I will try to take some better pics next time I take my cg off and will give more detail about the day of surgery. So far, I am doing well today, just sleepy from the drugs and some soreness mostly in my upper abdomen, assuming that is from the muscle repair

7 Comments

Glad you are ok! I'm dreading the post surgery depression myself. Think we will all go through it, but I'm praying you will get over this hump soon! We are our own worst critic, so post those pics so we can let you know just how jealous we are of your new body! :-)
  • Reply
Hey Tonya..how are you feeling?Just thinking about you tonight!!!
  • Reply
You are so sweet. I am doing ok, lots of swelling and feeling yucky in general. I need to get on here and update, but still not thrilled with my results. I think it is the swelling, but am so scared I am gonna have a bulge above my belly button. I plan on uploading my pics later, they don't look so hot. Also, my swelling is very uneven which makes it look worse. Hoping this is just the depression that most people get after surgery and that everything will shape up in a couple of days. Thank you so much for checking on me : )

Sorry I have been MIA for the past week. I was...

Sorry I have been MIA for the past week. I was very down about how my belly looked and medication worsens my depression, so I have just been laying low. I have been feeling much better since yesterday. I loved my belly when they revealed it in the hospital, but every day after that it got worse and worse and worse. As bad as it looked, I still liked it better than my baby pouch, but was disappointed because I really wanted it to be pretty.

Thankfully, it started to shape up Thursday. While I am still very swollen, it is not lopsided and weird looking like it was in the beginning. Dr Delatte is actually very pleased with the results. He said he had more skin to pull than he thought he would and that once all is said and done, I should have a very pretty belly. I go Monday for him to pull my drain out, I only had 1, and I am going to ask him about the spot right above my belly button. It protrudes a little and is hard and the most swollen part on me. It feels like that is where everything is pulling when I try to stand up straight. I am still hunched a little, he definitely pulled me tight! I am mostly off all meds except my antibiotic, the nurse said I needed to keep taking it until the drain was removed. My back is sore from hunching over and my belly is mostly still numb, but no real pain for several days now.

My Dr. insists that tummy tuck patients stay overnight in the hospital, and I see why. There is no way I could have gone home right after surgery. I was in extreme pain when I came out of surgery and it took Demerol, Morphine and valium before I could rest comfortably. I had my surgery done at Park Place Hospital in Lafayette Louisiana and they were wonderful. I especially loved my recovery nurse Ronnie, he was so nice and answered all of my questions over and over. I was so high, I would forget what I had asked and ask again LOL I have never had a male nurse before and really wouldn't have chosen one, but he was great. My girlfriend, Jessica, spent the night with me, and my SIL Gloria came and hung out that night. We had fun goofing off, and I am sure they had fun laughing at me, cause I was high as a kite. I get very silly when I am drunk or high lol

My husband and mom have taken wonderful care of me. I still havn't been out of the house yet, but I took my shower all by myself yesterday and actually put on real clothes and makeup. I know things will be much easier once this drain is gone. So so happy that I am on the other side and now things can only get easier.

I added several pictures and put captions tellling what day po it was and how I felt about everything.

13 Comments

looking good!!!
  • Reply
I understand being upset with your belly.my dr also said my results are gonns be great.he said the skin will continue to tighten as the skin reattached!!!standing up it looks ok except for the indention.which he said will go away.but when I sit the skin where my remaining stretchmakrs are looks crinkly..wrinkly..yuck.he says it will be fine.we will see
  • Reply
You know, I don't have much swelling in my lower belly, so my stretch marks are already crinkly and wrinkly. I am going to ask my dr. today at my appt. if this is going to change, but honestly am prepared to have to live with it. I will take a picture later and post it, you can see if it looks similar to yours. I have already seen how much results can change, I look nothing like my first few days, THANK GOD!!!! Imagine how much it will change in several months!

Sorry a day late, yesterday I got my one drain...

Sorry a day late, yesterday I got my one drain removed. I didn't see my dr. His nurse, who I love, removed my drain, took my stitches out of my belly button and gave me my new compression garment. The middle and lower part of my belly is still so numb that I didn't feel anything when she pulled the drain out or when she took the stitches out. It felt like I had been given a local anesthetic, even though I hadn't. A small area of my incision opened up a little, but she said it really didn't look bad at all, just to put some neosporin on it every day after my shower. She also cleared me to start my scar cream. They gave me a free tube of Kelo-cote, which is what my dr. recommends.

I asked about the swelling in my upper abdomen, and she said it was totally normal and would go away. She told me to put my memory foam padding up there instead of lower on my belly, since that was where most of my swelling was. I have to wear the foam 24 hours a day for the rest of the week and then she said I could just use it at night. She also gave me my new garment. I took a picture of the thing and posted it. These damn things are so freaking uncomfortable!!! It is no better than my binder, I wish I could just wear a spanx camisole. Much more comfortable, and much easier to use the restroom. She said I could wear the spanx if I went somewhere, but should wear the garment at home for the next few weeks. It takes freaking 10 minutes just to pee!!! I wish I could just be 8 weeks post op now, but this is part of the process and I just need to deal. I am really funny about tight things on me, so this has been difficult.

Emotionally, I am still so up and down. Yesterday I felt great. After my appt. my dh and I went to Target to pick up a few things and went and had lunch. I felt so good, I was planning a date night for this weekend. Well, this morning I feel like shit! I am very swollen, I guess my body is adjusting to no longer having the drain? And I am so grouchy. This is my first day on my own without my husband or Mom's help. I do have my teenage daughters here to help, but I hate not being able to do what I need to do to keep my house and take care of my younger children. It isn't their fault that Mom decided to have major abdominal surgery. I just really want to feel normal again. I have to keep reminding myself that this is a process and it is worth it. Even with my swelling and feeling like crap most of the time, I feel this surgery was so worth it. Just to have that bulge gone from my midsection , makes me feel so happy. Even if my results never got better than today, my body looks and feels so much better. I will just be really happy when the healing is finished and I am back to my normal self.

I posted pics from Sunday and a closeup pic of my remaining stretch marks and new torture garment LOL The stretch mark pic is kinda scary cause it is an extreme closeup. You can see my scar too, if you are squeamish, don't look! I am really trying to show the good, bad and the ugly of this process, so people reading can make a truly informed decision. From now on, I will post new pics weekly.

16 Comments

Hey tonya..I just looked at your close up pic.even with the remaining stretchmakrs...you look fabulous!!!i can just imagine how good you are gonna look when you are finished healing.And your clothes will feel so. Uh better too.thanks for pep talking me when I need it most...xoxoxo
  • Reply
You look fab! I only recently became an emotional person during that time of the month. Not sure what happened other then perhaps the weight loss regulated me. I can count on crying at least once a month. So I'm trilled to hear about the emotional aspect of this process! (NOT) LOL! I hope your emotional part of this is on it's way up for good so you can really start enjoying your new body!
  • Reply
I can totally relate to your up and down feelings. It is very hard to sit here and not be able to run my house the way I like. My hubby does an awesome job, but that makes me feel guilty lol We can't win. Hang in there, this is a long process, have you gone on youtube and watched any video journeys?? It helped me alot to see women feeling just like I do and then see a video a month later and see how much better they were. They say 6 months is when you can really tell how you will look. Your scar has changed so much already, imagine 1 or 2 months from now????? Just keep taking care of yourself and stay strong :)
  • Reply

The last 2 days have been hard. For the first...

The last 2 days have been hard. For the first week and a half, I barely noticed my incision. I don't know if my skin was still numb or what, but there was no pain, no anything. All of a sudden, yesterday I can feel everything around it and it itches so bad! Also, the hole where the drain was itches too. I was kind of freaked out about it being infected, but it looks fine and I have no fever, so I think it is just the healing and the fact that I have more feeling there now. I can feel more of the middle of my belly too and it is very sore and achy. I took two pain pills yesterday because it was so bad. Anything I can do to lessen the itching? It is driving me nuts!

18 Comments

Hi Tonya and thanks. I checked out your pics your dr did a great job also, so kudos to us lol. I went to target yesterday and i felt good i get tired quick tho. its amazing how your stomach and back muscles can control so much. i kept making short stops. i was with my husband and when i laid eyes on the summer outfits that were just sooooooooo cute my husband said " o u have a lot of energy now" lmao.
  • Reply
Thank you for commenting! My incision site has been itching & hurting too. I was thinking this morning, it seems like a different place on my stomach hurts each day. It's like the top, under my boobs hurt today & yesterday right under my incision was hurting. Weird! But I'm thankful for this site because I know I'm not alone in this journey!
  • Reply
HI Tonya, Thanks for the compliment on my review! Got to somehow get my mind off the discomforts of recovering. I also am one big itch, and my PS is having me take Benedryl for it. I find I must take it before the itching really sets in, otherwise, I wind up taking 3 instead of 2, which I'm probably not supposed to do. It does make me tired, but I'm a teacher on summer break, so that's okay.
  • Reply

Yesterday was 3 weeks since my surgery. The time...

Yesterday was 3 weeks since my surgery. The time both went fast and slow LOL I feel better and better everyday, even went to a family 4th of July get together and felt pretty good, even in the heat. I still get tired easier than usual and am a little stiff and sore. I don't know when I will feel back to normal, I guess not for a while, but I feel good enough. I am doing everything around the house I normally do except vacuuming and picking up the baby. I can sleep on my sides now, so I sleep so much better at night. I could actually sleep on my belly and be comfortable, but the ps said I couldn't yet. The worst thing now is having to wear the compression garment most of the day. Like I have said before, I don't like tight clothing, it makes me want to rip everything off, so this tight cg works my patience, especially at night. I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I take it off for several hours. But then I pay with more swelling, so doing my best to wear it.

My scar seems to be healing well. The itching is much better, I guess I am past that part of the healing process. My whole belly, especially the area around my scar is sensitive. I still don't have complete feeling back yet, feels like I am touching someone elses stomach, kind of gross. Also, there is still pleating in some areas of my scar. Hope that resolves itself, but it doesn't really matter because my scar is so low, no one but hubby will ever see it.

I am still pretty swollen most of the day, but even swollen I love the way I look. I really cannot imagine how much I will love it when the swelling is gone. My waist is still measuring 30-31 inches, which seems crazy because it looks so small. I want to sew clothes, but am leery until the swelling is gone. You use your measurments and I don't want to clothes to end up too big in the waist. There are several patterns that I would have never made before my tummy tuck, and I can't wait to make them now! I did buy a new dress at Target Saturday for a dinner and a movie date. It was something I NEVER could have worn before. Fitted waist with a belt and even swollen I looked so flat in it! Clothes shopping is going to be so much more fun now! I even tried on my 16 year old's bikini. I need a little more support in the chest, but it fit and looked great. I think I may actually be able to wear a bikini next summer!

Emotionally things are much better. Even on my more swollen days, I am happy with my results, so no freaking out over what I look like anymore. Also, no really bad days painwise in over a week. Still get a little frustrated with not having all my energy back, but it is probably 75%, so not too bad. My husband who was not thrilled I was getting this surgery, kind of thought it was a waste of money, is happier than he thought he would be with the results. I think I even have him convinced to join the gym with me when I am cleared to start working out again. He needs to lose about 15 lbs. He wasn't interested before. I really don't care as far as what he looks like, I just want a buddy to work out with LOL Also, heart disease runs in his family, his grandfather died of a massive heart attack at 58 and his Dad underwent double bypass surgery a few years ago. He needs to do everything he can to keep his heart healthy.

Added some new pics. Sorry about the ugly underwear, I always take pics when I get out of the shower and can't wear cute underwear yet, it irritates my incision. Sticking with what is comfortable for now : )

7 Comments

What a Journey there.. and 8 kids>> WOW! You are truly a soldier and you deserved this! I could understand how you felt at first when things were alittle lopsidded but what a change a few days made! I think you are just going to get better and better. Hope you are feeling better now. The emotions with this surgery are all over the place but what an improvement from before. Wishing you continued happy healing!
  • Reply
Tonya8! You look great at 3 weeks! It does get better doesn't it? I go back to work next Wednesday, the 18th, I believe and life is back "on"! I still haven't posted pictures, but am determined to do it soon. I really haven't had time to even try! I hope you are healing well. Everything looks good. My doc told me I didn't have to wear the garment or wrap any longer and that everything looked great. I go back in 2 months!
  • Reply
Wow you look great!!
  • Reply

I can't believe it has already been over 4 weeks...

I can't believe it has already been over 4 weeks since my surgery. I am feeling pretty good. Still stiff and sore in my belly. Still a good bit of swelling too. The only time I am not swollen is for about 30 minutes after I first get up. Still looks better than before surgery though! I only wear my spanx or garment for half the time. I cannot sleep in the thing and usually put it on a few hours after I wake up. I did go one whole day without wearing it, and it didn't make a bit of difference in my swelling. I am still trying to wear it when awake. All of the scabs are finally off of my incision. I think it looks pretty good, fairly red, but a thin line. I was never overly worried about the scar, so the fact that it looks good is a bonus. I found out after having my surgery that my ps is known for his awesome scars lol Belly button is totally healed and I am very very happy with it. Tummy is still very numb, wondering when the feeling will come back, probably not until the swelling goes away.

Anyway, doing really well and still extremely happy with my results. I want to start working out so that I can tone up the rest of my body. Trying on my daughter's bikini made me feel old and out of shape. Figured y'all might want to see me in something else besides my underwear LOL I don't own any bikinis, so had to borrow my kid's.

12 Comments

Hi tonya8,

I haven't checked up on you in a little while. Glad to know that you are doing well. I just updated my page as well was MIA for a bit:)
I was wondering about the swelling myself, I forgot to mention it when I was updating but I too am experiencing the normal swelling later in the afternoon into evening. Oh' well I still look 2 billion times better than what I did 2 months ago though:)
  • Reply
Hey Sunny! I am doing well, life is just busy : ) Having a lot of swelling lately, but still very happy with my results. Hope to get on here and leave an update soon! Hope you are doing well : )
  • Reply
I am doing very good.i STILL have swelling.I posted a few new pics.I am so glad to hear you are happy!
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon

I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Delatte. He is so friendly and professional and really listens to you. He patiently explained everything to me and came and checked on me the night I had the surgery. He never makes me feel like he is in a hurry. I really like my drs to have a good bedside manner, and he is great. The next morning his nurses came to check on me and change my bandages. The whole office staff is incredible. I highly recommend Dr Delatte for anyone living in South Louisiana.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 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
Was this review helpful? 4 others found this helpful