42 Year Old, 3 Kids, TT, MR, and Lipo to trunk and thighs.

It's time. My husband and I have spoken about a TT...

It's time. My husband and I have spoken about a TT "someday" when our family is complete. My youngest is two years old, we are not having any more babies, and I have decided that now is the right time for a TT. I researched online and had two consultations. I decided to go with the more expensive Dr. I'm hoping that the extra cost is worth better results?!? I have my surgery date and my pre-op physical scheduled. I am hoping to learn as much as I can in the next few weeks about TT, lipo, preparation and recovery - basically everything I can to make this a positive and successful experience. I want to have realistic expectations, yet am really excited by the possibilities. Currently I am 5'3 and 160 pounds.

Let the planning begin!

Now that I've made my appointment and shared my surgery date with my family, I am starting to plan like crazy. My husband has taken a few days off from work and my mom and older girls will be there to help with my two year old.
I've always been able to hide what my body really looks like and I think I haven't really been honest with myself about how I really look. I'll be honest, I'm not an athlete or a gym rat, I just like to be active with my family. We walk, bike, hike, canoe, swim, etc. I'm definitely ready to look good in a swim suit!
My three pregnancies were completely normal and healthy. I gained 25 lbs with my first and second and only 13 with my last. No C-sections. Both PS consults agreed that I have extra skin and relaxed muscle from three pregnancies and that a tummy tuck with lipo could give me a flat tummy. Here are some before pictures.

More before pictures

I wanted to post some more before pictures. I will delete these forever from my phone as soon as I am done posting! I've started the 30 day ab challenge with my husband. Not sure how much it will help, but my muscles are sore. They are in there somewhere!

I think I'm ready?!?!

TT is scheduled for tomorrow morning. I arrive at 7:00am and surgery is at 8:30am. I've spoken to the staff at the surgical center and everything is all set to go. Today I am trying to think of anything I might need to do that I won't be able to do after. . . . laundry, play at the park, exercise, etc.
I went on vacation with the family last week, celebrated the 4th, and spent time with friends. The only thing I am still a little worried about is caring for my two year old after. My mom lives nearby and my middle daughter is 9 and super helpful, but my two year old likes "mommy" to do everything. I wonder when I'll be able to be alone with my two year old??
Anyhow, I feel pretty calm and I think that has a lot to do with this site and how everyone is so helpful - posting advice, encouragement, and sharing their experiences. I am also confident in my surgeon and that helps too!
I am excited and can't wait to be on the flat side. I plan to take measurements before surgery. If anyone can think of anything I should do the day before surgery, please share!!!

Day 1 Post op

Surgery day was yesterday morning. Everything went smoothly, checked in, met with Dr., and got my IV. I had tummy tuck with lipo of trunk and flanks. After, I woke up and my oxygen was dropping a little bit. I think that's why I stayed in recovery longer than planned. The percocet made me nauseous and so I've decided to tough it out and just take ibuprofen. If the pain gets worse, I can always call the Dr., and they will try a different pain med. I told the staff that I would rather have more pain and not be nauseous than less pain and nauseous!! I came home in a compression garment and a lot of padding, so it's hard to tell the results . . . but I know that it will definitely be better than before. Dr. said he removed 4 pounds of fat and 2.5 pounds of skin?!?! Not sure if that is a lot, but sounds like a lot to me. My follow up appointment is Thursday and looking forward to seeing my tummy. My Dr. focused on a low scar and has a technique for a "natural" looking belly button :)

Correction for the last post . . .

I meant tummy tuck with lipo of trunk and thighs!!

Day 2 Post op

I had my first post op appointment today. The PS took a look, added new padding, and said everything went well. He was surprised that I have not been taking any pain pills. Again, pain is better than nausea!! My next follow up appt will be next Tuesday. My center drain is slowing a lot and may come out at the next appointment, but it's not likely that all three will. I improved moving around and getting on and off the couch, chairs, etc myself today. I will probably be on my own for most of tomorrow - my husband has to go back to work. I took my first shower today and saw all my bruising and tummy for the first time. I do like my new belly button so far! My PS said I'm swollen and the results will keep getting better. My husband keeps describing how much better my new tummy is than my old one :-) Here are some pics. I would really love to know how to add graphics to cover my nakedness!?!? And how to have two pictures to compare the before and after . . .

Day 3 Post op

Today is a bit boring. I have been running a little warm since surgery - 98-99, but I'm guessing that the CG under my t-shirt is probably the main culprit. The second CG that my PS gave me yesterday is a different brand, same style, but tighter. My husband went back to work and my mom took my two year old for the day. Even though I have two new books to read and a lot of movies, I find myself too restless to do either of those activities for more than about 15 minutes at a time. No big plans for the weekend. Just checking in on RS :-)

Day 4 Post op

Today I felt that I moved around much better. Still hunched over and my back is killing me, but overall I move a little faster and easier.

TMI alert:
Yesterday, Day 3 I had a my first BM since surgery on Tuesday and it was fine. I also had another one today and that went fine as well. I have taken 3 dulcolax on post op day 2, 3, and now 4. I have been eating a high fiber cereal each day this week with a little yogurt. Not sure what is having the greatest impact, but I knew that I didn't want to experience constipation! Oh, and I have not taken any pain meds since a my day of surgery.

Last night I was changing into my newly washed CG and I broke out in a red itchy rash! Totally annoying. I called the on-call PS today (felt bad about bothering him for such a unimportant concern) and he said that it was probably something in the fabric softener . . . they were out of our regular brand so I just grabbed a different one. My question was about continuing to wear the CG over the itchy rash. His answer was that it is ok to not wear the CG while I am re-washing it, but then I should wear it and treat the symptoms. Benedryl totally knocks me out so most of today I have been really sleepy!

I would definitely say that on Day 4 I noticed being able to move a little easier. I expected to have this type of improvement each day after surgery, but it didn't happen until Day 3 to Day 4. I know we all heal at our own pace and I need to be patient. My swelling increased after day 2. I posted a picture to show day 2 and day 3. I haven't taken any pictures today - maybe later? Even though I am swollen, I am not uncomfortable with the swelling.
I'm still working on finding a sleep position that I can stand for more than a few hours. I sleep sitting up and then I slide down and my upper butt and back hurt.
As I look through my pictures, I noticed that there are a few I wish I had taken before - laying flat and leaning over. Oh well. I know that, even with the swelling, I am so much flatter than I was before.
My parents brought dinner over last night and they commented on how much better I look (referring to recovery) each day. The problem with that is that everyone expects a little more from me and I'm like - no, everything still hurts and is tender, don't touch me and keep helping!!!! I'm counting on more help for the rest of the month!! Ha!

Showering

I forgot to mention that I have showered twice - the first time at the end of day 2 and it was difficult, I was sore from being hunched over and general pain and the second was this afternoon- day 4. Much easier today and I did it all by myself. I took longer and moved a lot slower, but was able to do it. I know RS friends have said to shower everyday and my first thought is, wow, I think I'm fine being smelly and gross! I was ready for a nap and it did take about an hour from start to finish!! Happy healing everyone!

Day 6 Post op

Day 5 and 6 have been good days. Friends came over yesterday and I was feeling tight and swollen in the evening. Today I sat around most of the day and still felt swollen most of the day. I'm thinking I will just need to find someone to help deflate me!! My drains are starting to slow down a little, not enough for my PS to take them all out, but I am crossing my fingers that at least one can go. I'm worried it is going to hurt. Silly to feel that way after the pain of a Tat and childbirth, but I still do t like knowing something is going to hurt! I've been very regular in the pooping department. I think All that water, fiber, and dulcolax is working too well. My itchy rash is still there, but I am just doing my best to ignore it and wear the CG. Tomorrow is my dr appt. Here's a look at my swollen itchy belly. Happy healing everyone!

Day 7 Post op

Every morning that I wake up, I notice that I have a greater range of motion. Still very tight and swollen, but I can stand more upright each day. Dr. appt today and 2 out of 3 drains were removed!! Yea! Left one in, hopefully to be removed Thursday or Friday, depending on how much I continue to drain. Maybe others are already doing this, but I got the ok to sleep flat on my back with my legs bent. I've been propping myself up in bed with pillows and another pillow under my knees. Not very comfy! I asked my PS about Arnica and he gave me a two week supply. I guess this is a good example of ask and you shall receive?!? So I am on antibiotics, Arnica, and one dulcolax (I'll probably stop tomorrow - i've been regular since day 3). I'm done with everything else. My skin still itches, but I'm just going to deal with it, not medicate it. Bruising and swelling are the most uncomfortable complaints that I have right now. Happy healing!

Day 10 post op

I got my third and final drain roved yesterday. Love not having drains!! I asked about how long I will need to wear a CG and PS again said the CG is mostly to hold bandages in place and now I don't have any, so maybe a couple ore days. I then asked what I should wear after the CG, like a binder, and he said its not really necessary for recovery, but I could wear one if I want. Hmmm. Something to think about over the weekend. I go for a follow up on Monday and will ask one more time how often and for how long I need to keep wearing the CG. If he says I don't need to, I may prefer not to wear one. I'm only taking arnica for swelling and drinking a lot of water right now, no more meds of any kind. I'm still swollen in the shape of an egg, I just get wider from my chest to my hips, but it is a real improvement from pre op. I wish I had taken more pics in certain outfits, but I know my clothes fit better and I feel better and that's what's most important. My y is still tight, my bruising is still sore, but all in all, I feel like I can do pretty much all of my daily routine except lifting my two year old. I walk slower, but not too noticeable! Happy healing everyone!

Day 12 post op

It's a good morning. I took some more before and after pictures. I've noticed that the mornings are best regarding swelling and dinner time, evening is the worst. If I drink a ton of water in the evening until bedtime, then I usually feel better just before I go to bed. Right now I am hoping my bruised thighs get better so i can shorts again. It's the middle of summer here!

Week 3-4 post op

Getting back to regular life. After week 2 my "help" reduced drastically, leaving me little time to update!! Still swollen, tight, and numb, but that's to be expected. I have better range if motion - no twisting or sitting up without using my hands. I have not worn and binder or CG since week 2 and do not miss it. I may be more swollen, but it won't make a difference to my results. Here are some more pre and post pics. I've left the steri tape on from surgery. I have tape to replace it, but don't want to pull it off. Oh, all of my bruises were gone by 3 weeks. I took arnica from week 1 to week 3.
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