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I did it!!! 38 Years Old, 2 Kids, Ready to RePretty This Body! Tummy Tuck and LIPO!! - Farmington, MI

Hello RealSelf World!!! Ever since I found this...

Hello RealSelf World!!! Ever since I found this site, I have been reading reviews almost daily! This is by far the most helpful site for someone looking to understand the REAL ups and downs of plastic surgery.

So as for me, I've been contemplating having a TT since having my 1st kid (8lbs2oz,c-section). My ab muscles were so stretched that I still looked 5 months preggo post-delivery. At 5'3", 31yo, 140lbs and nicely shaped pre-preggo, it was difficult to look at my new body now at 160lbs with a gut! After working out without results and breaking out in tears, I got up the nerve to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Hardaway at Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Laser Center. Dr. Hardaway and her staff were wonderful but made me think again about whether it was the proper time for me to have a TT with only 1 child and my age. So I tabled the thought and learned to rough the DREADED shop to camouflage my stomach thing:/ Then at 35yo, preggo again!!! 2nd kid(8lbs1oz,c-section,tubal ligation due to complications). Now with this new body at 175lbs looking full term compared to my original pre-preggo status, I have made the decision to RePretty myself! Well honestly it wasn't THAT easy to make the decision, lol! I took 2+ years of back and forth with myself, from feeling selfish about having ELECTIVE surgery with all of the scary possible realities coming to mind, to the money it would cost that I would be taking away from my household, and all along feeling down right miserable with my look. Well thank God I have a supporting hubby! He has helped me to feel much better about my decision, is helping with the costs, and is going to my consultations so that he can be informed enough to further assist

My 1st Consultation

Well!!! I won't name this Dr. but I must say that the consultation I went to todayyyyyy...I wish I could've recorded so that people could get an actual account of what I explain! I researched this Dr. and made the appointment only to find a day later that this very popular Dr. is not board certified. I kept the appt. just to be informed but OMG the reviews are accurate! Either this Dr. is a genius and has a "beautiful mind" or, well I won't be mean. Anyways, as the reviews say, very fast talking, sometimes you will lose the direction the convo is going in, and visibly exhausted. The staff is nice and explains everything much better. Cost, before/after photos, and techniques discussed will and has sold many ppl with this Dr.

Lessons learned...
-RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!! Read reviews, confirm board certified.

My next consultation is at the end of the week and I hope I leave that one with A LOT more comfort!

My 2nd Consultation...Dr. Michelle Hardaway!!!

Today I'm feeling great! I had my 2nd consultation which was with a PS I had a consultation with 5 years ago. I must say, I felt even more comfortable than I did back then with her and her staff's professionalism. The consultation was informative and left me feeling that I was in the right place for the results that I am looking to achieve. She had taken photos of me at my 1st consultation and compared them to the photos she took today...what a difference!!! My kids are adorable but they really did a number on me, LOL!!! I can't wait to receive a copy of those to post.
So after discussion with my hubby, we agreed that we will schedule my surgery on Monday...hopefully she still has the date I want open!

I'm Scheduled!!!!! Yayyy!!!!!

I did it RealSelfers!!! I made my decision and scheduled my surgery appointment today! JULY 1st!!!!!! As you can see I am sooooo excited! And at the same time this just became sooooo REAL! I am a crazy planner and I know I'm about to drive everybody crazy with my to-do lists, must have lists, and oh-no lists! LOL! Thank God my family and friends always know what to expect and just accepts it:) But anyways, I would love advice from the RealSelfers on your supply lists and what you did to prepare in advance for you big day. I know I will be in awesome hands for my surgery and after but I am very independent and anything that will help me to care for myself I am willing to get/do.

My Hubby and the BOOB Request!!!

So my hubby has hinted toward me getting a breast lift for quite some time now. Yes THE GIRLS are playing with gravity! I went from a small C cup (pre-preggo) to DD during my 1st pregnancy then I breast fed. I thought they would somewhat go back to size...but no. Luckily the 2nd pregnancy didn't change the size much more but did add the extra droop. And let's not even speak on the enormous areola!!!!
But here's my thoughts...I just want to look good in my clothes and take the stress of shopping for my stomach away! My boobs look great in a nice push up! So I really never thought of a lift as a must. I expressed to my hubby that I didn't really like the scarring that I would have on my boobs if I got a lift. African American women tend to have dark and very visible scarring! He still brought it up again! So I said I would consider it but I have a lot of questions to ask my PS AND I would want to get it all done at the same time. He thought it would be something I could do later but I don't want to go through this process of taking more time off from work, building confidence to even undergo surgery, etc.! Honestly if not for the scar pattern, I would love to have THE GIRLS sit up, a smaller areola and nipples that are not pointing at my toes!!! So I guess its time to do more research and call my PS!!!!

Undecided about Boobs, Excited about TT and LIPO!!!!

For some reason I'm going through the same cycle with the thought of lifting and enhancing my breasts. I have not made the call to my PS! I mean it's JUST A CALL!!! UGH! Well maybe I will get up the nerve later today. But as for now, I decided to post my before photos. It's the only way anyone will truly be able to SEE why I am sooooo excited about JULY 1ST!!!
I am beginning my T-25 workout tomorrow since it finally showed up. I want to lose some weight, get toned and healthier before surgery so that my results will be better. It looks difficult but NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!!


These didn't upload for last post.

Wish Pics!!!!

I know PS can yield some amazing results but I also know that being healthy and toned takes a lot of work! But a girl can wish right??!?!!!! Time to go work out:/

Time to Prep!!!

Seeing that I am an insane planner, I have been researching supply lists like a crazy person. I have been trying to figure out what would make sense for me and what things have been said to be must haves. Well...major fail!!!!!!! LOL! Every time I saw something that I saw on one of those lists, I put it in the cart! Now I don't know what half of it is used for! I have enough vitamins to last a lifetime(Meijer had buy 1 get 1 free)! But too late to worry about it now. At least I'm closer to having what I need than before so overall I'm excited. Check me out! I have stuff for my diet, cleanse, pre-op, and post op. And I refuse to look a hot mess so I found some sundresses on clearance(cheap just in case I ruin them-Meijer & Target). Yeasss, I will sport a messy bun(easy hair) and sundresses(comfortable but cute). Im still not done because I have to get a few more vitamins on my list, my recliner, walker, shower chair, and toilet riser(comparing prices now). ALL FOR THE RESULTS...INSIDE AND OUTSIDE!!!

More supplies...

Pre-op Appointment Today...It's FINAL!

My pre-op appointment has made this surgery so REAL! I added to my original list of surgery items and of course $$$! But I know it will be worth it! Here's my list...Tummy Tuck & Vaser Ultrasonic Liposuction to 1/2 back w/tapering of hips, inner thighs and chin.
I think the scariest part of this operation has been letting my job know that I was going on sick leave! Of course everybody asks why which is something I've never asked a person...how rude! I have only told a few close people that I have a hernia just because I don't need the extra negativity. I work in a competitive type of environment where you just don't want to tell people that you are interupting the job by choice. You could actually have an arm hanging off and someone would say "well I could work with only one arm, why can't she?", lol! Crazy huh?
But I'm glad I can vent all of my thoughts and frustrations here on RealSelf. Talking to friends and family can seem to get repetitive and annoying because your soooo excited and sometimes they give you the "can you talk about something else" look. I also received some negative reactions that I just can't process right now. My focus right now is preparing for a serious yet rewarding surgery. That includes preparing my mind & body, family, and home. This has already been a journey that has tested my strength and will-power and will ultimately be a lifestyle change. I'm so ready to look in the mirror and not want to cover up, go shopping and pick what I like and have it look great on my body, and have a healthy/happy inside and outside.

Less than a month left.....JULY 1ST here I come!!!!

10 DAYS AWAY!!!! I can't believe it!!!

OMG!!!! My nerves are bad!!! The time is flying by!!!
Well since my last post, my bloodwork came back good. I have made a few more purchases...I know, I know...over doing it again! But these are things I saw others say were helpful and I want to be as self-sufficient as I can. I will let you all know which things were ACTUALLY useful.
My job has come to grips with my time off, although the rude comments and questions keep coming. I don't even care anymore because my focus is now on a healthy recovery and awesome results! Most likely for the next week I will spend some QT with my family and plan out my meals so that they will not have such an impact once I'm recovering.
3 Days pre-op I have a bachelorette party to get through WITHOUT ALCOHOL...wonk wonk:/ The hardest thing so far has been my migraines since I cant take any products with aspirin or drink coffee (Excedrine Migraine & lots of caffeine). Tylenol just doesn't do the job. But, nothings worth my health and getting through this surgery without complications.

Tomorrow is the Fat to Flat Day!!!

I'm excited and nervous, happy and crying...just all over the place emotionally! I think I have kissed my kids faces off and hugged the air out of them. They don't mind, lol! The last week has been difficult with my migraines and even started coming down with a cold. But I suffered through and I feel fine now! One things for sure, I'm prepared and ready for this tummy to be gone!!!
Sooooo...see ya on the FLAT SIDE realselfers!!!!!

I did it!!! I'm on the flat side!!! Yayyyy!!!!

Pain, pain, pain for the 1st 2 days. Drowsy, nauseated, and dizzy! The only thing I could keep down was a few crackers, a few sips of my infused water and protein shake. They called in a prescription for nausea and its been working so far. So I'm feeling much better today! Dr. Michelle Hardaway and staff....THANK YOU!!!
As I promised, here are the things that have been useful so far...
My #1 - MOM! She has been amazing to say the least! She has made sure I stayed on schedule with my pain meds, emptying the drain pumps, and just keeping me comfortable! My hubby and oldest son have been helpful with random things.
2. Roller walker - I have avoided back pain totally while getting my walks in. Its so easy to maneuver!
3. Power lift recliner - Easy to get up and down! With some extra pillows I sleep comfortably.
4. Toilet seat riser w/handles - I can hold my garment open with one hand and the handle with the other without falling and I don't have to bend much at all.
5.My fan - The garment being tight along with nausea made me feel like I was having hot flashes. The fan fixed that problem.
Baby wipes, kleenex, cups, and the remote!
I have not had a bm since I haven't really eaten any food but I'm gonna take the Miralax anyway. And these garments...UGH!!! I itch all over and want to rip them off!!
I will keep my Realself ladies up on what works and what I could've done without. SMOOCHES!!!

Wear a tank top!

Just dropping in with a little advice. I saw a few Realselfers mention it but didn't make it a part of my list. I went 3 days with my garments and tubes pressed against my skin which resulted in blisters, bruising, itching, and pain. So last night I decided to change dressings and add the tank top. It was like adding pillows to my skin! I even tightened my binder without any added discomfort. So ladies...WEAR THE TANK TOP UNDER YOUR GARMENTS!

Sidenote: My BB is freaking me out! It's been big and poking out for years and now I don't know how this thing is gonna end up looking like a BB, it's so little?!?! And I have the "when I was young and bone skinny" tattoo. I can't make out what's left! But I will be investing in a coverup in about a year. I took it out of my initial pics. Once I get the pumps removed, I will post some before/after pics.

That dreaded stage:/

The last few days have been emotionally draining! The dreaded period where you no longer have pain meds, you feel that you are wearing out your welcome with those helping you, your drain pumps become your enemies, don't forget about the first enemy...the garment, you sooooo want a shower, and no position is comfortable to sleep anymore. Yeah I'm there! I get my pumps removed at my post op appt tomorrow. The staff laughed when I admitted that I removed the garment and have binders everywhere(I had some from my csections). I had a bit of an accident with the garment:/ I cleared the garment opening and the toilet seat but the riser was out of position and when I stood up...I was wet on the thighs. Lol! Just a ill honestly...I broke down!!!! But it was a small blessing in disguise bcus the binders are more comfy on my thighs and allowed me to move around better. So the photo is the funny for today...THIGH BINDERS...doctors these are a good idea...try it! Lol!

Before & After Photos

I'm still numb and swollen in the lower tummy. Hopefully that goes down! And the zipper being rippled from my garment has left some lumps on my sides! How do you get those to go away?

Changing more each day!

Even with me being a very realistic person, my initial results were a bit discouraging because of the amount of swelling in the lower tummy. Don't get me wrong, it was a huge change but we all have those dreams of being totally flat. But I just want to encourage all Realselfers by saying just give your body a few weeks to really show the results. I am 1.5 weeks post and I am seeing my shape change more and more each day! And yes, I'm smiling more and more each day as well!

Introducing Shapewear!!! Coming Right Along Now!!!

So I decided to go back to what I know...Ardyss BODYMAGIC!!!! Only I cut off the bottom, I don't have time to unhook to go potty! But it has helped already to shape me up. Wore the size 36 for 2 days and now I'm wearing the 34 only on the 1st set of hooks instead of the 3rd (as shown on the pic). I will continue to size down until I reach my goal. Back when I was a distributor, before my 2nd pregnancy, I sized from a 34 down to a 28! If I can do that again, only now with my muscles repaired, I will look great!!!


Hello Realselfers! Just stopping by with an update. I have been feeling much better and not taking any meds, only vitamins. I am losing weight daily, and looking better and better. I still have some swelling in the lower tummy, that will take a while to flatten out and I have come to grips with that. I'm wearing things that have been packed away for years! Feels nice!
My hubby did something that he used to do before I had tummy issues, he shopped for me!!! He bought a nice BCBG dress and shoes for me to wear to a wedding and it fit nicely! Sorry I didn't get a pic:/ I have to say to the Realselfers to really enjoy the transformation that you are going through. It's HUGE! My hubby explained how good it felt to have the old me back. The one that enjoyed going places and just having fun. The one that he enjoyed picking out nice clothes for and to have me smile in return. It made me realize just how my body issues had altered our relationship and my life. So I may have gone extreme by having surgery but I would do it again and again now that I see that the change is much more than physical.
Dr. Michelle Hardaway of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and Laser Center

I have had 2 consultations with Dr. Hardaway (in 2009 and April 2014) and have felt totally comfortable with the professionalism exhibited by her and her staff. All of my questions were answered without even asking...that tells you the level of information you receive. I felt that she took the time to understand my issues/concerns and mapped a plan for optimal results. The pricing is reasonable and her before/after photos are great, but more importantly, she is board certified and has a remarkable background in her field. Although my health is good and therefore I will have my surgery in her OR, she is also affiliated with several hospitals in the Detroit area for those with health issues or just prefer to do so. www.michellehardaway.com THANK YOU Dr. Hardaway and staff! You really took great care of me! I felt I was in great hands the entire time. I can't wait to uncover my results!

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
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Comments (60)

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So happy for you. You sound so happy.
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Thank you! I am happy. It's been such a change, one I thought was impossible for me. I've never been so shapely!! Lol!
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You are looking great. I go for my pre op tomorrow, wish me luck.
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Good Luck!!! Everything will be fine! You don't have much longer before you're on the flat side!!! :)
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Congratulations on your wonderful results.
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Thank you! I'm finally enjoying my look!
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It does take a while..
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You doing great .I am three weeks out and I was feeling like omg what if my stomach doesn't get totally flat it's coming along though...just takes time and everyone is different .
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My progress is slow and when I have a bad swell day I just stay out of the mirror. But I know this will all come to pass and I will have that flat tummy soon enough.
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Gonna get a water setup like you had! I am scheduled for a tummy tuck and breast lift on August 11th, and like you, have already purchased so much just from reading on this site. Please keep the info coming on what you actually use! I am quite nervous and very excited, and will continue to watch your recovery journey. You are looking great!!
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Im glad I can help someone else just as the other Realselfers helped me.
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wow what difference in that dress! you look amazing
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Thank you! Im all smiles!
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I love your water station set up. I have that same dispenser and will be utilizing it. Great tip. Happy healing.
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Thank you! I'm glad you picked up on that tip because it worked really well! I didn't even have to get up for water. I added the pineapple and lemon for the tons of benefits they both have for recovery. There are some great recipes out there using fruit to heal. And staying hydrated is important!
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Sounds le you're done well, I had a problem with the vomiting too I never felt pain like that before. Sending healing g prayers
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Thank you for the prayers! The only thing that hurt worse was sneezing! OMG! I thought everything ripped! I'm staying away from any and everything that could possibly make me sneeze!
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I have to say today is the first time I sneezed since sx almost 3 week thank god it probably would've been the death of me
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Has anyone else got the pain pump instead of just the oral pain meds
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A lot of doctors offer the pain pump but I think it only lasts for a few days. The oral pain meds give you a few more days of relief. And the combo must be awesome! I mourned when my pill bottles went empty:( Tylenol just doesn't do it! It was definitely a big girl panty moment!
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My PS is going to use the Exparel, so i am hoping that helps....
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How much were you quoted for Exparel? I just received an outrageous quote from the hospital of $900 for one injection.
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How r you holding up? Hope things are getting easier and your moving around more. Rest rest like everyone says. Cant wait to see pics.
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I had my break down moment where I was in tears Sunday. It all became too much. But once I got that cry out and took a much needed nap, I was better. Its harder to sleep now that the pain meds are gone. So I get up, walk and stretch my legs. Post op is tomorrow so everything is up from there!
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I will post the pics when some of this swelling go down! I will say that I am wayyyyy more curvy than I use to be! Spongebob is gone! I just need so much muscle repair that my tummy feel like its not connected to my body:/ Before surgery, I could put my hand between my muscles and still have room. So I feel like someone has their foot in my stomach right now and the swelling matches it!
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