Pictures at 26 days PO on MM!

I am 33 years old with four young boys that pulled...

I am 33 years old with four young boys that pulled the tissue out of my boobs and deposited in on my abs when I birthed them. :) I am 5'7" and 125 pounds, but I still have a muffin top and tons of skin that I literally tuck into my jeans each day. I breastfed for almost 5 years straight and was in for the shock of my life when I stopped. I actually have a round indent in my boobs above my nips because they are soo empty!

I have been thinking about these procedures for a few years now, but I didn't even consider them to be a realistic option. I thought that Jesus would want me to be thankful for the body I had and to not wish for something different. So, a couple weeks ago, I surrendered this desire to the Lord. I said, "Change my heart if you don't want this for me or else make it really clear that you do want this for me. I surrender the whole thing to you." Well, that week, a girl came up to me whom I've only met briefly and volunteered (out of nowhere) the information that she had a mommy makeover and was gushing over the experience. I had never met anyone before that I knew had done this. The timing was so weird; it just felt surreal. For me, this was confirmation that the Lord was giving me back something I had surrendered to him. (I'm not trying to over-spiritualize this: the decision doesn't always have to come about in this way.) Then, I read this article about how people that struggle with forgiving themselves also struggle with extending kindness toward themselves. Self-forgiveness was something I had been working through in the past year, and I saw how I almost "punish" myself by not allowing myself to experience good things. It makes me feel guilty because it seems selfish, when in reality, it's a lack of self-forgiveness and taking care of myself. For some, this seems so simple, but for me, it was a major hurdle.

So after those two events within days of praying, I said, "Lord, there's one more thing. We don't have money for this right now." The next day, my husband told me we had tens of thousands of dollars come in to our business, and that we were suddenly very financially set, after a year of struggling to get caught up on bills. I couldn't believe it. He was completely supportive (although emphasizing repeatedly that he was satisfied with my current body) of this endeavor.

Another thing I've been praying lately is that Jesus would show me that he loves me, because sometimes I struggle with feeling not good enough or unlovable. When I don't feel loved, I'm not good at loving others. So, anyway, through all those prayers, I believe Jesus was showing me how much he loves me and that it doesn't matter how much money it costs (he has control of all the money in the world) or what people think (I used to run in very conservative circles), but that this is a gift from him, for me. It's hard for me to accept that; I almost cry when I consider it.

So, here goes. I never ever thought I would do this, so now I am insanely excited. I started to feel guilty for spending hours looking at this website on Sunday after making the decision and then realized - there goes that self-hate and self-condemnation again! I shook my head and told myself to enjoy this - the anticipation is part of the gift!

I have already chosen a doctor, and my consultation is on Wednesday, April 17. I have to travel in early June, so I'm hoping to get the surgery scheduled as soon as possible. I don't want to wait until mid-June as then I will be recovering for much of summer. So my next prayer is for the perfect timing of the surgery.

"Before" picture added! This was taken in...

"Before" picture added! This was taken in January, before I started my first-ever diet to lose weight. I started at 131 pounds and am now at 125 pounds. My goal is 119. (I weighed 107 - which was almost too low - while nursing my first three babies but didn't drop with this fourth one!)

Question: I enjoy tanning about once or twice a month, just to maintain a little color. How does this work with scars?

Also, I'm a 32B right now. I was a full 32D/small 32DD before kids. Would you go for 32DD?

I realize this is probably not the ideal time of...

I realize this is probably not the ideal time of year for these surgeries, but fall is not a good time for me and I don't want to wait 9 more months now that I'm in for sure. :)

I have a few items on my May calendar that I cannot miss...a graduation, a birthday, and twice-weekly baseball games (could maybe miss one). How soon after surgery do you think I could attend something like these with still looking/acting somewhat normal?

Well, I had my consultation yesterday, and it went...

Well, I had my consultation yesterday, and it went very well! I'm much more excited now that I have an actual surgery date....Tuesday, May 14! That is less than 4 weeks away! Prayers were answered in that I was able to get in with time to recover before my week-long trip starting June 2. I think it will actually be relaxing and healing, since I will be on the trip myself without husband and kids to cook and care for!

I felt very confident with this surgeon. His before/after pictures look awesome, and he was very professional and wise. Cost was $13,100...only slightly more than I anticipated but definitely worth it for a job well done. That includes tummy tuck, umbilical hernia, breast augmentation with silicone, anesthesia/operating expenses, removal of a couple moles, all pre- and post-visits, and pain pumps.

He does a very low incision and said I will need full-time help for a week and then should be okay on my own with the four boys, as long as I'm careful. He was hesitant about the suitcase/airport thing, which will be 2 weeks, 5 days after surgery, but I figure I shouldn't have a problem asking someone nearby to lift my luggage into the overhead compartment for me.

I have a graduation for a friend who is like a brother on Sunday, May 19...just 5 days PO. I'm still not sure what to do about this. It's an hour away from home, a 2-hour ceremony, and lunch together afterward. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to do all of that but maybe some part of it? That's my next prayer item I guess!

Now, I just hope the times goes fast! I'm ready to do this thing!! :)

Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment!

Tomorrow is my pre-op appointment!

My pre-op appointment went great! I felt a little...

My pre-op appointment went great! I felt a little rushed at the consult but not with this appointment. He suggested 450cc. I'm 32 barely B right now and would like to be a full D/small DD (what I was before kids). I think when he makes my tummy smaller that my butt/thighs will look bigger. Thoughts? I have started working out twice as much in the past week and plan to continue doing that (except for during recovery) which is what it has taken in the past for me to tone my lower body completely. As I age, I can tell that it requires more exercise and better eating to have a positive impact on my body.

I'm very excited and actually not nervous for the surgery. I still have some fear when I think about my family finding out about this. I need to work through that yet. I also have some fear about what will happen to my body with 4 weeks of no exercise!

Any ideas for creative ways to hide drains while in public?

Two weeks from today! Yipee! I'm tempted to...

Two weeks from today! Yipee! I'm tempted to start setting up my recovery station! Tee hee. I worked out 5 times last week, which I haven't done in two years, and I could really tell the difference this week as I was able to up it a notch! I would love to lose a couple more pounds before surgery. I ran into the girl who originally told me about her MM at the gym this weekend, and it was fun to tell her that I actually scheduled the surgery and that she was a part of my story! Because my husband and best friend are the ones who have walked this journey with me and so they already "knew," this was the first person I got to "tell." She was so excited for me and hugged me! I'm not sure if anyone else that finds out will have that response...probably no one! So, I was thankful for that. :)

I received a big order in the mail from Victoria's Secret with another compression garment (I decided to have two so I could be washing one while wearing the other) and a couple of sports bras. Oh, okay, I couldn't resist. I bought a couple swimsuits too! :) I figure it would be fun to have them for before and after pics too, right?!?

Thankfully, my birthday is this weekend, so that will help this time pass more quickly. I don't handle anticipation very well. I become restless.

I think I have everything ordered from pre-op to post-op that I may need. This stage kind-of reminds me of waiting for a baby to be born at the end of pregnancy!

Four days left in the big countdown! I'm looking...

Four days left in the big countdown! I'm looking forward to getting my post-op "station" ready this weekend and preparing one last freezer meal. I just canNOT believe this is actually going to happen!! It's a dream come true!

24 hours from now I will be transforming! Can't...

24 hours from now I will be transforming! Can't believe it! I had so much fun organizing my post-op station this weekend. I'm a nerd about stuff like that. I'm going to make one more meal to stick in the fridge for later this week. (Easy post-op recipe: Pile chicken, green beans, and sliced potatoes - no peeling needed in a 9 x 13 pan and pour melted butter mixed with garlic salt and onion powder over them. Bake at 350. So delicious!) I also need to finish an assignment that is due on Thursday, and I have an appointment with the chiropractor today so that everything is aligned before surgery. See you on the flat side!!

Made it!!! One day post-op and doing fairly well!...

Made it!!! One day post-op and doing fairly well! The surgery went great as far as I know. I won't be able to peek at anything until tomorrow (48 hours before removing binders and such). I can't wait to see the transformation!

The first two hours were hell. They couldn't give me Demarol which is what they usually do (I had a seizure from it once in middle school). So when I become cognizant, I had been violently shaking profusely for 45 minutes. I felt awful and couldn't stop shaking. So then I started hyperventilating because I felt out of control and couldn't take a deep breath. Well, the nurse was basically yelling at me over and over. I told her I need help! She just kept saying, I can't help you; only you can help yourself. I asked her to rub my legs and she only did for like a minute then left. Then, she came back and was still yelling at me. I started to cry. I had been cognizant for about 30 minutes when my husband came back. (The surgery only took 2 hours, so wasn't back in time.) My husband tried to help but when he saw the drains, he hit the floor. The nurses had to take him to a bed, so then all the nurses were compassionately surrounding him and asking him what he needed, etc. Meanwhile, I'm by myself bawling and can't breath or stop shaking. I was pretty upset.

Then, my miracle came. I looked to my left and there was Sheila. Sheila doesn't even normally come back here, but she knew me from a consult for permanent eyeliner. She follows Jesus too and knows that I do, so she came over and held my hand and talked calmly to me and helped me relax and eventually start breathing well which slowed the shaking. I stared to cry again and said, "Thank you, thank you. God sent you here for me." She doesn't ever come back to the post-op room, so I knew God had sent her to me. She was even missing one of her appointments with a client. I told her that the other nurse had no compassion and was just yelling at me and thanked her for her gentleness and compassion. After about 15 minutes, my husband came back and rubbed my feet and the other nurse, who possibly had overhead me came back with compassion all of the sudden. My husband said he thought she was having a panic attack because of my breathing issues. He told me later they had only given me a light dose of pain meds - not sure why.

The drive home was rough. We had brought the Corvette so my best friend could use the van with my 4 boys. The seat doesn't recline, and it's not comfortable, so I really struggled for the hour ride home. I was able to sleep for about 20 minutes, so that was good.

As soon as I got in bed and took 2 Vicodin, I felt much, much better. It was just a huge relief. Ever since that first couple hours, I've been doing pretty well. I have a high pain tolerance though. My boobs hurt along the sides and top and feel crammed into this bra. It feels a bit like being engorged after having a baby. My stomach incision feels a bit like fire, and there's one random spot an inch underneath the incision that burns, especially if I'm an hour away from the next pain pill.

I've had zero nausea. The anesthesiologist put a round, silver sticker behind my ear that prevents nausea. It's awesome because it's just always there and I don't have to take another pill. She said it blocks a receptor and works for 3 days.

I have pain pumps coming out of my boobs, and my stomach tubes are hardly filling up. We've only emptied them once since yesterday afternoon. I think that's a good thing?

I slept mostly all day yesterday. I love how easy it is to fall asleep because of the Vicodin and Valium. My husband has been doing an awesome job taking care of me. He's really sweet! I was able to eat gluten-free graham crackers, a bit of unsweetened applesauce, just over half a piece of gluten-free peanut butter toast, and a Raw Rev 100 bar (mini dose of raw foods with protein - great little way to get some non-soy, healthy protein in and pretty tasty). I slept great last night, just waking for meds. The nausea patch gives you dry mouth, which is good because it forces me to drink more water! John just made me an omelet for protein, so I'm going to attempt to eat some of that. The nausea patch also makes it hard to pee, so that's a bit annoying but okay.

2 DPO...turning a corner!

I'm definitely feeling better today after my first shower and changing into my own sports bra and getting re-situated. I'm hoping to wean off some of the medications when possible. My son has a baseball game tonight that I would LOVE to hide along the outfield side line in a lawn chair and watch. We'll see! Don't want to push myself either. I had to miss his Tuesday game which has hard...he had his first hit! (It was game 2.) Okay, I'm drugged up and rambling....I should stop! :) Again, I'm SO GLAD I did this! My body looks GOOD! I think you all will LOVE it! Just try to stop overanalyzing your decision and just enjoy your decision instead. :)

Adding Post-op Pictures!

Feeling a lot better today (2 DPO) than yesterday but unfortunately, not good enough to attend my son's baseball game. Can't walk really well yet and am pretty dizzy from drugs. However, I went from 2 narcotic pills (Vicodin) every 4 hours to just one! I also quit taking my muscle relaxant (Valium) and am doing pretty well. Very stiff and sore - especially my back, the sides of my boobs, and my incision on stomach, but other than that, doing well! It's not as bad as I thought it would be! I love being served too! Tee hee! :)

I slept with a heating pad on my lower back last night and that helped with stiffness. My hubby has been rubbing my back some too and sitting under the shower water helped. His eyes about popped out of his head when we first removed my boob garment. He started giggling like a school girl. Hilarious!!

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I was feeling very good yesterday afternoon but last night and today, I've slipped back a bit. Feel groggy, a bit queasy (it was time to remove my nausea patch), head hurts, and sharp pains in a couple of places. I went back to taking the Valium (muscle relaxer) and that helped. I'm still sleeping almost all of the time. I had to stay awake for a couple hours late last night to complete that assignment that was due at 11 pm, so that was rough but made it with only two minutes to spare! I was hoping to feel even better today, but maybe I will later in the day. I have a lot of homework to do but can't read right now. I just need to be functional enough to attend my dear friend's graduation/meal on Sunday morning.

Also, John is going back to work today after helping me shower again in the next hour, and my best friend is coming over with my four little boys. They will stay out of my room but it won't be so nice and peaceful anymore! :) I'm a little bummed but I think food and a shower will help me feel better. I didn't expect to be SO tired all of the time. I have a 600-page book to read and take quizzes on in the next couple weeks, so I thought this recovery time would be a perfect time to get it done without kid interruptions. That's why I'm pushing to get off meds that make me sleepy, but I think it back-fired on me.

Please pray for me if you are into that sort of thing. Thanks.

Back on the Road to Recovery

Yesterday was rough (as you could tell). I just didn't feel "right" all day. It was frustrating because I had started to feel better the day prior. I have only been in my recliner and on the toilet or shower and haven't done anything else that would set me back. I think I just wasn't quite ready to reduce pain meds. That's so like me....to push the limits!

Last night, I went to bed early (whatever that means since I'm usually always sleeping!), and now I just woke up in the middle of the night and realized my alarm didn't go off for taking my next dose of pills. And I feel okay! Not amazing but not bad! I'm taking 3 Advil every 4 hours and that's it. (I don't want the head and nausea issues anymore from the narcotics and Valium.)

I'm much more encouraged now. Thanks for getting me through that rough patch.

These are the hardest things for me right now:
1. Sore, sore back from remaining in pretty much same position all the time.
2. Discomfort where drains enter my sides.
3. Pain around edges of boobs - feels like engorgement when milk comes in.
4. Really want to stand up straight but not supposed to yet and probably couldn't either!
5. Would like to read and study.
6. Something always itches and it's hard to itch through all the binding/bra stuff! :)

Maybe after I finish my night of sleep (it's 1 am), I will be able to check something off this list. :)

Showers feel really, really good. Love them. I sit on the chair, lean forward so water is hitting back, and hubby massages back. Best feeling ever.

Alright, nighty-night.

4 Days Post-Op

I'm not feeling that great. My boobs and abs are okay - it's the drain entry points, my back, fuzzy head, and nausea that are the problem. Not what I expected. Do you think if I switched from Advil to Tylenol that would help? If I didn't have that graduation tomorrow, I wouldn't be concerned. John helped me try on a black dress with jean jacket over it after my shower today, and it worked really well at hiding everything. I was thankful for that. The denim material hides the big boobs and there are pockets on the inside of the jacket that were perfect for the drains! It's from Express.

I just called someone back today who called me this week, and she told me that I had already called her back! This week is such a blur - so funny. Oh and I had my first cough yesterday when I choked on a pill and thought for sure I had just ripped open my abs! Yowza!

I'm ready to feel normal again, but I think it's going to be a while....

One Week Post-Op Appointment

I have turned a corner today. In the past few days, I was struggling with discomfort and emotional duress, but today....today is a new day! My drain tubes have been removed, my scar tape has been pulled off, and I can wear a wireless bra and Victoria's Secret compression garments instead of the binder and surgical bra! I am finally able to walk around without feeling like I am going to pass out. I am not struggling with regret and guilt like I have been the previous few days. And, I'm wearing regular clothes! I feel like a new woman! And...I kind-of am!

So when you get to the dark post-op days, know that they will pass. I feel beautiful and happy and optimistic. After I can take the band-aids off tomorrow, I will take more pictures!

Hubby and I went to Olive Garden after my post-op appointment and it was just fun. I felt so free without those drain tubes!

10 Days Post-op: Funny Story & Pictures!

My husband and I were climbing into bed last night when I remembered that I forgot to put on my silicone scar sheets. I grabbed the white box off the table in the dark and asked if he could turn his lamp back on so I could apply them. He turned on the light, and I held up the box, saying, "I heard about this online. This is supposed to be the best way for scars to heal. You just put these right onto the scar." As I spoke, his face looked more and more confused and I responded by further explaining the effectiveness of this product, despite the fact that it wasn't exactly the same as what my PS recommended. Finally, as I spoke, I glanced at the box in my hand and realized that I had not picked up the white box of silicone scar sheets but the white box of granola bars!

And now to upload pictures taken last night.

2 Weeks Post-Op!

I feel more like myself every day. We came home from being out of town for Memorial Day weekend and found our basement flooded. It was so hard not to help hubby clean up, but I knew if I got started, I would just go crazy working and not stop myself! I feel like I CAN do more things but I don't think I SHOULD quite yet. That's hard for my personality type!

Today was a big day...my first day without medication! I have been taking 2 Advil every 4 hours all week because of my swollen boob but I missed a dose last night and didn't even notice so I tried going without today and I was fine! I'm starting my period so I'm a little more bloated which seems to be bugging my incision. It feels more stretched. My right boob was a little less "off" today. That was encouraging! My belly button scabbing is gone (the black ones) and some new lighter ones are forming. It looks like I am peeking inside at my intestines...so gross. Anyone else feel that way?

I have been wearing ScarAway silicone scar sheets every day and LOVE them. They protect the incision from bumps too. I just take them off in the shower, clean them, and dry them out on a towel rack. (There's enough in the package to have a set drying while you wear the other set.) It's much less messy than gel.

I told my family about this at the graduation last week (it was obvious I was recovering from more than just hernia surgery!), and they responded well but I don't know what they are really thinking - and I'm okay with that! I chose not to tell my in-laws whom I saw this weekend - a farm family...it would just make no sense to them. My mother-in-law noticed a few times that I hunched over and or moved slowly and asked each time something like, "Now how long did they say it would take to recover from the hernia surgery?" My answers were vague. Kinda funny. I'm sure she was thinking I was overreacting but that's okay! :)

18 Days PO!

I've been a little down yesterday and today. I like to get up early, work out, work and play hard with my family, at my house, and in the community. I can't do any of these things, so I guess I just don't feel like myself. I'm flying to the East Coast tomorrow for one week for grad school, and I want to have more energy and be more mobile. It's just not me to sit around, and I think it's depressing me!

I am thankful for my new body shape. I'm looking forward for the swelling to go down on my boobs...they are soo huge and hard! The left one is making progress but not the right.

I think my belly button will turn out okay, but I'm not happy with how high my tummy incision is. :( I was able to find a swimsuit bottom that covers it (see pic), but the new bikinis I got online will not work. Sad!

I know this sounds really sad, and I am sad right now. But, I haven't felt this way for most of the week, so I think it's just a phase. :)

Mommy Makeover Phases so far:
1. Too drugged up to think straight.
2. In awe of new body.
3. Happy to be feeling better.
4. Impatient, newness wearing off, ready to feel normal again!

Thankfully, I've heard so many of you ladies remind us newbies to be patient...it gets better!

Update on Sad Post :)

So we took our boys to Epic tonight and I got a pair of cropped black jeggings from Express that are cute and soft enough for my incision to handle. I am feeling much better tonight. Maybe I just needed to get out of the house?!? I've been feeling restless lately with this slow, recovery pace of life. It has stormed all week, so we have been stuck indoors too.

Anyway, I wanted y'all to know that I'm doing better tonight. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. :) It really means so much - especially since you don't even know my name or face! Talk about some good friends! You ladies are the type I would love to hang out with. :) Maybe we will cross paths on a beach in Cancun some day when we are sporting our new bodies on vacation, lol!

26 Days PO on MM with Pictures!

I'm still sore, especially to the touch, but I feel better than a week ago. It is neat to experience the healing that each week brings! :) My drain spots are flattening quite a bit, although they definitely are not flat yet. Last week, I was pretty unsure about them flattening, but this week it seems more possible. My boobs are still pretty tender, but I can move both implants around now. They do make an awkward squishy noise that is a mild version of fingernails on a chalkboard in my mind, but I trust they will settle into place eventually. My nips are still very sensitive.

I'm wearing 32DD and still busting out. I have lines on my boobs when I take off my bra. Both sides have softened a bit but my right side is still more swollen than the left, so they are not symmetrical yet.

The biggest improvement this week has been my belly button! It doesn't look like intestines anymore. :) Also, I'm sleeping more comfortably and not quite as sore when I wake in the morning. I've only had to take Advil once in the last week.

Best comment I got this week: "You have the tiniest waist!" Yippee! Been a long time since I've heard that!

Hard News at One-Month PO Appointment

The day I got my drains out (one week PO), I began using my arms again just a bit. Prior to that, I hadn't even cut my own meat or reached to the side to turn on the recliner-side lamp. I had carefully kept my arms down at most times, except to comb my hair. So, I reached way to the side to turn on the lamp and felt a painful sensation, almost like pulling a muscle. As the night wore on, my right boob swelled up big time and the pain became increasingly worse until I couldn't hardly stand it. I tried an ice pack, the shower, a different bra....it was horrible. It was still tender and swollen the next day but nothing like the night before. My PS' nurse said it was normal for the right side to swell up more with a right-handed person when they start doing more.

Well, the swelling never went completely down and at my appointment on Tuesday (5 weeks PO), my PS saw it for the first time and said: capsular contracture. (There's blood pooled at the top of my boob too which is why it's higher than the left. My left boob dropped beautifully at around 4 1/2 weeks.) I was sad. He gave me a prescription for an asthma medication and told me to massage like crazy. He said this works for 30% of patients. If not, I will have to have surgery in the fall. If you pray, please pray with me for God's best.

On a brighter note, I look and feel great! Five weeks was a turning point for recovery and my body starting to feel less like Frankenstein's monster (think incisions as patches and odd movements to avoid pain). I started exercising, which really helped with my mood and healthy eating too. I'm just starting to feel more like myself - just an enhanced version!

If you haven't had this done yet, it's funny how you can read and read women talking about being "down" around 3 weeks PO and think, "Okay, I won't be like that. I know it's coming, and I'll remember what I read - that things will get better." But then it happens and you don't even realize it! At least it did for me.

I'm so so thankful I had this surgery! I feel beautiful and happy.

New Pic at almost 6 weeks PO with MM!

This bikini by Kenneth Cole (from Dillard's) worked great because the waist was high enough to cover my incision, and the tie that hung down from the bikini top mostly covered my belly button.

Pic & Update at 7.5 weeks PO with MM!

I have been taking my medicine religiously and massaging often, as well as praying that this right boob heals so I don't have to have surgery in the fall. My follow-up appointment is on Thursday, July 11. The boob has definitely become softer, less tender, and easier to move around; however, the blood is clearly still pooled above the boob. It will be interesting to see what he says.

Other than that, I am healing well. The incision is lightening, and I've been able to work out with increasing intensity. I did not realize how many exercises utilized your pec muscles though! Many tricep weight machines were too much at first, and I'm just slowly able to do them. I can do about 50 crunches and a minute and a half of planking before I chicken out! Lower body has been much easier to get back into than upper body for me. Push-ups feel freaky because of the pec thing. It just feels weird to have my pec muscles flexed; it's a very different feeling now.

I am still very, very happy that I had this done! If I had to pick between going to Cancun for a month and having this surgery, I would pick this surgery. Just sayin'.

I'm sorry that I haven't been on here much; I registered for too many classes this summer, and I've been overwhelmed with homework for the past few weeks. It will calm down again next week...

So happy to tell you the news!!!

I'm in the 30%!!! No redo surgery for me!! The right side has softened and is dropping! I was soooo happy! Thanks for caring about me and for praying!! Love to you all! :)
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