Pretty Nervous - Mississauga, ON

I don't do well with anesthesia; I tend to throw...

I don't do well with anesthesia; I tend to throw up a lot, I've had two c sections and my stomach is a road map of scars, separated muscles, flab, and a lovely uneven apron hanging over. My mother in law thinks I am just fat and is horrified that I still look pregnant. Even when I tell her I am only seven pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight (and I am 44 years old) she tells me I look awful.

I need and want this surgery so that I can get strength in my abs to help my back (which has three ruptured discs). I can barely lift my son. I want to see my vagina again!

With my first two kids, even though I had the flap of skin, I was able to tighten my abs and get strong.

Did anyone feel an improvement in their abdominal strength and back pain post abdominoplasty?
I am still breast feeding my seven month old, do I have to quit by September?

I am not looking for a dream body, but a body that doesn't repulse me or disappoint me (strengthwise) would be nice. Since giving birth, I feel like an old, old woman.

I really hope this helps and doesn't create more problems.

Katymary

6 Comments

Thanks everyone...and I see I should have posted under tummy tuck, but I am new to this. I really appreciate your comments. When my husband (second marriage) asked me to have a baby I knew it would chew up my body and he offered the tummy tuck as a 'push gift'. Thank GOD. The damage was worse than I expected and the recovery long and hard. I booked my surgery when my son was three months old and he'll be 9 when I have the surgery. I am doing this for me... my mother in law's comments on my weight are fresh...because she lost her baby weight after two months...blah blah and she never had a c-section and doesn't believe this is anything other than fat from being a lazy ass. Sometimes we women are not as nice to each other as we could be...you ladies are lovely!
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Hi Katymary! Thanks so much for sharing your story! I have been browsing this site for a couple of week now and it has helped me a lot in my preparation of my TT. I too have had two c sections and Im 45! My kids are in there late teens and I wish I had not waited so long to get the TT! Guess I wasn't ready for it! Im going for surgery in Barrie, ON on the 27th! Please dont worry about what others think! At the end of the day, you must do what makes you happy, regardless of others! You deserve to look good and FEEL good! c-sections can wreak havoc on one stomach! And it doesn't just stretch the skin, it stretches the muscle too! If certain people wont support you, then its best not to discuss it with them. We dont need people bringing us down! Surround yourself with those that can appreciate what you wish to do for yourself!! Like us ladies on RealSelf! :)
Hi Linda. Your surgery was right before my birthday. How are you doing? I saw your day one photos and they look amazing. I am getting nervous...you must have been nervous too. How's your pain, can you stand up straight. My surgery was moved by the surgeon to September 17th so I have to wait longer, but it means I can breastfeed an extra week and work a little harder at losing some of those prepregnancy pounds.

Postponed...

My surgery was supposed to be on Wednesday, but was moved to September 17th. At first I was annoyed because I worked up to this, but now, I am working on losing a few more pounds and breastfeeding a little longer. I am worried about being able to hold (not lift) my 9 month old son. Will I be able to cuddle him? Anyone know?

5 Comments

Glad I'm not alone, my surgery is booked September 16th it's not long now. I just spent the day in hospital with my 5year old having ent surgery, made me realise what's in store for me in 2weeks time! Looking forward with slight apprehension but excitement, good luck we'll be great ★
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Good luck! I'm just a few days after you. And good for your mother in law for getting back to perfect so quickly!
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Hey katymary I'm doing good! Five days post op for me! Cans stand completely straight yet but today was better than yesterday! I was crazy nervous but as soon as the nurse came out to the waiting room to get me she put my mind at ease! All the nurses and doc and anesthesiologist were great and all put my mind at ease! Before you know it, your waking up with a new belly! Just like that! The tummy muscles are tender and sore but I was never in severe agony by any means! I have two 'before pics'that I will post as soon as I can take an 'after' pic! You WILL be just fine!! Today I was up walking around and making some lunch! It's uncomfortable but again I'm not in agony! So glad I went through with it and have no regrets at all!!!

Two More Sleeps

Hi Everyone.

I like keeping it together, everything except my abdominal muscles I guess! I am very nervous for Tuesday. Mostly I must know - does anyone else have a young baby? My son is 9 months old. When will I be able to hold him (not LIFT) just cuddle? Can I do it with a pillow between us, in bed? Those of you who are in recovery...I need to know this as its giving me so much anxiety. I already quit nursing for the surgery and that was a big sacrifice and I won't be able to lift him for a while, but a coordinator at the clinic said my son couldn't sit in my lap for weeks and that's just not OK.

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I did it!!!!

Dr Lista and his team did my abdominoplasty and TT today. Dr Lista doesn't use drains and they kindly sent me home with a metered local anesthetic pain pump for 24 hrs so no incision pain, but mega ab pain. I don't mind b/c at least I have abs again. Turns out several abs were cut during my emergency c-section so the ab wall was open and internal contents bulging. I was never told about that and the OB didn't bother to repair them. I am so happy this was done. Good night all!

8 Comments

Hi I hope you are recovery well. How is it going with the baby? I have a 12 months old and I am concerned with not being able to cuddle him.
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Wow! Good thing you scheduled the TT! I hope your getting along good. I'm so ready, can't think of an thing else, just obsessed with Friday morning!
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Yes it has been well worth it even though it's only early days im feeling positive about summer coming and I think I'll be buying a bikini soon! Lol! The day after surgery was a bit dark and uncomfortable but I knew it would pass, time is the best healer :-)

Voldyne 5000

Breathing apparatus for post abdominal surgery. You suck in the tube and hold the ball elevated in the window for three second intervals, ten times. Gradually over days you increase the air pressure as you continue the exercise. This helps strengthen the lungs and abs post op and helps prevent pneumonia.

5 Comments

Can't wait to see your photos!! Can't believe your ob left you hanging like that....excited for you to see your results!
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I'm not gonna lie to you; its tough. I have a pillow over my abdomen and I have him sit beside me and I put my arm around him. I have given him a bottle. Mostly my husband holds him outwards and I stand up and hug my husband with the baby in between.
My son is really attached to me. I hope my hubby can handle it. I am going to try and stay away from him the 1st few days. He is a little Bam Bam and I am afraid to be around him with the drains.

3 days Post Op

Here I am. Tuesday was my operation. I am pretty swollen and sore. Still I am happy its done but sure could use a little less pain. I don't have a drain unlike most which I am curious about.

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12 Days Post Op

Well I am finally getting my arse in gear. 60 percent reduction in swelling and bleeding. Who knew abdominal swelling would cause rectal 'bulging'?! At any rate I am starting to feel like a regular TT post op gal. I have bruising and swelling in the middle of my abdoment. I feel like I pull an upper abdominal every day but also figure stretching is kinda what they have to do if I'm going to stand up straight. I feel like I've gained weight but its the tight garment and the swelling that feels like that. I am puttering around and can cook and fold and put away laundry. I haven't gone for a long walk yet (but because of my arse I've been on bedrest) but I have some energy. I sleep flat like I used to and can sit any way I want. I take two anti-inflammatories a day ( for my arse) and nothing else. I get tired and sore. I also get winded from this garment. Sneezing and coughing is still mental. BUT I put real underwear on and for a moment could see the lady I used to be and will be again.

6 Comments

You look great. I am happy to hear your arse is better.
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Thanks:) my neighbor just called me fat!
I am fresh out of eggs and in another country. If not, I will gladly egg their house for you.

A cosmo for everyone

Day 22

Like everyone else at this stage, my patience is gone but my soreness hasn't. I hate the garment, but can't live without it. I'm told not to exercise but I truly feel that putting the CG on after a shower is truly classified as exercise because it just STICKS and by the time its on, I'm sweating and need another shower. The other day I must have pulled my skin up with it because two hours later I was SO SO Sore and I realised that my wet skin had ridden up with the CG and so I popped my hands inside and loosened it. Stupid stupid thing. Three-six months? That's far away, but I guess, how quickly we forget the open abdominals, the paunch, the apron...which reminds me...my husband was going to serve me a cosmo wearing nothing but an apron...he got it half right...

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Omg!!!! Love the pic! Does he have a brother?
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Lol! No brother, just a sister who's naturally slim with no stretch marks. Hubby is pretty funny and the drink was good too.
Awe...too bad for me!! :)

A life lived in 6 weeks

So, so much to say about all of this. The surprises, pitfalls, boons and adjustments.

In the last three years I got divorced and fell in love, my father died, sold a house, bought a house, got married, lost most of my friends, had a baby, lost my job on maternity leave, and had a tummy tuck. I should probably stop right there and quote Dicken's "it was the best of times and the worst of times". I am forty four years old.

Let me address the word 'cosmetic'. I hate it. It implies that measures are being taken to hide a flaw as opposed to enhances attributes. The word has developed its own negative connotation and infused those of us who resort to such turgid measures as cosmetics and cosmetic surgery with guilt and shame. God forbid that we should attempt to love ourselves just a little bit.

Having a baby at 44 was the best gift I could ever give my husband who (at 12 years older than me) never had the opportunity to have a child of his own. It wreaked havoc on my body. I have to girls, 12 and 13 years old. I had just begun to enjoy going out without kids again and dating my beloved spouse - dancing and dressing up and partying just a little and then my sweet baby came. He tore my abs apart - so badly, that I couldn't poop because I had no pelvic floor and I developed sciatica and bursitis in my arm because I had no abs to support the 25 lb (!) baby I carried around the house. No exercise was going to bring this back. No diet was my cure...and yes! I HATED MY GUT because I couldn't fix it myself and it made me feel frumpy and un-sexy and dammit I am a newlywed. I was married only 13 months ago and was pregnant and had an infant for most of the past year. SO, YEAH! I lost that sexy feeling as I nursed my baby, staggered around with my hunched back, and took laxitives to poop, daily.

The doctor looked at my guy and grabbed it and said - diastasis recti, fairly significant. I can make your stomach look like it did when you were sixteen. That was it. Sold. I did my research on the doctor. I did due diligience and looked at horrifying videos of surgeries gone wrong (though we've seen our fair share of them here!). I signed up for a drainless surgery and I was ready.

Hah.

Ready my ass - first two weeks post op and as some of you know, the hemerroid story of the century - trips to the ER begging for morphine, four thrombosed hemerroids lanced and drugs to freeze the rectal spasm...who cared about my abs? Week three? staples out, massage and moving on.

Like all of you, I've learned to measure the healing in weeks, not days. Pulling, stretching, softness, hardness, cramps and stitches in my side...swelling in the belly, hips, thighs and ass. A constant wondering wether it is swelling or if, now that my belly is flat, I can see all the real work I have left to do with diet and exercise.

I've been frustrated by wanting to exercise and not being able to. Carrying around my 25 pound son and my back hurts again. Walking all day doing groceries and lugging the baby, being on my feet for three hours at choir rehearsal, those things...all leave me limp by 5pm and the baby doesn't go to bed til 7pm and so there's two hours where the other two kids and my husband tiptoe around as I rage about having more hours in the day than energy to carry out my duties. Sleeping - my nemesis. I am so tired by 7pm and yet when I go to bed? My hips hurt so much and I turn from side to side - waking fully each time and then getting up at 5am and 6 am for the baby...life is full, to say the least.

But then, here I am at 6 weeks. Since the first day of my surgery, I haven't needed a laxitive. I can poop normally. For those who know - this is a big, big deal. I don't take pain meds. I can't remember when I needed it last. Much of my belly is soft and has taken on a more normal appearance (except for the area under the belly button). I can sneeze and survive. I can laugh til it hurts and the hurting's good. I can take off my garment and feel secure without it on - finally. I can do up tops that couldn't fit over my bulge before and pull up pants I thought were long gone.

I still have weight to lose - maybe ten pounds, but now I can exercise. I can look down my front and see my vagina - a little tighter and smaller than before, thank you very much. I can wear sexy underwear and they don't roll under my belly. I can remember, faintly, who that sexy woman was and to quote J.T., "I am bringing sexy back".

I am still sore and tight. My tummy feels weird and I don't love touching it. The scar is freaking ugly to anyone but those of us on this page who view these things differently, but I know it will fade.

I am happier today. I can see that in the next six months, I will have the opportunity to reveal the woman I truly am inside...and that, my friends is not the magic of cosmetics covering up my flaws...that is the magic of cosmetics, revealing the truly sexy woman that lay underneath.

Bless you all on your journies. I feel for each of your setbacks, surgical or personal, but a happier future awaits. My gay friends used to say - "say it loud, say it proud". Works for us too.

4 Comments

You said it sister! !!
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Love your review! Im right there with you! I still don't like the way my tummy feels but soon. It will be normal! Yay!
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Thanks for giving an update. So happy to hear you are doing well.
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Toronto Plastic Surgeon

Dr Lista: while I am thrilled to have my stomach back - even a bit tighter than I remember, I mostly appreciate your attention post op when I ran into trouble with the back end. You have no idea what it means to have your surgeon pick up a phone when you feel scared and sore, especially considering my problem wasn't affecting my tummy tuck recovery. Your staff were exceptional, compassionate, and prompt while I was a big suck. I am going to look amazing. My scar is pristine, my pain was manageable, my swelling under control. I've had as good an experience as one could expect from the most major of the plastic surgeries. I have a fine appreciation for your dry sense of humor. See you in two weeks!

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
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